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Discussion on Sores in the mouth & unhealthy looking gums...

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Lanna Tucker
Member
Username: Lanna1

Post Number: 3
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, Dec 4, 2003 - 3:59 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi everyone,

I haven't been a member for a few years, but I'm glad to be back as I remember this site as very informative! I'm hoping you can shed some light on a problem in my newest mare...

I purchased a 1995 AQHA mare less than 3 weeks ago that the first thing I noticed was her foul breathe. I was quite ill when she arrived, so I didn't have a chance to go over her health right away. Needless to say, she did have the runs quite bad for the first week as well, which I originally wrote off as normal considering she came from an entirely different climate & had a change in water & feed.

I'm now thinking that her bad breathe combined with a bad case of the runs may have been linked to a pre-existing condition? This mare is also in foal with a March 2004 due date.

The other day I noticed a blood smear on my yearling that was evident that someone in the pasture had a bloody mouth, lip, nose, or something - it was my new mare Brandy.

The pockets of her lips were filled with foamy blood that made it difficult to see where the blood was originating from. She has some small scarring on either side of her lips which is usually apparent if the horse has been ridden with alot of harsh contact on the bit.

Her gums also appeared unhealthy in a way they appear slightly "eroded" where the gums meet up with the base of the teeth. This is apparent mostly on the lower jaw.

When I lifted her top lip to have a better look at the upper gums I noticed two sores side by side, front and centre of her upper gums right at the base of where her upper lip joins to her gum line. These sores are quite pink with a concave type appearance. There was also some feed debrie stuck to them. I was able to remove the debrie without any difficulty and it didn't appear that it was painful to the mare.

It also didn't appear that the blood was coming from these two sores?!?

We have a small amount of foxtail in the hay we bought this year - none of my other horses have shown any side effects though. Also, the bad breathe on this mare was apparent the first day of her delivery, so I'm guessing that this can't be linked to my feed?

Any suggestions, or is there anyone out there that's dealt with something similar?

Thanks, Lanna in BC.
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Lanna Tucker
Member
Username: Lanna1

Post Number: 4
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, Dec 4, 2003 - 4:09 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Oops, one more thing - is is safe to rinse a horses mouth with epson salt & warm water? I was hoping to rinse my mares mouth to get a better look at what's going on & perhaps find the location of the bleeding. I know that salt water is good to draw infection, but is epson salt also safe to use orally. If not, is there something else that I can use that would be appropriate?

Thanks, Lanna in BC
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Sara Wolff
Member
Username: Mrose

Post Number: 111
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Thursday, Dec 4, 2003 - 4:44 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

How about just plain salt water? Just add a teaspoon of salt to 8oz. warm water. That way if she swallows any it won't hurt her, and salt water is healing. On a person you could use a weak hydrogen peroxide solution. I would assume this would be o.k. for a horse as if she swallowed any it would be very small amount compaired to her size. The good doctor might have some better suggestions.
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Lanna Tucker
Member
Username: Lanna1

Post Number: 5
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, Dec 4, 2003 - 5:07 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Sara,

Thanks for your input, I will definitely try the regular salt water formula until I'm given the okay by DrO if there's anything better!

Anxiously awaiting feedback in BC...
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Ann Cohrs
Member
Username: Apcohrs

Post Number: 64
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Thursday, Dec 4, 2003 - 5:30 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

isolate her and call the vet

NOW
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Lanna Tucker
Member
Username: Lanna1

Post Number: 6
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, Dec 4, 2003 - 5:48 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Ann,

Your post is making me panic, is there any reason why you feel that my mare should be isolated & the urgency of your request???

I will be speaking to my Vet about her symptoms, but we live in a rural northern community - so I don't have the luxury of simply loading her up and taking her in right away.

Please expand on your concerns...

