Horse losing weight – teeth?

  • Horse losing weight – teeth?

    Posted by Marle on February 14, 2023 at 3:57 pm

    Hi. I hope this is the right place to ask. I am brand new to this website. We are just starting to learn about homesteading – living on a farm, but running a guest house/wedding venue here, so no farming yet!

    We have a horse that is losing weight, but we can’t figure out why. He gets good food and has a large pasture to graze. Someone said it could be bad teeth. If so, is there anything we can do for him other than pulling the teeth?

    Anything else we could look for?

    Thanks a lot

    PackersRboss replied 1 year, 3 months ago 8 Members · 10 Replies
  • 10 Replies
  • BiggKidd

    February 14, 2023 at 4:18 pm

    Need a lot more info to really be able to help. How old is the horse? Has anyone close to the horse recently left or moved away? Did it’s pasture mate get moved out?

    Honestly it could be a lot of things. I would want to know the answers to those first though. I would also be checking for worms, which may be the most likely answer if nothing else has changed. Horses can get depressed when they no longer have a person or animal they’ve been around a long time and are close to.

    GGood luck

    • Marle

      February 16, 2023 at 8:20 pm

      Thank you for taking the time to think about this. Sorry about not getting back earlier – I keep forgetting to check this site.

      So, the horse was moved to another pasture with the sheep, where he didn’t do very well, but then we moved him to the next field where the chicken coops are. He is doing much better now – perhaps because the grass is much greener and softer? Could still be teeth, but easier to chew? Or is he just fussy?

      He is doing OK now, so not worried anymore. We would still like to know if we can do anything naturally to keep his teeth healthy. For my children I would let them oil pull and gargle with salt water. With horses I am out of my depth. 😆

      Thanks so much.

      • PackersRboss

        March 16, 2023 at 8:28 pm

        Get a Vet out to look at teeth. You wouldn’t go for years without a dentist-neither can a horse. Keeping horses isn’t cheap & requires regular Vet checks. It could also be parasites-easy to fix. I hope you have him on a regular deworming schedule.

  • Carter

    March 2, 2023 at 2:59 pm

    If it truly was a tooth problem, pulling isn’t the only option. Sometimes the problem tooth can be filed down.

  • Laura-Lee

    March 6, 2023 at 12:31 am

    Sounds like the problem resolved itself but as far as teeth go with horses, they can develop hooks and sharp points that periodically need to be filed down. These sharp edges cut the tongue and or inside of the cheeks making eating difficult and painful. To remedy this will require a haul in to the vet or farm call. I don’t know anyone who does this themselves. Most vets sedate the horse and use a drill with a file attachment to smooth out the teeth. The vet will want to do this once a year or more depending on the horse.

    Worming would be another guess if he was losing weight. Or hay quality.

  • MomH

    March 15, 2023 at 5:41 pm

    O.k., I have to address this.

    Typically, a horse would get their teeth “floated” or filed by either an Equine dentist or a vet. Personally, I would prefer an Equine dentist as it would be their specialty and should have a better methodology over a vet. Vets seem to like to use sedation, etc., when it’s not always needed. However, if an Equine dentist is not available in your area, then a vet will usually do. Good to ask other horse owners for any experience they have had.

    How often does a horse need to have their teeth floated? It depends on the horse. I used to have a horse who needed it done every year. My current horse has not had it done in over 4 years, although I did have the vet check her when he was here on another matter. I also managed a pony who never needed to have his teeth done. It’s all in how they chew, and what they chew.

    • Laura-Lee

      March 16, 2023 at 5:43 am

      In the state I live in, equine dentists must also be licensed veterinarians. It’s become frustrating because teeth floating seems to have become the vets bread and butter along with vaccines. They just sedate and float without even looking in the horses mouth and it’s become part of the expected annual protocol. That drill—so easy to take to much tooth off imo. Some people would be horrified but I don’t get my horses teeth done unless I see signs they need it because of this.

  • JulieCRPH

    March 16, 2023 at 5:32 pm

    As others have mentioned, check the horse’s parasite load (vet can test stool for worms). Also, have your vet check the horse’s teeth for sharp edges, wolf teeth, etc. What is the age of the horse? Another issue is if the horse is stressed, he may have developed stomach ulcers (just like humans do).

  • PackersRboss

    March 16, 2023 at 10:38 pm

    Hows the horses feet? Do you have a regular Farrier come out? A Vet visit will include the horses feet and teeth and parasites. Make sure he does a full systems review.

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