Saturday, February 18, 2012

Bonnie and Quidding

Quidding is a habit which some horses form due to mouth pain or other health problems. When a horse quids, it stores a bolus of food in the side of its mouth, or it drops food after a few bites. Sometimes horses will form balls of material while quidding and then spit them out.

The last two days I've found those gross balls off chewed and saliva soaked hay in Bonnie's stall.  Not just one or two, but many.  She's rooting her hay all over her stall, and she also hasn't finished her three flakes of hay in her stall from WEDNESDAY morning!  She IS eating her pellets (soaked).

First thing one thinks of is teeth.  Her teeth were floated on February 4.  He took his time, showed me the points, let me feel after wards.  I felt nothing and looked good to me, but I'm no expert.

Dentist was first call I made yesterday morning.  He has a couple of idea's to check, said he would also discuss with his mentor (I LOVE he still has relationship with his mentor) and will see her first thing Sunday morning.

Second call I made was vet.  Vet said I was doing the right things and if she's still quidding after the dentist, or if he couldn't find anything, she could fit her in early to mid week.

Until then I doubled her complete pellet, added another pound of Essential K, and alfalfa cubes for last night and this morning.  She's not a horse that does well with alfalfa so last night I picked up Orchard Grass pellets and will switch her to that.

I also, being the neurotic horse mom that I am, took scissors and "chopped up" about 1 flake of hay and put into a feed bucket in her stall.  If anything we can monitor how much of it she's consuming.

I've never experienced a horse that wouldn't or couldn't eat hay before so I'm pretty worried, and will admit I kind of panicked calling every horsey friend I have looking for advice.  Not to mention she's only 18, a bit too young to be quidding due to age.

Any advice here will be appreciated as well, even if it's worse case, it gives me things to throw at my vet and dentist.


  1. I just learned a new term - quidding. I didn't know the name for it, but my Appaloosa did this as a young horse. It turned out that even though his teeth were recently floated, he'd broken a tooth. Neither the vet or trainer found it, but a natural horsemanship type guy instantly id'd it by feeling / looking at the muscles in the forehead. The good dental side had forehead muscles (the small bulge over the eye)from chewing on that side and the side with the broken tooth had no muscle because that side wasn't being used.
    I'm sure you'll find the cause and that it won't be serious. Meanwhile it sounds like you are doing all the right things. I think cutting up the hay is a great idea, although I'm basing this on intuition, not knowledge :)
    By the way I LOVE your banner picture. You guys look great!

  2. Watch her chew and see if the mechanics look right - the jaw should move equally side to side. Many equine dentists ignore two things that can be important - the TMJs and also incisor alignment - if either are off it can keep the horse's jaw from moving properly side to side.
    One test is to take her lower jaw in your hand, hold her nose with the other and slide her jaw back and forth with her mouth closed. It should slide easily and fully in both directions. Also, if she'll let you, hold her face with her mouth facing you (you can kneel down) with her mouth closed and look to see how her front incisors line up, or don't. Also, if you can catch her eating, see if food is accumulating in one cheek pouch or the other - the side where it is is likely the side with the problem.

    Good luck! You might want to try to get a natural balance dentist to look at her - e mail me if you want Mike Fragale's number as he could probably give you a referral to someone near you.

  3. I think my equine dentist walks on water! He is wonderful. I'm thinking. as Carol experienced, that there is something else going on besides floating. Pippin had an abscessed tooth when I got him. He didn't quid (is that the correct usage? Is it a verb?) but did have other signs (he became nasty when I had a bit in his mouth). Other horses I've known have cracked their teeth. Pippin also had some cavities - and had to have those filled.
    Good luck! You are smart to check this out, promptly.
    Oh... and the image of you cutting hay with scissors made my day!

  4. It could also very well be a tooth with a fracture - Dawn had one of those that our vet missed and the dentist found.

  5. Sounds like you've already gotten good counsel from others and I don't have any experience to share. Just best wishes.


  6. When I bought Apache, she quidded a lot, due to overgrown and painful teeth issues. The first time I had Apache's teeth floated, right after I bought her two years ago, she was still quidding for over a week, so I was worried that the dentist didn't solve her teeth issues. Come to find out, her mouth was still sensitive, especially after the rasping of her teeth, and she also had to relearn how to eat properly without compensating for painful points, hooks, steps and waves in her mouth.
    After a couple of weeks, I started to notice less and less bundles of sloppily chewed and dropped hay.

    I hope this is the case with Bonnie, too.


  7. Misty was quidding during here dental ordeal last summer. Pee-eww, that putrified hay packed in her mouth sure was stinky.

    I hope the dentist can solve the problem right away. Hugs to Bonnie.

  8. Poor Bonnie. I hope the dentist can help her and you solve the problem. Sounds like you're doing all you can for her. I'm sure you'll get to the bottom of it and she'll be fine soon.


Happy Trails!