IT WAS the largest foreign object she had ever seen lodged in a horse’s throat.
But Hampshire vet Laura Trigg managed to remove a one foot long bramble stuck inside six-year-old Dougal’s oesophagus after embarking on a two-hour battle to save his life.
Dougal is a competition horse owned by Luke Blomfield, a 28-year-old farrier from Lymington.
He said: “He’s always loved his food - in fact at times he can be a real pig - but I noticed he wasn’t eating or even drinking.
“I tried to feed him but he was resistant and coughed - and after a few hours I decided there must be something seriously wrong.”
Luke called Seadown Veterinary Services, which took Dougal to its equine hospital in Hythe.
“A scope revealed that an incredibly long bramble was stuck in his throat,” he said.
“In the end Laura managed to retrieve it.
“No-one could believe it was so long and intact - Dougal hadn’t even bothered to chew it.”
Laura added: “I was called out in the early hours to see a horse with an unusual case of ‘choke’."
“I suspected there was a foreign body in his throat and he went into our hospital early the next morning for further investigation."
“During an endoscopic examination, we found a 30cm bramble just past his larynx."
“I’d never seen such a large foreign body stuck in a horse’s oesophagus before - and the thorns sticking into the side of the oesophagus made things even more tricky."
“We finally managed to get the end of the bramble into his larynx and successfully removed it by mouth."
“If the bramble hadn’t been removed, or the condition hadn’t been noticed, poor Dougal would have died."
“As it was he was able to be discharged the next day."
“He was re-scoped a week later with no sign of a bramble ever having been there.”
Luke agreed that Dougal was lucky to be alive.
He said: “I knew it was a bramble he’d swallowed but until Laura pulled it out I had no idea it was so long."
“Dougal loves his food and why he never chewed the bramble we’ll never know."
“We’ve never heard of a horse doing this before and other owners should be made aware that it can happen."
“Laura and the veterinary nurses at Seadown were amazing - they mucked in and went the extra mile for Dougal."
“He’s so lucky to be alive, thanks to Laura and her team. I can’t thank them enough.”
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