Choke Scare

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Choke Scare

This is a discussion on Choke Scare within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Always choke 5 minutes after eating
  • Always choke 5 minutes after eating and cant breathe

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    11-06-2012, 11:58 PM
Green Broke
Unhappy Choke Scare

So after a stressful day at work, I was excited to go see my boys to feed. I always feed my 6 month old Henny first, because he takes the longest to eat. So I got him situated, then got my other boys in their stalls eating. So I go sit down to wait for them to finish eating. This conversation happens not 5 minutes later:

Dad: "Henny's done eating already"
Me: "No way! He cannot be done yet"
Dad: "Well, he's just standing there"

So I still can't believe it. This is the little boy who takes an ETERNITY to eat. Literally 45 minutes to eat his feed, because he takes such tiny bits. I peak over the stall wall into the dark. Henny was standing with his back leg cocked, his head down, and his neck arched like he was going to scratch his leg. I immediately thought choke and went in there. I felt along his neck, massaging it a little, and he kept stumbling into me and arching his neck different directions. I knew it was definitely choke. I untied him and led him over to the water to see if he'd drink, which he always does after he eats. He sniffed the water, then continued stretching his neck different directions. I kept massaging his neck even though I couldn't feel any blockage. He kept curling his lip while I massaged him, which he has never, ever done before.

I walked him over to my dad and stood in front of Henny while my dad massaged his neck. Henny would drop his head, stretch his neck, and cough. This happened 3 or 4 times while we were standing there. At one point I felt him cough up feed on my leg. We massaged his neck for about 5 minutes before he calmly stood there normally, licking his lips. His breath went from cold to warm, and he was no longer curling his lip. I took him back over to the water to see if he'd drink, but he did not. During this ordeal my mom had called me about our dinner plans and I broke down and cried to her on the phone. Henny wandered off into the stall and was eating Gully's(my other gelding) feed off the floor. So I led him back to his feed and he was able to finish it within 10-15 minutes with no problem. When he finished I took him out and led him back to water where he drank(A LOT) and he wandered over with Uncle Gully and Bubba to eat their hay. He seemed to be fine eating the hay, I made sure he was eating it before we left.

This episode really shook me up. It was the first time I've ever dealt with choke and I'm glad I was able to recognize the signs so quickly. This little boy will be the death of me. I just worry about him and love him so much. After shopping and dinner, I drove out to go check on him again. He, being the lazy butt he is, was the last one to run in after Uncle Gully, but he was alert and looking himself which really assured me. I was literally about to dial the vet during this, when my dad calmed me down and we got him coughing. I really am glad for my dad being there, I would have been a frantic horse mommy bawling my eyes out(I did cry on the phone to my mom, I just couldn't help it hehe). So please guys, watch your horses. Know their habits and pay attention. It really paid off tonight for me and my little boy Henny.
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    11-07-2012, 12:00 AM
Im so sorry kayella hope he feels better soon
    11-07-2012, 12:08 AM
Green Broke
Thanks, he was looking himself when I went to go check on him a couple hours later.
    11-07-2012, 12:16 AM
Glad he's ok, your not the only one lately... I have seen other posts the last couple days...It is very scarey...learning lesson for everyone.
    11-07-2012, 12:25 AM
Green Broke
I have noticed the recent influx of choking horses on the forum. That's the exact reason why choke immediately came to mind for me. I posted my scare to add to the experiences to help others if their horse ever chokes.
Golden Horse and Spotted like this.
    11-09-2012, 09:20 AM
Green Broke
Keep an eye on his airways; horses that choke can often end up with feed in their lungs, causing an infection.
    11-09-2012, 09:56 AM
Green Broke
Thanks for the tip! I've been watching him closely the past couple days and he seems to be pacing himself now.
    11-09-2012, 10:09 AM
The combination of slow eating plus choke makes me think he might need his teeth done. I'd definitely get them checked.
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    11-09-2012, 10:22 AM
Green Broke
Well, he's only 6 months old. He eats slow because he has a baby mouth. His teeth won't need done for at most a couple years.
    11-09-2012, 10:43 AM
Originally Posted by Kayella    
Well, he's only 6 months old. He eats slow because he has a baby mouth. His teeth won't need done for at most a couple years.
Ok, missed that part. Hmm.. I don't think it's very common for a horse that young to choke. Do you give pelleted feed? If so, I would recommend soaking it.
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