Pistol is Choking

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Pistol is Choking

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    02-19-2011, 12:36 PM
Super Moderator
Pistol is Choking

We had a member on here post some pictures of choke about a year ago so when it started this morning I was pretty sure of what it was. The farrier was here and my mom threw some alfalfa cubes out for the horses in the paddock. The alfalfa cubes are for Pistol, but I soak them before I give them to him. I geuss he thought he was man enough to eat them dry. When he started coughing I watched for a while trying to figure out if he inhaled dirt becuase it is insanley windy today or if he was having a problem. I decided he was choking. My farrier climbed over the fence and started massaging his throat and he coughed up green mucous and then it started coming out of his nose. He worked with him for a few minutes and told me to put him in a stall and only give him water for an hour or two. I checked on him after an hour and he was still coughing but the mucous is clear now or well, kind of white-ish.

I called the vet and she said to give it another hour and watch him then if he seems ok, give him a small amount of wet feed to see if he can swallow it or if he has issues. She wanted me to give him banamine or ace but I only have tube banamine and I gave the ace to a friend that needed it. So I'm just waiting. I texted a friend that said she does have injectable banamine but she's a half hour away and I am supposed to check on him in about 30 anyway. I came up to the house to get a shower.

I'm worried though about making the decision as to whether he's ok or not. I wonder if I should just have the vet come on out? My farrier said he'd come back out if I called him... Ugh. What should I do?
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    02-19-2011, 12:44 PM
You should do **exactly** what the vet said to do - if he's still having trouble in 30 minutes, he's still got something stuck in there and may need help to get it swallowed.

You should get back out there and keep an eye on him to make sure that nothing changes. It the wad of whatever moves a little bit it could get stuck again, then you need to call the vet immediately. Don't come back in the house to post, just call the vet immediately.

Kudos to you for noticing and recognizing it in the first place. Also, he could still be coughing because the alfalfa scratched his throat. It's a good sign if there's not still green coming out of his nose....

If he's better in 30 more minutes, give him the wet feed and observe how he handles it; call the vet and discuss it with her after he eats for your peace of mind.
    02-19-2011, 12:45 PM
Choke is a very scarey thing to go through. Nelson went through a nasty choke episode a while ago, where it was a 2 day stint.

I had to take him to the Vet who was able to scope him and do the job in getting him cleared. Now, he periodically chokes, when he gets excited in his stall and forgets what is in his mouth - so what we do is take him to the wash rack and run a hose of water by his mouth to help him salivate - it works because the choke isn't as severe as the one he origionally had.

I wouldn't give him any feed - because if that blockage is still there, adding more wont help. If liquid is still coming out of his nostrils, regardless of color, I'd be hesitant.

If it were I who were you in your position, I'd of had the vet come out asap. The longer the blockage is there, the more damage it can be doing to his throat, and you have a chance of any particles of feed getting into his lungs.

That's what happened to Nelson with his 2 day stint - he ended up on strong antibiodics for a while to help clear up any chances of phenomnia.

I wish I could help you.
    02-19-2011, 12:54 PM
Originally Posted by MIEventer    
The longer the blockage is there, the more damage it can be doing to his throat, and you have a chance of any particles of feed getting into his lungs.


Id watch, carefully. If your horse is acting just slightly "off" Id call the vet to come out.
    02-19-2011, 01:07 PM
Super Moderator
I'm getting ready to go back down to the barn now. The barn is here at my house so leaving him for a few minutes is not a big deal. I had come into the house to get my phone so I could call the vet earlier. I didn't have my cell on my when it happened. I actually typed this original note when I hung up the phone with the vet.

The pneumonia is what I'm most afraid of. Maybe it was you MIE that I am remembering that happenening to......
    02-19-2011, 01:26 PM
Most vets subscribe to the 30 minute wait thing because 90% of chokes resolve themselves without vet intervention, and tubing the horse or using the probang to remove the choke is a nasty procedure that they like to avoid if at all possible. Tubing or using the probang can cause as much or more damage than the choke.

The exception is if your horse has already aspirated some of the food - meaning he has grain, grass, whatever, the choke material was, coming out the nostrils. That's cause for the vet to be there immediately.

That's not just my opinion, that's pretty much verbatim what the vet told me several times over the years.

ETA: But I'm sorry you're going through this. It's still awful and scary to watch when it happens.
    02-19-2011, 01:53 PM
Super Moderator
I went down to check on him and he was very quiet and seemed fine so I wet down a handful of senior feed and gave it to him (it was a slop mixture) and he immediately started hacking so I called the vet back and she is at an emergency so it will take about an hour or two to get here. So... just waiting now.
    02-19-2011, 01:58 PM
Can you run a hose near his mouth?
    02-19-2011, 04:41 PM
Super Moderator
Yikes! Ok, The vet got here and drugged him so she could put the tube up his nose. He's been tubed before (for colic) so I expected the bloodiness. He was kind of fighting her and refusing to swallow so she was having a hard time getting the tube into his throat. The hay cube was stuck right up top so getting the water to pass through was nearly impossible. She was blowing it in and the blood and water shot back in her mouth! Ick! Blood spewed everywhere when he sneezed. I hadn't expected it to be that bloody.

We finally got the tube in and got the hay cube out, took a very long time. He is on antibiotics for a week at least and he has to eat soup for a minimal of 5 days. He'll be on bute for five days as well and I have to check his temp. So hopefully all will go well.....
    02-19-2011, 05:01 PM
I'm so sorry this happened to your horse & I hope he'll be fine. Good job in knowing what to do.
I'd rather have horse blood in my mouth than people blood. Somehow horses seem more clean.

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