Esophageal spasm, choke? Video. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 10-07-2011, 11:14 AM Thread Starter
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Esophageal spasm, choke? Video.

Sorry the videos are sideways, one of the girls was feeding this morning and sent this to me. One of the mares came up to eat but did this every 60 seconds to five minutes and had no interest in her food (which was taken away once I saw the video/got there)
She has been doing this for two hours now, no change. She'll walk and trot around with buddies, has rolled twice I am sure from pain and confusion. I gave my vet a call right away and sent him a video to which of course he responded "If she gets worse or isn't better by tomorrow, I'll come out" (its like pulling teeth to get anyone out around here and when I get someone out they do not know whats going on or do little to nothing so I rarely call them out)

Anyways, I have had several horses choke in the seventeen years I've been around them and this isn't what I usually see. I am assuming this is some sort of choke. (No nasal discharge but looks much more painful than choke I have seen before?) While I watch and wait, can anyone tell me if you've seen this? Poor girl :(

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post #2 of 6 Old 10-07-2011, 11:19 AM
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She only does it once or twice in the video but I think it looks like choke to me. Has she drank anything? When my horse choked I called the vet and she wanted me to wait as well but after an hour I called her back and told her I wanted her to come. She actually ended up having to put a tube up his nose and down his throat so that we could pump water in to push it down. It was horrible. Blood everywhere (from his nose) and we could barely get the tube in because he was so choked.

I personally wouldn't wait the entire night just because it's painful and it seems so unfair to make her suffer when the vet could ease her pain quickly enough. I wonder if banamine would help?

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post #3 of 6 Old 10-07-2011, 07:52 PM
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I will be very curious to hear what your vet thinks about this.

I had a young gelding who i sold as a three year old but I remember him doing a very similar thing on several occasions. It was always in his stall when eating. It happened on a couple different occasions but he would do that tensing and sucking back with his neck. It really scared me but he would do it a few times and then would seam fine again.

Having owned an older gelding who was prone to choke ( did so 3 or 4 times in is senior years) i was very familiar with the usual choke symptoms (lots of discharge, hacking, etc) and what my young horse did never qualified as "choke" to me but possibly a more minor irritation? I had never seen another horse do it and still had not until your post!
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post #4 of 6 Old 10-07-2011, 08:15 PM
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Lacey did that last spring after she got her teeth done and I accidentally fed her her grain before she was completely unsedate-ified.

I just massaged her neck (I could feel a bulge where the grain was) with some force and the blob of stuff eventually broke up. It took maybe 15 minutes but after it was gone, she was totally fine. I think what I did was I just squeezed the underside of her neck all the way down in a smooth motion. When I got down to the blockage, she'd make weird burping noises which was apparently the blob breaking up.

It was scary! Hugs to you and your girl.

Fabio - 13 year old Arabian/Lipizzan gelding

Rest peacefully, Lacey.
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post #5 of 6 Old 10-07-2011, 11:09 PM
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I just went through this on monday night. The spasms are just like what my mare did. The vet said it was good to call her out right away (emergency call) because the longer the obstruction is in there the worse damage it can do on the throat. It can cause a stricture which can be difficult to heal and increase the chances the horse chokes again. The sooner it gets fixed the better for the horse, not to mention the pain the horse must be in.

It's good you got a video because it really shows those symptoms well.

I hope she's doing better soon. Be sure to wet the feed down for a while cuz her throat's gunna be sore tomorrow!
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post #6 of 6 Old 10-08-2011, 07:54 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks all!

Well, no news or answer. From the video, my vet wasn't sure if it was "choke" as she wasn't having classic signs (typically head low with the snot streaming from one or both nose holes) He never did end up coming out. About four hours later she must have gotten it. I have been wetting her feed, poor girl. Thank goodness though and yes at least the videos are around for if she repeats this and in which case a different vet will be called (I would have to haul her). Sigh.
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