For some of us, getting older means our visits with doctors and specialists increase, our bodies requiring more maintenance to remain afloat. And while the same is often true for horses of a certain age, there are some cases when vet care is required less frequently.
One such case is Brandy’s. Brandy, a Mare of a Certain Age, is no stranger to health issues. She gets a daily tab of prascend for her Cushing’s diagnosis, and last summer required all manner of creams and salves to help soothe her itchy skin. But perhaps the most significant note about Brandy is her lack of good teeth, a fact that had been known to us since near day one of her arrival at SAFE.
Apart from a formal vet visit and inspection of her mouth under sedation, the signs were obvious to us that things were perhaps a bit amiss under the hood when the hay balls began falling from her mouth. Known as ‘quidding,’ it is a phenomenon that very much resembles a cow chewing its cud, if that same cud were to materialize as a giant lump of wet hay, dropped on the ground. Not the most aesthetically pleasing thing a horse can do, but it is, of course, not meant to be. Rather — it is a sign something is wrong, and a pretty clear one at that.
Brandy’s subsequent vet visits have revealed as much: her teeth are in very poor shape. So poor that she is not able to properly chew and swallow hay. Because of this, Brandy is on a mash-only diet, receiving her calories in the form of delicious grain slurry.
At her most recent dental, our vets told us that going forward, Brandy would only need a dental float if we began to notice issues arising — an inability to eat, or foul odors originating from her mouth. There just simply are not enough good teeth in her mouth to do anything to. So just like that, Brandy had an annual appointment removed from her schedule. And here I’ve been looking for ways to avoid the dentist, turns out you just need to have no teeth!
We will continue to watch Brandy closely to ensure she is not having trouble eating, but for the time being, she seems perfectly content to be a soup girl.