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Author Topic: Big Choking Scare Today  (Read 533 times)

fargos handmaiden

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Big Choking Scare Today
« on: December 23, 2018, 09:56:48 pm »

Trying to make long story short, vet nixed Cushings yesterday on Fargo. Said to increase groceries even more. Suggestion was alfalfa pellets over beets with less compaction risks, no need to soak. Sounded better.

Yesterday, fine. Today Fargo started pouring snot out of nostrils with flecks of blood. Kept staggering toward me for help and I thought he was going to collapse on top of me. I thought he was having a heart failure. Sunday as always when emergencies happen. Thank God, vet called me back, said he was choking/compacted in throat, shoot water down his.throat. What a job! Fargo in pain, choking and I'm sure he thought I was trying to drown him to boot. Really fought me and Hubby not home to help. He was throwing me around like a loose.rope on his halter. But felt I was fighting for his life. Not sure how I held on. Made slow but steady progress and when he saw it was helping him some, he got a little easier to handle tho still a job.

At any rate, think he is ok now. After it was over, he just wanted to cuddle. Who says horses don't express gratitude.

So thankful vet answered on a Sunday and he had answer and that I was able to do it.

The alfalfa pellets were bigger than his feed pellets, not cubes tho...pellets. Definitely what he choked on. Only gave him about 1 1/2 quarts and more than half was still in dish. So vet on follow-up said I would have to soak those too.

Also said to soak all his feed pellets.to sloppy wet for next.two weeks.because of damage, swelling, soreness that may have happened in his.throat.

So I now have him up to 3 feedings w/soaking. So time-consuming but guess if I wanna keep him with me, I will have to conform.

Surprise from vet records, we traced him back and I was.wrong about age. He is only 23-24, which is another reason I don't understand why such a drastic quick change in his metabolism,

At any rate, hoping it is hopeful news I will have him with me longer but I have to get some meat on his bones.for.that to happen.

Lesson learned too. Beware of the alfalfa.pellets, can be dangerous too if not soaked.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2018, 09:58:24 pm by fargos handmaiden »
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Little Freckles

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Re: Big Choking Scare Today
« Reply #1 on: December 24, 2018, 08:25:54 pm »

I take care of an older gelding who has choked before.  I have to soak his alfalfa cubes.  I don't have much time to fuss with it so after I feed, I put the next meal in the bucket and ad the water.  When its time for the next meal, it is ready.  I can keep the bucket on my breezeway so it won't freeze.  Perhaps you could do the same thing with the pellets you need to soak.
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Susan, close to Springfield, IL

stablemind

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Re: Big Choking Scare Today
« Reply #2 on: December 25, 2018, 05:19:57 am »

Let us know how Fargo is doing since the choke. Our senior mare choked on her feed a couple years ago and it was horrific to watch. She resolved on her own but it took a couple hours.
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Walkin45

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Re: Big Choking Scare Today
« Reply #3 on: December 25, 2018, 07:38:17 am »

I will never feed pelleted feed, hay pellets or cubes.  I do feed beet pulp in small amounts and soak in house with hot water.  Hope he’s ok.
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fargos handmaiden

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Re: Big Choking Scare Today
« Reply #4 on: December 25, 2018, 09:49:36 am »

Thanks, all. So far, Fargo doing ok. Doc.didn't want to do Cushings.test. Said he didn't feel it was necessary. Well, he's.the vet.  I guess it will take some time to know.but the waiting a month to see improvement or not is killing me. Other horses.stay butterballs on one feeding/day and on Only 1 qt. while I always fed Fargo 2 qts. one time a day all his life.and he did.fine.  Now it's 3.feedings for him, 5-6 qts. Total Equine a day divided I'mnto 2.feedings plus supplements plus the one lb. alfalfa pellets midday. With all the goats, I have to bring him into the yard to do so or the goats would overwhelm him and take the food away from him. Meanwhile the other two jealous horses.are.trying to paw and push the.gait down. It is getting pretty complicated.
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Riderkat

