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Update: Pathology is back. Horse had hemangiosarcoma.

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  • #61
    Originally posted by dungrulla View Post
    They always tell us when it's their time. It was time.
    I'm glad you got that extra time with him to add to your memories of him.

    I truly believe they tell us... we just don't always listen.
    When you start to observe, you become more effective... your movements soften, you see more, you are more available to becoming a team member. Be an Observer first, a Handler second.


    • #62
      No horse owner could have done more for him than you did in his last days. He knew he was loved and cherished and told you when it was time to go. So sorry for your loss.


      • #63
        Originally posted by dungrulla View Post

        Likely lymphoma. My vet is sending samples out for her own curiosity--not many owners in this area opt for the field necropsy. I was allowed to be present and to observe and even handle the affected organs. As funny as it sounds it helped me process.
        Learning what was going on with him very well could help others looking at similar symptoms so please update us. He could have been dealing with this for quite awhile.
        When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

        The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.


        • #64
          Very sorry for your loss.


          • #65
            Sorry that he is gone.

            With what you found out, it was time to let him go.


            • #66
              dungrulla I am sorry Is your husband holding up alright?


              • Original Poster

                Originally posted by candyappy View Post
                dungrulla I am sorry Is your husband holding up alright?
                My husband is truly wonderful and seems okay. I was surprised he stayed for the necropsy as he's not a fan of blood but he did. He was the one who bagged up his head (we took it to a bone cleaning guy down the street--call me morbid if you want but I collect skulls and that way we will always have a piece of him).

                I think the answers as well as the preparation for his aftercare was closure for both of us.


                • #68
                  My condolences. and as a DVM, thank you for doing the necropsy. As my pathology professor said, "Mortui vivos docent." ("The dead teach the living.")

                  I'm facing making the call with my eldest right now. Even when you know it's time, it's not easy.
                  "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

                  ...just settin' on the Group W bench.


                  • Original Poster


                    Originally posted by findeight View Post

                    Learning what was going on with him very well could help others looking at similar symptoms so please update us. He could have been dealing with this for quite awhile.
                    I only had the old boy two years. Given the extent he likely had cancer that entire time. I wouldn't trade the time he gave us for anything. It was truly a gift.

                    I am considering advertising for a retirement boarder just so my two knuckleheads won't be alone and slowly growing buddy sour all winter, but I don't know if anyone would want to retire their horse in WNY.


                    • #70
                      You have my sympathy.


                      • #71
                        I'm so sorry for your loss. You took great care of him and certainly did the right thing in the end. Hugs to you.


                        • #72
                          My deepest condolences on your loss.
                          "I'm not always sarcastic. Sometimes I'm asleep." - Harry Dresden


                          • #73
                            So very sorry for your loss., especially after the ups and downs you went through these last few weeks. I hope you take comfort in knowing you did absolutely everything you could ... and then some.
                            R.I.P. Ollie (2007-2010) You were small in stature but huge in spirit. You will never be forgotten.

                            Godspeed, Benjamin (1998-2014). A life well-lived. A horse well-loved.


                            • Original Poster

                              I have been feeling kind of rough the last couple days and grief-reached out to someone I thought might have owned him many years ago.

                              It turns out she did, and it sounds like he was 'getting up there in years/in his mid 20s' when she had him 10 years ago. He kept getting passed around people who all said he was 'somewhere in his 20s'.

                              So he was probably not 25, but actually well over 30. Somehow this makes me feel a little better, knowing he lived a long, rich life and we were able to be there for that little piece of it.

                              I'm wondering how the hell he stayed sound that long since he was still jumping in late 2018.


                              • Original Poster

                                Well my vet sent the pathology out for her own education, expecting the results to be lymphoma. Surprisingly it wasn't--the horse had disseminated hemangiosarcoma. This is often seen in dogs and almost never in horses, and also explains why when she attempted an abdominal tap there was blood...she thought she had just hit a vessel. When we opened him up there was also a great deal of free blood in the abdomen that was assumed to be from a blood vessel she nicked when opening him, personally I think it's likely he was bleeding internally from one of those masses.

                                Hemangiosarcoma is almost unheard of in horses. There are scattered case reports in literature, most associated with exposure to arsenic compounds, but it is not well described at all. When it is seen it is extremely aggressive, often killing the animal in just weeks, and carries a grave to hopeless prognosis.

                                The end of this animal's life certainly could have been much worse.


                                • #76
                                  dungrulla - thanks for the update, and hugs to you.


                                  • #77
                                    dungrulla Sorry to read your update {HUGS} to you & DH.
                                    But you sure gave an old horse the softest landing possible and a dignified end.
                                    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                                    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                                    Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                                    Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


                                    • Original Poster

                                      Originally posted by 2DogsFarm View Post
                                      dungrulla Sorry to read your update {HUGS} to you & DH.
                                      But you sure gave an old horse the softest landing possible and a dignified end.
                                      Like I said, it just explains some things. We're going to an auction next month and are going to go get a new one--my husband wants something small that drives or can be taught to drive, a donkey or miniature horse, and Franklin was really his, so he'll get to pick that out. If the auction doesn't have anything that would work for us, the rescue that had Franklin many years ago (long before I had him) does and told me to reach out if we don't find something appropriate. We're going to try the auction first because it will be one less horse that needs to be taking up room at a rescue or shipping to Canada.

                                      We have our quarantine plans in place and I worked in a BSL2 facility so I'm pretty anal. Enclosed space if at all possible, footbaths at every entrance. Shoe covers, smocks, and gloves required for entrance. All separate equipment. It's annoying, but less annoying than calling your vet because all your horses have strangles.


                                      • #79
                                        OP - so sorry to read about this journey. I lost my best dog ever to this; he was just shy of 14 but that didn't make it easier. In our case the vets said "maybe 90 days" with some prednisone. I think we were just shy of that when he stopped eating. First refused dry food maybe a week prior, so only was getting wet soft food, then nothing. This was 13 years ago and I still get teary eyed...
                                        I was thinking when I saw the title line that I did not know it occurs in horses as I'd not heard of it before. Good for you to head back to auction!


                                        • #80
                                          There is closure in knowing you did everything possible. And thanks for the update, that’s how we learn.
                                          When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                          The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.