So sorry. Never easy, I have never had to do it with a horse though. I think it's a personal decision. Do you think you'll regret not being there?
Either way, I'd go armed with any sweet treats he enjoys, hell, I'd bring ice cream. anything you think he'll eat. And love him up and if you need to go before its over, then that's ok too.
Life sucks. I would like to go back to being 12. 12 was a good age. Back then I just dreamed and schemed about getting a horse, with no real hopes and dreams beyond the actual acquiring of a four legged animal that I could ride and feed carrots.
Speaking of carrots, Don has gotten about 7lbs of them these past few days.
I already took my part of the tail tonight. I think I might have over done it too, I just grabbed from the center and braided down from the tailbone and cut it. But since I took it from the middle it doesn't look like I took much.
Tomorrow I'm braiding my stupid bracelet that has "Dream Believe Achieve" on it into his mane before the vet gets here. I started wearing it when I got him believing me and this giveaway horse no one wanted would show everyone.
Life sure played a prank on me. He was going to be officially mine when I graduated from college. Never thought HE would be the one who didn't make it to graduation.
Just 22 hours left to take.
What a start to my senior year.
Looking at him standing still almost makes me change my mind, he looks comfortable. But when I see him walk there's no doubt - he has no strength left. He wobbles. He can't walk straight even.
He's got nothing left. No weight, no energy, just watching him walk around and graze he's tired. He's gone from being the fittest, most gorgeous, shiny, muscled animal to being able to count his ribs with his hips poking out. Spine now too - its like the skin just falls straight down until it hits his ribcage. And just when he's picking up weight, this happens again and what weight he had gained is gone.
I think if we wait another week, get second opinions, try to treat it again, anything, it will be too late. We'll find him down in the pasture without the energy to get up and we'll know we waited too long. He didnt even have the energy to lift his head above his withers yesterday. not even with me holding the carrot up in the air just to see if he could. I hosed him off to keep him cool when it was hot in the afternoon and he circled afterward like he was going to roll and then rethought it, because he didnt.
If he had a little strength left, a little energy, a little more weight on him to withstand treatment I would try. I would try so hard for this little horse.
But I don't think he does. And he's tried so hard already, for me.
The bloodwork was what I expected - liver levels almost as high as the first time + infection. We tried the big guns already to flush out his liver and beat the infection. We could try to treat again, but for what? Another 4 months? Maybe we'd get lucky and he'd get 6 or even a year before the heat bothers him again.
I just can't help thinking its not fair to him. He's miserable, but right now he looks tired and comfortable. I'd rather see him go like that than wait until he's gotten really painful, even thinner, and potentially fallen and unable to get up or some other tragedy.
My heart is breaking for you too. I'm so very sorry. We've all either been down this road or will be at some point. It's never easy and it shouldn't be. Don't second guess yourself and give him this last gift, the gift of caring more for him than yourself.
"We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant
I guess one of us better contact LOPE at some point, since they adopted him through it.
It's amazing what can happen in a year and a half... Going from barely able to canter under saddle to jumping 3'-3'6" and doing some very talented dressage work, to gone. One day prancing around the arena, the next day sick. A few months later, as sick as before.
The vet confirmed our decision, told us if he thought we could save him he would have said so when I called him with my decision. He said giving more antibiotics to fight the infection was like giving the owner of a foundered horse more and more bute until they finally make the decision themselves, and that if we biopsied the liver we would find Really Bad Stuff going on.
Please do not post that stupid rainbow bridge poem anyone.
Resist the urge.
Just don't do it.
I'm going back to sleep and not coming back out again until it's time to go back to school. 22 hours left to take before I can graduate.
Although I am significantly calmer knowing he's gone, the decision is made, no more waffling about it, and he really was never going to get better. Ever. I had my year and a half of believing he and I were going to be something special, that we already were something special, because his owners gave him to me after trying to sell him unsuccessfully so they decided he only liked me. Used all those magical phrases like "I just want to see the two of you together." and "I've never seen him respond to anyone the way he responds to you." and all the stuff people tend to joke about on COTH. They gave him to me and he was going to be my graduation present officially, I've been hanging out in their barn since I was 16, and their daughter was supposed to graduate from high school the same year as me, so they really wanted to see me graduate from college.
I don't think anyone of us ever thought HE would be the one who didn't make it to graduation. (not that I was ever at risk of dropping out, rather I will be graduating with honors, a member of my IHSA team, active in many clubs, and having been a TA for a professor (which confuses many people into thinking I'm a grad student - I'm not)... Having him with me made me work so much harder but was so rewarding. This year will feel very empty, especially since we registered for classes before he got sick, and I scheduled mine to be all MWF so I'd have TTh to spend at the barn with him.
I'm sorry for your loss, ER. Your horse was lucky you had the strength and composure to give him this final grace.
A dear friend's horse was PTS earlier this year after enduring a virtually identical journey to your boy's. It was also liver failure, and he went through highs and lows, seeming to get better for a few months, and then crashing again. Liver failure really plays with your hopes.
I so agree with you re the Rainbow Bridge. I hate it and do not read it ever!
Lots of hugs to you. He knew he was loved. You did all you could for him. You will never forget him and he will always be in your heart. Thank you for not putting him through more treatments and making his pain and yours last longer.