Last Wed when the farrier came to put new shoes on pilgrim, as P was cross tied for two hours I was able to closely observe him and something was not right, some observations I made:
He was salivating more than usual. Nothing dripping but when he licked his lips you could tell he had a lot of saliva in his mouth.
He had an itchy tongue, itched it about 5 times, never have I seen him do this before.
He chewed on the crossties at least 3 times, he has never done this before, and when I got the crossties out of his mouth they were caked in dripping saliva.
He stretched his neck, then opened his mouth about 2 “, twice, not a yawn.
He was eating fine, no dropping of grain head tilting, and not a blade of hay left in the stall. He would stretch his neck at the very first bite of grain then not again at all.
Felt lymph nodes and he has always been thick in the throat latch area, but the same on both sides.
Temp was normal.
Someone who did not know the horse probably would not have noticed, everything was very subtle. I probably would not have noticed one of the observations by itself.
P had his teeth done by a DVM specializing in dentistry, in April, so I figured teeth were not on the top of the list of concerns. I talked to the farrier about my observations and he helped me look in P’s mouth with a flashlight. We didn’t really see anything.
I called the dentist and told him my observations; he said it sounds like he might have a stick wedged across his upper molars, if you have ever had a dog get a stick there the dogs go crazy.
My husband, a DVM but not an equine specialist, looked in P’s mouth, his practice doesn’t have one of those fancy speculums that crank the horse’s mouth open. He used the old ones that you put the big knob on one side of the jaw in between the teeth.
Well he did not see a stick or anything in P’s mouth. Husband did observe that the back of P’s tongue looked thick, hard and swollen. Hubby also said he wasn’t even sure how the back of a horses tongue should look or feel. So we got out another horse to compare. Deduction was that P’s tongue was a bit thicker, and harder that the other horse.
I called the dentist back with hubby’s findings, and dentist said that he was not going to be on my side of the state for about 4 weeks. He told me he might have a puncture on his tongue and an abscess forming and to give him a gram of Bute for 4 or 5 days, and if no better take him to be seen by an equine DVM.
Today, after 3 days of Bute, he is still eating fine every morsel of food gone, this morning I gave him half of an apple, he ate it but he stretched his neck out, and then popped it up about 6 inches. That is something new.
I called the university and have an appointment for Monday am, to have him checked out.
Anyone had anything similar happen with any of their equines?
Do you think I need to make an emergency visit this to the Mizzou vet hospital?
He is alert,and seems happy and content in the pasture and in the stall.