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Choke issue in my mini

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  • Choke issue in my mini

    I've had my elderly (20's) mini for about two years. I got her as a rescue, nearly starved to death. She's has choked 3 times in the last 12 months or so. I've had the vet out numerous times. She's still frothy and coughing, but the vet has tubed her and say she's not obstructed. She said there's probably a stricture and to turn her out on grass and give her minimal soaked her feed (Purina Equine Senior). She calls my mini a mutant (she's apparently a dwarf, roached backed and scoliosis.). She hasn't recommended scoping, I doubt she has one. She basically says my mini has been living on borrowed time for years and to just give her what time she has. Her teeth are fine, but she's been quidding since I got her.

    Tonight I offered her the bucket of soaked feed and she turned her nose up at it. She has no weight to spare, and has lost weight in this last bout. I'm at the point where I'm thinking about putting her down. She doesn't seem unduly stressed with her symptoms, but she's losing condition and I don't know what to do. My vet hasn't been a lot of help as far as advice. I have spent probably $1500 in the last couple months in vet bills. I'm not broke, but I can't afford to throw money down the drain. If there was a solution, I'd go for it, within reason.

    This is all while dealing with a dog with bone cancer, a persistent abscess in my TB mare's right front and a foster dog attacked by my giant schnauzer and having to have $800 in ER care. I'm just so stressed about everything. It feels overwhelming right now.


  • #2
    I am so sorry for all you're going through! I have a paint that chokes if he eats any feed that isn't soaked. Can you try warming the feed and adding molasses or some yummy smelling substance on top/mixed in?


    • Original Poster

      Originally posted by Jhorne89 View Post
      I am so sorry for all you're going through! I have a paint that chokes if he eats any feed that isn't soaked. Can you try warming the feed and adding molasses or some yummy smelling substance on top/mixed in?
      She ate her breakfast this morning. I'm going to start dressing it with molasses or some other sweet syrup and I'll add corn oil for extra calories. She was scary-lethargic yesterday. I was ready to call the vet and put her down just because she didn't act like she cared if she lived or died. Today she had a measure of her old spunk back.



      • #4
        That's wonderful! Be careful with corn oil as it can be pro inflammatory because if the high level of omega 3's, I'm sure at her age she has arthritis.


        • #5
          I'm glad top hear that she's doing a little better. Scoping might give you some insight as to why she is choking, but probably wouldn't change your approach to the problem. Are you SURE her teeth are good (has she been sedated and a mouth speculum inserted so that all of her teeth can be visualized)? I would certainly do that if you haven't.
          What does she choke on? If it is grass, perhaps she needs her access restricted. You can certainly feed her nothing but well-soaked soaked hay cubes/pellets/senior/beet pulp/what-have-you (soupy, if necessary) to make it nearly impossible for her to choke, if you need to.
          I hope you can get things worked out
          As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.


          • #6
            I'd pull some blood. I just went through a pretty terrible choke with my two year old, after several minor chokes this summer. Diagnosis? Massive abscess in her chest cavity, which is narrowing her esophagus. We came to this diagnosis after a scope showed the narrowing at about 1.4 m and a blood test showed a fibrinogen level that was very, very high.

            We've treated with antibiotics, the fibrinogen has dropped and prognosis is good.

            I suppose in a 20 year old horse, a tumor interfering with the esophagus is also a possibility. A tumor was not a likely candidate for my horse, due to her age.

            Have you had her on antibiotics? Aspiration pneumonia is pretty much a given if the horse is choked for any length of time. If she looks like she's in pain from the choke, then treat her with banamine.

            I'd also be highly suspicious of the teeth in a quidding horse. You say they're fine...who has checked? Do they have an explanation for the quidding?

            Do you have your girl off of all hay and dry grain? We fed soaked senior and soaked hay pellets for two weeks, only transitioning the horse back to hay and grain after the swelling and damage to the esophagus had a chance to heal and the antibiotics had a chance to work. If she's not fond of her current ration soaked, then find something she WILL eat soaked. I offered a buffet. Purina Equine Senior Active Healthy Edge and alfalfa pellets won.


            • Original Poster

              Daisy was dead in her paddock when I went out to feed this morning. My feisty wee girl is gone.



              • #8
                I am sorry. She was lucky to have you.

                I know it is hard when old friends pass, but give it a little time and the good memories shall return.


                • #9
                  So sorry to hear that
                  As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.


                  • Original Poster

                    Even worse news - my neighbor the cop came to haul her body to the road for the animal removal people and saw clear signs she was attacked by coyotes. They were very active and vocal all around last night, and he said they probably jumped the 4' fence and got in with her. My dogs were going crazy so I kept them shut up in the house last night. I'm devastated for her.



                    • #11
                      Oh god, that's awful
                      Is there any chance the coyotes just came after she had already passed? I hope so
                      As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.