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Old 08-13-2008, 08:27 PM  
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horse coughing up food and LOTS of mucus out of nose?

My horse is coughing up food and lots of mucus is coming out of his nose. I just noticed it today but he has never had a health problem like this in the 2 years i've owned him... any help? called vet earlier but didnt pick up i'm worried he'll get so sick i (nor the vet can fix it) and he'll have to be put down and of course, somebody noticed it weeks ago and never told me


thats him in my icon. sorry no pics right now, but should have some tomorrow
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Old 08-13-2008, 08:39 PM  
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Sounds like choke.

I would be having a vet look at him immediatly. Food should not be coming out his nose.
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Old 08-13-2008, 08:42 PM  
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First, Hi and Welcome! To HT


Second......if he is unable to eat correctly and has mucus he may have a host of thing going on. Always best to have your Vet look at him and make a thorough evaluation. I would definitley try, and keep trying until you reach him/her and have the Vet come out.

Sending along healing thoughts that it is nothing serious and he is well soon.
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Old 08-13-2008, 09:01 PM  
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I recently had a yearling choke and it sounds like what you are describing. If we had not called out the vet, she would probably have died. It was a food packet lodged so low she couldn't get it coughed up and it wouldn't go down either. The vet will run a tube through the nose to the blockage and clear it with water that goes down the tube and is pumped back out with the food particles. It sounds worse than it is. I'd get the vet out ASAP.
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Old 08-13-2008, 09:32 PM  
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Sounds like a choke incident to me too. If your vet doesn't pick up, call another. I would NOT feel comfortable waiting til tomorrow. Best of luck.
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Old 08-13-2008, 09:38 PM  
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Sounds exactly like choke. I've had it happen to an older horse at our barn last year ~ it took his life.

It can be very serious. Horses can't vomit or cough up food that gets caught in their throats. It blocks their airways and fluid can a also settle in their lungs.

Once a horse chokes once thay tend to be more likely to do it again. Preventative measures can be to feed food wet and to place large rocks or a salt block in their feed box so they have pick around them and thus eat slower.

Hope your horse is feeling better.
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Old 08-14-2008, 12:34 AM  
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What is Choke?: Choke is when something becomes lodged in the horses esophagus. The tube between the horses mouth and stomach becomes blocked and the horse can not swallow.

What Causes Choke?:
Most often the obstruction will be poorly chewed and quickly swallowed food. But it is possible for curious horses to swallow foreign objects or bits of wood if they have been chewing stall walls or trees.

What are the Signs of Choke?:
Signs of choke are:
  • Repeated attempts to swallow.
  • Distress that may include sweating and other colic like symptoms.
  • Food stuff may appear in the nostrils.
  • The blockage may be felt through the skin part way down the neck.
  • Salivation.
What Should I Do if my Horse is Choking?: Choke is a medical emergency. If you suspect your horse or pony of choking call the veterinarian at once. Remove any feed from the horse's stall. If you can feel the lump where the blockage is located do not try to manipulate it in any way. The esophagus could become damaged or a bit of food could enter the airways - a situation that could lead to pneumonia.

How Can I Prevent Choke?:
Choke can be prevented by:
  • Soaking pelleted food like beet pulp that can increase in size if exposed to moisture
  • Slowing greedy eaters by putting a few large rocks in the feed tub to make the horse pick up its food more slowly.
  • Breaking up large piece of hay cubes that might be difficult to chew.
  • Avoiding large cubed food.
  • Feeding carrots, apples or other treats in flat slices that must be chewed.
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Old 08-14-2008, 12:36 AM  
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Treating Choke
As soon as you suspect your horse is choking, remove all feed and hay, so he can't eat anything else, adding to the problem. Call the vet immediately.

While you're waiting for the vet, encourage the horse to stand quietly, with his head down. This will lessen the chance that anything he coughs up will find it's way into his trachea and lungs and possibly cause aspiration pneumonia, a complication that sometimes arises after a choke has cleared. When treating choke, the vet's objective is to clear the obstruction from the esophagus. He does this by passing a tube through the horse's nostril and down into the esophagus, to the point of the obstruction.

