Do Horses Lose Their Teeth Like Humans When They are Young?

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you brush your horses teeth?

We sure do try. 

 

Dental issues are a real concern for minis, for several reasons. Horses chew in a circle-8 pattern, and the wear over time from chewing may cause edges to have sharp spots, making it painful for them to eat. This could lead to them swallowing without chewing, causing them to choke. Because minis have a small esophagus, this is a real concern.

 

Once a year a veterinarian will "float" their teeth, which is to file them. The horses are sedated, and because horses can "lock" their stifle while standing, they stay standing and don't fall once the sedative is fully recognized.

We are so appreciative our veterinarian always explains everything to us with any care he gives the minis (see the video of our veterinarian's explanation during the procedure ).

Watch Video

Yes. And we looked everywhere to see if we could find them so we could put them

under her pillow that day, but we couldn't find them.

    Before

           and

                After

Do horses sleep lying down?

Yes, they do. But not for long. And even in REM sleep they awaken quickly if they hear something. No doubt, every environment offers a different type of sleep for horses.  But to be healthy, a horse needs two to three hours of REM sleep a day, and they never have that all at one time.

 

It is usually at night in a safe covered environment that Charm, the Lead Mare, will fall into REM sleep. We say REM because we have actually observed what we believed to be her dreaming when she was asleep in the house, in a safe environment.  But the minute we approached to take the photo, she opened her eyes, as you can see in the photo.

During the day, we have never observed the REM sleep, only resting.  With Charm, it is usually vertical resting.  Sweetie will usually lay down for resting. Jagger will lay down and have REM sleep during the day.  And when they are deeply resting, there is always one left standing or on watch, and that is usually Charm, the Lead Mare.  The only time we have ever seen Sweetie on watch was when she was alone with Jagger. She was not vertically resting, she was lying down with her head up.

 

Horses have an ability to lock their joints  in their limbs, their stifle, so if they want to nod off into a light vertical rest, they can.  All this being said, our foal, Jagger, does sleep in REM more than Charm or Sweetie. And we've never seen him on watch yet.

 

They also stretch when they are lying down or standing up.  You can see by the moved bedding how Charm stretched. We have seen her stretch like a cat when she is getting up. We have also seen her stretch with one back leg stretched out straight behind her when she is getting up and also while standing.  

Do Horses Lose Their Teeth Like Children and Then They Grow Back?

Yes, they do.  Charm lost her two front teeth at the age of three.

 

We looked everywhere to try to find them to put them under her pillow, but we couldn't find them.

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IMG_0726.jpg

Lumps, Bumps, Cysts, and Biopsies

Just like all humans and animals, there is always the concern of a lump growing quickly.  The scar on Charm's side is a biopsy scar. 

 

With all of the poking and prodding Charm had since she was a foal, she adores Dr. Nelson, her vet since she was six months old.

michelle, these Next four categories do not have photos, obesity or colic.  how long they live -- up to 35 to 40 years. It is a true commitment!

Obesity

Equine obesity is a true concern with miniature horses. All horses should be fed 1.5% of their body weight per day. Minis have short legs and do not have the circulation as in large horses, easily causing insulin/diabetic-type diseases.

 

We stay away from sugar-type treats and grass. Even grass has a lot of sugar in it. Our corral is only dirt and sand, so when they are out in the community and there is grass around, they are very content.

 

Obesity also causes laminitis and founder caused from high insulin levels. Since horses love to forge all day, it is very difficult for mini horses to not get overweight as they age. To help combat obesity, we give our horses as much exercise as we can.

Colic

A horse can die from colic, and we have read there are many causes. A common cause is  related to an obstruction of the large intestine. Colic is an unbearable abdominal pain for a horse.  Dental problems can cause colic because, if the horse can't chew their food properly, they tend to swallow the food without chewing, causing them to have undigested food material in their intestine.  Colic could be a blockage, a spasm in the colon, gas building up, or a twisting of the intestine. Even a change in food can cause an immediate intestinal problem.  Parasites can cause colic. Eating too much food at one time can cause intestinal problems.

We keep a watchful eye when mucking for changes in their manure:  Little or not passing of manure; fecal balls are smaller than usual; slime over fecal ball, or they are rock hard.

We also watch for eating or drinking behavior changes.

 

Other signs of colic are if they are lethargic, frequently looking at their side or biting or kicking their abdomen; repeatedly lying down and getting up.  Yawning.  Pawing. Rolling around violently.  It is a horrible yet a common cause of death in horses.

What is the life expectancy of a miniature horse?

25 to 35  years -- It is a true commitment!

Large Personalities Packed into a Small Body!

Can a horse be potty trained? 

YES!  They can be taught to potty on command.

 

But you can imagine our chagrin when we  walked into the corral and saw Charm relaxing in her potty box!

Hoof Care

Every six weeks we have a farrier trim their hooves. Minis do not wear shoes like large horses,but just like large horses, they can get what is called thrush, which is caused by standing in soiled bedding or mud or wet pastures. A prevention to thrush is to pick their hooves daily and keep a watchful eye every time their hooves are picked. 

Do Horses Sleep Lying Down?

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What Does the Dappling Mean on Sweetie?

Sweetie is a rescue. When we found her, we were told she was a nine-month-old foal. She was under-nourished and could barely walk.  She is a "Liver Chestnut."

 

Our veterinarian examined her and believed she was actually around two or three years old; younger than Charm, according to Sweetie's teeth.  

 

The first time we were finally able to clip her, "shave" her, we saw no signs of dappling. But a little over a year later, we again shaved her, and this time she showed dappling. Our groomer said it was a sign of being very healthy. We asked why Jagger didn't show dappling, that he ate the same food. She explained that dappling was a genetic trait, that all horses didn't carry that gene. 

So interesting!  

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