I hope none of you have to experience this! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 08-30-2008, 06:29 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: New Zealand
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I hope none of you have to experience this!

Today I got the shock of my life... I'd taken Bailey up to the shed to have groomies, one on one time with me, get re-rugged and have her hard feed... like I'd just finished doing with Honey, and earlier Evo (although I had a wonderful ride on him also)... anywho, I was patting another horse whilst Bailey started into her feed... and not even half way through it, she stopped eating and came over to me... I checked to see if she was finished with surprise, only to turn around to find her pawing at the ground viciously and visibly unable to breathe properly! My first thoughts were 'oh no she's choking and horse's can't vomit'... and rung my experienced friend/instructor for advice (whilst blubbering may I add)... turns out my suspicions were right, she was choking on her hard feed. She started spluttering and coughing up a green coloured flemmy like substance...then through her nose came this gluey like substance too, and heaving profusely... so I did what my mate said to do, walk her around while I waited for the 'old wives trick' as she put it... I had rung my Mum to buy me a bottle of beer so I could force feed that... apparently the yeast works as a laxative and would work everything out of her system... also rung for vet advice as she had completely lost all life in her eyes and her nose was swollen (i think due to all the mucusy stuff coming out there) and they told me to just stick a hose in the side of her mouth, and that they wouldn't need to come out... well she wasn't having ANY of that... and when Mum arrived I got the beer in and she began to pick up... whatever had been lodged had broken down and moved along in her system... but it was the most heartbreaking ordeal I've ever had to be in. She had rested her head in my lap towards the end of the worst part and kept looking up at me in pain, so I'd cry some more, and she'd then try to comfort me, lol.
My mate came out (she had been show prepping a horse for tomorrow) and said yeah, I'm going with it being Choke, although told me to come back in two hours to make sure she's alright and getting better... cos at this stage she was back to her naughty self and eating happily. So I headed back out there at 7.20pm in the dark, armed with a thick jacket, gumboots and a torch... she was distressed cos I had left her up by the shed in a small pen... so I braved the mud in my swampy paddock, and led my very excited Bailey down to her boyfriend and Honey... she almost managed to push me into the mud a few times lol. But with a shrill out to Evo, she was off down to the pair grazing down the back and by the time me and the waning torchlight made it down there, she was happy as! I checked her vitals now that she was settled down and she was bright eyed, no more stuff coming out of her mouth/nose, and the heaving was completely gone. Evo snorted at the torch light but once I spoke out to him he whinnied and snuggled into my chest, before going back to his girlfriend, haha! And Honey got some love too before I trudged back through the mud to the car with my mobile faintly guiding me!

I think the problem was that the hard feed WAS damp, but I had mixed it up earlier with Evo, so it had been sitting there, although I've done that before with no problem... but she hadn't been up to the pen by the shed in awhile and did go a little bonkers on the spring grass coming through there... and then scoffed her feed... but yes I'm blaming myself for everything that happened, and I know I need to stop being so hard on myself but I can't believe how stupid I was, and from now on I'll be mixing feeds and then feeding them out immediately like I normally do. With all the stress from trying to find a new house (we FINALLY found one yesterday), recent uni essays, and other things happening etc, today was just the icing on top of the cake and I'm still shaken up from it... I wouldn't wish what I endured today on anyone (though it may not be always lifethreatening, it was terrifying to watch and feeling so helpless for her). It made me realise JUST how much I take her for granted, and that she could be easily snatched away from me.

I'm really disappointed in the vet that I rang... it wasn't my normal vet but was the one on call for the weekend from Vet Equine... and his uncaring nature is seriously making me think about changing to another vet clinic. Granted it may not seem like a big thing to some vets... but colic was playing on my mind and with her vitals all crashing down, I thought she was in need of a vet... afterall, I was the one willing to pay for it, wasn't I?

I'm hoping to go down tomorrow morning to find my bright eyed pony back to a level of normalcy... and I hope I can get some sleep, haha!
Chelle x

Seoul Searchin' for the Lovebug
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post #2 of 12 Old 08-30-2008, 09:14 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: May 2008
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some chokes can have the same signs as a colic.

boo went through a round of choke when i tried to get him on a low-starch feed...he ended up eating soup everyday, but it worked.

There is a shot that you can get/have on hand to give if they are choking...doesn't work 100%, but does "relax" everything...not banamine - - maybe Ryle would know.

sorry you had to go through that...welcome to the club. :)

hope she is doing better!

