help! recurring choke
 
 

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help! recurring choke

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  • Recurring choking
  • Recurjng hirse choke

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    01-22-2012, 09:50 AM
  #1
Foal
help! recurring choke

I've read a fair bit on this topic, and also dealt with it previously in a young foal many many years ago. It never happened again with that youngster and now I am in a similar situation but it's recurring and I had the vet out last night as it was quite bad. This happened at 4.30pm.

He was on another emergency call so I had to wait for him to get to me which was at 5.50/6.00pm, I massaged her poll to keep her head low and gently stroked the sides of her neck, by then she had cleared most of it as she tried to eat a bit of hay that was left, I pulled that out (I cleared all the hay out but a few strands were left) you could still see a bit of a lump up just at the top of her throat. He gave her a shot of sedative and that was that. I went back up to check on her at 11pm and she seemed fine, followed me down the field to see if there was anything for her to eat!

I would appreciate any hints or tips anyone can offer as I really don't want this to happen again and I know that when they take it once they generally take it again.

She's approx 2 and a half years old, she's a connemara x. (She's due to have her teeth checked at the end of this month).

She took a mild choke on two occasions over the last 4 months because she rushed her food. I placed a large mineral block in her feed which seemed to help and cut out the safe and sound. I always put my hay in first before they get any hard feed. Even though I do this she will barge through my donkey and try to eat his as well!

I recently once again started adding a small quantity of D&H safe and sound with her spillers hi fi.

I'm grasping at straws here but it seems every time I add the safe and sound to her feed she seems to develop choke. So I am removing that completely and will be thoroughly soaking the hi fi from now on to a nice slurry.

I will be waiting on tenderhooks now just in case she aspirated anything; although the vet did check her I still worry.

He's coming back out in a fortnight anyway to check a blocked eyeduct but still any suggestions/insights would be brilliant. Has anyone else fed chaff-type feeds and had the same problem?

Thanks
     
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    01-22-2012, 09:52 AM
  #2
Trained
How often does she get her teeth checked ? Young horses should have their teeth checked out every six months.
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    01-22-2012, 10:13 AM
  #3
Foal
I haven't had her long, so I haven't had them checked yet.
The equine dentist I use is pretty busy hence I am having to wait a little while longer, but she is good and I've used her before.
The vet did take a brief look at them and didn't remark so felt it would be ok to wait until I got the dentist I wanted. If I can get a cancellation or something sooner I will.
     
    01-22-2012, 10:13 AM
  #4
Banned
Try feeding her Safe Choice and always wet it, form almost a mash.
Also break up the mineral block into smaller pieces, biggrr then bit size.
They even sell a special feed bucket for horses that eat really fast, I will see if I can find the link.
Also, soak her hay in water. Get one of those tubs they sell that's about knee high with the rope handles on both sides. Let the hay soak for a good 30 minutes before you feed it to her. I would never allow this horse to have dry hay ever again, and I would wet her food year round.
It is going to take work to keep this up but if its not a teeth issue then it is something you are going to need to do for the rest of her life.
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    01-22-2012, 10:29 AM
  #5
Foal
I will look into changing her to safe choice although I only feed in the winter time, she's a native so should be a good dooer. She is out on pasture 24/7 and I'll be cutting down on her hard feed pretty soon anyway till she's on none.

She doesn't rush her hay which is good and it's definitely not the hay that seems to be the problem, it only happens when she gets her bucket. I am not sure if I could get away without any hard feed at all with her during the winter. I do rug her and can very happily give her as much hay as I want as it's not that expensive rather than hard feed. But as she's growing I am not sure if that would be good for her in the long run.

I am going to contact the dentist again and see if I can hurry her along a bit in the hopes it is just her teeth.. I would rather it was something simple like that than anything else.

I will break the mineral block up too, she gets a bit frustrated with it lol.