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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 9573
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Friday, Dec 5, 2003 - 8:59 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Lanna, and welcome back.
The salt, peroxide would be fine. I suspect Ann is worried about vesicular stomatis or even possibly foot and mouth disease. For more on this see Equine Diseases Skin Diseases Vesicular Stomatitis. There are also other causes including bad nutrition. If you will run a search on mouth ulcers I think you will find lots of discussions on these. You probably should also review the article Equine Diseases Colic and GI Diseases Diarrhea in Horses Diarrhea an Overview.
DrO
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Lanna Tucker
Member
Username: Lanna1

Post Number: 7
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Friday, Dec 5, 2003 - 10:44 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi DrO,

I just got off the phone with my Vet & I'm hoping to haul my mare down sometime next week! I explained the symptoms to him & he definitely suggested we need to look at her teeth because of the foul smell in her mouth when she arrived. I also mentioned that there is some foxtail in our hay & he immediately responded with "that can definitely cause the symptoms you're describing".

Upon reading articles on this site in regards to Vesicular Stomatitis I don't believe that is what I'm dealing with. In fact, as you mentioned in one of your responses in regards to the signs of foxtail - these signs are all present in my mare.

Last night I took our bright flashlight (spotlight) out to the pasture and had a better look in her mouth. She has many more lesions than what I first thought - unless she's getting more each day! All of the lesions have these "spurs" coming out of them, they're easy to remove with my fingers, as long as I'm able to grip them.

When looking at the "spurs" close up, they almost appear similar to an oat shaft?!? They don't neccessarily look like the "hair" off of the foxtail plant.

Does this sound consistent with foxtail? And, why aren't any of my other horses showing signs? There are 12 other horses that have been eating this same hay since October?

Is it possible that this new mare had a pre-existing condition that may have been further irritated by the foxtail in my hay?

Should I be concerned for my other horses?

I'm going to remove the hay source tonight after work & start this mare on alfalfa/timothy cubes until I can find an alternate source for hay.

I'm just concerned that I won't find an alternate source for hay because we have a shortage - what with the mad cow disease scare in Canada, cattle breeders are feeding more cows this winter than first anticipated - hence, they're hanging onto their feed & buying up any extras!!!

Should I try to find an alternate source for my entire herd???

Thanks for your input, I've never dealt with this type of problem before!

Lanna in BC
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Lanna Tucker
Member
Username: Lanna1

Post Number: 8
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Friday, Dec 5, 2003 - 11:06 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi DrO,

I've been frantically reading everything that may relate to the signs and symptoms I've been observing in my mare & realized I should give you a little more history...

First of all, the mare that's showing these sypmtoms is a new mare to our property - we purchased her less than 3 weeks ago. All the other horses have been on this property for a year.

We purchased our hay from a different source as compared to years before, at which time we were informed that there is some foxtail in some of the bales (round). We also have some foxtail in our pastures & none of the horses showed any ill effects, so I wasn't too alarmed provided it wasn't in great amounts.

The foxtail is more present in some of the bales as compared to others.

ALSO, the lady we purchased the hay off this year also informed me that she lost 8 of her horses this summer. She was certain that it had nothing to do with their feed & had it tested.

Once all the tests came back it was decided that her horses deaths were caused by "blue green algae" in their dugout. A dugout that they watered their horses for the past 8 years without any ill effect.

I did extensive research on "blue green algae" which is actually a bacteria, not an algae & found that this seemed relevant. We did have all the conditions described for a perfect environment for the bacteria to flourish...

I'm also going by the word of others as to the cause, do you think I should be concerned that this hay may have had some part in her animals deaths? I'm hoping that I'm just being paranoid now, but I don't want to put any of my horses at risk!

This lady lost 7 horses within a 2 month period & recently lost the 8th. Autopsy results proved sever liver/kidney damage - I'm not privy to the exact results as I was receiving them second hand. The mare she most recently lost (2 weeks ago) was being treated for severe liver damage as she had shown signs since this early fall - loss of weight, weekness, etc... She didn't make it.

I'm thinking that's about all the history I have concerns over.

I supply my horses with city water hauled from town.

