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Stalling

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  • Stalling

    My horse recently choked for the 3rd time. This time it was on hay, so he can no longer have any unless it is soaked. Because it is winter my barn puts hay out at night but it is gone my morning. I have been stalling him at night and letting him out in the morning so he can't get any. The barn manger wants me to put him in sick bay at night but I want to stall him. Sick bay is a really small pasture with a run in stall and all the grass has been eaten down. He says that because he is stalled and can't move around a lot he has a high risk of colicing. The thing is though is that I don't want to put him in sick bay because there is no grass in there and he is turning it to mud. Also there is a lady who gets paid a dollar per horse feeds to feed some horses in the morning that lets him out. His stall opens directly into the pasture so its covenant for her, if I out him in sick bay she has to lead him to the pasture, and I don't pay her so I don't want her to have to go out of her way or ending saying I need to pay her. So my question is should I stall him or put him in sick bay.

  • #2
    Not feeding a horse is not a good way to manage choke issues.

    Horses have been stalled all night for centuries and 99.999% of them don't colic from it.

    Night after night with basically nothing to eat for what, 8, 10, 12 hours? is hugely increasing the risk of ulcers.

    Stall him, use a slow feeder/small hole net to slow his consumption per bite to lessen the risk of choke.
    ______________________________
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

    Comment


    • #3
      What was your horse doing when he choked on hay? Was he being chased away by another horse? By himself? What kind of hay was it - really course, stemy hay or grass hay?

      What is your horse getting to eat when he comes in at night?

      What did he choke on the previous 2 times? What were those situations like?

      Have you talked with your vet about what to do/best situation for your horse?

      My old pony couldn't have hay due to choking issues. She was fed soaked hay cubes in the appropriate weight for her and she wore a grazing muzzle (The Best Friend Grazing muzzle) for turn-out as she was out with horses on a round bale. She was brought in at lunch time in order to have a lunch hay cube feeding to ensure she wasn't going too long without something in her stomach.

      I think you need to have a chat with your vet.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        I give him a little bit of soaked hay, soaked hay cubes, and soaked forage. He actually hasn't been eating all of his soaked hay cubes and soaked forage. The first time he choked it was in grain and we were able to get it down without a vet. The second time it was on grain again (the person who fed him was in a rush so she didnt soak his feed or at least put forage on it and costed us 2,000 dollars) took 6 or 7 hours to get down with a vet. He choked at night, we thought we got it down but the next day I noticed he was quite dehydrated and we still couldnt get him to drink anything. So we called a vet out thats the part that took 6-7 hourse to lavas it out. At one point the tube got turned around and came out him nose. A week or so later he was still coughing pretty nice so we called a different vet out and he scoped him. Turned out he still had mucus in his lungs os he was put on more pills. Finally about a month later he was back out with the herd. The hay he choked on last time, as told to me by the people that where there with him and the vet, was coarse and smelt musky. The stuff now is soft. I'm being a little over protective with him because if he chokes again he is going to have to be put down or sold so...... :/

        Comment


        • #5
          For clarity:
          Correct me if I am wrong,
          1) horse is fed in a stall or the sick bay at night and fed soaked feed pretty much free choice. He has to be in either the stall or sick bay so that he can't get to the hay the other horses get.
          2) During the day he is out on pasture, so persumably eating grass which he does not choke on.
          3) BO wants him in sickbay as he can move around more, but you want him in the stall so it is cheaper for you to have him let out on pasture in the morning and so he is on grass not mud.

          If the above is true, then I agree the stall is the better option.

          I would also make sure the BO has your horse's needs given to her in writing so she is clear on his special needs and can't come back with "I didn't know" if he is fed dry feed.

          Finally, even though you didn't ask, I would not board my horse somewhere that fed musty/poor quality hay.
          Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Cayleigh View Post
            My horse recently choked for the 3rd time. This time it was on hay, so he can no longer have any unless it is soaked. Because it is winter my barn puts hay out at night but it is gone my morning. I have been stalling him at night and letting him out in the morning so he can't get any. The barn manger wants me to put him in sick bay at night but I want to stall him. Sick bay is a really small pasture with a run in stall and all the grass has been eaten down. He says that because he is stalled and can't move around a lot he has a high risk of colicing. The thing is though is that I don't want to put him in sick bay because there is no grass in there and he is turning it to mud. Also there is a lady who gets paid a dollar per horse feeds to feed some horses in the morning that lets him out. His stall opens directly into the pasture so its covenant for her, if I out him in sick bay she has to lead him to the pasture, and I don't pay her so I don't want her to have to go out of her way or ending saying I need to pay her. So my question is should I stall him or put him in sick bay.
            personally, I would rather put him in the sick bay at NIGHT and out in the pasture in the AM during the day,so he is able to walk around a little more. since the grass is all eaten down, can you ask if you or they can wet the hay and put it in the sick bay with him?
            *Member of the Quality Free-Choice Hay/Pasture Feeders Society* Member of the As Much Turnout as Possible Group* FEED by WEIGHT not VOLUME*

