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Dealing with Choke in Horses: A Personal Experience

Have you ever experienced the alarming situation of a horse suffering from choke? Choke, a blockage of the esophagus, can be a frightening experience for both the horse and the owner. The telltale signs include a rasping cough, gagging noises, drooling, thick green/yellow discharge from the nose, and in some cases, a noticeable lump in the neck. The distress that the horse undergoes during this condition is evident and requires immediate attention.


Choke can result from various factors such as eating too quickly, dental issues, or problems with the swallowing process. While some horses may be prone to choke, others may experience it only once. Recently, our beloved thoroughbred, Dixie, encountered a choke after consuming hay hastily just before Christmas.


Upon noticing Dixie's distress, the first crucial step was to remove her from the paddock immediately to prevent further exacerbation of the blockage. Dealing with choke is undeniably distressing, and there are various remedies available. One common approach involves massaging the neck if a visible lump is present. Typically, choke may resolve on its own within 30 minutes, but if the symptoms persist, veterinary assistance may be required, as prolonged choke can lead to complications such as pneumonia.


In Dixie's case, as a horse enthusiast deeply invested in alternative medicine, I decided to explore acupuncture. Horses have over 360 acupuncture points, making it challenging to remember them all. However, certain set remedies can be applied. Trusting my intuition, I chose the cough remedy 1 acupuncture points for Dixie.


Remarkably, within three minutes of administering the acupuncture needles, Dixie ceased coughing, drooling, and returned to normal behavior. The needles were left in place for at least 10 minutes, during which they initially twirled with the skin but eventually settled.



Despite the rapid improvement, Dixie was kept under observation as a precaution.

The experience with Dixie serves as a testament to the effectiveness of alternative medicine, specifically acupuncture, in addressing equine health issues. While owner instincts often guide decisions during such stressful moments, exploring alternative therapies can yield remarkable results. The power of acupuncture, with its ability to influence the body's energy flow and promote healing, played a pivotal role in Dixie's quick recovery.


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