This section is from the book "The Farmers Ready Reference Or Hand Book Of Diseases Of Horses And Cattle", by S. C. Orr. . Also available from Amazon: The Farmer's Ready Reference;.
Cattle are very liable to choke, especially when fed on roots, nubbins of corn, chopped pumpkins, or any other hard food.
Symptoms. - The animal will stop eating, stand apart from the others, drool freely and sometimes gulp as if trying to swallow. The obstruction may also be seen and felt from the outside of the throat and neck. Sometimes when an animal has remained choked for some time there will be severe bloating which may have to be relieved by puncturing, as described under Bloating.
Treatment - If the obstruction is up near the throat, place a gag in the animal's mouth and endeavor to reach the offending object and draw it out through the mouth. But, if the choke is low down or cannot be reached with the hand, a probang must be inserted and the object pushed down into the stomach. If the choke should be of bran or other ground food, or of oats, do not pass the probang, as it will only pack and make the matter worse. In this case a little oil may be poured down; or better, a half pint of water in which has been dissolved a heaping teaspoonful of saltpetre, and then try to start the choke by working on the outside with the hands. If a choke cannot be removed by any other means it may be done by laying the walls of the esophagus or gullet open with a sharp knife, but this will require the skill of a surgeon, and need not be described here.