Pony needs grazing muzzle, but has very worn down teeth?
 
 

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Pony needs grazing muzzle, but has very worn down teeth?

This is a discussion on Pony needs grazing muzzle, but has very worn down teeth? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Grazing muzzles and teeth
  • Grazing muzzle bad for teeth

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  • 1 Post By waresbear
  • 1 Post By loosie
  • 1 Post By acorn

 
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    04-15-2013, 02:00 PM
  #1
Foal
Pony needs grazing muzzle, but has very worn down teeth?

My little Welsh pony gets fat on air. He got grossly obese last fall and we finally got his weight under control but now he's gaining again, and fast. We've never used a grazing muzzle but I realize now that we have no choice if we want him to stay healthy. Problem is, his front teeth are worn down so much that I'm afraid he won't be able to eat at all through the muzzle. I've attached a picture of his teeth. He's only 15 years old (not an estimate-his papers state he was born in 1998) but based on his teeth, looks much older. He's never foundered or been laminitic, and until late last year and now, he was always an easy keeper but never got overweight. Would it still be okay to put a muzzle on him?

     
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    04-15-2013, 02:07 PM
  #2
Trained
Try it and see how it goes. By the way, I have seen horses with NO teeth eat, graze and get tubby. I suppose the gums hardened up and they adapt, just like humans with no teeth or dentures that can eat a steak.
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loosie likes this.
     
    04-15-2013, 02:12 PM
  #3
Foal
We were planning on getting one regardless, to at least get his weight down again. I suppose I was under the impression that horses with such worn down (or no) teeth couldn't really eat much but mush--that is what a local rescue has told me, anyway, but that may be based on their personal experiences.
     
    04-15-2013, 02:27 PM
  #4
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snugs    
horses with such worn down (or no) teeth couldn't really eat much but mush

Sorry, I meant just no teeth. Obviously my pony has no trouble eating anything. All he gets in terms of feed is maybe 1/4 scoop of sweet feed. We actually don't have much grass and therefore have a round bale of hay out in the pasture. I think he'd be able to get the hay more easily through the muzzle than grass--but still not so much that he blows up even more!
     
    04-15-2013, 11:47 PM
  #5
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snugs    
Sorry, I meant just no teeth. Obviously my pony has no trouble eating anything. All he gets in terms of feed is maybe 1/4 scoop of sweet feed. We actually don't have much grass and therefore have a round bale of hay out in the pasture. I think he'd be able to get the hay more easily through the muzzle than grass--but still not so much that he blows up even more!
What are you giving him any feed for, let alone sweetfeed if he's already fat?? That's the first thing I'd stop. Along with free choice hay. Agree with Wares that a muzzle is worth a try - doesn't work for all, but it can be an easy answer if it does. If a horses back teeth are worn down, that's when they tend to need a 'prechewed' type diet.

I was also going to suggest that if the muzzle doesn't work, you may need to restrict him physically from much grass at all & feed him only soaked hay. As you've said there's little grass & he gets free choice hay, I suspect that's more of a problem than the grass. While hay loses nutrients in cutting/drying, it unfortunately doesn't lose sugars, so it will be just as rich as the grass it started from. Horses do need to eat little & often, rather than only a few meals daily & do need around 2% bwt(of his desired weight) daily in forage, regardless how fat. So I'd start by feeding him only that much daily & in a 'slow feeder' or bit by bit, rather than give him free access to gorge all day long. If you find he's still not losing any, you may then have to soak & drain the hay before feeding, to leach out sugars.

Look up safergrass.org & ecirhorse.com
acorn likes this.
     
    04-16-2013, 12:54 AM
  #6
Foal
Loosie--We only feed him a little grain because otherwise he will go try to nose his way into our other horses' feed. Once he gets his little bit, he'll leave them alone. We don't have "separate" areas to feed each horse, as our barn is currently in the process of being built, so they are all fed in the same field and leave each other alone during feeding time--except him. As for limiting free choice hay--again, they are all together so that just isn't possible. I wish it was but circumstances don't allow. That is why I am going to get him a muzzle, in hopes that he can stay with the other horses but be maintained at a healthy weight. I'm just trying to do the best I can with what I have, you know?
     
    04-16-2013, 01:16 AM
  #7
Trained
Yes, I know the real world But prevention is way easier than cure, so I'd strive to change the situation if at all possible. Hope the grazing muzzle is an effective answer, but he can't live in it eternally. Re the grain, give him a 'low cal' alternative if you must, or separate him when feeding the others.
     
    04-16-2013, 01:21 AM
  #8
Started
Tie each one to a tree or feed at the trailer. Then they can eat seperate and get what they need.
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    04-16-2013, 10:32 AM
  #9
Foal
Thanks guys. I'll see what I can do.
     
    04-16-2013, 12:56 PM
  #10
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snugs    
loosie--We only feed him a little grain because otherwise he will go try to nose his way into our other horses' feed. Once he gets his little bit, he'll leave them alone. We don't have "separate" areas to feed each horse, as our barn is currently in the process of being built, so they are all fed in the same field and leave each other alone during feeding time--except him. As for limiting free choice hay--again, they are all together so that just isn't possible. I wish it was but circumstances don't allow. That is why I am going to get him a muzzle, in hopes that he can stay with the other horses but be maintained at a healthy weight. I'm just trying to do the best I can with what I have, you know?
Give him a handful of timothy pellets instead of grain.
verona1016 likes this.
     

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