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Owner’s appeal not to feed horses after potato gets stuck in elderly mare’s throat

The owner of an elderly mare who had to undergo emergency vet treatment after a potato became stuck in her throat has urged the public not to feed other people’s horses.

Lindsey Howard’s Welsh section A pony Sunny, who is thought to be about 40, appears to be recovering from her ordeal but vets said the time after her return home from the clinic was critical.

Lindsey told H&H her sister found Sunny frothing at the mouth and coughing on Saturday morning (4 April).

“She seemed ok, so I put her in a pen and gave her some sloppy food, but she took a mouthful and started choking,” she said.

“I started rubbing her throat and could feel a big lump in there.”

Lindsey’s vet tried to tube Sunny but the water would not go past the potato, from which a piece of peel appeared, confirming the cause of the issue.

It was decided to take the mare into the clinic, where the vets managed to shift the potato into her stomach.

“They didn’t realise how big it was until then,” Lindsey said. “They said it was so big, they weren’t sure whether the stomach acid would break it down, or whether it might cause colic; they said the next few days are critical – but she’s a fighter, and the messages of support I’ve had have been amazing.”

Lindsey said by yesterday afternoon (6 April) Sunny was looking better, but the situation could have taken a far worse turn.

“The vet said it would have choked any horse because it was so big,” she said. “Someone must have thrown it into her field; there are houses backing on to it and a bridleway next to it. We need to spread the word, especially now people are taking their children out for walks and taking them to feed horses.

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“Poor Sunny’s now out in a pen on her own because I can’t risk it happening again.

“She’s on a special diet; all sloppy food because I’m doing everything I can to keep her in good condition, then this happens because of someone’s stupid behaviour.

“It could have ruptured her throat or she could have needed surgery, and because of her age, I don’t think I could have put her through that.”

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