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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well my gelding choked when he was eating his grain yesterday. I gave him the exact same stuff all winter: A scoop of dry beat pulp and a scoop of alfalfa pellets...I knew that sometimes you needed to soak the pulp but that if your horse ate it fine there usually wasnt an issue so I have never bothered to soak it. This bit me is the *** yesterday. You see he hasnt had his grain for a while since some grass came up but he got alittle on the light side and I decided it was time he started getting alittle extra again until there is a tad more grass and such...the best we can figure he got excited about the grain and went to eating to fast and this is what caused him to choke on the beat pulp.

I was there alone at first and my initial thought was that a drink might help but he wouldnt drink and he was blowing snot and coughing. My boyfriend got there and I asked what to do...He called cora, our friendly vet tech buddy, and she said to get a hose in his mouth and try to flush it down his throut and then if he is still choking to get a vet. It was only a partcial choke, so he could still breath, but she was worried that with as bad as it sounded he might tear his esophogus. Partcial or not it was BAD choke. She was worried that since the beat pulp had been dry that it might have expanded behind his sinus's when he was trying to blow it out and that would keep him coughing which would have done the damage. She would have come out to help except she lives in jacksboro which is about 150 miles away.

We walked him up and hosed him multiple times...he was still choking. Called another friend who lives down the road. She vets all the show horses at work, she isnt an actual vet but she has delt with choking and other things before. We had already decided that if Lynda couldnt help we would get the vet. Lynda came down and gave him a look over and decided to go get some Banamine to help with the throut spazums. My boyfriend had to go to work. So I was left alone with my boy still choking up and starting to act colicy from not feeling well...he was wanting to lay down and I wouldnt let him. He finally stopped Hacking and coughing about ten minutes before Lynda got back. She gave him the banamine anyway.

We watched him close for a while and he seemed alot better. BF got back. Called Cora again to see what else she had to say. She said that since the banamine is an anti-spazmatic that he could still have something stuck but he wouldnt be choking cause of the meds. She said he needed to get a good drink before we left him alone and that the meds would wear off 6-8 hours later and that if he relapsed he could kill himself hacking like he was.

I wont even go into the ordeal of how we got him to drink...you can lead one to water but you cant make him drink as they say...very true...we ended up making him drink by holding his head up and sticking the hose back into his mouth where he didnt have a choice in the matter.

The entire time all of this was happening he was a rather calm easy to handle and well behaved boy...i was surprised...but very glad. If it had been my mare we would have all gotten our teeth kicked in...im sorta glad it was him and not her.

So we left him to graze where we could keep and eye on him...and considering that he got the banamine at 5 pm that ment that it would wear off between 11 pm and 1 am...I refused to go home...wasnt leaving till I knew he was ok and wasnt going to relapse. Mom told me to just stay the night cause she didnt want me driving at 2 in the morning so I stayed the night...checked on him every 30 min till 2 am then finally got some sleep. Checked him this morning before leaving for school and he was still fine, like peaches and creme.

He is fine and I am fine and everything is good...but I have never had one choke and it was scary...my BF wasnt sure how I was so calm. I told him perhaps I was calm and handling things on the outside but deep down I was having a heart attack.

To add to this bad day I got zapped in the face with an electric fence...dont as how, It wasnt related to anything else it was me being kinda dumb...and I got my foot stepped on my horse when I was checking on him...so not my best day and not Romeo's best day either. Atleast I have good knowledgeable friends who dont mind helping me out...and thank god I didnt have to call the vet...any other day I could afford it but my parents and I just had to pay out for college and prom...had it been next week I would have just called the vet. Im just glad eveything is ok.

Just felt like sharing that...cookies to all who finished it!
 

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I'm really glad everything is ok! Choke can be scary.

But, putting a hose in a horse's mouth to flush/push down the blockage isn't necessarily the right thing. (Not attacking - just informing... I'm guilty of using the hose for choke too). If the blockage is pushed into the lungs it can lead to pneumonia.

The best thing is meds to help the horse's esophagus relax and then a stomach tube via the nose if it's still not passing. Massaging the underside of the horse's neck can also help it be swallowed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the advice! Ill remember that...but im hoping not to have an issue again...no more beat pulp for Romeo lol (I just dont have time to soak it and im not gonna risk it again)

We did some massage and such too...it seemed to help alittle when he was choking...Im just glad he is fine lol
 

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Just a Veterinarian point of view...........Please do not stick the hose in a horses mouth that is choking. Here is the reasoning......A choke occurs in the esophagus, not the trachea. However, dramatic it seems, a horse will always be able to breath when choked. A choke does not occur in the sinus. When obstructed, saliva backs up from the esophagus and is carrying out the choke material through the nasal passages. When you flush with a hose from the mouth, the water can not go down the esophagus (because of the obstruction) and can be aspirated into the lungs by the horse, also carrying down feed particles into the lungs. This can lead to an aspiration pneumonia.

