Advanced Cribbing
   

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Advanced Cribbing

This is a discussion on Advanced Cribbing within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Anyone managed to stop a horse cribbing
  • Top front teeth worn short due to cribbing

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  • 1 Post By waresbear
  • 1 Post By loosie
  • 1 Post By OwnedByAlli

 
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    06-27-2012, 07:29 PM
  #1
Foal
Advanced Cribbing

Hi, we were given a new horse about 2 months ago, and we noticed that he was a cribber. We were looking at his teeth to try to get an idea on his age when we did this we noticed his teeth were extremely worn down from cribbing to were he had practically NO front teeth. We try to keep him from doing it as much as possible but when I put his halter on I noticed he could do it in his mouth without even having any wood or other object to place his teeth on. When we release him into the pasture he return to the barn to continue doing it until we leave then he leaves with the other horses into the pasture, but at times returns to do it again. Should I be concerned? Is it bad for his health? If so does anyone have any suggestions on an effective method to stop him?
     
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    06-27-2012, 07:37 PM
  #2
Trained
Whoever gave you this horse should have told you he cribs. There is no cure for a cribber, but you can stop him from doing this with a cribbing collar, it won't hurt him, lots of cribbers live with this collar on. There is a bit of controversy whether this habit harms the horse, but as you seen with his teeth, yes it does. Have a vet check his teeth regularly & he may need some hooks taken care of as well since he would have abnormal usage of them.
KissTheRing likes this.
     
    06-27-2012, 07:55 PM
  #3
Green Broke
My horse is a cribber, too, though he hasn't worn his teeth nearly that much! I suspect he also had a mild gas colic from the air ingested while cribbing, which is another danger of cribbing.

I think with as much damage as your horse is clearly doing to himself with cribbing, doing something to curb it is definitely in order. The first thing to try is a cribbing collar. There are several styles out there, but I've only seen the Miracle Collar being used, so I borrowed one for a short while to see if it would work on my horse and that's the one I ended up buying. It definitely has its downsides: my horse certainly doesn't like it (he pins his ears when he sees me bringing it toward him) and even with the fleece covers it's rubbing the hair off in spots. The first day I put it on him I felt TERRIBLE because it seemed so tight (I later found out I had it about 4 holes too LOOSE!) and my horse looked so miserable. I still wish he didn't have to wear it, but when he cribs he's causing himself health problems AND destroying property (he already destroyed a corner feeder and is close to pulling his waterer off the wall, too.)

You could also try a cribbing muzzle. The muzzles can also rub, and need to be cleaned frequently.

I also just found about a procedure where they put rings in the horse's gums which causes pain when they try to crib, but doesn't otherwise affect them. I started a thread about it here: Cribbing rings: anyone used them?

And if none of those work, there are surgeries where they actually remove some of the muscles required to crib. This is a last resort and quite expensive, but might be worth considering in cases like yours if nothing else stops the cribbing.
     
    06-28-2012, 03:04 AM
  #4
Trained
Hi,

Cribbing is generally caused in the first place from gastric upsets, namely ulcers, due to bad feeding practices. High starch(ie grain, sweets) diets, not enough roughage - horses are built to eat small amounts near constantly, infrequent feeding of 'concentrates' - such as only a couple of large feeds daily, etc. Can also be caused by drugs such as bute. It also tends to be perpetuated, in absence of initial gut probs, if the horse is cooped up & stressed. Cribbing becomes an obsessive compulsive, self reinforcing habit after a while which is virtually impossible to eliminate.

So... I would first & foremost rule out/treat any management/gastric problems that may still be happening. But then, as others have said, past that, you can only really manage it with a collar - short of the surgery, which is controversial as well as potentially not effective. Managing the horse in as natural & non stressful manner is helpful too.
OwnedByAlli likes this.
     
    06-28-2012, 11:15 AM
  #5
Foal
Thanks everyone for your opinions I will ask my mom to buy a cribbing collar and start there! When we first got him he was really skinny then realized it was probably because he couldn't graze well! We managed to get a little weight on him and now are trying to curve his cribbing habit.
     
    06-28-2012, 11:52 AM
  #6
Weanling
I used the collars on Alli but found them inneffective- she just bit down harder and harder trying to do it. If its caused by stomach ulcers it is also increasing their stress levels and therefore increasing the ulcers so the desire to windsuck becomes more prominent. Its like if you have stomach pains and the only way to reduce the pain is to periodically perform an action, and then for some reason you couldn't, the pain would feel like it has increased due to you being unable to soothe it, and you would begin stressing over it. Also once the option to do it again is presented, you would want to do it like a herroin addict!

The most effective way to reduce, not cure, it is to find out if ulcers are the underlieing cause, treat the ulcers and then remove the option to do it. Remove cause- reduce desire to- reduce oppertunities to do it.

Stomach ulcers form because the horses stomach constantly secretes acid and if the horse is not eating nearly constantly or is under stress and not eating, it does not chew to produce saliva to neutralise the acid. The pH gets lower and causes ulcers to form. Also, if the horses stomach gets too full from large meals, the acid comes into contact with the upper part of the stomach wich has very little protection agaist acidic attack (considering the fact the stomach is an acidic environment) because it is only the lower part of the stomach that is designed to secrete and hold acid.
Starchy and sugary feeds also increase acidity because they encourage the wrong bacterial growth wich produce an acidic environment.

Alfalfa has been shown to absorb stomach acid, mainly due to the high calcium content, and reducing stomach acidity reduces the severity of the ulcers. There are some *very* expensive drugs out there like omeprozole that actually stop the acid being secreted so the stomach wall can heal its self. A 2 week course costs around 250 ($300ish?) and most vets would want to perscribe a 3-4 week course.

I couldn't afford the omeprozole so got researching and it turns out liquorice root has similar properties so it is perhaphs an idea to try giving the horse liquorice (don't know if it has any banned substances for showing in it though). Soaking it speeds up the absorbtion. Also it could be an idea to give a pre and pro biotic suplement to encourage the 'good' bacteria to thrive and bring stomach conditions back to normal. Herbs like aloe vera, nettle and pepermint have soothing properties and help the repair of membranes like lips and stomach lining.

As much turnout as possible and as low-stress routein as possible will also help.
If you (or anyone else!) have any more questions, feel free to contact me privatly- I have a wealth of knowledge about windsucking/cribbing now!!
loosie likes this.
     

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