Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Nothing Definitive

Noble was visited by the vet today so we could try to figure out what's been giving him trouble with his eating. Over the past few days, he's improved a bit - he does eat at the round bale in turnout, and has even felt like chasing Scout a few times that I've seen. If the hay in his stall at night is coarse and stemmy, he leaves it, but if it's more grassy and finer, he eats it. So it's clear he can chew but prefers things that are a bit easier to chew. He also has been very pleased to eat all of his soaked beet pulp/senior feed mix.

The vet sedated him and looked and felt around in his mouth. As usual, Noble wasn't the most cooperative patient - he's very nervous around vets. Although she said he could do with a bit of a float by our dentist at his next visit, there weren't even any really sharp or protruding points. He does have one lower molar on the left side way towards the back that is a slight bit loose, but it wasn't broken or abscessed and she said it shouldn't have caused the inability to eat that we observed. He does have old teeth - not surprising at 29 - with some places and pockets where food could get caught or trapped, but his teeth are really in pretty good shape.

Who knows? Perhaps he banged something playing "mouth tag" with Scout, or had some food stuck in a tooth pocket. We did a blood draw so she could run a basic chemistry panel, including cell counts and liver and kidney function. Our dentist will make a regular visit in several months and will take another look then. As long as he continues to improve and eat his mash and enough hay, and doesn't get worse, I'm not going to worry too much. Also, he's been on his thyroid medicine for about two weeks, and it could be that he's also feeling somewhat better because of that.

The vet also rechecked Blackjack's eye, which is looking very good. We'll continue his eye antibiotics through the weekend just as a precaution.

5 comments:

  1. I'm glad to hear that Noble is perking up. Hopefully this is one of those "no news is good news" situations!

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  2. My 29 yo pony has difficulty with coarse hay, but does ok with the softer variety. So, I give her soaked hay cubes at night and it does the trick.
    Did you ever try them with Noble? It makes eating much easier. If you put in the right amount of water, it's like eating shredded wheat after it has been soaked in milk...a piece of cake for the horse.

    Your trail looks great... Oh, and Merry Christmas to your family and critters...

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  3. Hmm. I certainly have been miserable when food gets stuck, but it seemed so much worse than that. I'm glad to hear he's eating, though!

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  4. Maybe just one of those"snakes don't have armpits" issues ,no real reason, juxt because. The weather has been unsettled as well (right?) Anyway glad he seems improved

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  5. My old guy had an infected tooth that was not loose years ago. Could be, so keep an eye on it. But, as long as you have found food he can eat, and as long as he has a good appetite for it, then all should be well. Horses are so expressive at telling us when things are right or wrong with them. It's wise to listen and let them guide us on the best way to treat them.

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