Thanks again,

Lanna in BC
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 9576
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Friday, Dec 5, 2003 - 6:33 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I see no reason not to believe you are having problems with foxtail awns and this may have been a preexisting problem coming to your farm. Carefully pulling out the little awns (hairs) with tweezers and discontinuing feeding hay with foxtails will rapidly cause a cure of the mouth problem. As to the diarrhea I consider it undiagnosed and don't see how the hay-ladies problem with algae might cause you problems, unless the diagnosis is in question. If there is some concern about the ladies hay I would certainly quit feeding it.
DrO
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Lanna Tucker
Member
Username: Lanna1

Post Number: 9
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Monday, Dec 8, 2003 - 11:12 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi DrO,

Thanks for your reply, I thought I could give you an update on my situation from this weekend.

I thoroughly checked the mouths of all of my horses (they are separated in 3 pastures not adjoining with one another, but all being fed the same hay)

My stallion is older and has almost run out of teeth, but he has a round bale in his pasture for grazing (he's supplemented with alfalfa cubes, frisky foal ration & rolled oats) His mouth is clear and healthy.

My mares are in the back pasture being fed the said hay by pitchfork once/day. All their mouths are clear and healthy in appearance.

The new mare is in with my yearling filly, two weanlings & yearling Llama. They are feeding from the same source of hay in a round bale feeder by free choice.

I've noticed that my new mare still seems the worst with her ulcers, but not as bad as last week. I have also noticed that my yearling & one of my weanlings also have these sores - not as bad as the mare, but they do have at least one.

I went to burn the existing bale this weekend as there would have be no other way to remove it from the pasture - when I took the feeder off of the bale and started to burn it, I couldn't find any foxtail present, except one small hair!!!

I am supplementing this group now with timothy/alfalfa cubes - but I'm baffled as to why they are the only ones showing symptoms!

I'm hoping that this mare didn't arrive with a pre-existing condition, disease or illness and spread it onto my youngsters. This herd will not come into contact with the rest of my herd until I know what's going on.

The spurs sticking out of the ulcers do not appear as "hairs" like you see at the end of the foxtail, instead they have an oat sheath like appearance. Is this what the foxtail "seedlings" look like???

They are also easily removed with my finger tips, they seem to slide right out, no need for tweezers.

Do you think there might be something else going on here that I've over looked?

Thanks again for any assistance you can share,

Lanna in BC
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Lanna Tucker
Member
Username: Lanna1

Post Number: 13
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Monday, Dec 8, 2003 - 4:41 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello DrO and everyone who's been listening,

I thought I should let you know that I have a confirmed Vet appointment this weekend! Yeah, I can finally put an end to my worries and find out what's been going on. At the same time, I will have my Vet go over this mare thoroughly to ensure that we have a good grasp on her health and any issues that we aren't aware of.

I'm still waiting to hear what the "foxtail spurs" should look like, because my experience is they look like "hair" and the "spurs" I've been removing from the ulcers are like oat sheaths - this mare is not being fed any oats?!?

Also, is this a concern with her pregnancy? And, if it does turn out to be foxtail, should I be concerned about my other horses who aren't showing any signs?

What is the worst possible scenario for injesting foxtail???

Thanks for any information you can share,

Lanna in BC
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 9591
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Tuesday, Dec 9, 2003 - 8:04 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Yes, foxtails should look like a single short hair (awn), firmly embedded and sticking straight out of the gum. Sometimes you see several awns embedded together.

No I do not know of any effect this might have on pregnancy and you seem to be experiencing a worst case scenerio. If you have them just remove them and the gum will heal.
DrO
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Lanna Tucker
Member
Username: Lanna1

Post Number: 14
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Tuesday, Dec 9, 2003 - 10:45 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks DrO,

I'll let everyone know how I make out with my Vet this weekend, as I'm still not 100% sure that this is foxtail I'm dealing with. The spurs that are sticking out of the ulcers do not have the hair like appearance of foxtail.

Hmmm... then what else could it be? Perhaps I was right about this mare having a pre-existing condition prior to coming onto our property. Seems a little weird the "coincidences" that have happened since she arrived.

Plus, it is localized in only the one pasture now?

Perhaps I will go back and read the article on Vesicular Stomatitis again...

