My horse has choked on his grain twice in the last month because he gulped it down too fast. Is there a type of grain feeder that would make him slow down his consumption? I also saw the suggestion to put rocks in his feeder to slow him down. How big should these rocks be? I don't want him to choke on rocks, either!
What do you guys think? Does anyone else have this problem?
Originally Posted by tidy rabbit
Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community.
I would thoroughly soak his food beforehand from now on. The stones work really well also. You want very smooth stones that are larger than your fist. Three or so, your horse will have to pick around them instead of grabbing a huge mouthful.
1-he was a cribber and had a dry esophogus. After I put a cribbing collar on him, he would have saliva in his esophogus to help lubricate the food.
2-I also soaked his feed in water for some time until the inflammation in his esophogus went down (if it is swollen, the chances for choke are much greater due to a smaller passageway for food). You may also want to put him on some injectable corticosteroids (like dexamethasone) for a few days.
3-Try putting a salt block broken up into 2 pieces in the horse's feed dish. I worry about rocks and the horse ingesting pebbles.
Good luck! I haven't had a choke incident *knocks on wood* since doing this treatment (about 2 years--it was happening VERY regularly--almost every day)!
Sometimes I think the large rocks just make them more frantic and work against you. I would feed any/all grain meals very well soaked, that will be your best preventative. A lot of people say their horses object to soaked food. I soak feed for every single horse on this farm at every single meal (30+) and they all eat it. They may object a time or two but they get over it.
I moved my gelding to a ground feeding pan and started adding water to the pellets. It really slowed him down, and I like that he licks the bowl, so he gets all his supplements. It also reduced his pawing, which was a huge issue at feeding time. (He's 23, has done it forever, nothng seemed to work to stop it, so.... )