Colic? Choke?

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Colic? Choke?

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  • 1 Post By Foxhunter

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    11-07-2013, 03:28 PM
Colic? Choke?


I have a 6 year old gelding, I've had him for 3 years. When I first got him he had some episodes after eating which weren't quite a colic, weren't quite a choke, were just what I could best describe as a good old fashioned stomach ache. He would lay down about 10 mins to half hour after eating, not in terrible distress, but clearly uncomfortable. I could get him up and walk him, he would usually poop once or more and get himself straightened out in an hour or two. I had the vet out but of course he was usually straightened out and munching hay again by the time he got here. Well, I changed his grain from pellets to textured and reduced his feed and he never had it again for the last 1.5 years.

Well I just got some hay that smelled and looked great but seemed sort of clumpy like it had not been turned properly and I thought to myself he was eating too much too fast and sure enough he had one of these episodes where he laid down and groaned a bit, now he's ok.

Is this a colic or maybe a choke and what is the proper treatment if it happens again? Has this happened to anyone else's horse at feeding time?

Thank you!
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    11-07-2013, 03:36 PM
I'd say the first was choke. It can take time for them to get it worked out and sometimes spend time laying down and making all kinds of weird gyrations to get the mass to move. The second sounds more like mild colic.
    11-07-2013, 03:45 PM
I know the first is choke because my brothers does that as well from scoffing his food down and the second one well I don't know much about colic so I can't say it is but my brothers horse does that if he eats chaff, Lucerne , or hay when it soaked in water and we just put it down to choke.
    11-07-2013, 03:47 PM
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Sounds more like colic than choke. With the latter they usually stand stiff necked and can spasm, they are trying to clear the blockage by spamming the neck. In severe cases they can salivate until it is coming back down their nostrils.

So, to me it sounds as if your horse is a glutton and bolts his food.
With his hard feed I would A) dampen it to the point it is almost sloppy. This will also help stop choke. B) put some large stones in his feeder so he has to push them around to get to the feed. C) do not feed him more than three or four pounds of hard food at a time.
With his hay if he is being piggy with that too, I would put it in a small holed Haynes so he cannot. Bolt it down.
Yogiwick likes this.
    11-07-2013, 04:33 PM
Choke usually has neck swelling and nasal discharge. In every case of choke I have seen there has been nasal discharge. My mare choked on some alfalfa hay. I threw it to her and a few minutes later I heard her coughing. I look in and she had food particle discharge coming from her nose.

She coughed it out and within 5 minutes later was fine and eating hay again.

Neck swelling usually occurs with a horse who has choke for a few hours.

I've never had a horse lay down with choke, but it can happen. There was one neglect case that I had to call the sheriff's office and they had to have the horse put down. The horse had choked 4 days previous but the owner never called the vet. It's neck was completely swollen up, muscles hard as a rock.

I had another horse colic (had rolled but stopped by the time I got there). He was impacted and the stomach fluids were refluxing out his nose. His neck was very swollen similar to the horse above. He was put down. The vet said it is extremely rare for a horse to present with nasal discharge/swelling as a colic case. Even the vet thought it was choke when first looking at the horse.

In general, if you have rolling or laying down with stomach pain than it is colic. Nasal discharge/ swelling in the throat area is choke.
    11-07-2013, 04:37 PM
Super Moderator
Agree with Foxhunter. I have a mare that's really greedy and has had to have the vet and a tube to her a few times. She strains as if she's going to be sick but of course can't and gets stuff coming down her nose and her neck goes into spasms. She has a few large round stones in her manger but has learnt how to hurl them out.
Its possible your horse doesn't chew his food properly and it causes a bit of a blockage somewhere along the line so anything you can do to slow him down should help - quite a few options on the market worth looking into
    11-07-2013, 09:41 PM
Maybe my brothers horse gets colic as well.

I learn something new in every thread I read!

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