Close Call Tonight - Choke

My boy Odin (horse in avatar), had a serious episode of choke tonight. I just got back from dinner out when my phone went off and was told he was choking and the vet had been called. Luckily I live 8 minutes from the barn and busted over there. There were about 6 boarders there (lesson night) and they had been trying to keep him from laying down and spent about an hour rubbing his throat trying to loosen it up. You could feel a big lump and we couldn’t get it to move. At one point I was told he had stopped breathing and then he coughed up a bunch of grain and started breathing again. He was drooling grain out of his nose and mouth and looking very woebegone.

Vet showed shortly after I arrived and did a gastric tube; as soon as the tube went in, a ton of chewed grain came out. He found the lump and asked if we had fed him an apple or a potato as it was very dense and hard. Nope. Finally with enough water it loosened and went through. We thought it had to just be a wad of soaked grain that got balled up. Then there was the bloody nose to deal with after he pulled the tube. Odin was so doped up that two of boarders had to hold him up, he looked like he was about to fall down, kept crossing his hind legs and not standing balanced.

He’s on a diet of very wet hay and small amount of very wet grain, more like a gruel for the next couple of days. So glad there were people there who saw it immediately and took action and the vet for coming out so quickly. He’ll be taking the next couple of days off to recover but he seems to be out of the woods. BO is going to check him at midnight to make sure. Dodged a bullet for sure.

So glad of Odin’s outcome. Choke is so terrifying.

Glad it was caught early and he is all clear now! Very scary :frowning:

I took my 28 y.o. gelding off raw apples entirely. He took a bite out of one in my hand. It didn’t sound right and he didn’t chew very long. I found the perfect substitute: Freeze dried apples! They come in small bags and a sample showed up with something I ordered. I couldn’t get a link to open. I got them off Amazon but couldn’t get a link to work. The farrier also likes them. They aren’t cheap, but they can muuush them with their tongue.

Brother’s freeze dried apple slices.

He was still okay with carrots as long as they were in small pieces.

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My old man did this a few weeks ago. Very scary and ended up at the vet’s for the evening. He felt a bit woebegone for a couple of days, but he’s snapped out of it and is doing very well now. Soaked grain forevermore.

Glad it turned out well. Prayers for quick healing

He seems to be back to his old self today. Not happy with the wet hay but loves to eat.

My colt choked yesterday. I went to call the vet and grabbed my cellphone from the house. Came back outside and rubbed his neck/throat with my hands. He coughed up a chunk of grain… Then started nursing. Seemed to feel fine after that…

Scary thing to see. I am sticking to soaked feed from here on out.

My understanding is horses don’t aspirate when they choke because their windpipe and esophagus don’t overlap the way humans do, which is a vulnerability we’re stuck with in exchange for the ability to speak. But…. I’ve never actually experienced a real choking fit in a horse that didn’t resolve in a couple minutes. Can they really asphyxiate from choking like people do?

I think I heard that horses who have an episode of choke have a propensity for it to happen again. Well soaked food from now on!