Tuesday night when I arrived at the barn to take care of P before my lesson on Stampede I knew something was wrong as soon as P looked at me. He was miserable, and clear saliva was coming out of his nose. Half his grain remained uneaten from his afternoon meal, as well as most of his hay.
Based on previous experience, I figured it was choke, although I was used to the saliva coming out being colored, plus I would have expected some coughing. I got him out and took his temperature (slightly low), then got the barn manager to give him some IV banamine. After that I walked him around a bit and left a message for my vet. She called back and agreed with my choke idea and suggested I have him receive a sedative to see if he could clear it himself before she drove out.
I waited about 45 minutes after P got the sedative then called the vet out. Turns out the choke was more toward the base of his neck, and would not have resolved on its own. Poor P got more sedative and a nasogastric tube up his nose and into his stomach. When the vet got to the blockage she pumped some water in then let it come back out, along with the broken up remnants of the clog, which was all grain. Much like the one other time this happened, P must have bolted down his grain without chewing enough.
After that the vet went to leave and her truck battery was dead. P was looking around his stall for hay scraps so I went outside to help. We finally got the truck battery jumped and I headed back in to find P looking miserable once more and making the retching noise I experienced the last time he choked. I called the vet and she turned back around and left her truck running while she reassessed him.
We decided to tube him again, just to be sure there was nothing there. P was not excited to have it done again, but he cooperated and she didn’t really find anything but he stopped with the retching and seemed normal again. I stayed for another hour watching him and he seemed okay, so I headed home.
I went back out first thing in the morning to check on him, and he was his normal self mostly, just tired. I gave him a tiny bit of soupy grain and then helped turn him out with Stampede. He went over and snapped at Stampy to get the water trough to himself, took a long drink, then headed off the eat grass like nothing happened the night before.
More updates from the weekend to come!