Either way I'll do whatever needs done to keep her happy and healthy! Thank you so much for your responses :)
     
    01-22-2012, 10:34 AM
  #6
Banned
Your welcome, I still think you should try what I have suggested.
You may.not think it is they hay, but it could very well be causing it.
Good luck and keep us posted :)
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    01-22-2012, 10:47 AM
  #7
Banned
Definitely getting her teeth checked is the first thing to do. She may be choking on a "cud" of hay because she has difficulty chewing it thoroughly.

However, based on what you've said above I suspect she *really* likes getting the hard feed in the winter time and tends to bolt it in excitement.

That's great that she's on grass half the year and you only have to deal with this when feeding concentrates in the winter.

I will leave specific feed recommendations to other posters, but there are lots of other things you can do to deal with a food bolter.

Wetting the feed is an easy one, feeding small quanitities throughout the day rather than one big feed is another but may be impossible for you. Tack shops and catalogs here in the US sell a feeder with a wire ring installed around the inside; it keeps the horse from opening its mouth all the way when their head is in the feeder so they have to take small bites. A really low tech method to acheive the same goal is to put rocks or blocks of wood in the feeder so she has to eat around them, again, forcing small bites. A narrow, deep bucket rather than the traditional flat feeder helps as well.

If it's feasible for you with your schedule, I would leave her in her stall with her hay for a period of time before feeding her the concentrates as well. 20 - 45 minutes with her hay *may* blunt her urge to bolt her feed.
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    01-22-2012, 11:02 AM
  #8
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by maura    
Definitely getting her teeth checked is the first thing to do. She may be choking on a "cud" of hay because she has difficulty chewing it thoroughly.

However, based on what you've said above I suspect she *really* likes getting the hard feed in the winter time and tends to bolt it in excitement.

That's great that she's on grass half the year and you only have to deal with this when feeding concentrates in the winter.

I will leave specific feed recommendations to other posters, but there are lots of other things you can do to deal with a food bolter.

Wetting the feed is an easy one, feeding small quanitities throughout the day rather than one big feed is another but may be impossible for you. Tack shops and catalogs here in the US sell a feeder with a wire ring installed around the inside; it keeps the horse from opening its mouth all the way when their head is in the feeder so they have to take small bites. A really low tech method to acheive the same goal is to put rocks or blocks of wood in the feeder so she has to eat around them, again, forcing small bites. A narrow, deep bucket rather than the traditional flat feeder helps as well.

If it's feasible for you with your schedule, I would leave her in her stall with her hay for a period of time before feeding her the concentrates as well. 20 - 45 minutes with her hay *may* blunt her urge to bolt her feed.
Ahh sorry think I maybe wrote that in a confusing way, she's out all year round. Theres a shelter in the field which they can go in and out of as there are 4 donkeys in the field with her, and lots of high hedges and a few trees that she can shelter under as well as a semi-circle of brush with trees behind it if she doesn't want to go inside.

The main reason I am not suspecting the hay is because she was getting hay alone for the first month or so that I had her and I only started the hard feed because the weather changed. And it was only when the hard feed was introduced that the problem began.

I am not a huge fan of feeding it but like to give a little throughout the bad weather. This is adjusted in quantity according to whether there is snow/ice or Rain/cold so it's really just a token amount not more than a couple of handfulls at any one time (max is half a scoop). I put about half a bale of hay in, in the evenings and they get a couple of slices in the am. If the weather is worse then I up the hay rather than the concentrates unless it's really cold or I feel one of them is losing weight.
     
    01-22-2012, 11:55 AM
  #9
Banned
No, the confusion was in the way I responded. I understood you perfectly - she's out 24/7 with access to shelter year round, but you supplement her grazaing with concentrates in the winter months.

So you only have to deal with the choke problem in winter, when feeding concentrates is what I should have said.
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    01-22-2012, 02:22 PM
  #10
Green Broke
Stop giving her the pelleted feed, switch to textured. It doesnt form as bad a paste like the pellets do
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