07 January 2010

Fleeting...that is what life is.

A Sunday like every Sunday.
Except for the extreme cold.
Except for the fact that we almost lost Annie....

Everyone came in from turnout as usual.
Everyone had lunch as usual.
Everyone got a carrot as usual.
Annie got her one tiny sliver, as usual.

But, the exception was, Annie forgot to chew.
Annie just swallowed.
J and I were standing at her stall, while Miss D munched her carrot.
We realized right away that something was a miss with Annie.
Her eyes got huge.
She began making horrid noises in her throat.
She was in distress with her breathing.
I knew instantly that the carrot had lodged in her airway,
leaving just a small amount of room for air to pass.
J began to massage her long neck in hopes the carrot would
dislodge,and slide on down.
It did not.

I called the vet.
She was just leaving another call.
45 minutes away.

J massaged.her neck.
I massaged her neck.
We took turns.

Annie would break away from us,
stand with her front legs spread apart,
and hang her head down,
while the most horrid wretching sound
came from her throat.
Mucus would pour from her nose and mouth onto the straw.
And this scenario played out over and over,
as Annie gasped for breath.
And tears streamed down my face,
and J was as silent and serious as I have ever seen him.

It seemed like forever, but finally the rumbling of a diesel truck could be heard.
We heard it.
The horses heard it.
Everyone began to bellow that someone was here.
Cadence called out.
Allure and Allegra called out.
Miss D screamed out.
And Annie lifted her head,
and gave a little baby whinny as loud as she could.
And swallowed.
Her eyes brightened.
She took huge gulp of air.
The carrot had slid down her throat!

Our vet walked into the barn carrying supplies.
and J let her know that Annie had just swallowed the carrot.
The vet checked her out, and then stayed for about an hour to
make sure our girl was ok.

In all my years working with horses,
I have never had a foal aspirate.
Older horses tend to eat too fast at times,
and end up choking.
Watering down their hay, or placing a large, smooth rock
in their feeder (so they have to slow down and eat around it.)
are solutions for horses that tend to choke.

So from now on, at carrot time, Annie can still join in.
Only, her carrots come in a jar.
Labled "Gerbers."
Instead of crunching her carrot (or not!!)
we load up a large syringe
with Gerbers pureed
and Annie is quite happy!

And we are beyond relieved.
Annie may be getting her carrots like this for a long, long time.
Until she is like fifteen.....

It is a Happy New Year,



Ann On and On... said...

Oh my goshhhhh! You both stayed so calm. I am soooo happy things turned out the way they did. That Annie.....what is she trying to do to us? :D

Lucy said...

Oh my gosh! My heart was pounding by the time I got to the end of that post. What a miracle that she held on that long. 45 minutes! Loooooong time. Phew! I don't want to lose future stories about her by losing her.

Mountain Woman said...

Oh my gosh, you must have been frantic and panicked. So glad all is well!

The Lone Star Queen said...

That's so scary! Poor little Annie. I'm glad she was okay.

Flat Creek Farm said...

Oh my word!! Misha!! How scary for you and J and Annie! That was a complete miracle. I am SO relieved to hear she's okay. When Ruby & Gracie were babies, I would shred their carrots in the food processor. However, I suppose that shredded carrots could even be choked on as well. But Gerbers... well, you're safe with Gerbers ;-) So happy this had a good ending! Big... deep... sigh of relief :-) Hugs, Tammy

Heart2Heart said...


I couldn't imagine just how stressed you all were while you waited for a vet that seems too far away while watching helpless unable to do anything. I am so thankful this story had a happy ending all the way around.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Oh My Gosh... Poor Annie... I'm glad she is okay. I can only imagine how upset you were. I was almost teary just reading your post today...

We didn't get too much snow today---but it's cold and going to get colder. Please stay warm and take care of your babies.

Country Dreaming said...

I'm with Lucy--heart pounding AND forgetting to breathe myself!
I sooooo happy to hear that everyone-especially Annie is doing
fine. I was just a bit scared.!

Take care!


Andrea said...

OH MY...I am sooo thankful she is fine. WOW...she would get gerber for the rest of her life if I were having to feed her...I would be afraid after that scary episode.

