Mouth injury, bar lacerated by corn stem - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 29 Old 09-22-2013, 11:31 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Ohio
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Mouth injury, bar lacerated by corn stem

Elwood has a terrible laceration in his mouth, through the bar on the left side and a large open wound on the bottom of his mouth. I feel terrible about it as it was my fault.

I had a box of corn and went down the aisle peeling back the husks far enough to break off the ear and giving the horses one each. I work off board by doing the evening feed, water, and turn-out. The box then had a bunch of husks, some with the sharp stems pointing up.

DSCN3718_943 box of corn stems.jpg

Later that evening I left him within reach of the box and he went for them, one of the stems made this horrible cut. I got a picture of the outside, but could see it went all the way into the floor of his mouth too.

DSCN3716_941 first cut.jpg

There was not hardly any bleeding, just slight pink slobber the next day. I kept it rinsed with a shower setting on a hose nozzle, and it didn't seem to be causing pain, affect his appetite, or become infected. I thought it was improving, but a week or so later there was pink slobber again. He does have a bad case of the slobbers from clover this year. Then for a couple of weeks seemed better, and I thought healing was going well. Then again blood and a lot more of it this time.

So the Vet came and tranquilized him

DSCN3759_984 tranquilized elwood.jpg

to get the speculum (sp) on and a good look at it. The bleeding is from the wound on the floor of his mouth, which is still open and is granulating.

DSCN3757_982 4 weeks.jpg

He is to have no hard food for 2 - 4 weeks, and I am to email the Vet a picture in 2 weeks. All grain and hay is to be soaked in water. Outside grass is ok as it is soft enough. So hay has been poking it open, I should have thought to soak it all along.

So my question is about soaking hay, she said just to put some in a muck bucket, cover it with water, and give it to him. He doesn't like it. How long should I leave it? Should I throw what is left out every morning and evening? Should I go at noon and change it? Should I start soaking hay in the evening and feed it the next morning? Should I get a bag of hay cubes instead of using flakes off a bale?

Thanks for any replies, I've always heard to be careful not to leave stray hay in water buckets because germs grow fast, now I'm told to soak it.

One last pic of doped up Elwood hanging his head over his stall gate to hold himself up.

DSCN3760_985 gate holding him up.jpg

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post #2 of 29 Old 09-22-2013, 11:48 PM
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: New Mexico
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Poor baby! I have never seen anything like that before.

I think soaking alfalfa pellets over night in a 5 gal bucket over night might work the best. I have done that before with success. The only problem is getting them back on their regular feed once they have been spoiled!

As far as soaking hay goes I think you would need to soak it for a long time (a few hours) before it would be soft enough not to cause more damage.

I hope he feels better soon, he is sure cute.
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post #3 of 29 Old 09-23-2013, 12:05 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Thanks Roux, I'll be going to TSC for pellets and cubes in the morning.
I'll give him a poor baby pat for you.
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post #4 of 29 Old 09-23-2013, 12:14 AM
Join Date: Apr 2013
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Yeah, get pellets and soak them overnight. Poor baby :( hope he feels better! And don't beat yourself up over it, shlit happens, and the same thing could have happened from an old weed in the pasture, and you did a great job catching it and keeping him cared for. :)
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post #5 of 29 Old 09-23-2013, 12:44 AM
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I would suggest soaked pellets as well - if you use something like Nutrena's seniors feed, you only need soak it for 5-10 minutes and it forms a nice mash which would be quite soothing to the mouth.

Isn't amazing what horses can get themselves into? I've fed corn husks before (the horses really enjoy them) so it was just a fluke that happened to him.
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post #6 of 29 Old 09-23-2013, 01:09 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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As far as grain goes he only gets 1/2 pound of Nutrena Empower Balance am + pm, it quickly become a mash with only a little water and he licks it all up.

I'll definitely get pellets tomorrow and cubes if I have enough cash. Likely he'll get extra turn out too to have more of the naturally soft stuff. Luckily he gets along well enough with a couple of horsey groups to accommodate that plan.

Thanks again, lots of poor babies in order. He got a couple of powdered donettes tonight because they are softer than carrots.

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post #7 of 29 Old 09-23-2013, 08:25 AM
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I agree with the soaked pellets too. Trying to soften hay by soaking will take longer and unfortunately it can sour very very quickly.
However, be sure to keep getting some roughages down, even of it means going out and picking extra grass for him so as to not throw his gut off too much.
Jingles for quick healing and sometimes applesauce is very appealing instead of apple chunks.
Not my horse though...watermelon is one of his faves....maybe melon mush might be a good treat for Elwood.
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post #8 of 29 Old 09-23-2013, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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Thanks for the good info, he does like applesauce which I have given in a wormer type syringe to get him to take the wormer better, it worked. I have some extra cans of it too.

Getting past watermelon season here but will try it if I come across one. During county fair here I used to cut some up and freeze it for treats for the hot kids and horses at the fair barns.

My Mom makes watermelon jam by cutting a narrow strip of pink with a bit of white rind on it and cooking it down with sugar. Yummy.
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post #9 of 29 Old 09-23-2013, 10:21 AM
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LOL I just made watermelon jam about a month ago...can't say it was great, but my kiddo likes it.
Too bad you aren't close by, I could give you a jar for treats.
How about fruit roll ups? Mine likes those too... the ones made from fruit jiuce.
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post #10 of 29 Old 10-08-2013, 06:23 PM Thread Starter
Green Broke
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2 weeks later, may be a tumor

I sent this photo to the vet, the green is residue from just eating soaked alfalfa pellets.


On her first visit she thought it might be a tumor, now she says it is looking more like a tumor. She is sending antibiotics, and after allowing them to clear up any infection, she will look again.

If it is a tumor then the decision will have to made whether or not to even take a biopsy, let alone surgery. Due to its location and involvement surgery is not something she would do herself, but recommend OSU or Woodland Run. And of course take into consideration his age, and my financial resources.

Back in May a lymph node in his throat became enlarged, I had a different Vet who was on a call to the barn look at it. He manipulated it and said it was nothing to worry about, just the lymph node doing it's job of trapping some foreign substance in the blood. That lump is now about egg size.

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