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by HoofHeartSoul View Post
              personally, I would rather put him in the sick bay so he is able to walk around a little more. since the grass is all eaten down, can you ask if you or they can wet the hay and put it in there with him?
              I can put soaked hay in there with them my main problem it him tearing it up and the inconviency to the lady letting him out. Also he has a little bit of thrush so I know the mud wont be good for him. The Barn Manager is worried about the fact his stall doesn't have mats and then in the summer the flys will be a bad because his urine soaked into the dirt and again like I said he has believes that him being stalled and everything he has a high risk of colicing. But he is also talking about how his horse became agressive in his stall and was dangourus but the thing is is that that is his horse, mine doesn't mine being stalled, he seems to like it because then he gets pampured.

              Comment


              • #8
                I wouldn't want him in a muddy paddock all night either. It's not going to get better, only worse. It will be slick mud when wet, awful frozen peaks and valleys when it freezes.
                ______________________________
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET

                Comment


                • #9
                  Has he had his teeth done?

                  Your boarding situation is not something I quite understand from my boarding experiences. So you board somewhere but instead of turn-out/in being included in your board price you have to pay someone else to turn-out/in and feed him his grain??

                  Keep him in the stall if you feel better, feed him the soaked hay he requires (and make sure he is getting good quality hay!), get his teeth checked (if you haven't already) and start pricing out some stall mats for his stall. If your BO isn't pleased with this then perhaps start looking for another barn...

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    [QUOTE=Jocelynne;6680668]Has he had his teeth done?
                    No, he is 8, and I thought it tended to be when they got older. It is not a full board barn so unless you ask someone or you are in the newest barn which had a cowape, you are expected to feed. In the winter everybody pays this lady to feed in the morning if the want them to be feed in the morning.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      His teeth need to be checked and floated every year. Hooks and waves form that need to be filed down. My gelding has a slight overbite and needs to be done twice a year or he develops hooks. You need to have a chat with your vet and get him taken care of, including his teeth.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Cayleigh - how old are you? I think you may want to have a parent discuss this kind of thing with your vet and barn manager.

                        Why would you put a horse down or sell it because it has a choking issue? It seems to me that there is a problem with how the horse is being managed - again, I recommend you get an adult involved.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          15, My dad would put him down if the vey bill were going to be to much or if life afterwards would be hard for him. They would sell him because they do not want to have to pay for more vet bills because he keeps choking. I have talked to my parents about this, but it's my horse so I am expected to deal with problems like this that arise.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I'm not sure how long you've had him but please get his teeth checked asap. That might have caused the choking. My 15yr old horse has to be done once a year but the 5-6yr old pony has to be done twice. It depend on the horse.

                            I also recommend a slow hay net feeder in the stall.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Unfortunately once they choke the first time they can do enough damage to their throats that they will always be prone to it, so doing teeth regularly is still a good idea but might not be a cure.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Cayleigh View Post
                                I give him a little bit of soaked hay, soaked hay cubes, and soaked forage. He actually hasn't been eating all of his soaked hay cubes and soaked forage. The first time he choked it was in grain and we were able to get it down without a vet.
                                This is problem #1, for me. A choking horse is an EMERGENCY! You needed to have vet out IMMEDIATELY as soon as you noticed your horse choking. The longer an esophageal obstruction is in place, the more damage is done to the esophageal mucosa (and surrounding layers). Untreated chokes have a MUCH higher incidence of esophageal strictures (which leads to choking again).

                                The second time it was on grain again (the person who fed him was in a rush so she didnt soak his feed or at least put forage on it and costed us 2,000 dollars) took 6 or 7 hours to get down with a vet. He choked at night, we thought we got it down but the next day I noticed he was quite dehydrated and we still couldnt get him to drink anything. So we called a vet out thats the part that took 6-7 hourse to lavas it out.
                                So, this horse choked a 2nd time, at night, and you left him ALL NIGHT without veterinary intervention until the next day? I know you are young, but that is just ridiculous. If YOU were choking would YOU wait all night until going to the doctor??? Was nobody at your barn concerned about this? Just FYI - the first time a horse chokes, it damages its esophageal mucosa/submucosa/possibly muscular layer, causing a ring of damaged tissue, called a stricture. The strictured area is narrower than the rest of the esophageal lumen. This can either be treated (typically with a small surgery) or managed (with feed soaked into an oatmeal-like consistency), but a stricture does NOT go away on it's own. Because of the strictured area, the horse is more likely to get an esophageal obstruction right in that area again.

