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Does anyone have a choke story with a happy ending???

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  • Does anyone have a choke story with a happy ending???

    I really need some moral support that this could have a happy ending. I have never dealt with this condition before and really need to hear from someone who has. I will provide more details on the situation later.
    Oldenburg foals and young prospects
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  • #2
    Here's my one and only choke story....

    A number of years ago a distant client purchased a lovely foal. The months passed, and it was time to wean her. She was in the barn with the other weanlings, and doing fine. About two weeks after weaning I was out at the barn doing some chore, and noticed she was laying down. It was apparent she just was NOT feeling good. I couldn't determine a cause, but called the vet.

    The vet arrived from the practice I was using at the time. He was fresh out of vet school, a really nice young man, but just lacking the wisdom that comes with years of practice. He *did* accurately diagnose the filly as having a choke incident -- in spite of the fact that she was not exhibiting the usual symptoms.

    However.... he and I proceeded to have an argument in the middle of my barn about how he was going to clear the choke. I wanted him to use water. He wanted to use mineral oil -- and that was what he ended up using -- and he got mineral oil INTO HER LUNGS.

    Next stop.... the University vet hospital. She had a lousy prognosis - and the days passed. Finally..... one day they called me up and said they thought she was ready to come home.

    So we went and got her, and she seemed fine. And she shipped off to her new home and grew up with no issues, and has been successful as a hunter pony and as a broodmare. You would never know she'd ever had any problems.

    Best wishes for your choke victim.
    Family Partners Welsh Ponies - Home of Section B Welsh stallion *Wedderlie Mardi Gras LOM/AOE http://www.welshponies.com
    Click here to buy: A Guide To In Hand Showing of Your Welsh Pony


    • #3
      Hi, I pm'd you my contact info. I have a marathon foal multiple choke story with a happy ending, don't have time to post it in detail here, feel free to contact me.


      • #4
        My mare had a choke incident (before I got her) I believe shortly after she was weaned - I would have to dig out her medical records to be sure. She is now 8 and as healthy as a...well... horse.


        • #5
          My sisters horse never choked a day in her life until we moved her to Ontario from Texas and had to switch feeds. (We were boarding our horses out at the time as well so picking a feed wasn't an option at that time) She did ok on the new feed for a few weeks then she had a very minor choke...cleared it up in a few minutes...then she had a very bad (scary bad!) one when we were there one night!! Nobody was really concerned!! We did end up getting the vet out. He scoped her and gave her some meds just incase any got into her lungs...after that we switched to a different feed company (and ended up mixing our own grain so they got the 'proper' amount etc...) and have never (touch wood) had a problem since!! And that was just over 3 years ago!!

          ...I just wanted to add that this horse NEVER inhaled her feed EVER!! She was never that keen on eating it to begin with so eatting to fast was not the problem. There did end up being a few more horses in that barn choking in the weeks following my sisters horse...might have been the feed? At least that is what I think anyways.

          Best of luck with your horse!! Positive thoughts coming your way!!
          Elegant Expressions Farm

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          • #6
            We had a mare that choked about 8 years ago. It was scary - luckily, back then, my vets were, literally, right around the corner - and at my house within two minutes. Cleared the choke, and the mare lived to the ripe ol' age of 36!
            www.MysticOakRanch.com Friesian/Warmblood Crosses, the Ultimate Sporthorse
            Director, WTF Registry


            • #7
              I've dealt with 4 in my life, 2 on one horse, and all resolved fairly quickly and horses were fine. The repeat offender has choked on hay once and grain once, for no apparent reason. Years in between each incident.


              • #8
                My TB mare choked years ago. I nearly had a heart attack--I brought her in and was grooming her and she was sort of tossing her head and yawing a little, then she started making this horrid coughing groan, and then a ton of green slurry started streaming out of her nose and mouth. By the time the vet came it had resolved; he gave her an anti-inflammatory, a pain killer for the sore throat, and we soaked her feed for a few days. In our 17 years together, that was her one and only incident and it was SCARY.