Justin (qh/tb)
Boo (asb)
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post #3 of 12 Old 08-30-2008, 09:55 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Pennslyvania
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Ohhhh that happend to my friends mare when she was about 2 I think it was sooo scarry she callled the vet out and she was fine after that... but still it was way scarry!!
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post #4 of 12 Old 08-30-2008, 10:59 AM
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What a frightening story, glad shes better.Sounds like you kept a level head even w/ the tears.I would have bawled.And welcome.
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post #5 of 12 Old 08-30-2008, 11:47 AM
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Alberta Canada
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With" Choke" you have to be very careful as they can tear the asophogus(sp?) I have had two bad cases with choke after they bolted their feed (trying to be greedy ) It was soaked pellets. My one mare ended up in emergency vet and had to be tubed although the 1 hr and 20 min drive in the back of the horse trailer had already dislodged the substance. The other time was with a yearling who ended up aspirating some of the feed into his lungs and ended up with pnmonia(sp) and died although we tried everything to same the little guy. It was a heartbreaking situation and now I never never feed pellets of any kind. :(
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post #6 of 12 Old 08-30-2008, 11:55 AM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Ontario
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also rung for vet advice as she had completely lost all life in her eyes and her nose was swollen (i think due to all the mucusy stuff coming out there) and they told me to just stick a hose in the side of her mouth, and that they wouldn't need to come out...
I know how terrifying choke can be. I've gone through it twice, but not as severe as your situ. Hugs and Kudos to you for keeping your head and getting her through and there must have been someone watching over you two!

As for the vet, ya, I find that completely irresponsible that they would say that to you. I would follow up with them and ask about that. Is this what they would usu. do in a choke? If so, you do need to find someone else if possible. Maybe there was some mis-communication? I dunno. I would give them the opportunity to explain their actions before moving on though. Esp. if otherwise you have a good relationship with them.
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post #7 of 12 Old 08-30-2008, 09:23 PM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Hamilton, North Carolina
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Strange you would post this today. This evening when I was feeding, Henry started choking on his pellets - sometimes he eats wayyy too fast. Thank God it wasn't as bad as you had to deal with. Anyway he coughed 8 or 10 times and brought up the slimy green stuff then went back to eating and seemed fine, During the 2 or 3 minutes this was happening I was wondering if I needed to shove my hand down his throat and try to fish what ever out which is probably a bad idea. The vet told me a while back that a horse won't suffocate or die from choking which is a comfort but.....
Any way. Glad everything worked out for you. Hope you don't have to deal with it again. Don't blame yourself though. Chances are your boy eats too fast sometimes too :P
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post #8 of 12 Old 08-30-2008, 09:32 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jul 2008
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I"m sorry your horse went through this.

We had this happen several times with my husband's horse. He would choke on different feeds - soaked or not. It was pretty bad, but he has seemed to grow out of it now.

However, I am shocked at the vet's response. The esophogas can tear, and most vets want to check the horse out after the choke has passed to make sure there are no further problems.

All I pay my psychiatrist is cost of feed and hay, and he'll listen to me any day!

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post #9 of 12 Old 08-31-2008, 12:44 AM Thread Starter
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Location: New Zealand
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Before replying to you all, just thought I'd mention she's looking sooo much better today... back to her naughty self again!

Kickshaw, yeah my mate told me to give her beer... she had a horse that used to choke on hay sometimes... and it really worked! The yeast in it was the key apparently. Nothing changed in her diet... she was just getting the same amount as usual too! Just one of those things I guess.

Dvine and Booner, it was horrible! I wouldn't wish it on ANYONE... I did bawl too... I was on the phone at one point to my Mum and for two minutes I couldnt even breathe properly cos I was crying so much, haha! But Bailey just tried to comfort me instead, she's such a sweetheart when she wants to be!

Aappyfan, yeah I was very concerned and if the other vet number I rang had answered I would have asked for them to come out. I'm so sorry to hear how much you've suffered with this horrible ordeal. My horse has no pellets in her feed, lucerne chaff is the bulk of it. She's been having that for months.

Northermama, don't worry! I plan to ring up the vet for more advice and lay a complaint... and to take my veterinary needs elsewhere if I'm still not satisfied!

Micki O, thank god it didn't eventuate! I mean she's had a wee coughing fit now and then over the years, she's a big porky and likes to eat her feed with haste (previous owners left one bucket out for seven horses, she learnt to fight for her dinner), but nothing like yesterday.

Cat, yeah I'm shocked by the response as well. I believe it was out of laziness... didn't wanna travel to me. He did mention he was far away. I was willing to pay still though!

Thanks everyone again!
Chelle x

Seoul Searchin' for the Lovebug
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post #10 of 12 Old 08-31-2008, 02:56 AM
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Aw, that's a shame. :( I'm glad she's doing better!!

Ride more, worry less.
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