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NotTheAverageCowgirl 04-03-2013 11:35 PM

Sore Mouth?
 
I posted about my mare being hard to turn and handle under saddle (more of just an overall stiffness in flexing her neck) in the Horse Riding section but i thought i should post the medical part here. My 13 year old mare had never had her teeth done until about two months ago (i've only owned her for 8 months). She had a wave and sharp points. She had been having trouble chewing and was sometimes off of her hay. She is now eating just fine but she has lost weight since the vet appointment (or could it just be my mind playing tricks on me?) and her stiffness and head throwing has continued. I took a break for a few days from riding in a bit and just used her rope halter but that didn't work very well because she was horrible to ride in a halter. Now that we are back to working in a bit she is increasingly harder to bridle (nothing that i can't handle but its just getting annoying.). She is doing better under saddle but still isn't flexing correctly. Now she is a Haflinger so I found the fact that shes lost weight very curious for her breed. She is just fine soundness wise and runs around the pasture with the other horses and doesn't seem to be depressed or anything (she's a quiet horse but i think thats just her personality). She did have a bit of a sore back when i rode her with a saddle (been riding bareback til i can get an english saddle.) and i assumed it was because the saddle didnt fit. I know some people on other forums talked about mouth ulcers being a sign of Vesticular Stomatitis but they aren't ulcers we can see and the vet said the ulcers were from her sharp points. She is a really healthy looking horse besides being a bit underweight and having a seemingly sore mouth.

spirit88 04-04-2013 12:21 AM

When they have had bad teeth and pain from it takes time for them to get over it.
Iv had horses with bad teeth got it fixed but issues under saddle were still there. Took a while once their mouth was healed under saddle issues disapeared.

Give her time to heal up don't bit her ride her in a hackamore for a few weeks.

NotTheAverageCowgirl 04-04-2013 01:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by spirit88 (Post 2122554)
When they have had bad teeth and pain from it takes time for them to get over it.
Iv had horses with bad teeth got it fixed but issues under saddle were still there. Took a while once their mouth was healed under saddle issues disapeared.

Give her time to heal up don't bit her ride her in a hackamore for a few weeks.

Ok thanks for the advice! I think i will try her in a hackamore vs a rope halter and see if that helps control wise

Saddlebag 04-04-2013 02:43 PM

Sharp points create cheek ulcers so even a halter pressing her cheeks against her teeth will be uncomfortable. Give her about a week to heal. No less. Then with a flat halter begin teaching her to bend her neck side to side. You may get only an inch or two before she pulls it back. That's ok. You are teaching her something new and will have to go at her speed. When she is resistant there is a lot of tension at the poll which goes along her back and hindquarters. As she bends you don't want just the nose to come around but if that's all she'll give you, it's a start. It may take three or four sessions to teach her how to bring her head around. If she won't do this on the ground she definitely won't do it under saddle. One way to see if she is unlocking is to stand beside her, one hand on her nose and "rattle" her forehead. If she's relaxed her entire head will move but her neck will remain still. If not relaxed you'll feel it.

NotTheAverageCowgirl 04-04-2013 06:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Saddlebag (Post 2127274)
Sharp points create cheek ulcers so even a halter pressing her cheeks against her teeth will be uncomfortable. Give her about a week to heal. No less. Then with a flat halter begin teaching her to bend her neck side to side. You may get only an inch or two before she pulls it back. That's ok. You are teaching her something new and will have to go at her speed. When she is resistant there is a lot of tension at the poll which goes along her back and hindquarters. As she bends you don't want just the nose to come around but if that's all she'll give you, it's a start. It may take three or four sessions to teach her how to bring her head around. If she won't do this on the ground she definitely won't do it under saddle. One way to see if she is unlocking is to stand beside her, one hand on her nose and "rattle" her forehead. If she's relaxed her entire head will move but her neck will remain still. If not relaxed you'll feel it.


She flexes fine from the ground. The vet told me that i could start riding my horse about a day or two after she got her teeth floated (is that not what i shouldve done?) . the ulcers were more towards the back of her mouth and where she chews than the front. I ride her in a bridle with no noseband and no tie-downs or martingales. When you say let her have a week to heal does that mean i can't even halter her? or should i try just riding with the bit vs a halter and stop longeing her instead? I guess i am just a bit worried about her not getting exercised for a week as she does live in a dry lot and only goes out to pasture every three days

spirit88 04-04-2013 11:55 PM

I think she will be fine just ride her in a hackamoore. Or bosal wouldn't do the bit.

Iv had same thing with a horse only gave it two to three days after teeth were done.
Its mouth healed just fine I didn't put a bit in his mouth though.

