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*She is gone* Decision for aged mare with bilateral endotheliitis and Recurrent Uveitis

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  • *She is gone* Decision for aged mare with bilateral endotheliitis and Recurrent Uveitis

    We’ve held onto our last horse when we sold our farm and moved into the city. Shes actually my 24 year old daughters but we pay the bills since she is a full time law student. And well, I love her too. Wed finally decided to rehome the mare and had tentatively found a good home but the mare developed an eye problem that went on for two months and was diagnosed as having endotheliitis and recurrent uveitis in both eyes.
    Not a great prognosis for either but better if we want to pay 5-6 K for implants that may improve things.
    But it Turns out that no one wants an aged horse with a degenerative eye disease no matter how nice she is. And I can’t blame them. I don’t like the idea of foisting a horse with a problem onto someone else and my ultimate worry is that she not end up in a killers lot or going blind in someone’s pasture because they don’t want to deal with the cost and trouble of a horse with eye disease. And will go blind eventually.
    So the euthanasia decision is staring me in the face.
    If I had her at home it might be different but after 35 years of having horses and fifteen of having them at home and being empty nesters..my husband really wants to do things like travel. And we just had to cancel a trip because of the eye problem. And not really keen to spend so much on eye implants that may help for a pasture pet.
    The boarding stable is excellent but they are not really set up to give so many eye meds staggered 4 times per day. And we live 45 minutes from the barn each way.

    What would you all do?

  • #2
    Sit down with your daughter and talk it out.
    Sometimes blindness doesn't seem to bother horses all that much, and sometimes they cant deal.

    Someone I know had her horse euthanized after he went blind. He was in a huge pasture but it had barbed wire fencing and his pasture buddy guide horse was not up for the job, so she did what she had to do.

    Please don't beat yourself up over this. You have an obligation to your family. It is going to take a lot of resources to keep this mare comfortable and happy.

    You run the risk of creating resentment in the family and I know you don't want that.

    I dont think your husband is a bad person at all.

    You may get some pushback from your daughter but the world of adulting is difficult. I'm sure she loves this horse but she doesn't have the time or money to handle it herself, and it is difficult for most boarding stables to manage the extended care this mare is going to need.

    Make your arrangements before it gets too cold. Spoil her rotten on the day and then let her go.
    That is the greatest gift we can give our horses.

    Most COTHers understand your dilemma and no one is judging you.

    Certified Guacophobe

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      I should have included that my daughter leans toward euthanizing her but leaves it up to us since we pay the bills. The paramount concern for all of us is that she never suffers and is never in a bad place. So no family resentment. But thank you for thinking of that. It would make it so much harder if we weren’t in agreement.
      hinestly the pushback we are going to get is from the other boarders who seem to think it’s terrible to not exhaust all financial resources on every horse. They out their money where their mouths are too and many have rescues from the killer owns. But no one is also volunteering to take her on either.

      Comment


      • #4
        Ignore them.
        I was visiting a barn where a woman had "rescued "
        a blind Cushing gelding.
        She had at least ten boxes of meds.

        I saw her leading him into the barn and he was so lame and he didn't want to take a step because he wasn't sure where he was. He was neither comfortable or secure.

        I know she felt like she was doing the right thing for this horse because the evil witch who owned him was going to have him euthanized but she caved because everybody in the barn hated on her.

        It was not an act of kindness. The horse would not graze at all. He just stood at the gate and waited for someone to bring him in. He had no life at all.

        It was not my place to say anything and I didn't. But I swore I would never do that to my horse because I feared other people's opinions.

        Be strong for your horse and do what you know to be right for you and your family.

        We got your back.





        Certified Guacophobe

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Thank you so much.

          Comment


          • #6
            I would euthanize, and I would not feel at all guilty for it. Eye conditions are exceptionally painful. I had an older gelding who slowly developed lots of eye issues, including recurrent uveitis and a stromal abscess. If I'd had a magic ball and could have known how his last year would play out, I would have put him down much sooner than I did. He was a kind and generous horse, but the pain really wore on him and the stress of managing his issues wore on us all. I think people often underestimate how much ongoing pain degrades a horse's quality of life. Stick to your guns - you know when it is the right decision.
            "Sometimes the fear won't go away... so you just have to do it afraid."

            Trolls be trollin'! -DH

            Comment


            • #7
              I'd put her down.

              I have a 28 year old retired gelding with cushings who is boarded. He's a gray, so he's also got some growing melanomas. I know some would disagree with me but once he gets to the point of no longer being able to maintain the quality of life he has right now, cushings gets worse, starts dropping weight, whatever it may be, I'll have him put down. I am not going to go through that slow decline with him, there is just no reason to put him through any of it at all. I'm sorry about your mare.

              Comment


              • #8
                There are things worse than death.

                A kind, loving, humane euthanasia can be a blessing. Have your daughter, if she is close enough, come to say goodbye and stuff her with treats. You stuff her with treats and things she shouldn't eat Say goodbye with love.

                Recently on Animal Planet, heard a vet say that you don't want their last day to be their worst day and that is so true.

                {{PracticalCat}} it's never an easy decision but so often the very right one.
                Maybe the reason I love animals so much is because the only time they have broken my heart is when they've crossed that rainbow bridge

                Comment


                • #9
                  You have to love them enough to let them go...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I would euthanize. It is really the kindest thing you can do for her. You have given her what sounds like a wonderful life and now it is time to let her go while she is still doing well.

                    My daughters mare has Uveitis , Cataracts and just recently Heaves. All are easily managed so far, thank goodness.

                    There is no way I would pass her on( rehome) to someone else, even though she is still an excellent mount for new / green riders. When the time comes I will euthanize.

                    It isn't taking the easy way out or doing her a disservice in any way. Your mare has earned a peaceful passing , surrounded by people and things she is familiar with.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I think euthanasia will be your decision, either now or later. There's no reason to spend so much money on the implants.

                      I euthanized an otherwise healthy 17 year old horse with uveitis. I struggled with that, since other than the eyes, he was in great shape, and not very old. He went downhill over many years, first with attacks and eventual blindness in one eye (which he was pretty much okay with), and then a few years later with the other eye (which he was definitely NOT okay with). He was walking into things, he'd lose his friends and call for them but they wouldn't answer, and he became borderline dangerous to himself and me when trying to handle him. He was nervous and miserable, and my pasture is on a hill with lots of trees. After a short time of being blind in both eyes and not adjusting at all, I made the call. I don't regret it.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Thank you to all who responded. I so appreciate your feedback and support. We finally made the appointment for Wednesday.
                        God, it’s hard.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It is hard. But it is the greatest gift you can give her. You take her pain and make it yours. Hugs.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            It is hard, but you will never agonize over what "might " have happened to her, had you re-homed her.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Warm hugs. It is hard. You are doing the right thing.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                What about oral steroids? This was just discussed on the uveitis Facebook group. It was suggested that oral steroids like prednisolone or dexamethasone can prevent future attacks and at least keep the horse stable longer. If that failed or horse was blind, i would euthanize.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  She’s gone.
                                  the vet told us he would have done the same if she were his.
                                  that helped. Thank you again.
                                  Windsong
                                  2002-2019

                                  Comment

                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
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                                    • #19
                                      Bless your hearts for having the courage and do the right thing. Windsong was beautiful!

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                                      • #20
                                        Beautiful horse! Thank you for putting her first, and hugs
                                        "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
                                        carolprudm

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