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Author Topic: My 32 year old gelding passed away.  (Read 255 times)

bearxfoo

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My 32 year old gelding passed away.
« on: April 15, 2018, 08:27:23 pm »

On Monday, the 9th, I got a call from my barn owner that my horse had gone down and was unable to get up. When she called me, he had finally managed to get up, but kept wanting to lay back down. She told me she thought he was colicing.

I rushed to the barn to find my horse depressed and laying down. If he did stand up, he'd stand for a few minutes, kick at his belly, and lay back down. He wasn't rolling, or acting violently in pain. He just laid quietly. He had not pooped while I was there, and was uninterested in hay or water. I called the vet and he came in about 40 minutes.

When he got there, he did an exam and determined he was having a minor bout of colic. The rectal exam showed that he had some gas distended in the cecum. He had no fever. He was tubed with water and mineral oil, given injectable batamine, and we were told to hand walk him every 1 to 2 hours. We were instructed to keep him in the arena so we could monitor his fecal production. We (my husband and I) stayed at the barn until 8am with him, sleeping in shifts in the observation room and walking him every 1.5 hours.

He did not poop all night, and still was uninterested in hay, or water.

We were exhausted, so Tuesday morning we went home at around 8am and slept until noon. While we were gone, my barn owner watched him and spent time with him. She groomed him for a long time and he seemed to enjoy it, but his attitude never changed. He was quiet, depressed, and laying down a lot. Still no poop, and not interested in food.

At noon we went back to the barn. When CJ still hadn't pooped, we called the vet again. He said he just needed some time, but would come back out to re-examine him. While we waited on him, we put CJ in my trailer and went around the block to see if that would help him poop. It didn't. We also put him in a stall to see if he would poop. He didn't.

The vet got there around 3pm. He did another exam and rectal. His heart rate was starting to increase (it was 46 the first exam on Monday night, and Tuesday afternoon it was 60) and he had some minor bloating. The rectal showed some tenderness. This time he did a lactate acid test and it was normal (1.0), which was positive (he said lactate acid levels were an indicator of lack of blood circulation in the body. He said when they're not in normal range, it's likely that there's necrotic tissue somewhere). He did another round of water and mineral oil, and said the same thing: keep walking him around. He said as long as we watched him, he could go out to his pasture. He gave him more injectable batamine and left, telling us to keep him updated.

We put him in the pasture for a few hours to see if that would help him. He walked around a bit, then just stood in one spot for a long while before eventually laying down again. We got him up and he went back to the arena. We stood with him for a bit, walked him around, gave him fresh water and hay. Then we went back home to rest and grab some dinner. We left at around 5pm, maybe a little later.

At around 8:30 I went back to check on him. He was still in the arena, but we found him standing in a corner. His attitude was starting to decline more drastically. He no longer willing to walk with me. And if he did walk, he'd try to go back to the corner. I called my husband and told him he was declining. He called the vet and came straight to the barn. The vet made it there in less then 30 minutes.

When the vet got there, I noticed CJ was beginning to tremble. He did another rectal and said things were very swollen and distended, extremely tight and full. He was extremely reactive to the rectal, kicking out in pain. His heart rate was still increasing, this time at 80. He did another lactate acid test, and his levels had gone up, double what it was in the afternoon (2.0).

It was at this point that my vet recommened euthanizing him. Because the pain was unmanagable, and he was declining, unable to pass manure, not eating or drinking water, he told me we were not winning this battle. I agreed, especially because his lactate levels were increasing, which meant he had dying tissue somewhere in his gut.

We put him down Tuesday night. I cried a lot, and he was buried a short while later.

My vet thinks it was most likely a fatty tumor, called a lipoma, that caused the blockage or had wrapped around a portion of his small intestines.

I'm devestated, as I owned CJ for around 15 years. He was my first horse and he taught me everything. He was given to me, and we had an incredibly bond. He was a special horse. He took care of me. I never felt unsafe on or around him.

I wanted to share this with some people who wound understand my loss.

Here's an album of photos of CJ. The most recent ones are near the top. The first two are of him Monday night and Tuesday morning.

https://imgur.com/a/jKV8g
« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 02:51:34 pm by bearxfoo »
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Stephanie, S.E. Michigan

Sol, 13 year old TWH mare
RIP CJ. April 1986 - April 10th, 2018. CJ was 32.

"Confidence is built on the back of a horse"

GloriousJourney

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Re: My 32 year old gelding passed away.
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2018, 08:39:14 pm »

I am very sorry for your loss. He was a great boy. Hugs to you.
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Lesley in Jupiter

doubtndeb

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Re: My 32 year old gelding passed away.
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2018, 10:41:31 pm »

Prayers for you from Louisiana.
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stablemind

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Re: My 32 year old gelding passed away.
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2018, 05:17:09 am »

I am so sorry for the loss of your special friend. ((HUGS))
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slamduncan

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Re: My 32 year old gelding passed away.
« Reply #4 on: April 16, 2018, 05:19:32 am »

Thoughts and prayers from RI.
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Judi and the Boys, Rhode Island

loneelk

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Re: My 32 year old gelding passed away.
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2018, 06:12:19 am »

Never easy to say goodbye.  I'm sorry for your loss.
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Val & Gunner, hittin' the trails in southern NM
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Karen

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Re: My 32 year old gelding passed away.
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2018, 06:40:09 am »

So sorry :-(
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Karen

capecupcake

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Re: My 32 year old gelding passed away.
« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2018, 06:46:46 am »

So sorry for your loss. He looks like he was such a great boy. Reminds me a lot of my boy Trace. Hugs to you.
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KysaSD

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Re: My 32 year old gelding passed away.
« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2018, 07:04:34 am »

Very sorry.  He lived a long good life, but it is always so hard to put down a good horse.  Treasure your memories.
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Kysa, South Dakota, 2 Mountain Horses, and a Mini, yes, I am crazy!

misstux

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Re: My 32 year old gelding passed away.
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2018, 08:23:34 am »

I am so very sorry about your sweet boy. You can tell from the pics what a wonderful soul he had. Hugs to you.
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Walkin45

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Re: My 32 year old gelding passed away.
« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2018, 09:32:42 am »

Sorry for the loss of CJ.
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foxtrotter

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Re: My 32 year old gelding passed away.
« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2018, 03:55:51 pm »

 CJ was a wonderful partner for you, those are one of a kind horses.  Sending prayers and hugs to you.
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MJ

Little Freckles

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Re: My 32 year old gelding passed away.
« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2018, 07:39:14 pm »

 :'( my heart aches for you and your husband.  Huge hugs to you both.
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Susan, close to Springfield, IL

bearxfoo

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Re: My 32 year old gelding passed away.
« Reply #13 on: April 17, 2018, 07:15:30 am »

Thanks everybody for the kind words. This past week has been really hard.
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Stephanie, S.E. Michigan

Sol, 13 year old TWH mare
RIP CJ. April 1986 - April 10th, 2018. CJ was 32.

"Confidence is built on the back of a horse"

PAWalker

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Re: My 32 year old gelding passed away.
« Reply #14 on: April 17, 2018, 07:16:42 am »

I am so sorry for your loss:(
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