Thursday, January 23, 2014

Interesting injuries

Don't worry, Charlie is ok, but my friend had a scary/weird incident with her horse that I wanted to share. For several days we had noticed that her horse Ruggy wasn't eating as much hay as normal, leaving some behind each evening and not having much interest in it during the day. His appetite for grain, however, was unaffected. We figured it might be a tooth issue making it difficult or painful to chew the hay so she called up the dentist to have them take a look (we also tried offering different kinds of hay in case it was a hay preference, but that didn't make a difference).

Well, the dentist was supposed to come on Tuesday but we had another big winter storm and he had to reschedule to the weekend. Meanwhile Ruggy still was not eating much and we were getting a little anxious. There was now a foul "old man" smell coming from his mouth - that's honestly the best way to describe it haha). We both looked in his mouth and felt around and the only thing we could come up with was that his wolf teeth looked pretty bad with some gingivitis, maybe one or both was rotten and that was causing the smell. With that in mind, and worried about possible infection, she decided it would be best to have the vet come out instead so a full sedated oral exam could be done and teeth pulled if necessary. 

Initially they couldn't find anything wrong. Yes, there was decay in the wolf teeth and, yes, there were some sharp edges on his teeth but nothing that would be bad enough to explain his not wanting to eat hay or that would account for the bad breath. Then they got out the speculum and caught a glimpse down his throat:

That's a large stick, lodged along the back of his palate! It was so far back the vet almost didn't see it (there is no way it would have been found if Ruggy wasn't sedated) and he expressed moderate concern about even being able to successfully get it out. Luckily with some patience and a long forceps they were able to work it free. A few days of SMZs and Ruggy should be good as new. 

Just goes to illustrate yet another example of how horses have a way of getting themselves into stick-y situations.....sorry, I couldn't help myself :P 


  1. Oh my gosh, that's crazy!! What are the chances?

  2. Holy crap! Poor guy. What's scary is that a lot of less diligent owners wouldn't have caught that subtle shift in his hay consumption.

  3. OMG!! That is crazy! Poor fellow. And good for you guys for catching this and insisting the vet take a close look.