Beau's food aggression = choke. How aggressive is he? Video

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Beau's food aggression = choke. How aggressive is he? Video

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  • Can agression at feed time create equine ulcers
  • Food for thought video aggression

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    12-16-2011, 11:11 PM
Beau's food aggression = choke. How aggressive is he? Video

Ok, as some of you may recall, Beau is choke prone. He has had many minor or moderate ones which resolved themselves. 6 weeks ago he suffered a severe one and the vet had to be called in to tube him. He was then put on pneumonia watch as he was at risk for it due to the possibility of him having aspirated food into his lungs. He did not develop pneumonia, thankfully!!

A few weeks later his teeth were checked and found to have moderate points, and were then floated. HOWEVER, it was the vet's opinion that though his teeth had points, that Beau's main problem with choking is his food aggression. This is not aggression towards people, it is aggression towards Epona and towards his grain. I was disappointed with the vet's diagnosis of choke due to food aggression. I wanted it to be his teeth, so I could just have them floated and this whole choking issue could be put behind us....fixing an ingrained behavior is a whole lot harder....

So, I am asking for your opinions ..... here is a video of Beau at dinner time. Is his aggression really abnormal? I am not discounting the vet's diagnosis....just wondering how bad Beau's food aggression is compared to your horse[s].....Does your horse act up during grain time?

I apologize for the dark parts of the video....the lighting does not fall where his grain bucket is, so parts are a bit dark....

Notice the kicking and head tossing as he is waiting for his dinner....

So, we bought him a pre vent feeder to slow his feed time. It arrived yesterday, and we gave him a handful of grain in it to introduce him to the feeder BEFORE it magically appears in his stall tomorrow. He was not nervous about it, rather he was irritated when he had to work so hard to get the grain took him over five minutes to eat a handful of grain from this feeder. It takes him 5 to 7 minutes to eat 5 lbs of food from his current bucket!!!
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    12-16-2011, 11:34 PM
Honestly, he's not that bad. Some horses are worse than others and I've seen MUCH worse than him. As long as he's not being disrespectful to humans then there isn't much you can (should) do about it IMO.

Someone else might have some suggestions but I'd just leave him be as long as he doesn't start getting destructive.
    12-16-2011, 11:35 PM
Is there a way you can block him from seeing the horse beside him? Such as plywood on the stall bars?
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    12-16-2011, 11:46 PM
Dressage, our vet wants us to find a way to slow down his eating, so we bought the Pre Vent is the vet's opinion that his food aggression is causing him to choke repeatedly. The last episode was severe!!
    12-16-2011, 11:49 PM
I can understand that. But your question was "how aggressive is he?". And he's really not that bad. Why don't you just give him small amounts of grain at a time until he finishes?
    12-16-2011, 11:53 PM
Originally Posted by Dressage10135    
I can understand that. But your question was "how aggressive is he?". And he's really not that bad. Why don't you just give him small amounts of grain at a time until he finishes?
Well, we bought this new feeder called Pre Vent on our vet's reccomendation, it is supposed to slow his feeding....hope it works cause it cost enough! So I know he is a bit food aggressive, but aren't MOST horses?

I was just wondering how Beau's food aggression compares to other he normal or a psycho??? Lol
    12-16-2011, 11:56 PM
I can see how his food aggression contributes to risk of choke.
I have one mare that is fairly aggressive at feeding time but more the drama lama toward other horses with her pissy looks & dancing around.She usually settles down once she has started in on her meal. I did have her away for training though & it was like she couldn't get enough food. She maintained a weight but still on light side weight wise for show.They increased her rations to what the other horses{with same work routine} were getting but she never put on any extra weight. She was apparently nasty if any horse looked passed by her feed corner,pinning ears & did start kicking walls.They had to move her to different stall,that help . I have never had her be that grumpy at home or bolt down her food but I'm guessing she thought she wasn't getting enough food to meet her needs,plus she was also having some vague undiagnosed performance/pain issues that proabably effected her demeanor.Also to note when she was in training she never had as much outdoor time as she does when she is at home.They are much more Healthy mentally & physically with being outdoors than being couped up in a stall.
So in my mare's case I think a few things could have contributed to her escalation in food aggression when she was away...
    12-17-2011, 12:02 AM
My TB's food aggression is linked to her ulcers. Doesn't mean that that is your horses issue, but couldn't hurt to look into. When she ulcers flare up she gets really angry, bolts her grain(luckily no choke tho) kicks the walls and wants to kill the other horses. When her ulcers aren't bothering her she still pins her ears at the other horses but she doesn't eat as fast and doesn't kick.
    12-17-2011, 12:09 AM
Thanks, rachel! I'll ask my vet about that. I never considered he might have ulcers because he is such a calm and sweet tempered OTTB....except for grain time, that is.

I figured only the higher strung horses would be likely to get ulcers....
    12-17-2011, 12:16 AM
Have you thought about not giving him grain? Does he absolutely need it?

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