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  1. #121
    Join Date
    Dec. 27, 2006
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    Western NY
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    1,591

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    Quote Originally Posted by RacetrackReject View Post
    Someone called and reported a dead horse in my pasture once. I guess I can't really blame them as he does appear a bit bloated.

    https://sphotos-a.xx.fbcdn.net/hphot..._1573826_o.jpg
    I have had plenty of my own and boarders horse scare me that way. I can easily see why somebody would call AC out when they see horses like that. Personally, for horses I know, I walk up while talking until see at least an ear flick , then my heart calms down.


    For the OP, good luck. I hope for the best, but sometimes the decisions are hard.

    Christa



  2. #122
    Join Date
    Oct. 4, 2002
    Location
    Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    775

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    I'll "trot" this one out again; I can't tell you how many times it's seemed appropriate so I've shared it. NOT my work! I just love this story

    YOUR HORSES ARE ON FIRE

    © Baron Tayler
    http://www.anvilmag.com/humor/yrhraron.htm

    Published in ANVIL Magazine, August 1993

    Much as I love shoeing horses, my business interests have led me to design, patent, and manufacture machinery for farmers who work with draft animals.

    Since the farmers and teamsters who use my machine work with draft animals almost exclusively, I acquired a few Percherons. They're the kindest, gentlest, most easygoing creatures on earth, but owning them created a problem for me. I had only ten acres of pasture; that's a little more than three acres a horse - hardly enough to feed three 1800-pound horses year 'round without haying.

    Luckily, a nearby farmer has a large pasture that he hasn't used since he retired. I moseyed over and asked if I could use the pasture for the Percherons during the winter when I'd run out of grass. You should have seen his cataract-clouded eyes light up! He told me he'd just turned 91 years old and had mourned the day he had sold his last team and converted to tractors. Yes, he said, he'd love to have the horses in his pasture.

    October rolled around, and the horses finally ate the last stalk of grass in their field. I walked them down the road and let them into the large pasture which was knee deep in lush forage. They were in horsey heaven.

    January arrived, and the horses had grown long, thick winter coats. The weather had been cold, but little in the way of snow. The field had a clump of trees in the middle and when it snowed, the horses snuggled up under a huge pine and slept.

    With the first big snow came trouble. I was sitting at the breakfast table when the phone rang. It was a lady who lived in a house next to the pasture. She wanted to know if I owned the big horses. I told her that I did and asked her if there was something wrong. "The horses have no building to go into to get out of the snow," she said. I explained that they had the big trees to stand under, and that their dense coat was an excellent insulator. I assured her that the horses were quite comfortable. Semi-satisfied, she let me return to breakfast.

    The following day the woman called back, and in a firm voice told me she was sure the horses were cold. I asked her how she knew this. "Because they look cold," she replied. "And, in what way do they look cold?" I countered. Silence. Not a word for 30 seconds. Finally, she said, "I just know they're cold!" "Okay, okay," I replied, "Why don't you meet me in the pasture in five minutes and, if the horses are cold, I'll take them into a barn." She agreed.

    We met five minutes later. "Will they hurt me?" she asked. "Do they kick or bite?" It started to dawn on me that this woman was a busybody do-gooder who knew absolutely nothing about horses. With time on her hands, she probably decided that my horses needed rescuing and appointed herself their savior.

    As soon as we entered the pasture, the horses trotted over looking for attention ? three 1800-pound "puppy dogs." After she watched me pet them for a few minutes, I asked her if they looked cold. "Well, no," she replied, "But it's hard to tell with all the hair." "Why don't you put your hand on one and see if it feels cold to the touch?" I asked. It was obvious she had never touched a horse before. Hesitantly, she reached out and touched one. "Well," she said, "I have to admit that they do feel warm, but I still wish they had a barn to go into."

    Just then one of the horses dropped a big, steaming pile of manure on the snow. She stood looking at it, quite puzzled. "What's wrong?" I asked. No reply at first. Then she said, "Why isn't the horse standing in the pile?" "Why would he do that?" I asked. "Because it would keep his feet warm," she replied. That snapped it! I was trying to talk logically with a certified nut case! I left her standing in the field.