Thing is, there are no other apparent symptoms other than the actual sores themselves!!!

Forgive me for voicing my questioning online, I realize no one wants to make a diagnosis without seeing the mare for themselves, I'm just stumped & want to be sure that I'm doing everything I can in the meantime before I can get this mare to the Vet!

Thanks for your feedback, any other information you can provide is greatly appreciated.

Lanna in BC
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Sharon Gregg
Member
Username: Sefiroth

Post Number: 185
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Tuesday, Dec 9, 2003 - 11:27 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Lanna,

I posted pictures of my gelding's sores under the Vesicular Stomatitis heading. Let me know if these look similar to yours. My vet thought it was VS. He healed up just fine on his own without my pulling anything out of his mouth, but I did find some foxtails in his hay as well. We never came to a strong conclusion either way.

Who knows. Seems like some horses live to perplex us!

~Sharon
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Lanna Tucker
Member
Username: Lanna1

Post Number: 19
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Wednesday, Dec 10, 2003 - 10:59 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Sharon,

Thanks for your post, I did have a look at your pictures earlier & that's what made me think I was dealing with foxtail rather than Vesicular Stomatitis. The sores that I've been dealing with look more concave, the sores you pictured look like they are protruding?

Mind you, the debrie that I've removed from the sores are not at all like the hair from foxtail - they look like oats! I haven't been feeding oats, but I did later find some oats in my hay bales!

I'm mostly confused at the coincidence of the whole scenario as none of my other horses were showing any signs or symptoms prior to this mares arrival less than a month ago. Now, all horses that have not had access to her are still clear and healthy - only the youngsters that are pastured with her are now showing these sores!

I'm either dealing with something that is contagious, or they happened to get a bad hay bale between them!

I guess I'll find out this weekend when I haul her down to my Vet! I'm going to get him to give this mare a thorough examination because I don't know anything about her health and I'm not sure that the previous owner is being forthright with me as I've been having other problems with her in regards to the registration on this mare!

Needless to say, I'm a little skeptical about the whole deal. But, she's my mare now & I want to make sure that I'm looking after her needs 100%!

Has your gelding had any more episodes?

Thanks again,

Lanna in BC
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Lanna Tucker
Member
Username: Lanna1

Post Number: 21
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Wednesday, Dec 10, 2003 - 1:26 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Okay, this is going to sound crazy!

After researching all information I can find on foxtail and looking for pictures of these weeds I've drawn the conclusion that this isn't what I'm dealing with either?!?

These weeds don't resemble what I've grown to know what foxtail looks like in our area! The only one that I couldn't find any pictures of is the green foxtail plant - all others are definitely not what we have growing here.

Do you know where I can find a picture of the green foxtail? Where do these weeds grow? I'm in northern British Columbia, Canada.

Any assistance in this matter is always appreciated. The foxtail that I'm thinking of & what I've been referring to has much longer "hair" then the pictures I've been seeing in my search. Perhaps it is Green Foxtail in this area & I couldn't do a comparison with that because I couldn't find any photos...

I'll await any response at this point!

Frustrated in BC...
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Susan Bilsky
Member
Username: Suzeb

Post Number: 96
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Wednesday, Dec 10, 2003 - 1:57 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Lanna,
Was your hay harvested locally or has it been imported from elsewhere? I think I know the plant that you are describing as I have seen it growing in ditches or anyplace where there are alkaline conditions or disturbed soil. Does the plant look like this?

Hope this helps and I understand your frustration,
Susan Bilsky
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Lanna Tucker
Member
Username: Lanna1

Post Number: 22
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Wednesday, Dec 10, 2003 - 2:29 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Susan,

Thanks for your empathy! This plant is a closer resemblance of what I've been describing. I'm going to go out to the pasture tonight after work and see if I can find one under the snow. At the end of the summer I noticed that we had quite a few that spread into our pasture from where they put a gas pipeline in the year before.

The horses haven't been on that pasture since October, so I should be able to find a complete plant intact quite easily (provided the snow isn't too deep in those areas).

