Sadly, Cash doesn't have any grinding surfaces left on any of his teeth. In addition, the vet found one tooth that was so far gone that it was loose in the socket and needed to be removed. Two of the roots didn't want to let go, so it ended up being a bit more complicated than the vet initially expected. Still, the surgery was a success and Cash came home with bute and a great prognosis.
Once there, they tubed him, palpated him (no impaction), and started him on IV fluids. 15 liters of fluids later and he was back to his usual perky self. Sadly, when they looked in his mouth the reason for not wanting to eat or drink became apparent - before the block on his mouth wore off, he had completely lacerated the inside of his cheek. It's so bad that we're rinsing his mouth out with Nolvason twice a day to try to get it to heal. We left him overnight last night so they could keep an extra close eye on him, but he was still doing great, so we brought him back home this morning.
He's still having quite a hard time both eating and drinking. He sort of sticks his tongue out and tries to drink - it takes him some time and he can do it, but it's not easy or the normal way horses drink. I don't think he can form the suction with his mouth so messed up. He's also not interested in his senior mash, but was trying to eat hay scraps which the vet says he cannot have due to choke risk. We have some Purina Hydration Hay, so we gave him some of that and it was a big hit. The vet has also said he can have as much short grass as he wants, since he can still tear it and shorter soft grass doesn't require much chewing. Cash spent most of the day in the back pasture eating, so that was good.
After having a good roll, Cash discovered that there was grass right under his nose.
Why bother standing when you can eat lying down?
For the immediate future, the goal is to keep him eating and drinking as much as possible, and rinse out his mouth with Nolvason. Going forward, we're going to have to change his diet a bit - he'll be getting chopped hay and alfalfa instead of whole, since he can't really chew anything. Soaked hay and/or alfalfa cubes are also an option, but in the summer here it's hard to feed since it spoils so quickly in the heat. We'll keep giving him as much Senior as we can stuff down his throat, and beet pulp as well if we can get him to eat it. I may try to get my hands on some Wendland's One And Only, which is a free-choice extruded feed that I've used in the past. He'll also be getting as much pasture as we can manage. Basically we're going to throw everything at him that we can think of getting him to eat, and hoping that he eats enough to keep him at a reasonable weight.
So please keep your fingers crossed for Cash for the next few days. We've got to get his mouth healed and then find a feeding program that works for him. He's in a bit of a fragile state right now, but he seems in good spirits and I'm hopeful that he will pull through!