Mr Sparrowgrass was on the yard last night while D and I waited for the vet to finish with one of the other horses on the yard and he said to me “Is that the vet?” I was a bit surprised because they’ve met before and Mr S doesn’t usually have a bad memory for people, but it turned out he was checking because the vet has lost so much weight since he last saw him in the summer that he didn’t recognise him. I had not noticed because I have seen the vet so very often that this massive weight change gradually happened under my nose. How has it come about that I see the vet so often that I don’t even see him!?
Let’s recap what’s happened since early summer.
Leg 1 (left fore). Super lame, suspected broken pedal bone, but found to be merely congenitally misshapen and the lameness to be soft tissue damage. But the box rest caused…
Legs 2 & 3 (hinds) both lame. Left got sorer with exercise, right got less sore so investigated left. Fetlock and suspension ligament issues. Glucosamine. Joint injection. Wedge shoeing on hinds. Improved and came sound on all legs although constant and consistent exercise needed to stay sound.
Digestion round. 1. Diarroeah city. His butt was a fountain of misery. It got better, vet didn’t find it interesting.
Sarcoid. Found, identified, treated, dropped off.
Digestion round 2. Return to Diarroeah City. Didn’t go away. Didn’t improve with prescribed prebiotic. Ruled out colitis, but trace oddities in blood and stool samples. Diet changed to no effect.
Weaving. Started. Bars went up. Mood of horse went down. Can’t use food based boredom breakers because very plain diet for diarrhoea.
Legs 2 & 3 struggling with no turnout for a few days due to flooded fields but not yet lame.
I think that about covers it up until my last post.
So we know there is a problem in D somewhere between where hay goes in and where it comes out again. One possibility that’s relatively easy to check is the teeth. So we bought Drifter’s dental appointment forwards a month and he saw the dentist on Thursday with the goal of checking for anything that might be causing him to eat without chewing.
I couldn’t be there for the dentist but she emailed and left a detailed card/invoice. In terms of the chewing teeth there was nothing unusual, so he just had his usual float. But one of his bottom front teeth has died. I might want to get a vet to look at it.
In the 7 months since he last saw her, a tooth has died. A tooth that should be continuously erupting for the rest of his life is dead!? How did this happen without him showing any signs of an issue eating or accepting a bit? Certainly there’s been no trauma to his mouth that I’m aware of. Getting kicked seems most likely but without external swelling or bleeding or something? It could have been an infection but even so I’m completely thrown by how it could happen without any sign something was wrong.
I feel worse for not knowing because as soon as you open his lips it’s so obvious. He used to have such pretty teeth and now it’s pretty hideous. (Apologies for bad photo but it’s not easy to use one hand to hold the lips while taking a photo with the other, in the dark.)
As you can see the gum has receeded a lot from that tooth.
So the vet came and looked. He agrees with the dentist that at the moment there is no infection or pain. He advised that I be vigilant with it and watch for food getting under the gum or signs of pain or infection. It seems likely it will need extracting one day, but not now as it is firmly attached and not causing a problem.
So instead of finding a solution to the digestive issues we just found a new problem. I am probably disproportionately upset by this.
But the digestive investigation must go on, so D is getting his gut scanned on Monday.
If my horse was a child someone would be investigating me for Munchausen’s-by-proxy by now.