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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 18, 2007
    Posts
    523

    Default distraught

    Last Friday my 27 yr old mare fell in the pasture as she was trying to stand after rolling. When she finally stood up I could tell she hurt her hind left leg. She already was lame on that leg due to an very very old injury, which is what sent her into retirement. This was not the first time she fell, and I'm always very worried that the next time it could be so much worse.

    Aside from the leg, I have noticed that in the last 2 months her attitude and appetite has started down hill. Also, any day that gets hot in here in Texas, she has a very hard time handling it. So while consulting with my vet after the fall we set the date to put her down.

    Fast forward to yesterday; she did not want to stay on her feet at all. She never lays down. NEVER. She was so pitiful. I told my DH I thought she was trying to die on me. It was an awful day.

    Today, she is bright eyed bushy tailed. Its like she is 10 years younger over night. She even finished her breakfast and knickers to me every time I walk into the pasture! I have the vet scheduled to come out at 8am and I am completely distraught thinking that maybe it was not time.

    Sorry, I know this was long... I thought typing it out would make me feel peace. It didn't. Guess I just needed to vent.
    Last edited by Katy9532; Jan. 3, 2013 at 08:30 PM.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan. 24, 2003
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    1,550

    Default

    Go with your gut. Don't second guess yourself. I'm sorry there really isn't ever any easy way to make that kind of decision.
    Race training and retraining Thoroughbreds.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    May. 20, 2005
    Location
    Desert Southwest
    Posts
    6,301

    Default

    "Better a day too early than a day too late."

    I don't know where you are in Texas, but I know the South has a whole 'nother definition of HOT. Winters, most horses are a bit more "bright eyed and bushy tailed", morel likely to show high spirits. Heck I wouldn't want to live through another Texas summer and I was born there!

    Letting her go now, while she appears to feel "OK" is a kinder thing than waiting for her to suffer through her last hours or days. You did the right and kindest thing. The bad days would soon outnumber the good ones. It's always hard, hard, hard, though. Grieve, remember the good times, be a peace with your decision.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2012
    Posts
    748

    Default

    Most animals have a lift of spirit days before they die. And since she has been going downhill with her health, I would assume this is what's happening.

    Be brave, do right by her and trust yourself.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 25, 2011
    Posts
    416

    Default

    I am so sorry you are going through this with your old girl.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan. 17, 2008
    Location
    Dutchess County, New York
    Posts
    4,168

    Default

    Old and infirm animals are often on a rollercoaster, of one day being bad, the next better. The better days can give you hope, but remember, this rollercoaster is only going in one direction. She is never going to get completely better; just those good days will get farther and farther apart. As everyone else has said, you do not want to let it get too long so she gets hurt and dies a terrible death.

    One of the horses here, in hindsight, should have been put down when he was injured. It is a long story but he was not. He ended up falling and getting catastrophically injured, and dying over a half hour's time. The vet got there for the last 15 minutes. That half hour was so horrific that I would not wish that on any one, the sufferer or anyone watching. I am as a result firmly in the better a day too soon camp. Far better that she miss a day or two that could have been good than to risk going through a terrible time at the end. Avoiding a terrible time at the end is exactly why we have euthanasia for pets and horses.

    It is tough! Good luck as you go through this whole process.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 25, 2005
    Location
    Northeast
    Posts
    10,803

    Default

    Let her go easily, when things are not downhill, if at all possible on a bright sunny day.

    Been there, done that!

    It's meant to be easy for them. We will deal with it! Like it or not!
    Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov. 18, 2007
    Posts
    523

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SMF11 View Post
    Old and infirm animals are often on a rollercoaster, of one day being bad, the next better. The better days can give you hope, but remember, this rollercoaster is only going in one direction. She is never going to get completely better; just those good days will get farther and farther apart. As everyone else has said, you do not want to let it get too long so she gets hurt and dies a terrible death.

    One of the horses here, in hindsight, should have been put down when he was injured. It is a long story but he was not. He ended up falling and getting catastrophically injured, and dying over a half hour's time. The vet got there for the last 15 minutes. That half hour was so horrific that I would not wish that on any one, the sufferer or anyone watching. I am as a result firmly in the better a day too soon camp. Far better that she miss a day or two that could have been good than to risk going through a terrible time at the end. Avoiding a terrible time at the end is exactly why we have euthanasia for pets and horses.

    It is tough! Good luck as you go through this whole process.
    Your story is the exact thing I am most terrified of. The fall last Friday was not her first, and I'm sure not her last. I never want to see her suffer. She has been my companion for 20 years, she still deserves all the best.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    May. 10, 2009
    Location
    NC piedmont
    Posts
    2,190

    Default

    You're doing the right thing (and the right thing hurts!). Horses live in the now, and if your old girl is having some good days, that's a blessing-she'll go feeling good and not have her last thoughts be of pain. And when it's done, she'll be free from pain forever. You won't, and that's the hard part. Just know that you are giving your mare the ultimate act of love we can bestow on our four-legged friends.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 26, 2001
    Location
    NC
    Posts
    4,419

    Default

    I have put down many animals. the last was an old mare, about 27. She had been lame and on stall rest for a month. She had an abcess, but when it finally got better, we realized she also had some kind of injury to a tendon. She could only live in a stall or a tiny paddock. She was beautiful with a shiny coat.
    I made the hard decision to let her go. The vet even tried to talk me out of it, but I thought that she had a poor quality of life, even though she wasn't suffering terribly, I felt there was no point in waiting until she was before making the decision.
    I did second guess myself, but I think I did the right thing.
    I think you are doing the right thing too.
    God bless.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 9, 2002
    Posts
    406

    Default

    I am so sorry that you are going through this. I too, am on the verge of having to make this decision. My 26 year old seems to feel great, but is skin and bones despite the quanity of feed he is getting. I am very uncertain what to do.....but I agree with what someone said earlier- better a day too early than a day too late.



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