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Horse holds water in her mouth

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by snewman, Jun 24, 2010.

  1. snewman

    snewman Songster

    Feb 22, 2007
    Belleville, WI
    My five year old mare frequently holds a mouthful of water for extended periods of time. I come into the barn and she'll dump out this big mouthful of water that she's been holding. This morning she was standing in the corner of the barn and I went over to check her out. I felt her face and it felt swollen on both sides, but when I pushed on her cheeks a little it turned out it was just water that she then let come pouring out. She has done this on occasion for at least the last year, but it seems more frequent right now. She had her teeth checked and floated in April and the vet didn't notice anything unusual. I forgot to mention the water thing to the vet at the time because it hadn't happened in awhile. Does anyone have any idea what this is about? She seems otherwise ok, eating, grazing, etc. She does seem a bit lethargic, but it has been quite hot and she's a little overweight (which I'm working on). Any thoughts would be welcome.
  2. lockedhearts

    lockedhearts It's All About Chicken Math

    Apr 29, 2007
    I have had a couple do that over the years, some just like to do it, my stallion used to hold water and wait until he could get me wet. I wouldn't worry about it.
  3. sred98

    sred98 Songster

    Jan 18, 2008
    I don't know. One of our horses loves playing in the water, and when we fill up the trough, he grabs the end of the hose, lifts it up holds it til he can't anymore, then lets it explode everywhere! [​IMG] <--- kind of like that, but from his mouth! It's hilarious, and he just gives his big goofy grin when he gets us wet. [​IMG]

    If you are concerned, and you think her face is swollen, maybe you should have someone check her teeth. If she has a toothache, I could see the cool water making it feel better, so it might need to be checked. Otherwise, she just might be being silly, and causing you a bunch of worry over nothing.

    Our horses will fake injuries to get to go in the round pen and get special attention. [​IMG] It's hard to know when they are really hurt, now, unless there is swelling or blood. Ugh. [​IMG] We thought we were going to have to put one down. He couldn't walk on his leg, at ALL. Called the vet and everything. When he saw the other horses coming over, he got mad and started running around. Perfectly fine. They can be real brats sometimes! LOL!

    I hope everything's ok!

  4. Knock Kneed Hen

    Knock Kneed Hen California Dream'in Chickens

    Feb 15, 2010
    So. Cal.
    I'd say she does it to relieve boredom. . . just something to do. Better than chewing or cribbing. I wouldn't worry about it.
  5. Jenski

    Jenski Songster

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    Is she barn kept, or does she have access to pasture? Knock Kneed has a good point, she may just be bored. If there are no other medical problems - - and if she is barn kept - - you might try getting her some barn toys. There are lots of horse websites that carry them, and your local co-op might even have some of the rubber balls you can tie to the ceiling or stall walls.

    Good luck!
  6. snewman

    snewman Songster

    Feb 22, 2007
    Belleville, WI
    I feel more reassured now. She probably is bored. She and my gelding have free access to pasture and their pole barn, but I have been unable to spend much time with them lately. They have chickens and ducks to watch and grass to eat, but not much else going on these days. I agree though, much better than cribbing. They do love a good spraying with the hose, maybe I can find a few minutes to do that at least one of these evenings. Thanks everyone!
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    It may just be her "thing"; OTOH I have seen this in horses who need their teeth done so if you have access to a good dentist, or a vet who actually has more than the most rudimentary clue about dentistry (most do not, IME, although they will happily "examine" and "float" your horses' teeth for you nonetheless) it might be worth getting her checked out.

    Also, it probably isn't this, but jsut for completeness I will point out that "clover slobbers" is common in many areas this time of year, caused by an endophyte in clover that makes horses salivate massively and remarkably disgustingly. It is totally harmless, just gross [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

  8. Love my Critters!

    Love my Critters! Songster

    Apr 15, 2008
    Carlsbad, NM
    Sounds like she likes to do it. I had a mare and she always picked up mouthfuls of hay and carried it to her water trough and dunked it. She would swish it around in the water until it was soggy, then eat it. There was nothing wrong with her teeth, at age 20 she had the teeth of a 10 year old. It would make me so mad because I was constantly having to drain and rinse out the water trough. She just insisted on doing it... she was a brat but I miss her dearly.
  9. babyblue

    babyblue Songster

    Sep 23, 2009
    my old gelding does the same exact thing. takes a big slurp of water and then waits till you are not expecting it or your back is turned and then gets you with a mouth full of slimy water.
  10. Akane

    Akane Crowing

    Jun 15, 2008
    Have you actually seen her take a drink before doing this and does your pasture have clover? Grazing on clover will make them produce a lot more saliva. They'll often hold it in for awhile an then splat it all over. It increases as the clover becomes more numerous in the summer. Harmless provided they have enough drinking water but annoying.

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