I'll take a picture of it with my digital and download it here once I have a good photo.

Seems to me that the "hair" starts closer to the ground without as much "stem" and I don't recall what the leaves look like.

I shouldn't have assumed that what I was talking about is what everybody else is familiar with! My fault for not having a better look at the weed myself.

I've referred to this plant as foxtail since I was a kid & the farmers in our area call it the same thing...

I bought the hay locally, in fact the farm is within miles from our property. She mentioned to me right off the bat (before we agreed to purchase the hay) that they had some foxtail in their hay pastures this year.

I examined the hay and all looked good - some of the bales have a little bit of foxtail, but others I've come across have none that I can find. Anytime that I've come across any of it, I've set it aside to burn, but even when I've found it in the hay it's in trace amounts & not throughout the bale.

Needless to say, I'll try to get some clear photos tonight and post them on this site for tomorrow. If there's enough light, I will try to get some photos of the mouth ulcers as well. Unfortunately it's usually near dark by the time I get home - I can bring the weed into the house for better lighting but I don't think bringing the horse in would go over very well!!

Thanks again for all your support,

Lanna in BC
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Susan Bilsky
Member
Username: Suzeb

Post Number: 97
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Wednesday, Dec 10, 2003 - 7:46 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Lanna,
Hope you are holding up well with all your goings on. I reread your first post and noticed that your mare arrived with foul breath and diarrhea. Most likely a prexisting condition or something that incubated in transit. Was she shipped from a long distance perhaps, out of province or out of country? Perhaps the small amount of "foxtail" in your hay is aggravating the mouth sores which may be caused by something else entirely. The plant that you may be dealing with is commonly called foxtail around here, but I don't think it is foxtail at all, it is some form of grass. The seed head is more like a fantail rather than a foxtail, kind of pretty from a landscape/garden designer point of view but not good for a horses digestive tract. It will be interesting to note what the vet has to say about your mare and try and give him/her as much information as possible. Good Luck and let us know how things go.
Susan B.
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Sharon Gregg
Member
Username: Sefiroth

Post Number: 186
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Wednesday, Dec 10, 2003 - 8:35 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Lanna,

I've not noticed anymore sores in my horse's mouth since the one episode. Nor have I bought hay from the same guy I got the one round bale from that my gelding ate prior to getting the sores.

Nor did the pony that was pastured with my gelding, who had access to the same hay water and environment as the gelding, who was sold and taken away the day before I noticed bloody drool from my gelding, ever get any kind of sores in her mouth either. The pony ate off the suspect round bale along with the gelding for a week prior to being sold. The gelding finished off the rest of the round bale in one more week. He never did go off his feed thankfully! I found a new hay supplier with nicer hay after it was gone.

Good luck! Be sure to let us know what your vet says.

~Sharon
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Lanna Tucker
Member
Username: Lanna1

Post Number: 24
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, Dec 11, 2003 - 11:24 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks for your input Sharon & Susan,

It turns out that I had to open a new round bale last night, so I had my hubby shine the quad lights on it as I peeled the first layer and low and behold the bale is pretty junky.

I was able to pull out two complete foxtail plants from the bale, I will scan them later today and post them on the site so everyone can see what I'm referring to.

I'm surprised that the hay I have by my top pasture (where the youngsters & new mare are) ended up being lesser quality hay then the bottom pasture and the hay that my stud is eating. It all came from the same source & they plucked the bales out of the same line up?!?

I checked my hay out back, where the uneffected horses are and it is excellent quality, no weeds and no sign of foxtail.

This bale I opened up at the top looks like a bale taken from the outer edge of a field, there was even a large chunk of wood baled up, along with some clover and a significant amount of foxtail (or what I've been referring to as foxtail).

How harmful is this stuff if it's being fed periodically throughout the winter? I can't find any other hay source - it was hard enough securing the hay I have now?!?

I'm afraid that I don't have any other options as far as hay is concerned and I certainly can't afford to feed everyone alfalfa cubes!

Any assistance with this matter is greatly appreciated.

