Scary Choking Incident

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Scary Choking Incident

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  • Should you allow a horse to eat after a choking incident
  • An incident that scares me

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    10-04-2011, 01:07 AM
Scary Choking Incident

So I went out to let me mare out after feeding her and she hadn't eaten at all. She ate a little as I took the feed away but was drooling and acting weird. Then she walked off and laid down. She's 30 but none of these are normal things for her. I got her back up pretty easily and then she was standing super weird and strung out with her head drooping.

Then the noises started. Very loud gurgling noises coming from her neck with her swallowing frantically. The on call vet (as well as the BO down the street and my BF) were called at this point. She started stretching weird and then her neck started spasming. I really thought we were done for at that point and she kept wanting to go down. I kept her moving but she was sooo uncomfortable and she's such a stoic old mare.

I got some banamine in her and she started to get much more relaxed. By the time everyone else had arrived she was much more comfortable and the gurgling had stopped. The vet tubed her and put some water down into her stomach. We found a small (marble sized) impaction that we thought was part of the problem. The vet says she'll be fine. I turned her out into the pasture with no hay or grain (only the grass) and she was happy as a clam!

So unbelievable terrifying. I've never dealt with a choking horse and it was so scary. The vet said in most cases they pass it eventually without help but sometimes, especially if it takes a long time to resolve, it can result in strictures that increase the likelihood of it happening again.

Just needed to share my crummy experience in hopes that it will help other people in the future.... so glad she's alright. She may be 30 but I'm not ready for THAT yet.
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    10-04-2011, 01:26 AM
Super Moderator
I have never seen choking before so I learned soemthing from your post. So glad that it wasn't fatal. Thank you for sharing .
    10-04-2011, 09:27 AM
Thank you tinyliny. Yeah, even the BO was kinda stumped at first. Very strange. The vet said her teeth look great (for a 30 yo) so she thinks it was just one of those things. I really hope it doesn't happen again. She's off hay for a couple days and I'm wetting down her pellet feed to help let her esophagus heal.
    10-04-2011, 09:42 AM
Same thing happened at my barn last week, but he managed to get food stuck halfway down his throat after one small blockage, we're thinking it was a piece ov a mineral block that had gotten stuck. Tubing didn't help much and he was on an IV for a whileto keep him hydrated as well as a mild sedation to keep him calm and it finally cleared up late the next day. So glad yours wasn't that serious, especially with an older horse!
    10-04-2011, 11:09 AM
Green Broke
"Then the noises started. Very loud gurgling noises coming from her neck with her swallowing frantically."

That bothers the crap out of me...I wanna know what makes it!

If I had a dime for everytime one of my horses choked...ugh.
I have bad luck with that one.

My vet has pretty much given me instructions on how to help them get it out on their own. And, it's worked for me everytime. (My vet lives a good 45 min away). I just half to keep them walking, let them stand everynow and then to try and cough it up, constantly rubbing their throat by their jaw bone. Kinda grosses me out when it comes up through their nose...ugh!

My gelding Rebel was just way too excited at feeding time, would chow half of it down in a split second, then I would have to work for an hour for him to get it back up. He choked maybe 8 times.
My mare Dream has choked on me 3 times, and she makes it super dramatic (this horse has the lowest pain tollerance...she was lame for a month because of a bee sting.). Once was during the 4th of July, she got nervous with the fireworks going off and I guess she ate too quick.
Rosie half-way choked on me...she stopped eating for about 5 minutes, gave a big cough, then kept eating.
Then, there was Mango...he choked on me about 5 times, just getting too excited. We put rocks in his feed to slow him down, but he learned to pick them up and take them out. Normaly, we would wet his food down, but my mom forgot once, and he choked very bad. The vet tubed him, and when he brought the tube back up, there was some blood on the end. Mango got weaker and weaker, and by Monday (this happened on a Saturday night), Mango had lost his battle and suffocated on his own blood...:(
    10-04-2011, 01:21 PM
Bleh, choke. It sure isn't very much fun, is it? My mom's old lease horse choked- and it was nasty! It took awhile for hers to resolve but it did. My baby, Echo, choked too. His was freaky because he just kept going down. We walked him around for a bit and his resolved as well. Ahh, fun choke experiences led me to do a speech on choke for our 4-H speech competition! (I even got first! )

Glad to hear your horse is alright.

Mango- I'm so sorry to hear about Mango, that must have been tough. What a tragic way to go. ((Hugs))
    10-04-2011, 04:21 PM
We put rocks in his feed to slow him down, but he learned to pick them up and take them out.
What a clever little bugger! I'm so sorry that you lost him.

I'm amazed so many people have had choking issues with their horses.

    10-10-2011, 10:04 AM
Green Broke
My friends horse choked last night too! Gah!
I think it's somethin in the air..bahaha
    10-10-2011, 04:11 PM
I hate hearing stories about horses chocking!!!! Scares me to death. My daughters horse choked back in Jan and even with the best care that my vet and I could give him he passed away in July due to the scarring in his lungs (he aspirated and had the most severe case of aspiration pneumonia that my vet had ever seen) left it hard for him to breath in the extreme heat and humidity that we had this summer.
    10-10-2011, 09:13 PM
I'm very sorry for your loss leafoffaith. It's such a scary thing and it seems like it's difficult to predict or prevent dependably. I started to hose down my mare's hay but when she didn't eat it right away it just dried out so I figured was there really a point? We just can't always protect them I guess.

MangoRoX87--Is your friend's horse ok?

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