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This is a discussion on Choke within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Horse with choke and can not get tube down
  • Horse choked on carrot

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    06-03-2008, 02:42 PM

How rare/frequent can a horse choke on food? I heard that with feeding beet pulp in a mash to a horse increases their risk of choking (can't rememer where I saw it...some website I believe).

Is this particually true?
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    06-03-2008, 03:19 PM
I have never of anything like that happening but horses are just like us so I imagine there is always a risk for them to choke.
My main concern with chocking tho is not so muchthe beet pulp or other feeds but things like carrots or apples. Someone I know owns a pony which was given a piece of apple which he choke on. A vet had to come out and pull the piece out. It just would not go down to his stomach.
He's ok now.
    06-03-2008, 05:35 PM
I agree. ;) I haven't really had many cases of hearing about choking. But it can happen probably.
    06-03-2008, 06:09 PM
The way sunny eats maybe. No J/K!! I havent heard of it often
    06-03-2008, 06:25 PM
Willy's been on soaked beet pulp and rice bran for years (although I'm in the middle of weaning him to another food)...soaking the pellets is actually supposed to decrease the risk of choking. The dry pellets are longer and thicker than other pellets.

I believe soaked beet pulp is used a lot in older horses who can not chew food well- maybe in an attempt to keep them from choking?
    06-03-2008, 10:34 PM
I have had a horse choke. Not fun and VERY dangerous. Can be fatal. I also know of at least one other (I think 2) horse(s) that have choked. None were caused by apples, carrots, etc.

In my own case, the horse ate too quickly. It was beet pulp that had been well soaked, but he just gobbled it down. Funny because he had been eating this stuff for over a year w/o a hitch. Anyway, I called the vet and in the meantime massaged his feeding passage very firmly to encourage the food to loosen up. I was very lucky -- by the time the vet got here, my guy was 100%. The fix here was #1 the horse didn't need the beet pulp in the first place; it was a carryover from his previous owner and I was weaning him off and #2 put large stones (or like I did, a whole salt block) in the feed dish to force the horse to slow down.

In my friend's case, the horse had not been properly swallowing the food over a course of a few days. So every meal time, a tiny bit more would jam up, but most of it would go down. Finally, it was too much and she choked. This time, the vet had to tube her to get her cleaned out, but she came out fine. Her diet was changed.

The texture of the food won't matter (beet pulp not soaked enough will cause severe problems in the digestive system, but not choke). Usually the cause is eating too fast.
    06-04-2008, 01:34 AM
I've heard horses can choke if you don't cut their carrots lengthwise. If you don't cut the carrots lengthwise, i've heard that it can accidentally enter their trachea or lodge in their oesophagus and occlude their airway. Especially with greedy little ponies!!!! I've never had a horse choke, but then, I always cut their carrots to be on the safe side. However, I did have a pet sheep choke on a carrot - he managed to cough it up after a little while but after that, he wouldn't touch carrots ever again. That scared me enough to always cut carrots for my animals lol

However, there are health risk involved with cutting up carrots lol I gave myself a nasty cut to my hand when trying to cut carrots with my dodgy pocket knife. It wouldn't have happened if I was using a proper knife!
    06-04-2008, 09:28 AM
How long should beet pulp be soaked?

So choke isn't something I should be too worried about then? Ok

With other horses Sonny is a fast greedy eater...but he's in a seperate pasture by himself so I don't think he'll rush too much.
He's been getting 1 3/4 cup of grain, 1/4 cup of rice bran, and 1/2 cup of beet pulp and it's been taking him a good 30 minutes if not more to finish it.
I don't put alot of water in it, just enough to cover the grain, beet pulp, and rice bran...I'll usually let it soak for 5ish minutes....should I let it soak for more?
Before I give it to him, I will mix it around to see if it's a mash or not and usually it's fine and he has no problems eating it....
His poops look normal...maybe a little wetter than normal, but still in clumps and not a weird color.
    06-04-2008, 09:41 AM
Green Broke
I soak mine for 24 it's nice and sponge-like :)

Boo would choke every day if his food weren't just gumms up like peanut butter in his throat...and it gets stuck!
    06-04-2008, 10:03 AM
Originally Posted by kickshaw
i soak mine for 24 it's nice and sponge-like :)

Boo would choke every day if his food weren't just gumms up like peanut butter in his throat...and it gets stuck!
So you soak grain and all for 24 hours? Sonny has never had a problem with it and I don't particually want it to soak all night just due to mice and the barn kitties or other things that can get in it.

The BO gives it to him in the long should she soak it? Should I tell her to immediately put it in a bucket, put water in it and then feed all the lower horses (5 horses) give them water and then give Sonny his grain? That would be probably 20 minutes or more

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