DrO, what is the worst case scenario if this hay source is continued to be fed periodically (every other bale is infested?)

Thanks,

Lanna in BC
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Lanna Tucker
Member
Username: Lanna1

Post Number: 25
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, Dec 11, 2003 - 12:04 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Here's the foxtail that I've been referring to, it was removed from my round bale last night.

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Lanna Tucker
Member
Username: Lanna1

Post Number: 26
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, Dec 11, 2003 - 12:16 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Here's a closer look at the "hair"

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Lanna Tucker
Member
Username: Lanna1

Post Number: 27
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, Dec 11, 2003 - 12:19 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello again,

I just realized that I should have used a coin as a measurement to give you a better idea of the size and length of the plant!

The "hair" is approx. 3" or 4" long and the stem is approx. 8" long. It's not very leafy and quite green in appearance, but the hairs have a blonde look to them.

Thanks,

Lanna in BC
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JANETTE MCDOWELL
Member
Username: Westks

Post Number: 155
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Thursday, Dec 11, 2003 - 2:01 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

that looks very similar to cheat grass here but my horses wont eat cheat grass it is rejected even in pasture when young before hair stage. i spend several hundred $$ a year going around and spraying cheat grass and after a week I go and burn it because weed spray causes it to go to seed quickly. and seeds will take and grow even from sprayed plant.
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Lanna Tucker
Member
Username: Lanna1

Post Number: 28
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Thursday, Dec 11, 2003 - 4:43 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Janette,

I found that my horses didn't bother with it in the pasture either, but it's hard to avoid when it's all wrapped up in the hay!

I'm hoping to get it under better control in our pastures next year too - I've heard that it's really tuff to get rid of!

But that doesn't help me with my current hay situation!

Lanna in BC
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Julie Masner
Member
Username: Juliem

Post Number: 53
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Thursday, Dec 11, 2003 - 5:07 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I don't know if we're talking about the same weed, but in Southern Idaho cheat grass grows rampant whenever we have a range fire. It seems fire actually helps the seeds germinate. The weed will take over and crowd out more nutritious grasses on the rangeland, especially after a fire. It's considered a noxious weed here, but very hard to eradicate. It will cause sores in horses mouths as well. So Janette, if it's the same weed, perhaps you're burning it is counterproductive.
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Susan Bilsky
Member
Username: Suzeb

Post Number: 99
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Friday, Dec 12, 2003 - 12:09 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Lanna,
I think the plant that you may be dealing with is Foxtail Barley. The botanical name for this is Hordeum jubatum. I don't think it is poisonous, but being ingested by horses or other livestock would be quite irritating to the mouth. Much like eating fibreglass. You can go to this website for a detailed description of this offending grass.
http://livinglandscapes.bc.ca/cbasin/cb_grasses/agropyron.html
I don't know what you can do about you current hay situation other than you might have to go through the bales as much as you can before feeding to horses. Also, supplementing with the cubes as discussed in that topic.
Hope this helps.
Susan Bilsky

P.S.
Is it or isn't it foxtail? What may have looked like a foxtail, round and bushy has now gone into a fan shaped plant with the long sticky and spikey awns that irritate horses mouth and cause sores. Let us know what vet says about your new mare.
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Lanna Tucker
Member
Username: Lanna1

Post Number: 29
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Monday, Dec 15, 2003 - 11:28 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi again everyone,

An update on my situation is as follows (thanks for everyone's input on this matter, by the way!) I wasn't able to get to my Vet this weekend - very long story & the appointment was moved to next weekend. Needless to say, I'm more confused now than before.

It turns out that there were a bunch of horses at the local arena that were recently diagnosed with foxtail problems, so I took it upon myself to go and have a look. I was certain that the symptoms were going to be identical to what I was dealing with after I opened the last round bale to find it FULL of foxtail.

Unfortunately, the inside of these horses mouths were nothing like what I've been dealing with. These horses were drooling saliva and had numerous small prickle like bumps throughout the insides of their gums & lips. There were'nt any open ulcerations, and little to no bleeding. The Vet suggested that some of the embedded foxtail would come to fester and the horses would be left with some open lesions from that.

