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DrMelJ, Horse Veterinarian
Category: Horse Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 825
Experience:  experience in racetrack medicine and general practice; owned and ridden horses throughout life.
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My 9 month old foal won't eat she acts like she can't open

Customer Question

my 9 month old foal won't eat she acts like she can't open her mouth. Even gave her a treat & she ate it but with barley opening her mouth like something is stuck. She is standing in the corner not really reacting to much anything , I tried to look in her mouth but honestly I never have not done it very much so Im unsure if anything abnornal. Her tongue is pushed up to her teeth all the way the the front of her mouth
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Horse Veterinary
Expert:  DrMelJ replied 1 year ago.

Hi there. Thanks for the question. Let me see if I can help. I'm sorry to hear Addie isn't feeling well. Not eating is a serious concern in a young horse.

Does she have a fever? You can check by using a human digital thermometer rectally. If her temp is 102 F or greater, then she has a fever. And would need to see a vet right away.

Has she been vaccinated for tetanus? Tetanus can cause rigidity of the muscles of the jaw, making it hard to eat. But she would also have rigidity of other muscles so she'd be walking stiffly as well.

The main two possibilities I'm concerned about are either a broken/infected baby tooth OR a jaw fracture. It will be impossible for you to determine what is going on by yourself. You really need to get a vet out as soon as possible. If you can not get someone there today....try to make sure she is getting some fluids and a little food. You can make a pelleted feed into soup by adding water so she can drink it, if that's easier for her. I hope this helps. Best of luck.