Maintenance of COPD diagnosed stallion discussed

We have a 16 yr QH stallion that was diagonsed with COPD about 3 years ago. Last summer he was pasture breeding and luckily we noticed him. He had an impaction of grass in his throat. The vet came and got it out. He has a hard time drinking water ...We have a 16 yr QH stallion that was diagonsed with COPD about 3 years ago. Last summer he was pasture breeding and luckily we noticed him. He had an impaction of grass in his throat. The vet came and got it out. He has a hard time drinking water ...

Story originally posted by: Dr. Michael Lowder, DVM, MSUniv. of GA School of Veterinary Medicine

We have a 16 yr QH stallion that was diagonsed with COPD about 3 years ago. Last summer he was pasture breeding and luckily we noticed him. He had an impaction of grass in his throat. The vet came and got it out. He has a hard time drinking water at times and seems to choke periodically. Water will come out his nose. I really want to help this poor guy, as he is a gentle soul. Changing from grass to hay seems hard as well. What feed would you reccomend? He will choke on dry feed as well. (Or cough it up)

Can you give me some advise on what to do with him. He has seen several local vets.

Any advice will be greatly appreciated!

Thank you.

Kim,

I would encourage you to have a complete oral examination (including endoscopy) done by a veterinarian in your area at a referral center. When the choke is severe in some cases the esophagus is injury and healing is slow. Sometimes you will have a stenosis (a narrowing) of the esophagus after the esophagus heals which impairs movement of feed–frequently leading to more episodes of choke. I would suggest you try feeding him a slurry of a complete pelleted feed and remove all hay. You may try a slurry of hay cubes in addition to the pelleted slurry. If he is not having any trouble eating grass then let him have as much as he would like. Again, I would like to see an endoscopy done to see if the horse has a stenosis, diverticula or neoplasia. There is also the chance that there might be some external compression via an enlarged lymph node.

Good Luck,
Dr. Lowder

The author cannot be responsible if this information is misunderstood or misconstrued because it has been taken out of context. The concepts and techniques discussed in this answer are meant for experienced horsemen. Because of the nature of electronically transferred information, the integrity or security of this message cannot be guaranteed. No valid patient client relationship is implied or inferred and always consult with you local veterinarian.