                Another friend had a horse choke recently; it also resolved before the vet dealt with it by tubing to be sure the impaction was gone, putting some water in the belly, and pain killers with an anti-inflammatory. That horse needs to have his teeth done, which probably contributed to the choke. It has been two months without a repeat incident now.

                Sending you best wishes.


                • #9
                  IV or oral Banamine on hand to resolve choke

                  What a timely subject! I was just talking about choke with a friend last night! Scarey experience! Choke can present itself differently for each horse, but thankfully I knew what was going on when I saw the symptoms. I had just put hay out in one of the gelding pastures. One horse took a bite, started acting funny, stretching out his neck, and I could hear a sound coming from his chest. I immediately brought him up into the barn.

                  Got the horse into a stall and he started convulsing, eyes rolling back into his head, legs spayed out to hold his body up. I was home alone (these things seem to happen that way). Called my surgeon friend on her cell phone in a panic; what do I do? She said to IV him some banamine (I had a 10 cc glass vial drawn up for emergencies; she said that was okay). He was hard to IV because his neck was straight out in front of him, but I found the vein. Once the drug took effect, he stopped gagging, the sound in his chest stopped, and was able to cough and expelled a big wad of hay. Coughed a few more times to excell green mucus. Poor guy was quite drained and limp after that. I took away all feed, and gave him fresh water. I did not have a vet come out.

                  I think I with held feed until the morning, and then soaked small quantities and gave multiple meals for a few days. That was a one time deal for him, thankfully.

                  <<< sending good vibes, so you can have your own happy ending >>>
                  Last edited by Fantastic; Aug. 1, 2009, 11:22 PM. Reason: IV or oral Banamine on hand to resolve choke


                  • #10
                    Phaedra choked this year in Feb. She was 9 months in foal at the time. We worked and worked on her doing everything we could think of including acupuncture, and the vet was sure I would lose her and the baby both. They tubed her again and again. Finally she ended up with no feed and on IV support. The vet was there until 2:00 AM. It was about 28 degrees that night and I had sandles on, of course. Every bone and joint in my body was in pain. Phaedra had a rancid stomach as well. I had to get up and walk her every 2 hours for 15 minutes. The next day she was still in very rough condition. The vet ended up coming out twice. We continued the IV support, meds, walking and no food. This actually went on for about 4 days and she very gradually did improve. She also developed Pneumonia from all the tubing. 5 days into it she was able to go out to pasture with the other broodmares but still no hay.

                    Today Phaedra is totally fine and she has a wonderful baby. My vet was amazed they both survived. But here they are. Beautiful Phaedra and her colt, Promiscuous Phoenix.

                    Prayers and jingles for you that your ending is as wonderful.
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                    Chris Misita
                    www.hiddenvalleyfarms.net Home of Bravo and Warrick!
                    To dare; progress comes at this price. All sublime conquests are, more or less, the rewards of daring.
                    Victor Hugo


                    • #11
                      I had an 8 week old colt choke on a manure ball. My vet could not get to me for hours as he was out on another emergency. He had me give IV Banamine & within a few minutes my colt was able to resolve the choke. Very scary, but luckily had a happy ending. He had no futher complications & it never happened again. He's a happy, healthy 4 year old now. Jingles coming your way.


                      • #12
                        I have dealt with many choke problems when I used to feed pellets. All resolved on their own within a few hours without vet assistance. I think the longest was about 4 hours.

                        The people I know that did call a vet, and/or ship to a equine medical facility all had their horses tubed, and almost all ended up with pnemonia and $$$$ vet bills before the horse was ok.

                        If the horse has choked on something like a whole apple, then it is much more serious, and requires immediate veterinary attention.

                        My drug of choice is Dipyrone as it is a muscle relaxer and will allow the obstruction to pass. If the horse is extremely upset, and throwing itself on the ground, I will use some tranq. Banamine will also help stop the inflammation and swelling. If prolonged, using sedation that will lower the horse's head to the ground for an hour or so will let gravity work, along with digestive juices to break up the mass.


                        • #13

                          I had an OTTB years ago that bolted his hay and choked. He was tubed and was fine after that.

