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Choke I have questions

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        11-05-2012, 11:17 PM
      #11
    Trained
    I've had 2 horses that choked. One was starved when he came here and bolted his food, rocks and letting him get filled up (that took a while) solved his choking issue. The 2nd one was a chronic food bolter that just could not seem to slow down, even with rocks in her feed pan.

    So my questions are, how old is the mare, do you feed her by herself or in the herd and what is her place in the herd? Has she ever been starved that you know of?

    Soaking the feed will help, it will be more slippery and less likely to get stuck. I also added vegetable oil, that seemed to help a bit too.

    Be very careful for the next 2 weeks, she could very well choke again if she caused any lesions in her esophagus from this one. I would really wet her food down for the next 14 days. The vets at OSU recommended I switch from the over the fence type feeder bucket to a flat pan and had me put a couple of bricks and some fairly large, say fist sized, rocks in there to force the horse to pick around the rocks to get his feed. I fed solo, in a stall so no one could pressure the horse and gave him all the time he wanted to finish his bucket.

    Sometimes if you can stick a hose in their mouth and get them to swallow the water it will loosen the choke a bit while you wait for the vet. I also have massaged the mass to try and break things up and get them moving. I think choke is worse than colic to deal with and it can recur a lot more often. I NEVER wait any time at all for a vet call when I see a choking horse, if it completely obstructs things, you can have a dead horse very quickly.
         
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        11-05-2012, 11:18 PM
      #12
    Started
    We had a mare choke on whole oats.
    I suspect it also happens when they eat way to fast, trying to get all the food before someone else does.
    Just wet the grain/pellets.
         
        11-06-2012, 07:23 AM
      #13
    Trained
    My horses are fed in flat tubs and have access to round bales and grazing all day. Round bales now due to the crought but we usually don't have to feed hay until late NOV or early DEC.
    The mare is 5 years old. She was being fed alfalfa hay only but ahs been here 2 months with no problems. I will try the rocks and the soaking.
    Not trying to be over protective but the Vet did take 2 hours to get here and I bet the bill will be over 400$.
    So I had him look at every horse with any issue I could think of.
    One had a cut and the other a slight limp from arthiritus.
    I have never in the 46 years I have had horses had this issue. I have never fed alfalfa pellets either.
    Once again everyone thanks for the concern and the advice. You taught this old fool some valuable things. Shalom
         
        11-06-2012, 08:25 AM
      #14
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by dbarabians    
    My horses are fed in flat tubs and have access to round bales and grazing all day. Round bales now due to the crought but we usually don't have to feed hay until late NOV or early DEC.
    The mare is 5 years old. She was being fed alfalfa hay only but ahs been here 2 months with no problems. I will try the rocks and the soaking.
    Not trying to be over protective but the Vet did take 2 hours to get here and I bet the bill will be over 400$.
    So I had him look at every horse with any issue I could think of.
    One had a cut and the other a slight limp from arthiritus.
    I have never in the 46 years I have had horses had this issue. I have never fed alfalfa pellets either.
    Once again everyone thanks for the concern and the advice. You taught this old fool some valuable things. Shalom
    You're probably right about the vet bill. Since I live down the street from OSU, I load 'em up and haul tail for the vet school, I can be there in 15-20 minutes. Even hauling them in, it still runs around $250 for after hours, emergency fees and the treatment.

    The only other change I'd make with her, if you can, is to separate her from the others at feeding time. If she's not used to a herd situation or she's at the bottom of the order, she may be getting run off her pellets and is bolting so she gets them all.

    Good luck, choke is a scary PIA!
         
        11-06-2012, 09:06 AM
      #15
    Trained
    Dreamcatcher thanks. She is improving her standing in the herd but for the next few days she will be penned up in a roundpen that we can attach to one of our run in sheds. We do not have stalls here.
    She refused her feed this morning but is eating hay. I left it for her and sprinkled it with loose alfalfa from the bottom of the bad of cubes I use as treats. Hopefully she will eat that and get the antibiotics I sprinkeled on top. If not I will go get shots to adminsister. She's probably sore.

    On another note OSU!!!!! At least its not OU UT Austin Grad here. Everytime I go to OKC I get flipped off for my plates that have a longhorn on them ... I have even had my windows knocked out. Probably not by OSU fans but those Sooners hold grudges a very long time. Shalom
         
        11-06-2012, 09:14 AM
      #16
    Green Broke
    Pet peeve: when you are talking about a horse, your horse doesn't "experience choke." Your horse is choking. You don't say, "OMG Ronald don't eat your burger so fast or you will experience choke!" It's a verb, not a noun.:P it's not like the word colic that can be used either way.


    I've had three chronic chokers. I fed on the ground and soaked there feed. I like feed like SafeChoice because it turns to mush in an instant. Rocks in tubs didn't work for me, they would just pick them out and throw them away. Also, wheelbarrow pans work great as the horse has to chase the feed around if they won't eat it soaked.
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        11-06-2012, 09:24 AM
      #17
    Trained
    Mango it was a bad choice of words but I was qouting the vet.

    He also said to feed in long troughs so that they have to chase the feed and it does not pile up.
    By chronic how many times have your horses choked? This is starting to really get my attention.
    Did you have the tubs made or buy them. I was thinking about the kind we feed cattle in. Since they are so long I would hate to buy 28 of them just to feed the horses. Shalom
         
        11-06-2012, 09:37 AM
      #18
    Trained
    DB, they will all get used to the wet pellets. Slightly tepid water will make it easier. And the antibiotic could have made her not eat it. Maybe better to get shots. Or paste, like a dewormer, or make it a paste, applesauce, antibiotic, in a big syringe and squirt it right in her mouth.
    For feeding wet pellets to all of them, soak them in a tub or wheelbarrow and portion it with a scoop.
    I also agree with the Safe Choice or if you like Purina better, maybe Strategy, these pellets soak within a matter of minutes. My little Arab won't eat dry pellets at all
         
        11-06-2012, 10:01 AM
      #19
    Yearling
    Mr. Big Stuff choked once and it got our attention bigtime. One morning I found him in the pasture, head down with mucus streaming. We took him to the vet and it took ALL DAY to clear his throat. Because we were headed to relatives 10 hrs. Away for Thanksgiving, he stayed at the vets for a week on a soft diet.

    What our vet told us was that choke could easily happen again if any strictures formed while the throat was healing. Because Big was blocked for so long, with so many attempts to unblock him, strictures were a real possibility.
    Eventually, the vet resorted to oil, even though he warned us that it could possibly get into his lungs and cause MAJOR problems. Thankfully, Big came through with flying colors and never choked again. (Even though he continued to insist on scarping up every available acorn he could find after he was back on pasture!!!)

    Because of what our vet told us, I really believe that the first few weeks are crucial. You want to keep your mare on soft, soft feed. Soaking wet if possible for the first few days. I believe Big recuperated on gruel for a few days. After that, it's treat the cause. A lot of people have offered suggestions. If you take precautions, and slow her down if she's a fast eating horse, then you may get by with never another case. Let's hope so. Choke is frightening!!!
         
        11-06-2012, 10:33 AM
      #20
    Green Broke
    It's okay, your not the first person to have said it :P

    Mango- choked about 8 times, last time took his life due to complications.

    Dream- choked 4 times but each was some how stress induced (her rushing to eat her feed when something outside was "spooky")

    Rebel - sometimes twice a week, he would scoop up a whole bunch of feed at a time and eat it way to fast.
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