I am so very, very sorry ER. This is so unfair for both of you. He was lucky, though, to have had the time with you that he did. I just know that he loved his time with you. Maybe you were a gift for him. You are a horsewoman of the highest order.
"The captive bolt is not a proper tool for slaughter of equids they regain consciousness 30 seconds after being struck fully aware they are being vivisected." Dr Friedlander DVM & frmr Chief USDA Insp
Aw EnglishRider, you did good.
Stuff like this happens, always has, always will. You got through it this time, and you will again in the future.
As time passes you'll gain perspective on this.
Remember that things could have been a lot worse. Truely.
I want you to have a wonderful graduation next May. My Man Don would expect nothing less of you.
You did good.
Very sorry for your loss. I fought the same thing with a 5 year old pacer and at times it was horrible and I kept asking myself if I could continue to put him through the treatments. His liver issues stemmed from a bad heart and he was in a-fib constantly with severe fluid around the heart itself. The liver counts would go from off the wall to semi normal if the wind blew. He ended up making it, but will never be a healthy animal able to do things like "normal" horses do. You did the right thing, you loved him until the end and you stopped his suffering, it's the best gift you can give them sometimes.
I spent too many years working in a kennel... I worked with my best friend and we'd see dogs brought in in their late teens, huge arthritic/medical troubles, not happy, you could just SEE the look in their eyes like they were asking to please just let me be done. They always had long lists of medications too. We actually had to tell a lady we would not board her dog again after it stayed with us this summer because he could hardly get up from lying down, took a huge effort to walk, walked into walls, and was getting snappy with the staff (and they had been regulars in the past so we knew how sweet and friendly that dog used to be). We were actually afraid he would die (if he had been completely unable to get up we would have taken him to a vet, we would never just let a dog lay there in pain and dying) on us.
I used to tell my friend: "Don't let me be like that. Don't let me hold on to an animal in that much pain. If my dog ever looks like that promise me you will load the two of us into the car and march me into the vets office, because it's not fair to her."
She always promised.
Never thought I would have to see that look in my young, beautiful horses eyes. Not that I expected him to live forever or anything... But still... I wish he could have held on just a little bit longer, to be my best friend a few more days. To make up for the week I spent prepping that stupid Appaloosa for the show we never actually went to and didn't go out and see him at all that week. Wish I could have walked around on him bareback one last time before the fever got to him.
Packing up my tack tonight. It'll stay in my closet til I get a horse again someday. His saddle will probably never be used again, I had to search long and hard for a saddle narrow enough for him.
Selfless act, kind and needed. You did good by him. It sucks, nothing will change that. You will remember him forever, and remember your thoughts of what could have been. But remember, you did what was right and ultimately that was the best gift you could have given to him.