Quite suddenly after I got a new load of hay in, Mr. P started leaving balls of quidded hay all over. Honestly, if I didn’t specifically pile the bales of hay you would have no idea which is old or new, and after that even switching back led to balls of half chewed hay, so I have no idea on the correlation. It’s from the same hay guy and he said he believes from the same load, so who knows! Regardless, it freaked me out a bit and was a change overnight.
I called my regular horse dentist, a guy who does it manually. This has been my preferred method, particularly after a bad experience where Stampede got his cheek burned the one time I had him done with power tools. I’d pretty much planned to avoid a power float at all costs. Of course, my normal dental guy was off for a few weeks due to surgery, and I didn’t want to wait. So I had one my regular vets out to look, figuring I can always say no and wait. Dr. Quinter didn’t see anything too bad, but P did have a pretty good wave on the left side top teeth. I decided to trust her skill (she is one of the vets who came out frequently when Stampede was sick), and I’m glad I did because it was a very different experience. Having my almost 31 year old horse sedated was of course terrifying, but the way she worked was much different than my past experience. She said he has great teeth for his age – they are all there and look pretty healthy. She pointed me to one area to watch that showed some beginning gingivitis issues, but said they don’t remove the teeth unless something is painful and/or has a foul smell.
She gave Phoenix some bute with his sedation because she said with old horses the nerves are closer to where the work is done and it can be uncomfortable. That night P ate much more hay in his stall than usual and there were no quidded pieces. I thought that was the end of it, but then the next night he left a few and it has continued. He does actually eat a fair amount of hay, but leaves pieces behind too. I’m still playing around a bit before I contact the vet again, but I’m wondering if he has some soreness somewhere. I started him on Equioxx the night before last but it takes a while to build up. I’m interested to see what his stall looks like tonight. Either way he is eating better than prior to his float, but I’d like to get this figured out.
In other Morstone Acres news, I’m working on getting Phoenix a new friend. Sadly since fall and the disappearance of grass Cabby has been beating up on Phoenix at times and it has continued to escalate. I’m fine with a bit of pushiness, but it’s gotten to the point that P is covered in hairless, scabby patches from bites through his blankets and Cabby sometimes herds Phoenix away from the hay, water, or me. Phoenix now has to book it into the barn to get to his stall from the pasture at night otherwise Cabby will block him and I have to go run interference. Cabby also won’t come into the barn first, so it makes bringing in difficult at times. It seems to me that Cabby is quite bored, and clearly not happy with the arrangement.
I’m certainly disappointed, it was a good situation for Cabby and his owner as well as for me. Hopefully the next companion will be a better match and Phoenix can go back to the calm existence he enjoys. Just another reason to miss Stampede, those two were so good together.
With tax season ramping up my parents are cleaning the stalls for me several times a week and P is enjoying all of the extra carrots he can get from his grandparents. Frequently he sneaks into the barn so he doesn’t have to share those with Cabby too (shhh, don’t tell him).
Phoenix’s 31st birthday is exactly a month away, so I need to start figuring out a suitable celebration for my best boy. Any ideas for something special?