The vet then flushes water into the tube and syphons it back out again. This usually has to be done many times, sometimes taking two or more buckets of water. Each time, a bit more of the matted food is washed away and the mass gets smaller.
This can be an extremely messy operation, especially if the horse is coughing and shaking his head around, as Annapolis did in spite of being sedated. Wet food matter can get flung everywhere. By carefully working the tube back and forth in the esophagus, the vet can move the obstruction down into the stomach and clear the choke. Care has to be taken that the esophagus is not damaged or ruptured in the process.
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Old 08-14-2008, 12:44 AM  
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I agree with choke. My older mare did that 3 times last year. Get the vet out ASAP. There are many causes for choke..bolting food, teeth needing work, strictures in throat, etc. Do not feed or walk the horse. Do massage from the neck down to his chest on both side. Sometimes you can feel the blockage. Let the horse hold his head as he wants. If you see flaring of the nostrils, he is in distress.

My vet recommened that my horse only have hay or grass for 3 days after choke. Then start with a very watered down feed. Once I started her back with the pellets, I got a big dish, put large rocks in it and made sure that the food was at ground level as that is the way most horses eat.

Good luck with your horse.
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Old 08-14-2008, 05:41 AM  
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I agree with the others that it's choke..I would have a vet out asap because usually when there coughing and bringing stuff up means theres a good blockage and they can't get anything past it to wash it down.

Let him hold his head how he wants it and massage his neck do not feed or water him as food will block more and water can cause it to get irritated.

The last horse I delet with that choked was a sever case and had to have fluids drained and then pumped out his blockage was pretty much all the way down his esophogus(sp). Like Ferronsgranny he had to me on stall rest and have little to no hay/grass for 4 days and the hay he got had to be very fine and soaked. And his grain was more then soaked it was like soup and he got bute 2 times a day as well as some sort of oral medication once-twice a day to help sooth his throat for about 1 and a half weeks
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Old 08-14-2008, 05:54 AM  
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He may also have something going on with his lungs which could account for all the mucus. Lung inflammation will cause coughing and may cough while food is in the esophagus. Either way he needs vet attention as soon as possible.
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Old 08-14-2008, 07:20 AM  
 
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What did the vet say?
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Old 08-14-2008, 07:27 AM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustRide View Post
My horse is coughing up food and lots of mucus is coming out of his nose. I just noticed it today but he has never had a health problem like this in the 2 years i've owned him... any help? called vet earlier but didnt pick up i'm worried he'll get so sick i (nor the vet can fix it) and he'll have to be put down and of course, somebody noticed it weeks ago and never told me
It's unclear from your post if food is coming from his nose or just being coughed out; if it's coming from his nose, it's choke. If not, and there is a lot of mucus an coughing (whether he is eating or not) it is most likely something wrong with his lungs. Either way, I hope you can get the vet out.
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Old 08-14-2008, 07:28 PM  
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Originally Posted by tuffsmom View Post
What did the vet say?
Yes, please update. I hate it when someone has a problem and asks for advice and then leaves us worry-warts hanging . I hope his problem has been successfully resolved...?
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Old 08-14-2008, 07:45 PM  
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If it is choke and he's on a pelleted feed switch to a sweet feed. My vet had us do this when a horse choked on strategy.
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Old 08-14-2008, 08:06 PM  
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Sounds like CHOKE. What was the horse eating when this happened? Alfalfa pellets are notrious for causing choke. Did your horse repeatedly lower his head, stop chewing for several seconds, then resume chewing, or did he zone out like he was in a trance? Choke can correct itself, but it can also be extremely damaging to the esophogous, especially in re-occuring episodes. Have you vet do an exam. It's worth the time and money to get a clear diagnosis.
Good luck!
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Old 08-14-2008, 08:59 PM  
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I had a horse (in his 30's) who had food, water and mucus start coming out of his nose..called vet out...he thought choke at first to..but it turned out a back tooth rotted and food, water etc was getting in the sinus cavity and exiting through the nose. In my old boy's case, there was no help for it.
I hope the vet calls you back and then comes over.
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Old 08-15-2008, 01:02 AM  
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Any update?
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Old 08-15-2008, 06:12 AM  
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A little more information while we're waiting for an update. My filly had an extremely small nasal opening leading out of her nose. At first the vet could not get the tube down her. She was fighting him and she never fights about anything! Then blood started pouring out of her nose. It made the whole thing even more difficult. Then the vet changed size of tube but it still would not go down her. By this time she is losing blood like she had something amputated. My vet assured me it looked worse than it was and she would be fine but I was still very unhappy to see all this blood pooling up. Next he used the other nostril with the original tube and had no problem at all. Just thought I'd share in case others may run into the same thing. If it's an odd ball problem, chances are it will happen at our ranch! Of course the vet was right and she had stopped bleeding before he left and had no problems from it. Still she bled a long time and there was a huge puddle of it where she'd been standing. Altogether very unsettling.
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