Saturday, December 19, 2009

Narrowing Things Down

It seems more and more likely that Noble's problem relates to his teeth, or his mouth. He has trouble chewing hard things like horse treats and grain - lots of moving the food around in his mouth and grimacing. Tonight I gave him a soaked mask of the remainder of his grain - he didn't finish - and some beet pulp. He's been on beet pulp before in winters past for his weight. It was immediately clear that he really wanted to eat it - so his appetite's OK - but was worried it was going to hurt - he looked at it and then started pawing - this was one of the saddest things I've ever seen - a horse that wants to eat but can't. But then he decided to try and seemed to have no trouble eating it - he looked happy and satisfied, and was chewing normally. So I'm guessing a problem with a molar - and hopefully the vet can tell when she comes. I needed to add beet pulp to his food anyway to help him gain some weight, so he'll be on it twice a day for now.

Thanks again for many of the helpful comments - we do have heated water buckets in the barn and tank heaters outside, so he isn't having trouble drinking and is well hydrated. Keep your fingers crossed for the vet visit on Tuesday.

14 comments:

  1. prayers, fingers, and eyes crossed for you :)
    gp

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  2. Fingers crossed that it's his teeth and that can be fixed with no trouble. It is so sad that he wanted to eat and couldn't, the poor guy.

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  3. I will be keeping him in my prayers! It brought tears to my eyes to read about him pawing because he wanted to eat but hurt. I remember when Mosco colicked, and he kept pawing at me because he wanted me to fix his pain. :( Hope he can get his mouth all fixed up & start feeling better!

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  4. Kate--reading your last post, the food falling out of his mouth--you're right on track with a dental problem. Our old horses are lucky to have any teeth left! That first picture of Noble (below)last year looks incredible. I haven't had to go to a special diet with my old guy yet, but others with senior equines seem to like the beet pulp, alfalfa cubes and anything that gives them more protein with less chewing. I feed Red alfalfa with lots of flake because he is a slow eater, but also a member of the clean plate club. I hope, if it is a tooth problem, that fixing it gives him back his vitality because the second picture you took (is that today?) seem like he's in pain. Wishing you and Noble the best.

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  5. My husband and I have talked about his possible tooth problem all day. I really hope that is what/all it is. It is funny how worrying about him has haunted us all day! So glad he is eating beets, and that he is interested in eating at all! Fingers crossed.

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  6. Aw-w-w-w-w, that is such a sad picture. Sounds like a tooth problem to me too. Let's hope so and that it's easily fixed. Meantime, Mom, keep them mashies coming! *S*

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  7. Interesting timing, Kate. My older cat isn't eating either, we think because of a tooth problem. He's going in to the vet on Wednesday to get it taken care of. So Noble and Prince have something in common!

    Hang in there, Noble!

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  8. Sure sounds like you have it nailed! So glad he was able to eat the mash . Give the old fella a hug for me would ya?

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  9. Hoping that it's a tooth issue and easily fixed!

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  10. Gosh Kate I hope you get Noble all sorted. How lucky he is to have such a lovely caring mum.

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  11. I have only just caught up with what is happening to Noble - damn those inlaws!!!!! OMG Kate, poor little Noble. Sounds like you are on the right track with the tooth problem. Lucky he has a loving mum like you to pick up on things so quickly! Good luck!!!!

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  12. It probably feels good to know what is the cause. Now, just fixing it. Poor Noble. I will be thinking of him.

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  13. Fingers crossed, and sending good thoughts...

    So glad the beet pulp is working!

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  14. Oh, poor old guy. I hope the vet can do something - it sure does sound like a dental problem.

    I think beet pulp is one of the best foods for alot of horses - it really seems to be palatable and good for calories without heat...

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