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Re: Big Choking Scare Today
« Reply #5 on: December 28, 2018, 09:14:48 am »

I am glad he's ok. I am quite surprised he recommended putting water down his throat, though. Depending on the location of the choke itself, this action can send water into his lungs, or he can sort of 'burp' up some of the stuck stuff and that goes in his lungs, too. LSS, that's a dangerous action to take. Adding to that the idea that dry pellets over beet pulp (if that is what I read) with a sorta older horse? That's a recipe for a disaster. Is there any chance there's another vet you could get to evaulate him for Cushings? Horses don't just BAM drop weight for no reason. Poor you! I'm sorry for this trouble.
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kckc

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Re: Big Choking Scare Today
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2018, 09:39:05 am »

I have to agree with RiderKat above.  Even the pellet companies recommend soaking them  :-(
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NC

fargos handmaiden

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Re: Big Choking Scare Today
« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2019, 01:49:45 pm »

Well now, vet says soak all his feed for 2-3 weeks. Then cut down on water slowly. However I will never feed those alfalfa pellets again without soaking.

Actually he told.me.he saw a lot of.choking episodes with beet pulp and seemed to favor the alfalfa pellwts, not to be confused with the cubes over the beet pulp.

Not much choice on vets here. We have tried a bunch over years and this one best reputation for horses around.here. in fact he treats horses only. Big equine only clinic.
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oncidium

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Re: Big Choking Scare Today
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2019, 06:06:04 am »

Big yes to what riderkat said. 

Also putting water down the throat could burst/rupture their stomach since it is always an unknown as to how much qty of food or water is actually *in* the horses stomach at a given time. 

This happened at a HUGE endurance ride a few years ago in OR or WA I believe in the PNW for sure though.  Horse was dehydrated or wasn't doing well on the ride for one reason or another, he went on iv's, and they also tubed him with water because he wasn't doing well.

With all the extra water (and he was also eating feed and hay - including wet beet pulp) in his system and in his stomach, his stomach ruptured, and he died.  It was the extra water they tubed him with I believe is what they said ruptured his stomach in the end.  It was not paid attention to that the horse did drink some water (before they gave him more water via tube) but it was an unknown qty.  Not pointing fingers, but all things added up to too much in his stomach and the result was it ruptured right there at the ride camp.  They did an exam after, so it was known the cause. 

This was a sad learning experience for all at the time. 

I count the number of sips of water a horse drinks.  You can see it go down their throat.  And this can give you an idea of how much water they have consumed.  I started that when I started riding endurance decades ago.  Yeah, we endurance riders notice lots of things about our horses.  I think it is 8 oz they drink at a gulp.  ??  Yeah somebody did a study on it. 

I have found hay pellets when soaked can have a weird smell, and taste.  Not all horses will eat them if they are wet. 

Each horse is an individual, and we have to figure out what works best for that particular horse, in their situation.  Good discussion posted on this thread.

O
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Cashela

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Re: Big Choking Scare Today
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2019, 12:03:49 pm »

Wow, out here if you have a choke the vet tells you to try and keep the horse calm with their head down while they are on their way.  Then the horse is sedated and a tube is passed through a nostril to help clear the blockage.  The horse is then put on antibiotics incase they aspirated and you feed them sloppy wet soaked pellets to an almost gruel  consistency for a day or two in case their throat is irritated.   There is an old pony at the barn I work at who was prone to choke.  He got so bad that he can't even have hay any more.  He gets soaked hay stretcher pellets now.

I feed alfalfa pellets without soaking but I always soak my beet pulp pellets.  Standlee ones break down pretty quickly in hot water.  The Blue Seal ones that I buy take several hours.

I hope you get everything figured out.  A choking horse is scary.  I've seen it a couple of times.
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Jenn-New Hampshire

fargos handmaiden

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Re: Big Choking Scare Today
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2019, 01:11:13 am »

The vets out here Don't want to make house calls very badly. The one we did get out for Hanun...well, what can I say but we had to have Hanun put down two vets and $1,000 later. And the vet made no offer to meet FArgo at his clinic after hours.

