This past March my old mare (who was in her thirties) choked on her food. I called my vet and he gave me the advice of holding her head up for five minutes and letting it down for two - repeat for thirty minutes - in hopes that the impaction in her throat would dislodge itself and she could go on about her daily business. Unfortunately this didn’t work and I had to have my vet come out - he tubed her and in the process broke some capillaries in her nostrils. She didn’t bleed too much, but there was some blood coming out of one of her nostrils. The following day she developed signs of pneumonia. I’ve read that choking is directly related to aspiration pneumonia - but I don’t know how common this is?
The reason I ask is this: A friend of mine’s horse, who was three years old, passed away this morning. He choked, had the same treatment with the tube, developed pneumonia, and passed away. This has me thinking: is pneumonia that much of a risk when a horse chokes? I never realized it could be so serious - and for a horse as young as that to have developed the illness and die from it is just striking. I thought I understood with my old gal, seeing as how she did have some previous issues coming out of the cold weather (it had been a fight to keep weight on her, and it was also thought she was a cushings horse).
I guess my question is this: should I be worried with the way my vet is handling this procedure?