Mushy foods for my horse's tongue... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 03-11-2019, 04:27 PM Thread Starter
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Mushy foods for my horse's tongue...

I need some advice what to feed my horse who cut her tongue pretty badly today.

In the morning my bro told me Java wasn't eating hay and "grinding her teeth" and I ran outside all the while praying it was no neurological problem. (mom scared me by saying it was actually tetanus and that soon, her eyelids will protrude). That is how my parents usually calm me down.

Anyway, when I got there, she wasn't moving her jaw the way relaxed horses do - you know, chewing and eating.... But she was her usual sweet self although definitely hungry. She had some blood and saliva on her knees and face, so I decided it was choking... (my bro told me, it was colic, so I was closer.. Ha!)

When the vet came, she sedated Java and showed me her bleeding tongue. Along with the new cut that made half her tongue hang out, there was an old scar from a previous tongue injury that I did not know about. Altogether, it was a gaping mess and we decided to suture it closed.

The vet prescribed mushy foods which is where you can help me. I am not a show or barn girl, my horses don't wear blankets, and I never fed them more than hay, water, and minerals, so I really need some advice from you!

I tried making a bran mash for her which she loved, and I sent my Mom to buy hay cubes.

What are some good mushy foods for my poor horse's tongue?
Thank you!
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post #2 of 15 Old 03-11-2019, 04:42 PM
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Soak your hay cubes for about 20 minutes in water, and mix them up so they're nice and sloppy. You can also add some corn oil or rice bran oil to make them tastier. That will also help her get water, too.



I'd soak any other hay she gets, too.



Be careful with bran mashes, they're not an every day feed item. One every now and then won't hurt.



At least she cut a part of the body that heals the fastest! Tongues are very resilient, in people and horses both. You can talk to your vet, but I wouldn't think you'll have to give her soft foods for more than about a week. The tissues in the mouth are comprised of what are called epithelial cells, and they're constantly being replaced as it is. That's one of the reasons that your mouth heals a bit more quickly than the rest of you.
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post #3 of 15 Old 03-11-2019, 04:45 PM
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Beet pulp. Be aware that it has a reputation for putting on weight and for giving horses energy. Not all horses like it. You can get it pretty cheap. Make sure to soak thoroughly. You can also get any kind of pelleted feed and soak until mushy. If your horse won't be able to eat normal foods for a while, I'd go with a complete feed, meaning it has all the vitamins and minerals also; or if you can't afford that half complete feed and half beet pulp, maybe with a ration balancer (can also be soaked) added in.

ETA: if I were in your shoes, I would probably start with the soaked hay pellets, since that's closer to what he's used to eating, and then add the other stuff slowly if necessary.
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post #4 of 15 Old 03-11-2019, 04:51 PM Thread Starter
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The vet prescribed soaked hay cubes for two weeks and antibiotics with banamine for two weeks as well. So that is the general diet for her now...

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post #5 of 15 Old 03-11-2019, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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Also, the cubes are alfalfa, while Java only had grass hay. Will the rich cubes upset her stomach? I'm not even sure how much cubes should I feed so that she is not hungry but still not overfed. Thanks for all the help!

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post #6 of 15 Old 03-11-2019, 05:09 PM
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I don't know if they will upset her stomach, but you CAN buy grass hay cubes or pellets also. Alfalfa has a repuation for making horses "hot" so I'd keep an eye on that if she's not used to it. With hay cubes / pellets, just like regular hay, I'd just free feed. Maybe if possible don't feed a lot at one time, though, to avoid the mush freezing or spoiling, depending on your weather.
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post #7 of 15 Old 03-11-2019, 05:24 PM
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There is also timothy and O/A cubes. Here box stores like tractor supply, rural king or menard's sell this. Do they have anything like this where you live? I would try to stick to something as close to what she is used to and then maybe start adding a complete pelleted feed if she is unable to consume enough of the soaked cubes because her mouth hurts. Do you know how she re cut her tongue? Ouch.

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post #8 of 15 Old 03-11-2019, 05:28 PM
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In addition to the pure alfalfa cubes, they make timothy cubes and a timothy/alfalfa blend. They come in cubes or pellets. Here, Semican and Standlee are common brands, not sure what you can get where you live. My horses didn't do well with the straight alfalfa cubes, but in the winter they get about a pound daily of soaked timothy/alfalfa blend. I believe one pound of cubes is equivalent to one pound of hay, so you should be able to replace accordingly. That's an awful lot of cubes to have to feed though. If you soak in very hot water, it shouldn't take too long for them to break down. I guess I'd worry about the horse going long stretches without anything to eat, but given there's not really an alternative, not sure what you can do about that. What did your vet suggest?


Edit: oops, posted at the same time as @LoriF so a bit repetitive
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post #9 of 15 Old 03-12-2019, 11:52 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks!

I am also concerned how little she eats, horses are so sensitive in changes in diet. I am basically counting her every bite....

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post #10 of 15 Old 03-12-2019, 12:43 PM
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Many senior feeds soak well. They are meant for horses who can't eat hay so will give her all ththe nutrients she needs. They're usually beet pulp based.
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