Believe it or not, majority of chokes will resolve on there own within 2 hours. Stick the horse in a quiet area, remove all feed. You can massage along the left side of the neck, starting at the throat latch, and moving toward the chest along the jugular groove. Nothing should be given orally, including medications as they will not reach the stomach during the choke episode.

The longer a choke goes on, the more risk there is for aspiration pneumonia, and other complications like stricture formation and scaring of the esophagus.
 

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Just a Veterinarian point of view...........Please do not stick the hose in a horses mouth that is choking. Here is the reasoning......A choke occurs in the esophagus, not the trachea. However, dramatic it seems, a horse will always be able to breath when choked. A choke does not occur in the sinus. When obstructed, saliva backs up from the esophagus and is carrying out the choke material through the nasal passages. When you flush with a hose from the mouth, the water can not go down the esophagus (because of the obstruction) and can be aspirated into the lungs by the horse, also carrying down feed particles into the lungs. This can lead to an aspiration pneumonia.

Believe it or not, majority of chokes will resolve on there own within 2 hours. Stick the horse in a quiet area, remove all feed. You can massage along the left side of the neck, starting at the throat latch, and moving toward the chest along the jugular groove. Nothing should be given orally, including medications as they will not reach the stomach during the choke episode.

The longer a choke goes on, the more risk there is for aspiration pneumonia, and other complications like stricture formation and scaring of the esophagus.

Thank you. I'd like to add - there is no such thing as a 'partial' choke. Just like you can't be a little be pregnant. The horse is choking or it's not.
 

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Ugh, I had a nightmare choke issue on valentines day. My guy had to go to the hospital though. We gave him xylazine and tubed him and massaged the esophagus for a few hours and then I decided I couldn't watch it any more and off we went. Thank god for that student discount! He was pretty dehydrated and needed fluids, NOT a cheap bill in the end.

If your guy was choked for more than a couple hours, it wouldn't be a bad idea to give him a soaked mash/soaked hay for a few days just because the esophagus is going to be pretty irritated and inflammed and you want to avoid further irritation as it will increase the chances of scar tissue formation. Glad he's doing ok now- choke looks so horrid but is almost never life threatening.
 

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Just a Veterinarian point of view...........Please do not stick the hose in a horses mouth that is choking. Here is the reasoning......A choke occurs in the esophagus, not the trachea. However, dramatic it seems, a horse will always be able to breath when choked. A choke does not occur in the sinus. When obstructed, saliva backs up from the esophagus and is carrying out the choke material through the nasal passages. When you flush with a hose from the mouth, the water can not go down the esophagus (because of the obstruction) and can be aspirated into the lungs by the horse, also carrying down feed particles into the lungs. This can lead to an aspiration pneumonia.

Believe it or not, majority of chokes will resolve on there own within 2 hours. Stick the horse in a quiet area, remove all feed. You can massage along the left side of the neck, starting at the throat latch, and moving toward the chest along the jugular groove. Nothing should be given orally, including medications as they will not reach the stomach during the choke episode.

The longer a choke goes on, the more risk there is for aspiration pneumonia, and other complications like stricture formation and scaring of the esophagus.
Thank you for explaining that so well.

It scares me that someone who is a vet tech is telling someone to put a hose in their mouth to wash it down.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you for clearing up some of my misconceptions lol I know some things but not everything...Like I wasnt aware that they would always be able to breath even when choking...thats why i figured it was partcial...and I wasnt the one on the phone...alot of my post is what I got basically second hand and I think my BF (the one on the phone) Might have just been trying to dumby things down to help keep me from spazzing lol

And he only choked for maybe an hour of so before he got the meds and quit choking... but ill be keeping an eye on him for a few days...

You learn something new everyday...glad this thread has become more then just a story telling...its gotten to be rather informational lol
 

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Towards the "end" with my old Appy mare, she choked probably 5 times and i wanted to freak out. It was suspected she had some kind of tumor pushing against her esophagus, but at her age we kept her comfortable until it was time to say goodbye.

I called the vet *every* time she choked. Due to her age mostly, i didn't want any chance of her getting pneumonia.

But each time, that horse managed to stop choking right prior to the vet showing up. Every time.
 

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no more beat pulp for Romeo lol (I just dont have time to soak it and im not gonna risk it again)
Eek! Remember that beat pulp EXPANDS like crazy in water (this is why you soak it) and it can cause serious problems for your horse if you feed it without soaking it first! You've seen how much it expands when soaked, imagine that happening in your horse's tummy!