    The snow melted a few days later, and I heard nothing more. Then another storm hit that promised to be a keeper. With the temperature staying well below freezing, I knew the snow wouldn't melt for a while, which meant I had to start feeding bales of hay until the snow was gone. Since my daytime schedule was hectic, I found it easier to feed at night, usually around midnight. Two days after the snow had stopped falling, the old farmer called me. He said the woman was bothering him again, claiming the horses were not being fed. I assured him they were and told him of my nightly ritual.

    The local animal protection society called the next day, explaining they received a report that I was starving my horses. I invited one of their inspectors to come out and see for himself. When the inspector arrived, I showed him the hay scattered over the field and explained my feeding schedule. I told him about the woman who believed horses should stand in their manure. I asked him to confirm my nightly feedings with a neighbor who had seen me feeding the horses. He did and was satisfied that the woman was, in his own words, a "Looney Tune."

    A few weeks went by and along came another dusting of snow. The temperature hovered just around freezing, the snow melting as it hit the ground. The local animal control officer called. He was laughing so hard it was difficult to understand him. "Could I come over?" he asked.

    Fifteen minutes later he arrived, still laughing. His face was as red as a beet! I thought he was going to have a coronary on the spot. Finally, calmed down to a mild chuckle, he told me that a woman had reported my horses were on fire!

    The officer apologized for the inconvenience of his visit, but it was office policy to investigate each complaint. I was too busy laughing to even notice. Regaining control of myself, I climbed into the officer's truck, and off we went to check on my "roasting" horses. When we arrived at the field, the sun was just starting to break through the clouds. Three gorgeous Percherons were standing there, contentedly munching on grass. Thick columns of steam rose off them as evaporated moisture in their coats condensed in the cold air. The officer and I were awed by the beauty of it, but soon the spell was broken. We both started chuckling again, almost rolling on the ground. "Your horses are on fire!" the officer roared.

    I never heard from the animal control people again. However, the woman continued pestering the old farmer with a myriad of oddball complaints. I felt so sorry for him that I took the horses back to my place a month before I'd planned to. The farmer was sad to see them go. He still enjoys telling the story about those horses that were on fire.

    Author's comment: This story is humorous, but it also portrays a serious and growing problem


    24 members found this post helpful.

  3. #123
    Join Date
    Nov. 16, 2004
    Location
    NE Indiana
    Posts
    5,525

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    OP, so sorry that it's come to this decision - not the update I was hoping to see. But as horse owners, most of us will have to make it at least once. In this position, I would opt to euthanize - any one of my horses. Only because none of them are worth any monetary amount, and none of them deserve to be in pain the rest of their lives. It sounds harsh, but since I don't show and I don't buy expensive horses, I can't personally justify the cost, nor expect the horse to tolerate a less than a comfortable existence - most of mine were rescued in one way of another and my commitment is to keep them healthy and comfortable.

    Anyway, that's just my .02 and I'm sorry you are at this point. It's the suckiest part of owning animals.



  4. #124
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2010
    Location
    Horse Heaven
    Posts
    1,745

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    Oh dear. I am so, so sorry that the vet was unable to locate the problem. And you are in an unenviable position -- my heart goes out to you.

    Please do not feel you are not and have not done enough. Financial resources limit what we can do, and going into debt is often not a good decision. Even if you have the financial ability, thinking of the recovery and the long-term prognosis, could weigh in favor of not going into surgery. Of course, anesthesia is always a risk too.

    Best wishes with your mare and the tough choices you have.

    Cyber hugs.



  5. #125
    Join Date
    May. 23, 2009
    Location
    Texas Hill Country
    Posts
    389

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    Best wishes, OP. Your horse is lucky to have you, whatever you decide.
    Dreadful Acres: the chronicle of my extraordinary unsuitability to country life



  6. #126
    Join Date
    Oct. 6, 2002
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    14,611

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    Jingles for your mare, that is so tough!
    ~Veronica
    "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
    http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/



  7. #127
    Join Date
    Jul. 13, 2011
    Location
    East Longmeadow, MA
    Posts
    2,861

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    Hugs, best wishes, and jingles. You will do the right thing by your mare, of that I am sure, whatever you decide.
    What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!



