Chronic Choking.....?! Odd Behaviour In Nelson
Cheesecake if you read this!
2 years ago, Nelson has a bad choke episode, where it lasted 2 days.
What happened was my MIL brought her horse and Nelson into the barn to feed them their dinner, and while Nelson was still eating, she turned out her horse when he was done.
Nelson saw him leaving, and got upset about the fact that he was being left behind, forgot what was in his mouth and voila - badda boom, he choked.
My MIL, the twit that she is, didn't realize he was choking, nor even knew the signs of choke, so she turned him out and then called me. My Vet came out asap, and spent forever trying to get him tubed. He was heavily sedated to the point of not being able to stand up that well, but he still fought any attempt to get the tube up his nose. By the time my Vet finally got the tube in, it was late at night and we were all tired from fighting and struggling for hours.
She thought she got the blockage out, and we left for the evening with him tucked away in his stall, but the next day when I got out to see him early A.M, he was still choking. So the same vet came back out and we struggled again to get him tubed and she couldn't do it.
So we loaded him up and hauled him to another vet who got the job done, but when he was scoped, alot of damage was done. He was put on heavy meds and antibiodics and put on a strict diet.
All has been well up to now. No choke episodes that I am aware of - until recently.
At the new barn we are at, we've been here for about a year. This is the barn he started out at believe it or not *after he was bought off the track* and he spent many years here before he was sold for the 4th time.
When we moved in, he was very happy - knew where he was and he settled in right away. He has been quiet for a year, until now. Every day at 4:00, all the horses 40ish, come in off of the HUUUUUUUUGE pasture they are turned out on, put into their stalls to eat dinner. They stay in during all the lessons that occur in the evening, and get turned out around 8:00pm.
He usually eats his hay up and his dinner and when I show up a little after 6:00pm, he is standing in his stall quiet and relaxed.
Lately...this hasn't been the case. He's been whinning to the herd, and seems more preoccupied and concerned as to where the herd is, instead of what he is doing in his stall........
He takes a mouth of grain, throws his head over his stall door and starts crying out to the horses - forgets what is in his mouth..and BAM, he chokes.
The chokes, as I've JUST FOUND OUT, happen quite often during the week, but they are "minor" enough to where he can dislodge it himself. This concerns me!!!
While at the barn the last few days, he's been quiet - which is nice. So I feed him, and he eats his feed up quietly, with no issues. But evenings when I am not there, I am told he is up in arms.
I don't know what to do, to help prevent this from happening.
I suggested feeding him outside, leaving him and his best bud *they are two peas in a pod and inseperable* out in the pasture, while the rest come in to feed him - but he paces the fence line and is more concerned about calling out to them instead of focusing on his feed.
So, the whole barn knows he's a chronic choker now - and I made a sign and hung it on his stall door saying:
"Hi, my name is Nelson and I have a bad habit of choking on my feed. Please keep an eye on me when I am eating, and don't feed me if I am not being nice and quiet in my stall"
The issue isn't the pelleted feed he is getting. The issue isn't his teeth. His teeth were done this Spring, and my Vet was just out yesterday afternoon and checked his teeth for me to be sure, and they are good to go.
The fact of the problem is, he can be anxious and stressed out in his stall, where he forgets what is in his mouth because he's more concerned about where the herd is, instead of what he is doing.
I've contacted my local feed store and explained to the owner what is going on, and we're going to transition him from the Pelleted Purina Feeds, to Tripple Crown Senior where it is a crumble, and still a complete feed with everything in it that he needs.
I hope that helps.
So - thus far, the rule is - if he isn't quiet in his stall, he gets nothing. If he is quiet, he gets his feed, while being watched.
But I hate that he isn't getting his feed, because he's such a hard keeper and is at fabulous weight and condition - I'd hate for him to lose that.