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Author Topic: If an older horse is having trouble eating but it's not his teeth?  (Read 219 times)

meely3

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 What else can it be? He drops little balls of chewed up hay, but they are very chewed up...then he goes back and eats them anyway, so you have to look while he is eating. And grain is the real issue. He takes a lot of breaks to hold his head up and out, chewing very carefully, drooling a bit, going to look out his door, and taking drinks. Soaking it doesn't help. It almost looks to me like swallowing is the issue, but he never had a choke or was into bolting his feed down. I know I'm missing something, and the vet is missing it too. Any ideas?
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PAWalker

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Re: If an older horse is having trouble eating but it's not his teeth?
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2018, 05:56:05 am »

Tumors in the throat or swollen glands in that area.

Duke had an enlarged gland (in the throat latch area) after he was diagnosed with EMS.  Fortunately it never grew.

Joker is IR and also has an enlarged gland in the throat latch area.  He often drools as a result.

Neither of them ever quid their hay.  It is also possible your horse does have tooth issues clear in the back and your vet is not seeing the problem.

That also doesn't mean your horse has metabolic issues,  it just means that's my experience with swollen glands.

Find another vet, or carry the horse to a better facility:)
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meely3

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Re: If an older horse is having trouble eating but it's not his teeth?
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2018, 06:28:05 am »

Would they find an enlarged gland by feeling from the outside? He did check that area pretty well from the outside. I did not send him in with a scope because we figured floating his teeth would take care of it.
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kckc

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Re: If an older horse is having trouble eating but it's not his teeth?
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2018, 06:54:53 am »

meely - nothing against your vet but an equine dentist does so much more than a vet (in my experience).   they look for loose teeth, cavities, gaps between teeth which hold debris - the guy I use inspects every tooth ...  my horse once had a small stick stuck in the roof of his mouth wedged between teeth and he drooled and wanted to eat but couldn't.   If he's drooling it sounds like something is stuck in there or a broken tooth or something.   Otherwise could be a lump (I would want someone looking on the inside for that if the outside showed nothing)...  I wouldn't give him grain until you figure it out unless you can make it mash...
 I hope you can figure it out.     
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NC

abbypeaches

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Re: If an older horse is having trouble eating but it's not his teeth?
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2018, 04:16:50 pm »

I second the equine dentist. Have that professional take a look in the mouth.

Marilyn
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Marilyn and
 Bud, 31yo reg. MFT gelding & Midnight Rendezvous (Kate) 2 yo MFT  mare.

meely3

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Re: If an older horse is having trouble eating but it's not his teeth?
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2018, 04:48:06 am »

I already made an appt for a second opinion from a dentist on the teeth before I even asked. Because that does seem the most likely. But the vet seems really sure the teeth are ok. And I am making him soup for dinner and he is still having a hard time with it. No sweet feed it's all pellets so they get nice and soft. He doesn't drool with his hay, just the pellets. I'm not ruling out any sort of metabolic issues or even cushings at this point. He has gone downhill pretty fast over the last few months but everyone still seems to think he looks great except me.
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PAWalker

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Re: If an older horse is having trouble eating but it's not his teeth?
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2018, 07:22:28 am »

A few years back, I started taking pictures of The Boys and look at them a day or two later.  My issue is that my eyes deceive me in the "up" direction vs. the "down" direction.

Also, as an FYI because I forget what breed your older fella is:)

Tennessee Walkers can be on the drug sensitive side.   Duke was drug sensitive and the older he got, the more sensitive he became.

He was at the point where the vet advised against using an equine dentist because they use power tools, therefore the horse absolutely has to be tranq'd.  Duke's last vaccine was a rabies, the vet gave it in the butt to help reduce sensitivity and he stayed for 30 minutes to monitor Duke's vital signs.  Even so, it was another 30 minutes before Duke was strong enough to walk out to pasture.

Just sayin' to alert the dentist to be cautious ANNNNND, I might ask the dentist to examine the jaw line and throat latch area.  It's possible he/she may recognize an oddity your vet did not:)
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LadyAndMinerva

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Re: If an older horse is having trouble eating but it's not his teeth?
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2018, 12:48:15 pm »

Have you changed his pellets or a supplement you put in them recently or maybe the manufacturer changed the recipe or source?  What you're describing sounds almost like an allergic reaction that may be closing his throat.
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meely3

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Re: If an older horse is having trouble eating but it's not his teeth?
« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2018, 01:22:40 pm »

They are both TWH, and they do need less sedative than most horses, but so far no reactions to anything else.  The allergic reaction is a very interesting idea, and would explain why he doesn't do anything weird with the hay except drop it. But there hasn't been a change. I mix in some alfalfa pellets though.. I think I will try keeping them out tonight and see if it makes a difference. And then tomorrow try just those and leave out the other.
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