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Author Topic: What to do?  (Read 443 times)

2gaits

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What to do?
« on: January 02, 2018, 09:47:13 am »

Just curious as to what others would do in this situation. I think I know what I will do so I'm not looking for advice or what I should do but just wondering what decision others would come to. Here is the situation-
My mare is turning 14. I've had her since she was three. Two years ago she was diagnosed with ringbone and has been rideable on previcox. Now I'm noticing she is showing signs of lameness on the previcox. I'm thinking she is not going to be desirable. She also has skin allergies and with her supplements and meds she is around $450 a month to keep.
My gelding is turning 23 this year. I've had since he was 7. Done everything with him. Seems to have some stiffness that shows with stiff short strides movement some. Isn't really lame though, however he has fallen three times with me in the last year or so. Riding at a walk in an arena with no warning he goes down in the front. He doesn't stumble around and my sister witnessed one of the falls. She said it was like the leg went dead and he just folded. Her words. He has no other issues and nothing noticeable except some stiffness I've attributed to getting older. He is on a daily joint supplement that my sister generously pays for. He is probably about $300 a month. I don't think he is really safe to ride anymore. I am the one working, my husband is a chronic pain patient with a condition that won't get better. I can't afford to get hurt in a fall with this horse.
I love both animals. They are sweethearts and I've owned them a long time. Many sister is my riding partner. Her horse has rotation that is bad. I think very soon she will have no choice but to put her horse down. She wants to get another horse then so she can ride.
So...question is...would you keep both intolerable horses and give up riding? Taking on a third horse is out of the question. I don't have the money or time for another.  Horses are boarded in 20x50 pens.
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NoBite

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Re: What to do?
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2018, 10:48:19 am »

I love riding. My wife loves riding. It means a lot to our happiness. Given the situation you describe, I would seek out the best destination for both of my horses and find horse(s) I/we could ride. It could mean the horses would be given away to good homes for folks not desiring riding, only companionship. It could mean humanely putting the horses down. Having said that, I don't know that my thoughts will help you so much. I wish you good luck in your decision. I will only add that a compassionate veterinarian once told me, there are things worse than putting a horse down. Living a life in pain with no purpose is one of those things.
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- Life is short. Ride your best horse.


John Maldaner, western Kentucky
Star KMSH, 1991-2017 R.I.P.     Legs, MFT, 1999-2018 R.I.P.    Bandit, TWH, 2005   Smokey, TWH, 2010

KysaSD

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Re: What to do?
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2018, 11:19:08 am »

These are very hard questions, and only you know the answers.

But here are some things to consider.
How much pain/discomfort will you allow the animals to tolerate?
How much does it cost for whatever level of comfort that is possible?
How much does euthanization and burial cost?

I will say, I have seen people (myself included) who keep animals alive merely for the emotions of the human, and not the best interest of the animal.   

I put down my chocolate Rocky when she was only 14 years old.  She was IR, but had been carefully managed since she was six.  It was an issue to be managed, but no laminitis and was fine for riding.  However, IR is an inflammatory disease, and she eventually developed COPD, another inflammatory disease.  At that point she did become unrideable, but I kept her going another 3-4 months.  After my friends suggested she was in bad shape, I camped and slept next to her pen one night.  After listening to her wheeze all night, I realized how difficult life had become for her, and scheduled euthanization.  Unfortunately for her, any of the good medicines for COPD are also risks for laminitis and should not be given to IR horses.

Anyway, I say all of this to add that euthanizing a 14 year old horse is not out of the question if she is in pain.  How much pain would she be in, if you gave her nothing for the pain?  When that gets to be an issue, I would consider putting her down.  And the old guy....same thing.  Where would he be without current medications.  Yes, I certainly believe in keeping them comfortable.  But if something happened to you, and they were suddenly without the medications, would that be too much pain?
« Last Edit: January 02, 2018, 11:54:15 am by KysaSD »
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Kysa, South Dakota, 2 Mountain Horses, a Curly Foxtrotter and a Mini, yes, I am crazy!

oncidium

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Re: What to do?
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2018, 11:41:01 am »

Going with what NoBite has said.

O

“Death should never be your worst fear.  How you live can be far more gruesome.”
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loneelk

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Re: What to do?
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2018, 02:55:47 pm »

I believe that horses are hardwired to avoid showing pain unless it is excruciating, and sometimes not even then.  The one regret I have about euthanizing my trail pard Smokey @ age 24 is that I didn't do it sooner.  He'd been completely retired from riding for two years by then.  It took my husband to sit me down and tell me to take a good look at Smokey, who had been my trail pard since age 7, and realize that he was losing weight in spite of eating almost non-stop, that he was hardly ever laying down to sleep any more because he knew he couldn't get up.  I agree w/ all that John & Kysa said, and JMHO, better a week too soon than a day too late.
Best wishes in what I know first hand is a very difficult decision.
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Val & Gunner, hittin' the trails in southern NM
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slamduncan

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Re: What to do?
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2018, 03:40:54 pm »

 I agree with everything already said.  I was always taught better a day early than a day late.

