or sign up with email About this Discussion. It is often very hard to determine whether a horse has a swollen tongue, unless it is so swollen that a horse allows it to protrude out of the mouth. Hi there. You would never suspect that they’d lost it, if you didn’t look. • Damaged teeth. The skull. Check your horse’s gums, tongue, lips, and palate for signs of irritation or lesions. Wolf teeth can also interfere with the bit, and when this occurs, they should be extracted at 18 to 24 months of age. I've bought an appropriate bit to prevent him putting his tongue over it, but it's causing discomfort and he's pushing the tongue plate to the side of his mouth. When dental problems with your horse arise, always consult an equine dentist or a veterinarian with special training in equine dentistry. This condition is less common than parrot mouth. Without good dental health, your horse's performance and well-being are severely affected. Wounds to your horse’s tongue can easily go unnoticed— but that doesn’t mean they can be ignored. Bits attach to the bridle and the reins and rest inside the horse’s mouth. That bulge of muscle is normal. Continue with Facebook. “By the time I was called to see it, the tongue was black and hanging out of the horse’s mouth. “A horse that has lost very much of the tongue (or it has to be removed after injury) will eat differently, but he generally does OK,” says Connally. When the bit was holding the tongue down, the horse couldn’t lift it away from the sharp edge. “These horses generally adjust---even with a lot of the tongue missing---and do fine,” says Nelson. And yet tongue wounds are more common than most people realize. “We have some really good absorbable suture materials now that will last a month of more before they dissolve,” says Connally. Horses do not develop cavities in their teeth. “Some of these injuries must not bleed very much, because I rarely find an owner who knows the tongue has been cut,” says Connally. On the track, many horses have their tongues tied down to keep the tongues from getting over the bit. The problem of a horse putting the tongue over the bit is a big one and it is a difficult habit to break. Problem teeth can be broken down into the following nine categories: Like people, horses are likely to suffer dental problems from time to time. I sedated the horse and took a look into his mouth. Does anyone have any ideas of how to cure this problem? “I discovered one old injury---where the tongue had been nearly cut in two and healed---when I was doing a dental exam,” says Connally. The different roles of the mouth of the horse . EquiMed does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. In one case, an owner was holding a mare’s tongue out of the side of her mouth while a veterinarian was attempting to examine her teeth. Most injuries occur in the forward, mobile portion of the tongue. Dental Care. Later that afternoon I found he had his tongue OVER the bit. This can be transferred to the hindquarter as an inability to engage the hindlimbs. User Agreement and Privacy Policy. These horses often had tongue over the bit problems, and they were often resolved when we taught them to stop and slow in the correct number of footfalls and from a light aid. When the roots of these teeth are infected, they cause bacterial sinusitis and a purulent, foul-smelling discharge through the nostril occurs. When the gums are infected, small pockets and crevices along the edges of the gums trap food, the pockets and crevices then become infected. Horses drool or slobber because they have eaten plants with fungi that makes them drool or after ingestion of an irritating substance. We’ve established that the hyoid is not only connected directly to the tongue, forelimb and poll, but indirectly to the hindquarter. But the loss of even a large portion of the more mobile area of the tongue usually isn’t catastrophic. Although many horses with healed tongues may behave normally, in some, bits can continue to irritate or cause pain in scarred and/or deformed tissue. • Foreign material in the mouth. Sow Mouth: Sow mouth is the opposite of parrot mouth with the lower incisors projecting beyond the uppers much like those in a bull dog. 1 - 2 of 2 Posts. The highly mobile forward section works together with the teeth and lips to select and pick up feed or to choose which blades of grass to nip off. The tongue presses the food up against the roof of the mouth where, aided by the ridges there, it is squeezed over onto the chewing surfaces, ground and passed across the tongue again in a spiral that gradually moves it toward the rear of the oral cavity. Whipping is likely to inflict pain and distress on horses, yet