Choke in your horse can be a scary thing, but here’s what you can do while you wait for us to arrive.

What do do while you wait for the vet

Choke refers to oesophageal obstruction and involves food material becoming ‘lodged/stuck’ anywhere between the back of the throat and the entrance to the stomach in the abdominal cavity.

Choke most often occurs in greedy horses/those who gorge their food or in horses with poor dentition.

Clinical signs of choke include:

Making repeated attempts to swallow
Saliva and food material coming from nostrils

While a lot of simple chokes will self resolve, we advise calling your vet to seek advice.

While waiting for your vet to arrive to arrive, stay calm, stay safe, reassure your horse/pony and withhold feed.

Veterinary treatment generally involves a full physical examination followed by the administration of sedation, anti-inflammatories & relaxants prior to passing a stomach tube and subsequently flushing to clear the obstruction. We usually administer antibiotics due to concerns of aspiration pneumonia.

If we cannot clear the obstruction, we hospitalise the patient to facilitate further treatment & endoscopic examination.