Horses are always out to hurt themselves, although it is unintentional, it is also unavoidable. The best we can do is manage the risk by making sure we provide a safe place for them to live, and ensure they receive consistent and proper feed and treated.
But, you can't avoid the scary parts of horse ownership, with the good, comes the bad and the very scary. I will get right to the point, because chances are, if you are reading this, you are in the same boat. My arab choked on beet pulp as he gulped his food. Luckily, we were right there and able to treat him quickly. It is not uncommon for horses to choke on carrots, apples, or other dried food that needs to be soaked.
Treatment: This is what was prescribed by my Veterinarian who was unable to be there, but consulted via text messaging. First we administered Banamine intravenously. That did not stop the choking, so we gave him a dose of Dormosedan Gel. We waited 30 minutes, and voila, he was sedated and feeling better. So then we had to come up with a post-care plan. Luckily he did not have to be tubed or scoped, which would have had to happen if the sedation didn’t help. Sedation assists the horse in releasing the contracted muscles and dropping their head, often times the blockage will work its way out or clear up with the saliva being produced.
Anyways, post care. I was instructed to only feed him his pelleted food in oatmeal form, absolutely no hay, and take his temperature daily to be sure that pneumonia didn’t strike from something getting in his lungs while choking.Once he was cleared with a healthy temperature, he would receive 2 grams of Buteryol (bute) each day.
So here we are on day three. I wanted to share his regime in case there are other people out there like me that feel better about having step-by-step instructions. Day 1: He received 1 scoop of pellets in sloppy soup form about 6 hours after the choking incident. Day 2: 3 scoops of slop spread out over 3 feedings (1 scoop each feeding) one 30 minute grazing session on lush grass. Day 3: 3.5 scoops of pellets spread out over 4 servings throughout the day, (increasing his feed since he is not getting hay) and grazed two times for 30 minutes each on lush grass. Day 4: 4 scoops of pellets spread out over 4 servings throughout the day (this was the last increase) and grazed 3 times for 30 minutes each on lush grass Day 5: 4 scoops of pellets spread out, but increase his 3 separate grazing times to 45 minutes each. Day 6: Start to integrate hay slowly back into the diet and try to get him back to his healthy weight. The first two days thinned him out more than I would like to see.
I hope this helps anybody going through something similar, all feedback and comments are welcome!