It had been a long, hot and dry day out at the barn, but around 4pm the horses had all had their teeth floated. We were tired but happy that things had gone so well, and the horses all seemed to come out of the sedation well and were back in their stalls, waiting for dinner.
I was passing out the grain when I walked by Titan’s stall, and noticed him choking- he had green gunk coming out of his nose and mouth and seemed to be suffocating on his own bile. I immediately called the vet’s office to see if the vets (who had just left a short time before), could turn around and come back.
“Is it choke?” the vet’s receptionist asked.
“Either that or he’s possessed,” I said, watching some more green gunk come out of his nose.
Unfortunately, they had taken an emergency call, so she said that another vet from the same office who was near us would be able to come. When I hung up the phone, I took the food out of Titan’s stall, even though he seemed more intent on choking than eating, but one never knows with horses.
I grabbed a small towel and wiped away the green gunk that had come out of Titan’s nose, but I didn’t know what else to do, as we haven’t had a choking horse before, so I did what I often do when faced with an unknown circumstance: I Googled it.
“Step one,” said Google, “call the vet immediately.”
“I’ve already done that!” I told the internet. “What else?”
“Step two,” Google offered, “take away all food and water.”
“I did that, too!” I yelled. “YOU ARE USELESS, INTERNET!”
“Step three,” Google told me, “watch the horse and keep the nasal passages clean.”
“I just did that, stupid Google!” I growled at the phone, while cringing every time Titan heaved, periodically wiping his nose.
Thankfully the vet came within a few minutes. “Did you give him anything?” the vet asked. “Like Banamine or anything else?”
“No!” I said. “THE INTERNET FAILED ME!”
He laughed and gave Titan an anti-inflammatory to reduce the swelling that was creating the blockage, and after a few attempts we were able to get Titan’s passage clear so he could breath again. I gave Titan some Banamine as well, and then waited a while to ensure that he was OK. He seemed fine when I left, although he was pretty angry about missing his dinner. He was also pretty angry the next day as he was only allowed half of his normal breakfast. Luckily there have been no other mishaps, and Titan seems to be inhaling- er, eating- his hay without issue, although we are no longer giving him pellets, just in case.