My horses never had the "prickle like bumps" under the gums and lips & have never had the drool symptom. The sores have always been open, bleeding alcerations in the mouth and the gums on this mare have never had a healthy appearance.

It was less than a week from the time this mare arrived to the time that the open ulcerations were noticed & from the first day of her arrival she had noticeably bad breath!

Coming up on the 4th week since this mare arrived, none of my other horses have any signs (who have not come into contact with this mare) Though all of the horses she is pastured with are showing the same symptoms.

After looking through my hay thoroughly, there has only been one bad bale (which I burned last night) The rest of the bales have little to no foxtail present...

I'm now thinking that I may very well be dealing with Vesicular Stomatitis.

DrO, what is the long term effect of this condition and how does it effect a pregnant mare? Are there any other conditions that you are aware of that cause the symptoms that I've been describing?

Thank you to everyone who is trying to help me find a solution to this problem.

Lanna in BC
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Dawn Friesen
Member
Username: Dartanyn

Post Number: 136
Registered: 8-2002
Posted on Monday, Dec 15, 2003 - 2:05 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Lanna, this is just a supplemental post to everything you've had in the above. I had a vet call on my small Paso about 3 years ago because his breath stunk, and he had started with foamy, bloody saliva showing up in conjunction with it. Come to find out that it was foxtails for him also, however, he did not have the ulcerations your horse had, but the foxtails had all become lodged under his tongue! The vet reached under his tongue & slid out a layer of them! He did not (the vet) meticulously remove any of them, but this along with getting rid of the suspect feed got rid of the problem. The bad breath was present for quite some time (months) before the salivia issue; but cleared up quickly after addressing the cause. Maybe this information helps, maybe not....hope your situation resolves itself easily! Dawn
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Lanna Tucker
Member
Username: Lanna1

Post Number: 30
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Monday, Dec 15, 2003 - 3:37 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hi Dawn,

Thanks for sharing your experience, I haven't completely ruled out the foxtail yet, but I'm leaning more towards something else simply because this mare is new to me & none of my other horses have had any problems (they've been feeding off the same hay since October). Also, I haven't found any foxtail hairs in my mares mouth, some of the ulcerations however have had feed stuck in them - but it was easily removed with my finger tips.

When looking closely at the feed debrie that's removed from the ulcers it does not have the appearance of foxtail whatsoever.

It's a mystery to me still - I wish I would have made it down to my Vet over the weekend to put an end to my guessing game! Instead, I'm going to worry about it for this week until I can get myself down next weekend!

Please continue to share your thoughts, stories and experiences as they are all helpful!

Lanna in BC
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 9634
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Tuesday, Dec 16, 2003 - 6:35 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

The bumps with a prickle in the middle are the early lesions with the awn sticking out the middle. As time passes without the awns removed, they ulcerate. I have seen these ulcers coalese into ulcers as large as those shown in Sharon's post referenced above, but they continue to have the awns stuck in them. For the clinical course and prognosis of VS see Equine Diseases Skin Diseases Vesicular Stomatitis.
DrO
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Lanna Tucker
Member
Username: Lanna1

Post Number: 34
Registered: 12-2003
Posted on Tuesday, Dec 16, 2003 - 10:38 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks DrO,

I already read all the information on Vesicular Stomatitis & had another look at Sharon's photos. The ulcerations that I'm dealing with are very similar & quite large in size as well. Though we never experienced the prickle like bumps, and doesn't it have to start out that way? (If we are dealing with foxtail?)

I let my Vet know my concerns and I'm confident that he will thoroughly check this mare being that we don't know her history.

I'll keep everyone posted on any changes in symptoms & the results of my visit with my Vet this coming weekend!

Thanks so much for taking the time to read through my posts & respond!

Lanna in BC
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Sharon Gregg
Member
Username: Sefiroth

Post Number: 190
Registered: 9-2002
Posted on Sunday, Dec 28, 2003 - 6:10 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Lanna,

Any new updates?
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