Older horse having trouble with hay - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 01-13-2013, 04:28 PM Thread Starter
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Older horse having trouble with hay

Hello! I have a mare, Liz, who is thought to be in her mid to late 30's. About 6 weeks ago, she started mildly quidding her hay. She was making about 4 small balls per flake, so she was getting most of the hay and I wasn't too concerned. I got the dentist out about 3 weeks ago. He said that Liz's teeth weren't too worn down and that she only had a couple of small points that could have been bothering her if she was being dramatic. He took care of the points and Lizzie began quidding her hay less, although she was still making a ball or two once in a while. However, in the last week, she's started quidding her hay again, just as bad and maybe even worse than it was before the dentist came out.

Lizzie is on a complete senior feed and is getting a pretty good amount of her hay, so I'm not too concerned about her nutrition. Of course, I am worried about the possibility of her choking. The balls of hay aren't very big, but I like to be careful!

What might be a cause of the quidding if it's not her teeth? Any ideas?

Thank you!
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post #2 of 19 Old 01-13-2013, 04:34 PM
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Maybe her jaws are sore? She is old...IDK maybe soaking hay cubes will be a better option in the future. What an awesome age! Do you have pictures? :)
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post #3 of 19 Old 01-13-2013, 04:40 PM
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Or maybe a slow feed net will help. having to take smaller bites and not big mouthfulls.
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post #4 of 19 Old 01-13-2013, 04:46 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the response, Spotted! She doesn't have any problem with the bit or with crunchy treats, although I don't know if that would be affected by her jaw. I'd love to give her soaked hay cubes to alleviate my worry, but the old brat won't eat anything that's soaked . If she continues to have problems/if it gets worse, I can get her chopped hay.

Here's the old girl!
2011-10-09 08.56.28.jpg

2012-10-31 09.55.15.jpg

And us cantering a little over 2 years ago
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post #5 of 19 Old 01-13-2013, 05:40 PM
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Awe, she is pretty :)
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post #6 of 19 Old 01-13-2013, 06:59 PM
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Mine has been doing it for a few years now but he only has 4 teeth

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post #7 of 19 Old 01-13-2013, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Spotted!
Yeah, farmpony, I know a gelding who can't eat much hay, but he only has a couple of teeth left. According to the dentist, Liz's teeth are in pretty good shape and shouldn't be causing her any problem.

It's a mystery! Any other ideas why she might be quidding her hay if it's not a problem with her teeth?
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post #8 of 19 Old 01-13-2013, 07:15 PM
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She could have a bad tooth (as opposed to points). This will create soreness...

Or a loose tooth..

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. ~Winston Churchill
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post #9 of 19 Old 01-13-2013, 07:20 PM
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I don't really know much about quidding, but I just wanted to say-- aside from the fact that I LOVE the color of your old girl, are her fetlocks swollen in that first picture or is it just the shot/winter fuzz/etc?

Best of luck!
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post #10 of 19 Old 01-13-2013, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Elana View Post
She could have a bad tooth (as opposed to points). This will create soreness...

Or a loose tooth..
Ditto those possibilities.

In terms of infection, if there's anything "brewing" in her mouth, you can tell by the horrible odor it will start to emit.

Smell her nostrils and smell inside her mouth, as well. If you do that once or twice a week, you will at least be able to stay on top of any infection that might develop.

It doesn't matter her teeth were looked at six weeks ago - with older horses anything can happen a week after the vet or dentist visits them

Two months after the vet gave all my horses physicals (including teeth), my then 24 yr old started quidding his hay really bad.

The molars way in the back had hooks on them and his hay cud would hang up on them. The vet knew they were there but didn't think the hooks were that bad; he didn't want to anesthetize this horse because he also has serious metabolic issues and is very drug sensitive on top of that.

The teeth ended up getting floated anyway but the vet brought out a special type of "Happy Juice" to reduce the reaction.

I said all that to say, it's also possible there's something going on with the molars way in the back that perhaps the dentist didn't see or he did see and was hoping wouldn't get worse, as it can be risky business giving these older horses these kinds of drugs.

I think you posted that beautiful face on another thread Smoochies on the Snoot to the Grande Elder

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