12yr choking problem :( please help! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 05-29-2012, 09:27 AM Thread Starter
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Exclamation 12yr choking problem :( please help!

I dont know whats going on. I have had my horse for a little less than a year, and in the past few months weird things have started going on with him. He's a 12 yr old thoroughbred, never raced, but i think they evented him pretty hard and he's very hard to put weight on. about 2 months ago, he started to try to lay down after i put the saddle on him, i emailed the girl who owned him before me and she said that he did that to her for the first few months she had him. (she failed to tell me that when i purchased him hmmm...) anyway so i just started to walk him off right away after i put the saddle on him and he hasn't layed down. so about 2 months ago he choked, called the vet but by the time he got there, he had stopped choking, so ok, we started soaking his feed, since then he has choked maybe 2 or 3 times while eating but those times he had relieved it himself within about a half and hour, then this past friday, he choked big time (on mushy feed), had to have the vet out and he put a tube down and relieved it, it was pretty bad. and really gross, he was spewing stuff out his nose and mouth like crazy. i felt so bad for him. so now he has had a little cough since then because he probably asperated while choking, so hes on antibiotics to prevent pneumonia.
so does anyone have a clue what this sounds like?
all the vet said it to make his feed into soup.
he said i could get him scoped to see if there is a mass at his esophagus but he doesnt have a scoped long enough so id have to trailer him to a place to get it done, i am not very willing to do that.
i dont know what to do with him...
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post #2 of 18 Old 05-29-2012, 10:33 AM
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I'd just trailer him to the place to get it done...

Is he trying to 'scarf' his food (eat too fast?) because the only times we've had choke issues are when the horses are eating too fast. If he's not, then I'd say definitely go for the scope.
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post #3 of 18 Old 05-29-2012, 10:38 AM
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How are you feeding him.......what sort of container, how much and how often? There are some tricks that can be used to lessen chance of choke that might be a step to try between this and going to the scoping.....if it doesn't help I'd get the scope. Even with mush, a bolted can still guzzle enough feed to create a choke. Spreading his mush over a big, flat, shallow area (think trough not pan for him) and adding some obstacles (large smooth stones) will force him to eat more slowly as he has to work for the food rather than chugging it down fast. Smaller, more frequent meals will also cut the amount of food he has to try to choke himself on at each feed.
In some ways a mush can make a bolting related choker more prone as the mush requires little effort to take in mass quantities quickly......they don't have to muck around with taking bites, they just suck it in......which is why it is best used in combination with slowing the feeding approach of the horse as above.

Last edited by themacpack; 05-29-2012 at 10:41 AM.
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post #4 of 18 Old 05-29-2012, 10:43 AM
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Have you had his teeth checked? Mouth pain can make them bolt food down faster (since chewing is painful) and increase the risk of choke. I know you're soaking his food now, but if his mouth is in pain, he may be trying to just gulp it all down to avoid any pain, either real or anticipated.

Ruling that out, I think you should have him scoped. In the meantime, though, you may try spreading his food out thinly in a large pan to keep him from eating too quickly and to reduce the amount of food he swallows in any given mouthful. A friend of mine actually built her own feed pan to allow her to spread her TB's food out enough to keep him from choking. It has helped tremendously.
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post #5 of 18 Old 05-29-2012, 10:45 AM
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Sometimes when a horse chokes they appear to clear it by themselves but some is still stuck & that area can become more prone to future chokes due to a kind of stricture that can develop.
With his history of choke & strange behavior I think a proper scoping would give you answers & a treatment plan. He may have more than 1 thing going on.
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post #6 of 18 Old 05-29-2012, 11:08 AM
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I agree to have him checked out. My neighbors horse and also my dog have an odd condition. They have an extra ligament going over the esophages that was supposed to have deteriorated after birth. It was what prevented liquids in the womb from going down the throat. I can't remember what its called but it is difficult to cope with. The beggining of the esophages is extremely enlarged, then where the ligament is, it tapers to sometimes the size of a straw.
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post #7 of 18 Old 05-29-2012, 11:54 AM
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At one of the dressage barns I worked at, there was an old gelding whose teeth were really worn all the way to the gums. We didnt know this to he started choking on his food one day. He had to get relieved with a tube as well and he recovered just fine from that episode We had to stop feeding all hay b/c that would just ball up and lead to choke. So we would soak pelleted grass hay for at least a couple hours. And we would soak his grain in a ziplock bag and mush it. We never made it soupy, but absolutely made sure it was soft with no clumps. He hasnt choked since that first time and the soaking worked. Soaking all the time really wasnt a pain as it may sound. So he obviously has a teeth problem and I was wondering if the vet checked you horses teeth?? If the teeth are good then you may have to get him scoped, which can really irritate the esophagus and cause some damage of which happened to another horse at the same facility. But you will have to get him scoped if he chokes. Im sure you already know how dangerous it is if they choke. So it is something that does need to be approached. Wish you the best of luck
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post #8 of 18 Old 05-29-2012, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dressagegirl77 View Post
id have to trailer him to a place to get it done, i am not very willing to do that.
i dont know what to do with him...
I am not very willing to do that.

Are you serious? You are not willing to find out what is wrong with your horse??
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post #9 of 18 Old 05-30-2012, 10:02 AM Thread Starter
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his teeth arent that bad. it seems weird to me because he just started doing it all of a sudden and we havent had any problems like this. he can be a nervous horse and i didnt want to put him through trailering him and getting scoped like that.
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post #10 of 18 Old 05-30-2012, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dressagegirl77 View Post
his teeth arent that bad. it seems weird to me because he just started doing it all of a sudden and we havent had any problems like this. he can be a nervous horse and i didnt want to put him through trailering him and getting scoped like that.
Aren't "that" bad?

One hook can cause the issues - and could end up killing your horse.
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