  8. #128

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    Quote Originally Posted by mpsbarnmanager View Post
    *UPDATE*

    I am honestly leaning towards putting her down. She is facing at best another long recovery. At worst, nerve damage, and being a gimp, for the rest of her life (If she were to stay in pain, I would have to put her down, I couldn't let her be in pain indefinitely). Although I really like the mare, she was given to me because her owner could no longer afford to keep her. Obviously that does not make her less worthy of trying to save, I guess I just mean I didn't really sign up for this, and was not prepared for this to happen. Who is, right? If I had the money lying around, I would probably do it, but unfortunately this is not fantasy land, and things are what they are. Now I am praying for wisdom to make the right decision and for a miracle, really. Jingles appreciated!!
    I'm so sorry about the decision you face; it was only a few months ago that I was in that same spot with my TB who was colicking for 3 days. We were blessed that it ended up being only ulcers and treatable, and he's still running around being a nuisance. But I remember how awful it felt trying to figure out how far I was willing to go. I ultimately decided that it wouldn't be right for a 21 year old horse to go through surgery, and if it was time, it was time. Your mare is lucky that she has an owner who will do right by her regardless of the outcome. Jingles all around, and prayers that the rest of her time with you is peaceful, however long it is. You will know the right decision in your heart.

    And as a side note on the AC issue:

    Our barn rescues a lot of different horses, many who come from situations where they were locked in stalls with no turnout, or never locked in stalls for any portion of the day. It works for some horses, but not for ours, so our barns are built with little mini turnouts attached to the back of each stall. It isn't a lot of space, but our horses also get worked pretty frequently so it's enough to keep them happy.

    We've literally had people call AC because our horses were DIRTY. Apparently people aren't aware that the outdoors is a horse's natural habitat. If they aren't stalled they get dirty, and I guess that just doesn't fly with some people. We've also gotten the "blanket" in heat call, "why is that horse blindfolded," etc. I understand people meaning well, but it is certainly annoying when people don't ask honest questions and assume that we are doing something to harm our animals. Clearly these people don't know horse owners: we are the first to drop thousands of dollars on an animal to make it well/healthy/comfortable, usually making ourselves stressed/broke/ragged in the process. If anyone would like to question what I do for my horse I can gladly show them the $2500 in vet bills that a 3 day colic left me with.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  9. #129
    Join Date
    Jun. 15, 2010
    Posts
    2,242

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    Quote Originally Posted by HonorandCommitment View Post
    We've literally had people call AC because our horses were DIRTY. Apparently people aren't aware that the outdoors is a horse's natural habitat. If they aren't stalled they get dirty, and I guess that just doesn't fly with some people. We've also gotten the "blanket" in heat call, "why is that horse blindfolded," etc. I understand people meaning well, but it is certainly annoying when people don't ask honest questions and assume that we are doing something to harm our animals.
    I know our AC gets this all the time. If I am going to call I make sure I (a) have the address and description of the residence (b) a thorough description of the animal, noting location of water, quality of pasture, etc. (3) take pictures of condition, injury, etc. if possible from a public road (4) have everything typed up, pictures uploaded, etc. all ready to instantly email to the officer on the phone (5) conclude with a brief description about myself and my knowledge base to help the officer understand that I am qualified to make an assessment about the animal.

    This approach helped a 30 yr old with a BCS of 2 receive attention when past phone calls from others that were more vague hadn't received a follow up.


    6 members found this post helpful.

  10. #130

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    Quote Originally Posted by GraceLikeRain View Post
    I know our AC gets this all the time. If I am going to call I make sure I (a) have the address and description of the residence (b) a thorough description of the animal, noting location of water, quality of pasture, etc. (3) take pictures of condition, injury, etc. if possible from a public road (4) have everything typed up, pictures uploaded, etc. all ready to instantly email to the officer on the phone (5) conclude with a brief description about myself and my knowledge base to help the officer understand that I am qualified to make an assessment about the animal.

    This approach helped a 30 yr old with a BCS of 2 receive attention when past phone calls from others that were more vague hadn't received a follow up.
    THANK YOU!

