A.K.A No worries... constant worries more like.
I'm sure you will have seen my recent, rather idyllic scene on Instagram featuring my other half’s pick up hitched up to a horse trailer on the driveway. As dreamy as the scene looked, the story behind it was more of a nightmare.
Back in September 2015 before I ventured off to New Zealand for 7 months, I turned my youngster away after having broken him in a few months before.
It was the best thing I could have done for him, allowing him to grow and be a baby with lots of field friends.
He lived out rug-less for the majority of the winter, however I crumbled being the softie I am and bought him a rug on the internet from my NZ home and got it delivered to the yard for the girls to put on him to keep him warm – realistically he didn’t need it; he was already a woolly mammoth.
When I came back the following April, I discovered my horse had a pretty snotty nose that didn’t smell all too pleasant. Upon consulting with the girls on the yard, we put it down to the fact he may just have a bit of a cold due to having lived out in the British weather for 7 months. This seemed to clear up after a little while and with increased work, perhaps also with the warmer weather.
However, over the past few months his left nostril has become increasingly snotty and smelly.
The difference this time – he is rugged up like an eskimo and lives in at night. Last week I had the dentist out to visit for the first time, where I mentioned this rather disgusting smell and runny nose.
The dentist mentioned, what I knew already, that this could be caused by a fractured tooth, or build-up of food stuck in-between teeth, however he couldn’t find anything upon
We continued with the session, my boy was as good as gold, standing still all the whilst an electric drill was filing down his teeth – I on the other hand (a genuine phobia of dentists) was seriously cringing in the corner of the stable.
Once he had finished, he suggested just having a further inspection with a ‘tooth pick’ like tool just because he was being so good, but wanted to be careful not to overdo it as it was his first time. He seemed happy enough though so we continued.
This is when we found it – on the left side. The pick slid into a crevis within a tooth and bent the pick. I didn’t have a clue what I was looking at, but he quickly confirmed that is most likely the cause of the smell and mucus.
He suggested he had 208 (the position of the tooth, I never knew '1 numbers' are the right side of the horses mouth and '2 numbers' are used to identify the teeth on the left hand side) Infundibular Caries, which is essentially equine tooth decay.
Take a read of this if you're interested, I found it whilst googling his condition in a bling panic following the vets visit.
The dentist recommend a visit from the vet to investigate further. I decided to take him in ourselves to save on the extortionate call out fee.
Thankfully a friend of mine came to the rescue and let me borrow her trailer as I don't have my own transport. Due to having such a big horse, we decided to remove the partition to give him more space and allow him to balance his weight a little more. It worked a treat.
Once we got there we settled him into a box and waited for him to have X-rays and a scope to try and confirm the diagnosis.
About an hour later the dental specialist called us in to the consultation room to talk us through his X-ray results. The result was a little different to what I had been expecting.
He doesn't have Infundibular Caries as we had initially suspected but the 208 has suffered a blood born infection causing the tooth to die (years ago) and due to the positioning of the tooth, directly under the 'entrance' to the sinuses it has caused sinusitis. I could just hear the bill racking up by this point...
She had reassured me it isn't painful or life-threatening to him, which again we had initially thought and so means it doesn't need urgent correction.
However, in order to stop the smell and mucus from the left nostril, he would need to have the dead tooth removed and the sinuses flushed, at an estimated £2-4000.00!
Thankfully, it isn't necessary right at this moment in time, which for me is a relief when trying to start up a business. She has reassured me we can carry on life as normal, which includes riding! (YAY!)
It also gives me time to save up for the surgery so that at a point in time where I can afford to have it done, I can do so without having a detrimental affect on him.
In the mean time to try and alleviate the mucus build up and manage the smell as much as possible I have started him on two supplements.
Echinacea Plus by NAF to try and boost his immune system in order to fight any infection or nasty's caused by the dead tooth, and also Airway Plus Powder by Global Herbs to help maintain normal mucus levels amongst other things.
I am well aware it is not going to cure his existing condition but it will be very interesting to see how well it helps manage or improve it.
I will keep you updated.
Until next time,
Love Hollie-Ella Xx