NotTheAverageCowgirl 04-05-2013 12:00 AM

Thanks Saddlebag and spirit88 for your help :) it was very much appreciated! Looks like i will be having a vet come out :/. She has lost weight and just isn't right so i will have the vet look at her teeth and possibly do bloodwork. thanks again!

loosie 04-05-2013 07:54 PM

Agree with others that I'd give her a break. It could also be associated behaviour - eg. habit - she's been so 'practiced' at doing this in pain that even in absence of pain, she keeps doing it. May need a bit of 'retraining' once you ensure there's no physical cause. I'd be doing this in a halter/hack rather than a bit, to begin with at least, & that she 'does horribly' in a halter implies to me she likely needs more training too. But as you say she does fine flexing on the ground, just not when you're on board, have you had her back/neck checked out?

Quote:

Originally Posted by NotTheAverageCowgirl (Post 2122170)
back to working in a bit she is increasingly harder to bridle (nothing that i can't handle but its just getting annoying.). ...Now she is a Haflinger so I found the fact that shes lost weight very curious for her breed.

I'd say it's a little more 'annoying' for her than for you. There's obviously a problem there somewhere.

As for haffies & losing weight, they are horses & while people are too used to seeing fat horses, and heavier & pony breeds especially are generally obese & 'fat pads' & crests due to IR are hard to shift, perhaps giving people the idea these horses 'can't' lose weight, haffies, ponies, drafts... are still horses & should look like them, not hippos! :lol:

But if she's losing too much weight & getting skinny, have you discussed it with your vet? Have you considered stomach/hind gut ulcers & such? What are you feeding?

Quote:

She did have a bit of a sore back when i rode her with a saddle (been riding bareback
How have you established her back isn't sore without a saddle? When choosing a saddle for her, especially being wider than average(tho regardless how wide, it seems like many saddles are too narrow to fit a labrador comfortably, let alone a horse!), ensure that you find one with a wide enough gullet AND wide enough channel AND wide enough angled forks/bars. Balance International have some great info on saddle fitting on their website.

NotTheAverageCowgirl 04-06-2013 12:12 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by loosie (Post 2139634)
Agree with others that I'd give her a break. It could also be associated behaviour - eg. habit - she's been so 'practiced' at doing this in pain that even in absence of pain, she keeps doing it. May need a bit of 'retraining' once you ensure there's no physical cause. I'd be doing this in a halter/hack rather than a bit, to begin with at least, & that she 'does horribly' in a halter implies to me she likely needs more training too. But as you say she does fine flexing on the ground, just not when you're on board, have you had her back/neck checked out?



I'd say it's a little more 'annoying' for her than for you. There's obviously a problem there somewhere.

As for haffies & losing weight, they are horses & while people are too used to seeing fat horses, and heavier & pony breeds especially are generally obese & 'fat pads' & crests due to IR are hard to shift, perhaps giving people the idea these horses 'can't' lose weight, haffies, ponies, drafts... are still horses & should look like them, not hippos! :lol:

But if she's losing too much weight & getting skinny, have you discussed it with your vet? Have you considered stomach/hind gut ulcers & such? What are you feeding?



How have you established her back isn't sore without a saddle? When choosing a saddle for her, especially being wider than average(tho regardless how wide, it seems like many saddles are too narrow to fit a labrador comfortably, let alone a horse!), ensure that you find one with a wide enough gullet AND wide enough channel AND wide enough angled forks/bars. Balance International have some great info on saddle fitting on their website.



I am having a vet out to take a look at her on Tuesday so we will address those issues. As soon as we get her weight up to where it should be we are having a professional saddle fitter come out. And i guess i find it strange that she's a Haflinger and underweight because I've never met one that isnt and her friend (whos also a haffie) is huge ;). I was thinking it might be a stomach issue and that might explain her lost weight. I think I will have a blood test run also when the vet comes out just to make sure its not a sickness. She never acts sore when i ride her bareback so i assume shes okay when i ride her that way. We thought she was sore in her back because if we curryed there she would start moving away or throwing her head. but she does not do that anymore. regardless i will have the vet check that out as well. We do have a lady who does equine massage and could check her out if need be. thanks for your help and i hope the vet can find something!

NotTheAverageCowgirl 04-10-2013 12:11 AM

The vet came out today! She checked for soreness in her back and neck and watched her chew. Everything checked out normal (temperature, heart, lungs) so she sedated her and looked inside her mouth. Nothing is wrong in there either so the vet suspects (we weren't able to actually take a radiograph of her stomach) gastric ulcers to be the culprit. Macey is now on a stronger paste medication for 6 days and then she will be switched to the milder powder just to keep up her gut health. If anyone has any other ideas on making her more comfortable then let me know!


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