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Horses and teeth issues

Updated: Aug 2, 2022

Why a teeth-check is so important

Another useful article from my favorite website.

Steaming hay is good for many reasons: respiratory issues, kills mold and bacteria, taste, ... .

Below you can read about the reason we did it.

Our senior Belgian draft horse: Udo

We adopted Udo from a Belgian draft horse rescue. The (very basic) ppe said arthritis in his hind leg. But I didn't really care. I wanted a buddy for my Sophie and I wanted to give a horse a good home. And anyway, Udo would just be a pasture horse, at most a little very light riding.

Didn't he make the perfect model for horse photography?!! 🥰

Equine photography Belgian draft horse headshot

Dental check for Udo

At the first dental visit, it turned out he didn't have much left to chew. But he was good weight-wise and he loved munching his hay. My horses had access to hay all day, so I wasn't really worried that he wouldn't get enough.

The second dental visit they had to take out some rotten pieces. After that, Udo was never the same. He started having some discharge from his nose. Vet couldn't pin it down. Medication only helped for a short while. By then we had started feeding him a soup made from grain and grass pellets. He still happily munched away on his hay though.

Soft food for Udo

The discharge became a constant so I had the vet out again. We did x-rays and it turned out he had a mass in his jaw, above his teeth. Udo was 23 years old and the surgery would have been extremely invasive. So we decided to go they way of palliative care. The vet suggested soaking or steaming his hay.

abstract photography water vapor

By then he started losing weight. He got a lot of grain, a huge amount of grass pellets (divided over four to five feedings) and free choice hay. But he still lost weight.

To soak his hay, I built my own steamer with these instructions. It worked great! And Udo loved it. Sophie did too 🙄😄

Still life photography close up of hay

Udo was with us for another year but then, unfortunately we had to make the decision to let him sleep forever. He was a great horse, a bit cheeky, he loved his cuddles and I swear he purred when we groomed him 😀. He was very curious and happy to try new things. He was never really sure about lunging but he loved going for walks in our woods and he enjoyed dipping his toes in our creek.

I'm truly happy that we had him in our lives for a few years 🧡.


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