Friday, September 16, 2011

How Do You Give a Horse the Heimlich Maneuver?

At the evening feeding yesterday, something happened that scared the hell out of me. We are taking The Girls camping this weekend to Tippecanoe State Park. I had everyone closed in the stalls for the feeding because I had to leave the gate open so John could pull the truck in and hook up the trailer. I am in Divna's stall with her and Marco (black goat).
Divna took a big bite of hay, then made this strange noise, stretched her neck out, and started coughing violently. Hay was flying out of her mouth and she kept coughing and straining. I was terrified -- she was choking! I had no idea what to do. Tears started coming out of her eye, so I knew it was serioius.. I started thinking of the Heimlich Maneuver, but had no clue as to how that is done on a horse.
I thought about human anatomy, and how you are supposed to put your arms around the person and press your fist upwards under their sternum. So I tried to judge where her sternjum (or equivalent) may be, made a fist and just pounded. I then rubbed her neck upwards, and pounded again. I did this a few times. She kept coughing up hay.
In a short amount of time (seemed like hours) she started breathing normally and her eye stopped tearing. It looked like she was OK. I went and got her a bucket of water.
She is fine, but it scared me to death......

1 comment:

webquilts said...

Wow ! What a way to start the day. I bet she is glad you are taking care of her. Way to think fast!