Anyone have experience with adult horses with a cleft palate?
My BO recently got a little 3yo Haffie stud who is just the sweetest thing. Even before he was cut, he was the mildest-mannered little horse. Granted, he was in terrible shape, but even as he's gained weight and gotten rid of the worm load, he's retained that pleasant disposition. I hitched up my mini and drove, the Haffie stuck out his nose and followed us around, curious and not afraid of the cart at all. Did I mention he's got the cutest curly mane?
He came to us with the snots, and after antibiotics it has dried up pretty much all the way. The issue is if you feed him by hand, a little at a time, he's okay. If he's allowed to eat on his own (not even huge bites, he's not a bolter), then it comes out his nose. The vet flushed his nose clean, gave him a carrot, and he had orange boogies. Not good.
His problem is they think he has a cleft palate. Now, we don't know if he was born with it or if something happened after he was born - a preliminary vet exam found his jaw is very slightly misaligned and she suspects it had been broken at some point. He's going for a more thorough exam on Thursday but it seems as if the vet's opinion is "It has to either be fixed or put him down."
Okay, yes I'm a bleeding heart, I admit it. But I really am not agreeing with him. No, I am not a vet, I didn't go to school. To quote Seabiscuit, "You don't throw a whole life away just 'cause he's banged up a little bit."
1) He's 3. Most foals born with it pass away (RIP Tiger) He's survived this long with it.
2) With worming and good feed, he's packing on weight, so he's obviously getting nutrition.
3) Again, did I mention this is the sweetest little Haffie? If he could crawl on your lap, he would.
4) His danger is in aspirating things: but it seems to be more of an issue if he is allowed to eat freely, from the ground. Might be manageable with some sort of super-slow feeder/higher feeder?
5) A useful life could actually benefit him - anything that would encourage him to cough would help to keep his lungs clear (I actually found that nugget elsewhere on the good ole Interwebz)
Has anyone ever heard of a CP horse living a normal, useful life without surgery?
Of course, the obligate pics (the rubbed spot on his neck is because the old owner was using a round cattle feeder, her horses would rub their necks on it, they all had rubbed spots)
First day. not a great angle, but the poor guy was skin and bones and wormy belly
Working on getting the mud off
About a week after arriving...
Feeling better! About a month down the line.
Looking morelike a Haffie, wormy belly going away...