When Duncan got ill, I controlled the issue and had him euthanized in September so there would be no issue in Jan or Feb.
Only you can make the choices that have to be made, I wish you well.
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Judi and the Boys, Rhode Island

abbypeaches

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Re: What to do?
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2018, 04:29:31 pm »

I agree that you should make a humane decision for both horses(retire or euthanize) especially if they are not safe to ride or having good quality of life. I had a mare with ringbone. I tried injections but over time the ringbone and arthritis got worse and worse. I put her down at 18 years old.
  You have given both good care since you have owned them. Unfortunately chronic diseases happen no matter how good of care we provide them.
   Let us know if we can help you any further.

Marilyn
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Marilyn and
 Bud, 31yo reg. MFT gelding & Midnight Rendezvous (Kate) 2 yo MFT  mare.

foxtrotter

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Re: What to do?
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2018, 05:17:19 pm »

  I agree with all of the above.   It's their quality of life, not their age that matters most.  Also, your quality of life is a very important consideration.
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MJ

Little Freckles

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Re: What to do?
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2018, 07:55:25 pm »

I have been in your shoes.  I decided quality of life trumped quantity-both for them and for me- and put the animals down.  I took a bit, but I saved up the money I had been spending to maintain them and eventually found a horse I could enjoy and not have to take a second mortgage to sustain.
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Susan, close to Springfield, IL

meely3

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Re: What to do?
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2018, 05:02:03 am »

 To me a horse that falls is extremely dangerous and I would put him down. Even though he hasn't fallen except when being ridden he could. And if he falls on someone that is just too risky for me, and for my farrier. I would probably try a little more with the mare. A lot of people are having good results with OsPhos and even though it's not for ringbone I would probably spend the $400 and try a shot of it to see if it helped before I would think about retiring her. I would find a good riding horse if I still wanted to ride or I would just downsize to the one if I didn't. I've talked on and off about not having horses at all for some time now, and riding isn't really important to me anymore but I still enjoy the company of the horses. So it would be an easy decision for me to keep a horse that wasn't up for any riding, or not more than a slow walk around.
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misstux

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Re: What to do?
« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2018, 08:23:34 am »

I am almost where you are right now. Strider will be 16 this year. I spend a ton of money on rehab and if I am lucky get 4 months of full use. He is 1/3 of my takehome without all the vet bills......  It is a difficult decision.
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MMLaurie

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Re: What to do?
« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2018, 06:16:00 pm »

I have had to euthanize 4 horses in the last 6 years so feel I can speak to this. Firstly I believe the horse with ringbone should not be ridden any longer. On previcox and lame means pain and probably a good deal more than you realize. Keeping her for your enjoyment even if you call her retired is not fair to her. Ringbone is degenerative as I am sure you know so only putting of inevitable. I would take them both together and euthanize them at same time.  I would then take a few months and see how I felt on acquiring another horse for riding.  Though in your circumstance with a ill husband, I would probably be happy with a cat and a dog and some good friends and family.  I find that there are always people out there that love to share their horses. If that means being a horseless rider or a grooming helper. There are lots of ways to still have regular contact with horses and not have to own them or foot the bills.
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Laurie from the north. Canada eh!
Saskatchewan.

kckc

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Re: What to do?
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2018, 06:34:02 pm »

I don't have anything I can say that doesn't come across as "advice"... so I'll just say that you're in a tough spot but I like that you are considering the quality of your horses' lives
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GloriousJourney

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Re: What to do?
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2018, 08:50:11 am »

My thoughts are with you. It is a very difficult, soul searching decision. I faced a similar circumstance with my horse and pony, and my very ill husband not so very long ago. I finally elected to euthanize both of mine at the same time, as they were both ailing and miserable...and best buddies. I then lost my husband also. I do have a very sweet young mare now, and my miniature schnauzer that comfort my days.
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Lesley in Jupiter

Kalli

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Re: What to do?
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2018, 02:51:42 pm »

I would cry, then lose sleep trying to decide whether to euthanize, one day I’d be pro, the next con. And this would go on for a while. Then, at some point, I’d have to decide to euthanize them, and would have vet do both together. Might take a few weeks to pamper them and give myself time to accept it.  Then I’d  ask my mentor/riding buddy to be there with me when the vet came.  She’d be there, help me through, and afterwards, if I wanted, she’d help me find another trail horse.

That’s pretty much what would transpire for me.
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