I probably should have been more specific. This was a garden hose albeit forced by me into the corner of Fargo's mouth, not tubed past his throat, for 4-6 second intervals, turned on only half way on pressure or less, and then pulled out to give him a chance to swallow and catch his breath.  I believe the idea was to not only wet the alfalfa pellets in his throat but to force him to keep trying to swallow.

All I know is this time, I got a vet to talk to me after hours and his instructions worked which is more than we usually get.

Bottom line, it appeared to save his life. I don't believe he would have made the 45-60 minute ride to vet, not to mention time to hook up trailer and load, if we could have the way he was staggering.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2019, 01:31:34 am by fargos handmaiden »
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Cashela

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Re: Big Choking Scare Today
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2019, 05:56:55 am »

I understand, different world even in the different parts of the United States :)  We are fortunate in my area that there are several large animal vets and I think I'm within an hour drive of one of the two big equine clinics that do surgeries.  I was just surprised they would suggest giving him water, because of the concern of aspiration.  When I was caring for  a pony that choked, the vet said he could still breathe and to just try and keep him calm until he got there.  It was scary and the pony was flinging saliva and gunk everywhere.  Hopefully it was a one time occurance and all is good.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2019, 11:15:51 am by Cashela »
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Jenn-New Hampshire

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Re: Big Choking Scare Today
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2019, 11:03:29 am »

I have read about choking and it does not appear to be life threatening.  Apparently the horse can still breathe, but it does kind of panic because of the situation.  A lot of chokes resolve on their own, but it's a good idea to have the horse checked out while it is in choke or afterwards.  It would be rough not having a vet close -- I'm lucky in that mine is 30 min away.
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ponymare

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Re: Big Choking Scare Today
« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2019, 09:36:50 am »

Sunny choked badly one time and it was a nightmare. A trainer had suggested we switch them to soybean pellets and it was a disaster. Sunny gulps his first big bite and then settles down, but these pellets just clogged up his gullet and nose and he was spewing them everywhere. Of course it was a weekend and about dark but we did get a vet to call us back and he said to massage his throat and try to keep him calm.  We put him in the corral with a bucket of water only and no feed and with massaging his throat (where we could actually feel the lump) we were able to resolve the choke. 

But unfortunately we think it caused scar tissue in his throat so we have to be extremely careful when feeding him now.  We feed a texturized feed but it does have some pellets. It's higher fat and low starch which is hard to find in textured feed.  We give him just enough to thinly cover the bottom of his bowl and let him get that first big gulp out of the way.  He has learned to eat, then step back for us to pour some more, then eat, then step back... and well, you get the picture!  Our other horse starts salivating before we even get his food poured so he has no problem. In fact his bowl is nasty wet when he finishes eating. :P I think Sunny just doesn't make as much saliva as well.
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oncidium

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Re: Big Choking Scare Today
« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2019, 02:27:26 pm »

It can be life threating.

Suffocation.

Also inhalation of foreign matter into the lungs, and then possibly suffocation and or pneumonia is the scariest of all with regards to choke.  IMO.  Also with the scratching of the lungs and esophagus like ponymare's horse.

I have had horses choke on hay.  Yes.  TRUE.  Horse gobbled down the yummy hay.  Hay that horse was not privy too on a regular basis.

It the same with humans with choke. 

Massaging the throat where the lump is lodged is best.  Turn the horse out in a small paddock also to help them work it out. 

I don't feed anything soybean these days due to all the spraying they do to them.  I live in soybean country.  I have not seen soybean pellets ponymare. 

BTW, we got some dirt for our property.  And these thick plants came up.  I sprayed them no less than 3 times with round up, and or weed be gone.  They were neither rounded up, nor be-goned!  They did not die.  They sprouted leaves and came back or were completely unaffected.  Soy beans.  They have stickers on them btw.  Not sure I would feed soybean pellets ever.  WOW.  We eventually had to hand pick each one.  Took a long time to get the plant with all the stickers on them, they were small btw, and get the root out!  We tossed in trash.  No composting those demons.

O

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