At the end of December, Marta had a dental with Dr. Fray of Pilchuck Veterinary Hospital. Marta has been dropping weight lately, and an oral exam revealed why. Once she was sedated, Dr. Fray found the beginning signs of Equine Odontoclastic Tooth Resorption and Hypercementosis (EOTRH). EOTRH is a painful dental disease that can occur in older horses. The disease is progressive and has no cure other than surgery to remove affected teeth in more advanced cases, but it appears that Marta’s case is not severe enough yet to warrant surgery.
Dr. Fray recommended that Marta be switched to a diet of strictly pelleted feed to provide her with the nutrients she needs in a form that is easier for her to chew. She can have access to hay if she wants to chew on it, but it can’t be her main source of calories since she just nibbles on it. She has also been started on Equioxx, a medication for pain management.
In order to be able to closely monitor both her weight gain and the EOTRH, we decided to bring Marta back from her foster home. She has been here just a few short weeks, but in that time since being transferred to the new diet and being put on the pain meds she is gaining her weight back steadily. She will munch on a few mouthfuls of hay, but much prefers her sloppy mashes of senior feed.
She is a happy camper and seems to be enjoying her new surroundings, and has developed friendships with her two stall neighbors, Stella and Amelia. We are enjoying having her around Safe Harbor Stables again.