Limerick officially had her fourth floating in 12 months the other day. When her teeth were last done in February, Ron Chenoweth declared her mouth a mess and stated he would need to return over the summer. Fine.
However, Lim continued to have occasional issues with chewing dry grain. She no longer dribbled it but would sometimes stop and make a yawning face, her eyes rolling about within their sockets, as if something had become stuck in her mouth. And of course, the mouthful of partially-chewed grain would drop out of her mouth. I found that wetting the grain seemed to halt this problem.
But of course, it doesn't cure the problem, does it? I always felt so helpless when she made those faces. There was nothing I could do at that moment to make it better for her, and it wrenched my heart.
After a friend abruptly lost her mare to severe colic, I was more motivated than ever to have Lim's teeth fixed for once and for all. Last week I sent out a mass email to my fellow boarders asking if anyone else was interested in an appointment with Chenoweth. A boarder responded that she was having Lance Rubin do her horse's teeth on the 24th, and was I interested? Yeah! As I found out shortly, he had a great reputation. More opinions never hurt in a case like this.
Long story short, he said that while her individual molars were in good shape from February's floating, the rows of molars did not line up. Horses chew from side to side and if the rows of molars are not aligned properly with each other, instead of going over each other as the horse chews, they will bump together and prevent proper chewing. Ah ha! A light bulb went off in my head.
Chenoweth and my vet had said nothing about this; they had only spoken of the individual teeth in her mouth, of hooks and waves and slopes and ramps.
Hopefully Lim will have no further problems with chewing dry grain. Due to the heat I have been continuing to wet her grain (more water is always better at times like this) but once it cools down I will give her dry grain and see what happens. Fingers crossed!