Health

Help your horse avoid ‘choke.’

Horse & Rider - - Contents -

“Choke” is a block­age in your horse’s esoph­a­gus that makes it im­pos­si­ble for him to swal­low. It doesn’t stop his breath­ing and may re­solve on its own, but in se­vere cases it can cause scar­ring, which then in­creases the risk of fu­ture chokes. Gob­bling feed and in­ad­e­quate chew­ing con­trib­ute to choke; hay cubes, pel­lets, and un­soaked beet pulp are com­mon cul­prits. If you see saliva and feed ma­te­rial com­ing from your horse’s nose and he’s cough­ing or gag­ging, call your vet­eri­nar­ian for ad­vice. To guard against choke, slow your greedy eater, choose feed­stuffs care­fully, and/or con­sider soak­ing his feed in ad­vance.

Even hay, which is dry, can re­sult in chok­ing if your horse con­sumes it too quickly; con­sider slowfeed nets and/or soak­ing.

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