Hay Shards in Lips and Gums

Discussion in 'Feeding Horses' started by Marianne, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. Marianne

    Marianne Gold Member

    Last couple of days Poppy has been frothing up when I gave her a carrot. I hosed her mouth out on both occasions thinking she might have hay stuck on the roof of her mouth. Plus her breath was a bit smelly. Not the normal grassy horse breath smell. Seemed to help the problem.

    Then last night I lifted up her lip to have a good look to see if I could see anything stuck and what I found shocked me. Under her top lip where the lip meets the gums she had shards of hey embedded in her lips and gums. There are a couple of very small lumps which I'm guessing have splinters in them.

    I picked out everything I could feel and see and hosed her mouth out again. Then I made a betadine gargle rinse in a syringe and just applied it to the cuts the shards had made. I will do this every day for the time being.

    Can anyone tell me about your experiences with this. I've never seen or heard of it so was very surprised. The other two horses who eat from the same roll (mix of Wheat and Oat) don't have this as we checked them right away. It seemed to be the Wheat seed pods that were the main culprit.
  2. Sugar's Mum

    Sugar's Mum Gold Member

    I had a problem with this with my old boy and wild oats in his paddock. It ended up sensitizing him and causing him to be allergic to oats.

    Keep an eye on your lad and check his mouth every day. Those little lumps may need to be lanced to get rid of the shards under the gum.
  3. Debonair

    Debonair Well-known Member

    im having this problem with barely grass in my meadow hay and having to hose chips mouth out daily, its a pain in the butt and musnt be compfy for him! i dont know bout other grass seeds getting stuck, but maybe ur roll has some barely grass thru it also?
    dont know a solutoin, but just suggest keep hosing it out as 2 of mine have rubbed irritated marks on their gums #( im just trying to get a different hay supplier!
  4. Marianne

    Marianne Gold Member

    maybe it's barley and not wheat then. I was told wheat but perhaps need to check on that.

    Thank you.
  5. Blackbat

    Blackbat Well-known Member

    The barley grass weed is shockers for this. Not actual barley, but the spiky fluffy seed heads of the weed. Some horses won't eat hay contaminated with it, it gets in their gums and cheeks and lacerates them. No other answer than cleaning mouth or changing hay.

    How old is Poppy? Our old horses teeth are so close to falling out that they have gaps between them at the gumline, lots of grass gets stuck between their inscisor teeth and has to be picked out. One of the oldies used to ball up grass to form a pad over his inscisors, which would start to smell and I had to remove it. Not sure why as he has stopped that now.
  6. blitzen

    blitzen Gold Member

    yep, happened quite bad to a pony i had when he was on meadow hay.

    a recent oaten hay bale had quite a lot of grass seeds, no idea what kind, & both my horses left them at the bottom of their feed bins, and managed to eat around them. i hose out my big horse's mouth anyway, but i better double check! yuck!
  7. Marianne

    Marianne Gold Member

    Poppy is only 8. I will go and see if I can find a photo of Barley Grass see if it is the same thing as I had to remove from Poppy's gums. She was such a good girl letting me pick them out as it couldn't have been very comfortable. At one point my friend said, I don't think she can breath with her lip curled up like that. LOL. Whoops sorry Pops.
  8. Yarraman

    Yarraman Well-known Member

    Were having the same problem with our meadow hay at the moment, the problem being that there is such a shortage of hay that we cant really afford to be too picky. Seems to be the older horses at our place have more of an issue with this hay.
  9. Marianne

    Marianne Gold Member

    Been looking at images.
    Wheat doesn't seem to have spikey hairs at all.
    Barley does and so does Barley grass. Is there a difference between the two? Anyone botanical that can tell the difference?
  10. Eoroe

    Eoroe Gold Member

    If it becomes a real problem, I suggest dampening the hay before feeding it. You do want to make the sugars in the moisture availiable to the horse however - unless they need LESS sugar in the hay. Just use the sugar water to dampen their feed **)
  11. Marianne

    Marianne Gold Member

    Thanks Eoroe, So is Barley Grass a safe feed? besides the grass seed problem, it's not toxic or anything is it?

    Bought some tweezers at lunchtime so I am armed this afternoon when I go and see her.
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010
  12. Eoroe

    Eoroe Gold Member

    naaahhh **) its fine - not toxic at all :) mine live half the year on it, its lovely when its green, quite possible a very well balance roughage feed. Its just a pain in the but.........mouth....trouser leg - the damm stuff gets everywhere!
  13. Marianne

    Marianne Gold Member

    ok. that's ok then.**) Thank you.
  14. jacko88

    jacko88 Well-known Member

    If you can post a photo I could tell you if it was barley or wheat?

    Both barley and wheat have spikes or beards. However there are some varieties of wheat that are beardless and much more suited to hay for horses.

    Some horses seem to be affected, and others don't get anything stuck at all from my experience. Not sure why this is though.
  15. rbk

    rbk Active Member

    Agreed - some horses are bothered and some not at all. Its only a problem when its dry - when its green and soft it is usually fine.

    Just hose her mouth out regularly, and make sure to check under her tongue, and the inside of the cheeks. ;)
  16. Marianne

    Marianne Gold Member

    I don't think we have noticed it before because this is the first time a bale (export size) has been put in the paddock for them to eat as they want it. Therefore it has become even more dry from sitting in the sun.

    I don't want to inconvenience the place I keep her, I don't want my horse to have a sore mouth either.:eek:
  17. oldtenth

    oldtenth Well-known Member

    I had this issue many years ago with my horses, fed out meadow hay with barley mixture in it one night and next morning found three of the horses had compacted hay stuck between the gums and teeth with their gums, lips and tongue swollen looking very miserable. I had to scrap, pick out the hay, then flush out with hose and had to give antibiotics to each to fight of possible infection. The horses didn't start eating for at least two to three days and it was a week before they could be put back into work.

    So I now avoid hay which is wheat or barley that still has "Scabbed" (bearded) seed heads on it.

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