Thursday, July 22, 2010

Late Night Horse Call.....

The farm vet was on call this last weekend and received an emergency call about a horse that was choking. This is something that can happen when the feed gets impacted in the esophagus of a horse. It was about ten o'clock at night, right about when the farm vet was getting ready to go to bed. The farm vet headed out to the call as the owner was not able to bring the horse in. The owner was not only nursing her horse at home but monitoring her child's sleep-over party.

When the farm vet arrived, the horse was indeed choking on it's feed. The lighting was not the best in the area where the horse was being kept, which is not uncommon for making house calls. To "un-choke" the horse he had to place a tube down through the nostril into the esophagus to reach the impaction. This needs to be done by someone with some experience and knowledge of equine anatomy as the tube can go into the lungs instead of toward the stomach. Then it took a series of flushing the impaction with water and siphoning out the impacted feed. This can require quite a bit of energy and time.

With the horse continually coughing to loosen the impaction, it made it difficult for the farm vet to get out of the way of projectile feed coming out! By the end of it, the farm vet was covered in half-digested feed and the horse was back to normal. The woman that owned the horse was very thankful and the farm vet went on his way. When he got home he had to sleepily take a shower before he could get into bed, of course!

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