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We have a paint horse with a sore mouth so I have been soaking his food... one scoop per day. After several days of that, he has started limping and has lost a lot of weight. Could the wet food have foundered him? Any suggestions?

C. H.


If you haven't already done so, you should get in touch with your vet, because it sounds like your horse has a significant digestion problem as well as founder -- probably all triggered by the sore mouth.

Here's what sometimes happens: Because of a sore mouth or perhaps a dental problem, the horse will bolt its food rather than chewing it properly. The food then forms a mass in the digestive tract, resulting in indigestion or colic. Because the food isn't digested properly, and because it hurts to eat, the horse loses weight. Colic, of course, can cause a horse to suffer laminitis and go lame. You can sometimes tell if this is the problem by looking for undigested grain in the manure.

Your vet may be able to reduce the mouth pain with some dental work and/or administering a pain-killer. And you'll want to have him check the horse for foot pain.

I hope this helps, and that you'll be able to get your boy back to normal soon.

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