Gwen gave me a scare last night. I was almost through my nightly feeding routine: the Quarters had eaten their feed and supplements, I'd take a bale of hay out to the feeders, and I was busy filling the slow feed bags to hang in the run-in.Normally by the time I'm half done filling the bags, my horses come over and start grazing a bit on the hay I've got out. It keeps them occupied until I can get the bags hung and then I escort them back into the pasture.
Well last night, Gwen wandered over and started eating. I was bent over a bag, stuffing in hay, when suddenly flakes of hay started flying around me. Then a bale flew by! What the heck?
There was Gwen, madly pawing into the hay and flinging it behind her like a wake, looking TICKED OFF! I rushed over to her to see what was wrong and she opened her mouth and half chewed hay fell out. She reached down for another mouthful, and then angrily spit it back out. At that point, I freaked out a little- the only time I've seen that was with a 38 year old pony with no teeth. I was thinking, "OMG, my mare lost her teeth!"
Have I mentioned I'm dramatic?
I got her halter on and took her into the pasture so I could examine her head. There was no swelling, no heat on the outside. I reached inside her lips to feel her front teeth (she wasn't too keen on that) and they were all fine and I didn't see any evidence of blood. I reached in over her bars and felt the tongue and that was alright. At this point, I took her halter off and hung up one of the hay bags to see what she'd do. Of course she commenced eating normally, looking at me quizzically every once in a while as I hovered over her for the next ten minutes making sure she was okay. Apparently a big mouthful of hay was a problem, little bites from the slow feeder bag were okay. (Same bale of hay, btw, I did initially think that something could have been off with that bale.)
The only thing I could think was that she could have a sore inside her mouth that made big mouthfuls uncomfortable. I called my vet just in case and she agreed with me, saying to just keep an eye on her. Gwen was okay this morning but she'll be getting the raptor treatment for the next few days- I'll be watching her like a hawk.
Horses, the world experts on making your heart jump into your throat...