                          Last year my 3 week old colt choked! I got home from work and he was down flat in the stall, foaming from the mouth and nostrils. Mom was so engorged and spraying milk all over the place so I know he'd been down a while. Aiden ALWAYS jumped up when he'd see me and he half lifted his head and dropped it back to the ground and eyes were glassy. I knew he'd choked.

                          I called UC Davis and they were here within 15 minutes. He was tubed and the blockage cleared. He was given banamine, 2L fluids, vitaminE and Selenium etc. He went right to nursing after the vets were done with him.

                          He made a full recovery.
                          Cloverfox Stables


                          • #14
                            I have had 2 chokes over the years and both turned out just fine. Vet came, got the obstruction out, and they were perfectly fine. Never choked again.
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                            • #15
                              I would say the overwhelming majority of choke episodes resolve without incident. As scary as they can be for both horse and human its important to remember that unlike when a human chokes a horse can still breathe throughout the whole ordeal. Stay alert for additional choke episodes in the days that follow due to swelling. Banamine is very important in that regard for at least a few days.
                              McDowell Racing Stables

                              Home Away From Home


                              • #16
                                My SWB gelding choked 3 years ago on wet senior feed and beet pulp. Had the vet out right away. She tubed x1 hour flushing and was getting lots of stuff up, but not clearing. Took him for a trailer ride to see if it would clear. It didn't. Local vet tubed again and flushed x 30 minutes. Finally went to New Bolton. They had a scope and were able to flush, suction, and scope at the same time. Finally got it resolved. He stayed for 3 nights and then came home. Had a minor choke episode 3 weeks later (on mush) which resolved with sedation. Have not (knock on wood) had any episodes since. I cut his senior feed with oats or sweet feed and it seems to help it slip down easier.

                                Had multiple horses in my old barn who resolved relatively easily with an IM dose of Rompun.

                                It's a very scary thing, but with correct management if they make it through the acute stage, they should be able to lead a normal life with some feed modifications.


                                • #17
                                  I have had several chokes over the years, from broodmares to yearlings. Some resolved through our own manipulations, some through vet intervention, none ever had to be hospitalized. And none have had repeat incidences.

                                  Hope you get that happy ending !


                                  • #18
                                    I have had one horse choke twice. Then she figured out bolting half-chewed hay was not too swift, apparently, as she's not choked in years. But both incidents, while unpleasant, resolved on their own (horse managed to spit out the wad of food) without long-term problems.

                                    Third Charm Event Team


                                    • #19
                                      Yes, I do!

                                      I purchased a stallion from a circus once who had had a severe choke and had his guttural pouch operated on. The circus owners felt it was too much responsibility to keep him as they could be miles away from a vet if he choked again and they were going to put him down. These stallions were all in tiny rope stalls with their heads loosely tied all day and night, apart from the times they were trained or doing their shows.

                                      For the first few months the horse had to be fed gruel by hand, very very slowly, and throughout the day to ensure he got enough concentrates, so that an accumulation didn't build up in his guttural pouch. He wasn't fed hay at first, only allowed to roam and eat grass. He had one or two very minor swallowing incidents after the surgery but nothing major which caused concern. It was so long ago I can't remember exactly how long I fed him gruel for, but it wasn't more than 4 months I'm sure.

                                      After he fully recovered, he never had another choking incident. Probably due to being able to roam and eat free choice grass and quality hay and have the company of other horses close by.

                                      I have a couple of greedy eaters now, and my problem isn't choking, it's wastage, so I put a few medium sized rocks in the feed bin so that they are forced to slow their eating down. Works well and this way they get the majority of the food in instead of all over the floor. I reckon it would do well for bolters who choke too.


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by spacely View Post
                                        I had an 8 week old colt choke on a manure ball. My vet could not get to me for hours as he was out on another emergency. He had me give IV Banamine & within a few minutes my colt was able to resolve the choke. Very scary, but luckily had a happy ending. He had no futher complications & it never happened again. He's a happy, healthy 4 year old now. Jingles coming your way.
                                        Oh my goodness, that's something new to worry about now!! Who would have thought a manure ball?!