    These are the guidelines that people should be following and steps to take. It's such a waste of AC's time and resources to go to BS calls when there are animals that actually need assistance.

    Is there any way to signal boost this to the general public outside of COTH? We should make one.


    7 members found this post helpful.

  11. #131
    Join Date
    Sep. 15, 2008
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    1,449

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    Don't you just love those uber expensive freebies? I don't take them anymore. Last one I took was a gelding that had bad respiratory problems, had bad roaring surgery and kept getting infections from aspirating. Gave him to a rescue that was willing to take him and deal with that.

    If you think putting her down is the best option for both you and the horse then go for it. I have a mare with a month old filly at her side now. Mare keeps developing cellulitus or lymphangitis, not real sure at this point. I am seriously considering putting her down after she weans this foal. We were looking to move and I was looking to cut back on the herd so I won't have to haul as many horses with us. I would never give her away with her leg that way. She was also a freebie to me, has great bloodlines. I had to leave her in a stall for the weekend when her filly was just a few days old because of rain and the leg swelled back up again. I just think the 15 hour trip will be too hard on her, and I thought I was going to lose her this spring.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  12. #132
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2003
    Location
    Dallas, Georgia
    Posts
    16,365

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    There would be absolutely NO condemnation from anyone if you choose to let her go. If anyone dares, send 'em to me for a Gibb's Smack upside the head.

    A nice day, lotsa yummies to eat, scritches in all "those" spots and a good grooming - following by a peaceful passing. It's not a bad thing.

    (( Hugs ))
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- "When they try to tell you these are your Golden years, don't believe 'em.... It's rust."


    5 members found this post helpful.

  13. #133
    Join Date
    Jul. 2, 2003
    Location
    Woodland, Ca
    Posts
    6,105

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    Can you hot pack and poltice while you are making the decision? Maybe you'll get lucky and draw the thing out. If it doesn't work, there's no shame in putting her down.



  14. #134

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    OP, I'm so sorry that there isn't a better option for you and your horse. Best wishes no matter which choice you make.


    Quote Originally Posted by 2horseygirls View Post
    Please, God, NO! That is the last thing we need. There is a bill in the Illinois legislature that will make unfounded neglect/cruelty calls prosecutable. WTF? Really?!?!

    I have been an equine humane investigator for 5 years with a non-governmental humane society. Our county AC has one ACO that knows about horses, but mostly they turn their calls over to my organization.

    I have learned a lot in five years. I have been screamed at, called names, and been threatened with dogs, guns, arrest and being sued. I have also gotten convictions on 24 counts of animal cruelty and neglect, so I'm pretty good at what I do.

    ...

    Yes, we have the harassing neighbors and disgruntled calls, but I would rather go out and meet 10 good, honest, caring owners that I look at as part of my horse network, than have one person NOT call because of a fear of a fine or being prosecuted.

    And, in my case, I have never received one single dime for my time, gas, vehicle, equipment, training, certifications, books, classes . . . I am a volunteer humane investigator. I do this - nights, weekends, holidays, occasionally taking personal time or vacation time from the job that actually pays me - because I LOVE horses, and I want to help keep them safe. And the more people who are educated about horses, the better off we all are, on multiple levels.

    I've seen it mentioned before on here on different threads: it's up to us (horse owners and lovers) to be ambassadors for the horse, and it starts with positive, friendly interaction and education.
    2horseygirls, a huge THANK YOU for what you do. I admire your dedication and concern for the horses, as well as your approach to a difficult job.
    Horse & Dog Designs: Clothing, Pendants, Water Bottles, Totes, Phone Cases, ETC:
    WoofNWhinny*
    NEW: Poodles & Barrel Racers

    Horsey Humor, Ponies, Barn Safety & More.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  15. #135
    Join Date
    Jul. 10, 2003
    Location
    Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,645

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    Quote Originally Posted by fooler View Post
    As an option, is there a vet school within safe, for the horse, driving distance where the surgery could be done for less money.
    In my experience going to a vet school is usually more expensive, because they usually insist on working up every possible angle, by the book.
    Good luck, OP. Perhaps you guys can compromise and have your vet lay her out and open her up and if things look poor, he can put her down then and there? It will me more expensive than doing nothing, but if they don't need to recover her and do any further care it should be cheaper.
    *CrowneDragon*
    As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  16. #136
    Join Date
    Aug. 5, 2009
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    808