                                At one point the tube got turned around and came out him nose. A week or so later he was still coughing pretty nice so we called a different vet out and he scoped him. Turned out he still had mucus in his lungs os he was put on more pills.
                                This was aspiration pneumonia, most likely because he was LEFT OVERNIGHT WHILE CHOKING!!!!!!


                                Finally about a month later he was back out with the herd. The hay he choked on last time, as told to me by the people that where there with him and the vet, was coarse and smelt musky. The stuff now is soft. I'm being a little over protective with him because if he chokes again he is going to have to be put down or sold so...... :/
                                Your horse needs to be on a "soup" of complete feed - we usually recommend Equine Senior or similar. Additionally you can add very, very soupy hay cubes. He should NOT be eating regular hay after choking repeatedly.

                                Frankly, euthanasia may be a blessing for this animal, as he has clearly repeatedly been in an EMERGENCY situation with piss-poor care. This is one of the examples of baffling human stupidity that makes me regret my decision to enter veterinary medicine.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  The first time he choked, we had never dealt with that before. Another lady at our barn that had been there for years showed us what to do and told us we did not need a vet. The second time, I told them he was still choking because he was still coughing weird, but they said no his throat was just sore. And we didn't mean to leave him choking over night, everyone else thought he was done, and even though I knew he wasn't I could do anything about it because I'm 15. Since your a vet, should I give him soaked hay, or no hay?

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Lauren12 View Post
                                    Your horse needs to be on a "soup" of complete feed - we usually recommend Equine Senior or similar. Additionally you can add very, very soupy hay cubes. He should NOT be eating regular hay after choking repeatedly.
                                    Originally posted by Cayleigh View Post
                                    Since your a vet, should I give him soaked hay, or no hay?
                                    Cayleigh, she's answered you already.

                                    So, having read this thread, you can see that your barn is not very knowledgeable, and does not give good care. That leaves you with two choices: move to a barn that provides better care, though it will probably cost more, or, educate yourself.

                                    You need to be googling choke in horses and learning for yourself what the signs are, what the treatment and management is, what the complications are, etc. You need to be reading books about horse care. I strongly suggest joining a group like 4-h or Pony Club (ponyclub.org) as they teach horse care.

                                    I was like you in that I had a horse at 15, without horsey parents. ALL his care and decisions were up to me. The difference, so far, is that I was passionate about horses and tried to learn everything I could. If that's not you -- and it is not most people -- you might think about selling your horse, making sure you tell the seller that he chokes and needs his feed soaked. Or, you can decide it is you, and you're going to take responsibility for your horse.

                                    You can find my thread about managing 3 choke-prone horses. Choke is not something that is terribly difficult to manage.
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                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Lauren12, I'm baffled by your comment to euthanize a horse because of choke and you are talking to a 15 year old girl with parents who are apparently not involved in the horse's care But they need to be. First a minor cannot enter into a contract w/which means if she calls the vet, her parents could refuse to pay vet. Second, there are plenty of horses out there who choke and their care can be managed without euthanasia and some horses resolve a choke on their own w/o the aid of a vet. I know this because I have a horse that's a choker as well,. Sometimes he resolved it on his own, a couple of times we had to call the vet. His was caused by bolting down his food but w/ good stable management he has not choked in about 6 years now. I agree w/ the post that encouraged the OP to join pony club and to learn as much about horse care as possible. There are plenty of good books on horse owner/horse care. Pony club would be an excellent option for many many reasons.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Cayleigh, I'm concerned for your horse's health because it sounds like he is in a bad boarding situation and there is no one around you to educate you about horse health and care. I agree with others who have suggested that you try to connect with your local pony club so that you can learn the basics of horse care.

                                        In the meantime, would your vet be willing to chat with you on the phone about the choke situation and your horse's teeth? One thing I can tell you right now is that horses need their teeth checked and floated even when they are young (often even MORE when they are young, actually). If your horse has not had any dental care and is eight years old, please tell your parents that it is important to get his teeth looked at right away.

                                        Comment

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