You already opted out but I just wanted to throw that out there. I feed that to my boy but boy am I paranoid! Sometimes it can come with hunks of root in there which you can pick out when you are soaking.

Sorry to hear about your baby, I'm glad hes ok now!!
 

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Eek! Remember that beat pulp EXPANDS like crazy in water (this is why you soak it) and it can cause serious problems for your horse if you feed it without soaking it first! You've seen how much it expands when soaked, imagine that happening in your horse's tummy!
It does expand but that does not cause a problem in their tummy. That theory is one of those horse old wives tales. A horse can eat dry beat pulp and it will not cause their stomach to explode or anything like that.

Many complete feeds contain dry beet pulp.
 

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It does expand but that does not cause a problem in their tummy. That theory is one of those horse old wives tales. A horse can eat dry beat pulp and it will not cause their stomach to explode or anything like that.

Many complete feeds contain dry beet pulp.
Interesting! Thank you for that info. *starts google quest*
 

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Alwaysbehind is right- it does expand but we have *never* seen a stomach rupture due to beet pulp. I suppose in theory it could happen. A problem that does occur is that it can soak up water in the gut and pre-dispose to impaction issues, at least that has been the thought in a few of our colic cases. It is hard to tell because they are usually older horses- which is why they were on beet pulp in the first place, and since older horses tend to drink less water and have a bit of dehydration issues it is hard to say if it was the chicken, or the egg.

Try not to let choke scare you off of feeding beet pulp if he needs it, just make sure he is well hydrated and that it is well soaked. It is an amazing product for keeping weight up. That being said, I took my guy off of it after his choke too. Largely because he absolutely goes crazy when he is "grained" (I don't actually feed grain per se) and just goes after it like a Hoover. Even though the beet pulp had been soaked for hours and was really soupy he still choked. I'm keeping his weight up now with a complete senior feed, cool cals 100, and rice bran on top of his 6-8 flakes a day.

I'm glad you're learning a lot from this thread, IMO that is what the forum is here for and I learn A TON every time I log on!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
Yup I had heard it was ok to feed it dry...i had also heard always soak it...he ate it dry all winter without an issue...but he went into hoover mode and choked...blah...I figure ill switch the beat pulp for a senior complete feed...figure ill get the same affect without so much of a choking hazard...

He can be a bit ribby and skinny at times...the grain is mostly for the extra calories and fat lol he isnt super hard to keep but he is hard enough lol to much TB in this boy lol
 

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I'm really glad everything is ok! Choke can be scary.

But, putting a hose in a horse's mouth to flush/push down the blockage isn't necessarily the right thing. (Not attacking - just informing... I'm guilty of using the hose for choke too). If the blockage is pushed into the lungs it can lead to pneumonia.

The best thing is meds to help the horse's esophagus relax and then a stomach tube via the nose if it's still not passing. Massaging the underside of the horse's neck can also help it be swallowed.
I agree with the above...You could have caused him to breathe in the water, causing anything from pneumonia to death via literal drowning from the water rushing into his lungs. You had a decent window to allow him to relax on his own (not leaving him), and letting him get water down on his own. You could have brought hiim out some warm water mixed with honey, or coolaid, to make it more enticing, but please, for the safety of your horse don't ever hold his head up in the air and 'force him' to drink like that again. :shock:

Choke is a scarey thing; I've had to deal with it on a few occasions with family's horses, and friends horses. The best thing to do is to rub his throat, and especially if you can find the mass in his throat, focus on that area. Get some banamine into him, to help his body relax, and alleviate some of the pain...this will give you time to get the blockage moving, and a chance to get him drinking, and moving around comfortably. Another important thing is to remain calm...your horse will be frenzied enough, which can seem to make the choke worse, so the calmer you can be throughout the ordeal, the more you will be able to help your horse. :wink:
 

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I had a horse choke on a pelleted feed. I gave banamine via IV and my vet advised to hose out the mouth briefly to keep the mouth moist and keep them coughing to dislodge it.
 

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i had a choking episode this week to with my old gelding he was eating his grain (senior feed) and began to choke and it was pretty scary it went on for bout an hour before a local vet could get out to him. Because my vet was nowhere to befound as usuall. by the time dr weekes got out to him he was doing better he gave him three shots to relax him and get him to lowerhis head cause do to his age and bad heart he didnt dare hose him like most he does so after two hours of snot rolling out his nose and a heavy vet bill!!! My old horse pulled through the night it is a very scary thin to have to go threw specially with the senior horses.. im glad to here romeo is well
 
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