New "pet quality mini" w/Underbite - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 08-16-2010, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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New "pet quality mini" w/Underbite

An aquaintence of ours who breeds minis "rescued" 4 from a backyard breeder. She took them in with plans to get them up to snuff, then rehome them as pets only. The smallest one, who is a yearling, has been offered to us if we'd like to take over rehabbing her. I think she will need a little more tlc than the other 3. She is a very sweet little mare who we think would make a nice little companion animal, so we would like to get her. All 4 of her rescues are underweight and generally unhealthy looking (her small herd of horses she breeds are very healthy, utd on everything, she shows them, etc). The little girl we are going to be getting has an underbite (bottom teeth jut forward about 1/2 in - 3/4 in in front of top teeth).

We have experience taking care of minis at our farm, as we have had several boarded here. The little guy we have here now has brought home several halter 1st places, so we must be feeding him properly .

However, we have not ever had to deal with a mini (or large horse, for that matter) that has had an underbite. She has been on a hay-only diet, and seems to be doing well with it. The vet will be going out to pull her coggins/vaccinate for us tomorrow, so I plan on discussing this with him then, but any personal experiences with an underbite would be greatly appreciated! How often did you have to float teeth? Did floating "correct" the problem to a certain extent? I guess I'm approaching this as a "wait and see" thing - get her utd on everything, make sure she is wormed (to our standards/vet advice), gradually introduce her to our feed schedule. I plan to offer her a very small portion of mini-feed (literally, start out with like, a tablespoon) and possibly increase the ration based on the vet's advice. She still has quite a bit of weight to gain (can see her backbone and hips). I guess, I am thinking that after she's home and we have observed her and get to know her better and see how she maintains her weight, we will better see what she needs. Things that come to mind that scare me, however, would be choke (from not being able to properly chew her grain - which is why I'll be offering only a few morsels), and not being able to gain weight (from not being able to chew and aid digestion properly). Any thoughts? We have a ton of horse-care experience, but just havn't encountered this sort of congenital defect up until now.

Last edited by leonalee; 08-16-2010 at 10:42 AM.
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post #2 of 10 Old 08-16-2010, 10:47 AM
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I've never seen a horse with an underbite. Interesting. Any pictures?

JJ has an overbite (parrot mouth) and I get his teeth done every 6 months.

He has no trouble putting on and maintaining weight. Sure, he still drops food, but he always hoovers up what he drops.

I imagine your vet will know the best course of action, but I'm thinking like a parrot mouth, an underbite can be managed very well if you stay on top of keeping her teeth floated on a schedule.
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post #3 of 10 Old 08-16-2010, 11:09 AM Thread Starter
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No picture of her teeth yet. Will see what the vet says when he comes out to check her out this week - and I'll take pics while I'm there!
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post #4 of 10 Old 08-16-2010, 11:11 AM
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Thanks. Since I've never seen an underbite in horses (seen 'em in dogs), I'll be looking for the pics when you get them.
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post #5 of 10 Old 08-16-2010, 11:41 AM
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Depending on how the bite fits overall, she might have no eating problems at all. Like SpeedRacer says, parrot mouths are fairly common, and often times it's only the front set that don't line up, the molars, where they actually chew, will still be fitting normally and outside of regular floatings you don't often have to give a lot of additional care related to it. Since most minis need hay-only diets anyways (once they are a healthy weight of course), unless there is something else seriously wrong I don't see the under bite being a real issue as long as you aren't intending to show or breed. I too would be interested to see pictures!

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post #6 of 10 Old 08-16-2010, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
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I can't wait to post pictures. Definitely not getting her to breed. Her teeth in the front look like ^ - worn down on the sides and higher in the middle Poor girl. I only saw briefly when the current owner said "See, this is what I'm talking about with her teeth..." and opened her mouth as best she could with the horse being loose without a halter on, lol. I'm thinking definitely floating will be taking place ASAP once we get her home. Can't wait to post pics. Her teeth aren't her only problem - I know we are probably opening a can of worms to whip this girl into shape in the coming months/year. Needs her feet trimmed very badly. Not sure how much she has been handled in that regard...
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post #7 of 10 Old 08-18-2010, 12:54 PM Thread Starter
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Alright! Vet check/coggins/vaccine this morning! But first...

I spent some time with our new baby while waiting for the vet and played with her some. She is such a doll! Picks her feet up gently, although she obviously still isn't used to it. No maliciousnous, just gently pulled away when she lost her balance. Excellent with haltering/leading (the lady we are getting her from has really done a lot of hard work with her!).

Okay: on to the vet... I had lots of questions/concerns, which he alleviated and helped me with (and confirmed) my plan of action!

"Your biggest problem is going to be with her bite... this underbite is pretty dramatic." Since we knew this already, I asked about floating, and he said to get her home and give her TLC and if she is gaining weight nicely, not to worry about it right now. However, if she still isn't where she should be by late fall, then we'll reevaluate.

I told him I was concerned about worms (she was actually bloated more out to the sides today than she was the other day, so I'm pretty sure it is worms, buuuuut, since she was running with a stallion before the lady rescued her...). He said she definitely looked wormy (no question there, really, regardless of whether or not she is pregnant), so go ahead with plans to double-dose worm her once home. Once she is home and gaining more weight and lost the worms, if she balloons out we'll know she may be pregnant!

He said once we get her home we should start seeing drastic improvements especially because of the feed quality we provide at our farm. He said "You guys take great care of the animals at your facility..." Yayyyyy! It is always awesome when the vet speaks highly of your farm! SPREAD THE WORD, DOC!!!! Haha.

Anyhow... I didn't get any good pics of her underbite, but did get a good plan of action with the Doc on her teeth. We also discussed her back, I was concerned about her back (which looked a lot less "hunchbacked" than I remembered from the other day), and he said "Yes, she is a little roach-backed" (hmmm... new term!). I asked it there was a possibility she would grow out of it because she was still a yearling, and he said "Yes, she might: she probably will level out a little more at least, especially once you get her home..."

Here are a few pics of our 'lil cutie!

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post #8 of 10 Old 08-18-2010, 12:56 PM Thread Starter
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Umm... sorry for the giant pics. I think I need to start downsizing before uploading, lol.
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post #9 of 10 Old 08-18-2010, 01:35 PM
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I had a mini gelding with an underbite! he was just fine.. no problems with it at all!

SeeinSpotz is offline  
post #10 of 10 Old 08-26-2010, 06:24 AM
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glad sthe mini another chance with you..sounds like you are doing all the right things to help her along. more pics please

Our farm is home to 4 adopted draft horses
Please consider adopting and give a horse back it's life.

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