Blessings, andrea

Donna said...

Oh Misha, Thank goodness she is okay! Bless that baby's heart and yours and your husband's as well! I am go glad Annie finally got the carrot down. We used to give our horses a carrot a day too... they loved it. Yeah... you might as well buy stock in Gerber baby food. Sounds like you will be buying a lot over the next 15 years!
God Bless!

~Kim~ said...

OH MY GOODNESS!!! Tell Annie that next time she wants attention to not do something that puts such a scare in you and the rest of us!! ;-)) Seriously, I'm so very glad she was being looked after & is okay--Hope you're recovered from it too!!!

Mary @ Neat and Tidy said...

How helpless you must have felt! I am glad that everything worked out for all of you. Hugs, friend.

Rural Revival said...

Misha, I have goosebumps and tears in my eyes just thinking about how you and J must have felt and how scared Annie must have been. I can't tell you how relieved I am to here everything is okay. Really, really relieved! I say Gerber's until she's 30! HUGS!!!

Be well! ~Andrea~

PS. I'm having my first giveaway, come by when you have a minute, I wouldn't want you to miss it! ; )

Deborah said...

WOW I can't believe that happened. I have never seen a horse choke. How scary it must have been for you two/three. I am so happy she is ok. Did the Vet check her out. Was a relief.
Happy New Year to you too!

Shelly's Stuff Jewelry said...

Wow. Glad to hear Annie's okay.

Alisha said...

I'm so glad Annie is ok. We were so worried. I had tears in my eyes when I was reading your post.
Please give her a big hug and a kiss on that sweet little nose.
All my best,

Growing Up A Country Girl said...

I'm so glad that story had a happy ending.... very scarey!

allhorsestuff said...

OH!!! I am sooo glad that it turned out as such! My sissy tells me of her horses(in the past) that had choke and all she did for them. A little nighing..who would have thought..it opened her passage up just a little more!
Praise God for these small miracles.

Amy said...

Thank you Thank you Thank you for leaving a comment on my blog so I could find yours...I do not understand how you found time to read my entire blog- I'm more then flattered about that- I have read the front page of yours and now I have to get my son off to school and get busy...but I LOVE your blog and I LOVE all your animals..you even have a racoon you lucky girl!!! I keep telling Stig I would like a baby deer and he just laughs at me..ugh...I'm so following your blog and later today adding a link to your blog so I can get here quickly and read when I can...
I'm sooooo glad Annie was ok, scared the heebie jeebies out of me as I was reading this, I kept thinking, please let her live...ugh...YES only pureed carrots from now on please!!!
Oh and I've noticed something, the balance between cats and dogs on your property is off...you need more dogs!! ;-))
Take care- big hugs from Norway!!!

Feral Female said...

Oh my gosh what horrible experience! I`m SO glad Annie is fine. Cudos for remaining calm in that situation.

Nezzy said...

OMGosh! Poor Annie, I'm so glad she is alright! Who would of thunk??? This Ozarks once performed the heimlich maneuver on another teacher on a field trip once but never on a horse! You did good, girl!

Have a wonderfully blessed day and I'm so happy everything turned out for this beautiful creature!!!

Catherine said...

it happened once to my baby donkey with an apple ,i did the same as you did and the vet did her an injection, to release the spasm in her neck, it's terrible because we feel helpless. I'm happy to hear that she is ok. catherine

Cheryl and Carman said...

Holy cow!!!! I held my breath as I read...I just can not imagine.
I chop my carrots into very small pieces, but I supposed it is just one of those freakish things that happen. So very glad she is perfect.

Statch said...

How scared you must have been! I'm so glad everything turned out all right.

Elle Bee said...

Oh Misha, what a scary scary story! I was reading so fast because I was so scared of the ending. Thank goodness the vet arrived and helped Annie in an unexpected way!

Jenn@Spejory said...

Oh! Poor Annie! I am so thankful that she was able to swallow the carrot and is OK!!! I can't imagine how long that 45 minutes was for you! So thankful!

Marie said...

Thank goodness that ended well. I was getting upset as I read it even though I had read your later post and knew she was okay. She is so beautiful!