each year millions of Australians watch horses being repeatedly whipped during the Melbourne Cup and other horse racing events. Like people, horses are likely to suffer dental problems from time to time. Please see link below: “Last year I examined a horse who was salivating and eat-ing funny, and when I got my hand far enough back in the mouth I was able to find and pull out a two-and-a-half-inch piece of wire that was stuck into the side of the tongue---almost as far back as the last cheek tooth. Older horses often develop this problem with age-related changes involving the shape of the mandible. “The important thing when doing a mouth examination and holding the tongue out the side of the mouth is to hold onto the tongue and the halter together,” says Connally. This can result from traumatic injury. Obviously, any embedded foreign objects will be removed and dental issues addressed. The Horse Forum > Keeping and Caring for Horses > Horse Health > Tongue Problems Reply. © 2020 EquiMed, LLC. Sharp edges known as enamel cusps will naturally develop over time as the horses teeth erupt. Bits are perhaps the most common source of tongue wounds in horses. The horse won’t want its muzzle to be touched. In a recentsurvey, 23% of Australian Standard bred trainers reported problems associated with tongue-ties, including lacerations, bruising and swelling of the tongue, difficulty swallowing, and behaviour indicating stress. “I’ve seen some huge ulcers and holes in tongues caused by sharp, misplaced teeth,” says Connally. In fact, the tongue is one of the few places in the body where an animal has voluntary control of muscles that aren’t attached directly to bones. Contact issues are a recurrent problem in the dressage ring, from the grassroots to the top levels, even at the World Cup Finals, World Equestrian Games and Olympics. Our review process includes an important veterinarian review, helping to assure the content is consistent with the latest understanding from a medical professional. In this case, the swelling may increase simply due to exposure to the elements. If there’s too much play in the joint on the mouthpiece, a horse’s tongue could also get pinched. It’s also a good idea to avoid riding with a bit until the injury heals. Posts: 6 • Horses: 0 Tongue Problems. Since then, Nelson has sutured a number of tongue injuries, with generally good results. © 2012 by April Raine | EquiDesis. A protruding tongue is also undesirable in many show horses, and although these devices are forbidden in most competitions---with a few exceptions, including saddle seat---some trainers use them while bringing along a young horse. Equines with a congenital mouth deformity require additional and more frequent dental care to avoid problems. I’ve pulled several pieces of wire out of tongues,” Connally says. Just as you do, a horse will shift his tongue around in his mouth to dislodge bits of food from his teeth. Tweet LinkBack: Thread Tools: post #1 of 2 Old 07-30-2011, 10:35 AM Thread Starter. He doesnt stick it over the bit. Accidents happen, but you can take steps to reduce the risk. Tongue Problems. Clean brushes and small tools with an insecticide, or boil items that will not be damaged by heat. Holding the tongue to the side may be a good option for brief looks inside a horse’s mouth. Continue with Google. It stays in the normal position but he sicks it out the side of his mouth, which is unacceptable for my dressage trainer. There were cases, however, when the “horse” took on a more masculine shape and delivery. Unless your horse is one of those who habitually hangs out his tongue, you may not even see much more than the occasional glimpses of pink as you bridle him. Checking hay for foreign objects and clearing away debris on the farm, especially around feeders, is always a good idea. If you notice these signs in your horse, thoroughly check your horse’s mouth for problems. Sometimes, a horse may have an old injury and the owner may only be able to surmise what happened. Read about tongue problems like hairy tongue, canker sores, oral cancer, geographic tongue, and leukoplakia. Tongue pain usually occurs due to an injury or infection. “I looked at a horse recently who had a bit scar across 25 percent of the tongue, and the man admitted to me that the horse bucked when he was young and ‘we got a little rough on his mouth.’ But he didn’t know he’d cut the horse’s tongue,” says Connally. “This is much easier than trying to take them out later. But if you are not sure, it is probably time to call a vet or equine dentist. “They are discovered when we’re looking into the mouth for some other reason.”. 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