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    Quote Originally Posted by WoofNWhinny* View Post

    2horseygirls, a huge THANK YOU for what you do. I admire your dedication and concern for the horses, as well as your approach to a difficult job.
    Wow! Thanks It's been an interesting journey, that's for sure. I'm lucky to have a fantastic husband, an absolute saint of a BM who will answer endless questions, and awesome friends who still ask questions and listen to stories, and have come over to the dark side LOL.

    I suggested watching the trick riding team from my barn at a local rodeo last summer, as our summer college roomie get-together. The requests to do it again this year started coming in March -- as long as I didn't tell the other girls who initiated it, as there are reps to be maintained

    Three more converts - three more notches in my belt. Check, check, check.

    Plus, another girlfriend who SWORE horses were dangerous, etc., etc. just got back from vacation in CO where she rode all week, and has come over as well. Check!


    2 members found this post helpful.

  17. #137
    Join Date
    Jun. 27, 2010
    Location
    SE VA
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    1,164

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    Well, I have some GOOD news! I finally told the mare's former owner about the situation. I have kept in touch with her, but did not tell her about the injury, because I didn't want her to feel obligated. I agreed to take her on as my responsibility, but she has such a huge heart, I didn't want her to think I was trying to hit her up for money for treatment. I finally emailed her the details of what has happened, and told her the options. I did not ask her for anything but to pray for her, and she offered to take money from her retirement fund to pay for the bigger sugery (huge heart!). So it is scheduled for July 1. My vet office is also working with me after I spoke with a very kind lady about the situation, and I am VERY grateful for that. I did make sure former owner understands that there are risks to the surgery, but we both feel better and agree that at least we will be able to say "we did EVERYTHING we could to give her a chance".

    Thank you to everyone for the kind responses, it has really warmed my heart and encouraged me!!


    17 members found this post helpful.

  18. #138
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 1999
    Location
    Mendocino County, CA: Turkey Vulture HQ
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    14,100

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    Quote Originally Posted by mpsbarnmanager View Post
    Well, I have some GOOD news! I finally told the mare's former owner about the situation. I have kept in touch with her, but did not tell her about the injury, because I didn't want her to feel obligated. I agreed to take her on as my responsibility, but she has such a huge heart, I didn't want her to think I was trying to hit her up for money for treatment. I finally emailed her the details of what has happened, and told her the options. I did not ask her for anything but to pray for her, and she offered to take money from her retirement fund to pay for the bigger sugery (huge heart!). So it is scheduled for July 1. My vet office is also working with me after I spoke with a very kind lady about the situation, and I am VERY grateful for that. I did make sure former owner understands that there are risks to the surgery, but we both feel better and agree that at least we will be able to say "we did EVERYTHING we could to give her a chance".

    Thank you to everyone for the kind responses, it has really warmed my heart and encouraged me!!
    Best of luck to y'all and to the mare for an excellent outcome. I hope you'll let us know.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket



  19. #139
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    Aug. 5, 2009
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    808

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    Quote Originally Posted by mpsbarnmanager View Post
    Well, I have some GOOD news! . . . original owner offered to take money from her retirement fund to pay for the bigger sugery (huge heart!). So it is scheduled for July 1. My vet office is also working with me . . . we both feel better and agree that at least we will be able to say "we did EVERYTHING we could to give her a chance".

    Thank you to everyone for the kind responses, it has really warmed my heart and encouraged me!!
    Yay!! That is wonderful news - keep up posted!

    Any more grief from Ms. Nosy?



  20. #140
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2004
    Location
    Baltimore, MD
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    That is great news! I knew a horse who impaled himself on a branch in his shoulder. The vet cleaned it out and they treated it etc but he had a tiny hole about the size of a dime that would not heal and drained even a year later. They finally opened the horse up on the operating table and found about six more inches of stick way up there. They took it out and he healed up fine.



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