And I can't get ahold of my vet!!!! My mare is breathing heavy and she's lethargic in the corner of her stall. She's coughing and she has a brownish discharge coming out of her nose. Any ideas? Choke? ACKKK....vet PLEASE call me back!
How long does it usually take for your vet to return an emergency call? Hopefully you will get a call-back soon!
If it's longer than normal or you don't know, then start calling other vets. If you don't have a relationship with another vet and you have to resort to cold calling out of the phonebook, then your best bet are larger, multi-vet practices that does large animal in your area. These are most likely to have an dedicated, organized on-call system to provide emergency service to anyone that calls. Single-vet private practitioners are much less likely to respond to a non-client emergency on emergency service, but it's always worth trying. It might help to mention that your regular vet is Dr X and you can't get a hold of him, etc, as this gives you some legitimacy; vets hate nothing worse than emergency calls from people who only call vets on emergency. Really, it makes a difference.
If immediate luck and the horse is still distressed, then you need to locate your nearest equine hospital or regional large animal referral center and transport horse to them. If you don't have a trailer, start calling friends and neighbors to line up transport. Always CALL the hospital to let them know! If they know you are coming, when to expect you, and have a spoken to you to get details/description of your horse's medical problem, then they can be be ready to treat your horse as soon as you arrive.
Thanks, all. Yes, it was choke. Finally got her to the vet. By the time she got there her throat was super rigid and there was some blood coming out of her nose. But the vet got it all out and she's resting comfortably back home in her stall. How stressful. Poor girl has had a rough year. She was bitten by a brown recluse this spring and had an ordeal with that, now this. Sigh.
When my old mare had a serious choke several years ago, the vet had me give her Sucralfate for a week or more (not sure how long as this was sometime ago) as well as a course of antibiotics. The Sucralfate helped soothe her sore throat. She was fed a wet mash for the rest of her days, and fortunately never choked again.