eventerdiva's terrible day...good update! post 103 :)
Warning: Sort of a novel.
Monday was an awfully cold, drizzly day here, so I opted to go straight home from work instead of heading to the barn to ride. I made a giant vat of chicken tortilla soup and once it was simmering on the stove, I went upstairs to take a hot shower since I couldn't shake the chill.
Not five minutes into bathing, DH comes into the bathroom and lets me know that I need to call BO ASAP... she thinks maresy is choking. Lovely. I jump out of the shower with wet hair (mind you it's about 40 degrees out), can't find my brush or anything to comb it out, say to hell with it, throw on some clothes and race the 30 minutes through rush hour traffic to the barn.
When I get there the BO is doing what was instructed by my vet: massaging the neck trying to get the blockage to break up. Maresy is looking bad bad bad. I can barely get her to walk, and she is normally a very forward horse. We take turns for the next two hours massaging, flexing her neck left and right and trying to get her to take a few steps around the barn.
Our vet decides it's time for her to come out and tube her. She gets the blockage out, and gives her a shot of IV banamine to make her more comfortable. I take her out (with my wet, unbrushed hair) into the cold and walk her for 20 minutes. She eats grass, though not as voraciously as normal. We put her back in her stall, and she is uninterested in hay. Vet tells me to come back and check on her at 2am.
I go home, go to bed for a couple hours, get back up, drive the 30 minutes back to the barn, check on her and notice she hasn't eaten any hay, drank any water or passed any manure. Walk her outside for 15 minutes and let her graze. Call my vet at home, which I was told to do with any questions (LOVE HER). She says she's not too concerned about the lack of poo since she is grazing and it had only been a few hours since her last BM.
Back home, sleep for four hours, get a phone call from BO that she didn't eat any hay or drink any water, and wasn't interested in eating her breakfast (and antibiotics). They turn her out, and I tell them I will swing by on my way to work and check on her.
When I pull up, she is standing in her pasture with her head down. She has gnarly red-tinged mucous coming out of her nostril (the opposite of the one that got tubed). She's not even grazing and looks beyond dull. I call my vet, who asks me to take her pulse and we find it is at 100. She tells me she is on her way.
Once she arrives, she takes her temp (104.3)and we notice maresey starts coughing. At this point she tells me she needs to refer me up to VA Tech because she is afraid the banamine might have caused a gastric condition, or that she possibly aspirated when she choked. BO hooks up the trailer and off we go.
Two hours later upon arrival, vets, vet students and vet techs descend on us and start getting her worked up. They run a zillion different tests and scopes.
What they find? Her esophagus looks normal and there is no trauma to it, as does her stomach (aside from the small ulcers that undoubtedly cropped up as a result of the choke). When they put the scope into the trachea, they see mucous, which they are able to take a sample of. Luckily there was not any evidence of actual particles of food in there.
Ultrasound confirms abnormalities in the lungs and a blood test shows there is not a normal amount of oxygen in her blood.
Yay, pneumonia. She gets to spend five days in the ICU receiving fluids, IV antibiotics and oral antibiotics. They say the next 24-48 hours will tell a lot, but she could get worse before getting better. I didn't even think to ask what the long term effect would be.
If you have made it to this point congratulations... I know it was a novel. The old girl is 19 this year and still going strong. Here's to hoping she is able to bounce back from this relatively quickly.
Any jingles you could send her way would be greatly appreciated, as would any personal experiences in dealing with this yourself.
We left VT at 5:30 yesterday and I haven't heard anything yet, but no news is good news at this point.
Last edited by eventerdiva; Nov. 7, 2012 at 11:46 AM.
As a word of caution, I had a senior mare choke, and I found out the hard way that that seemed to make her prone to choke more easily from that point forward. I had a rotten string of chokes with Purina Equine Senior, so have since switched my old girl to Buckeye Cadence Ultra. Also every meal she gets is watered down to soup consistency and that has seemed to help quite a bit. You may want to think of doing that with your girl from now on. Good luck!
Home of Amazing (Balou du Rouet/Voltaire) 2005 KWPN Stallion
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I have zero experience w/choke, but it sounds like you did everything possible for your girl
My 18yo WB says 19 is not that old & if she'd like an 8X10 to hang in her stall as she recovers, he'll try to oblige
Last edited by 2DogsFarm; Oct. 10, 2012 at 11:13 AM.
*friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon: Steppin' Out 1988-2004 Hey Vern! 1982-2009 Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009