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Just got the call no one ever wants to receive...UPDATED POST ON PAGE THREE!!

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  • #21
    I am sorry, it is a terrible decision to make
    I wasn't always a Smurf
    Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.


    • #22
      Jingling here, Prince, just jingling. I'm so sorry.


      • #23
        Jingling for you, your horse, and it sounds like you have a great mom, too.

        I keep my schoolies til I bury them, so I have had to make the decision to euthanize several old friends. I think it will be important to speak with your vet and review all the information, including the horse's 5+ falls in the past few weeks. But, I do get a sense, both from your vet's words with your mom, and possibly from how your mom reported them to you, that they both may be trying to gently let you begin to consider that option.

        In evaluating an animal whose suffering I may need to end, I ask myself: What would I want to see get worse? What about this animal's condition/behavior/weight/physical problems could I tolerate getting worse?

        If the answer is Nothing, This is as bad as I ever want to see him ===== then there is no good reason not to put the animal down. Because otherwise, I'm allowing him to get worse before I end his suffering. "This is not just a bad day. There are not going to be any better days. It is only going to get worse -- why would I want to wait and put him through getting worse, even for a few hours, if I can spare him that?"

        Another way to consider it is, If you put your horse/dog down before you think it's necessary, you might wonder about it; but if you wait even a day too long, you will know, and feel terrible about it for a long time.

        Having said this, of course I've not seen your horse, and I don't mean to leap to conclusions. It sounds like you have an excellent plan to discuss some options with your veterinarian. Perhaps these reflections will not be relevant til a little further down the road.

        It is quite a price we pay to love these wonderful creatures! Always second guessing ourselves! You have all my sympathy.

        I can ride my horses without a sharps container.


        • #24
          I had to put an old mare down a few weeks ago. Maybe she could have hung on for a few weeks or months, i don't know, but it was very peaceful. OTOH I had another mare who circumstances made me wait a few hours to long. Believe me you do NOT want to see what that mare went through.

          In retrospect i should have slit her throat.

          You do not want to be in the situation where your vet says...."Well I can be there in a few hours"
          I wasn't always a Smurf
          Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
          "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
          The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.


          • #25
            You know your horse better than anyone, and I'm sure that with the help of your vet, you will make the decision that is right for you and your horse. Two things I will pass along - I have trailered a horse with EPM with no issues, buut not one with severe ataxia - and for me personally I would not. Having had a sick horse go down on a trailer and ultimately die as a result, I would probably not trailer one in that poor condition again, it's a pretty horrible way for them to go. And if something goes wrong, an ataxic horse in a trailer is going to be a potentially dangerous and sad situation for both you and the horse. The other thing that I always try to remember in these situations is that we are making decisions for an animal, who doesn't think the way we do. They live wonderfully in the moment, and only care about how they feel RIGHT NOW. They are not thinking about how long they will live, just about how they feel today. And so, sometimes it is kindest to let them go, when it is unlikely that they will have many more days of feeling good. So sorry you're in this situation, it sucks all around. I have been through losing several and also EPM, so please feel free to PM if you are in need of a shoulder to cry on.


            • #26
              I had a gelding diagnosed with EPM, treated successfully with Marquis and go on to live a somewhat normal life for EIGHT years. He started going downhill at 33. He never fell, and didn't have trouble getting up or down to roll, but he was unsteady on his feet. We made the choice to put him down before winter and before he went down and couldn't get up.

              There is a lot to be said for putting them down before you NEED to. Sure, my guy could have had another great few months. But he also could have fallen in the middle of a cold night and hurt himself further.

              Not saying you need to do that. But a horse that's as ataxic as yours needs the appropriate attention. It seems like you're covering all bases, but keep his best interests in mind.
              Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
              White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

              Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.


              • #27
                Good luck to you -- I really do hope you find some answers or, barring that, the conviction to end his struggle peacefully. Simkie's comments about neck arthritis are consistent with my experience (Upshot -- if it's c-spine arthritis you may have a shot at treatment. But ataxia seems to get worse on an exponential scale, so you have to keep your safety in mind as well as your horse's well-being.) I'll keep my fingers crossed that your discussion with the vet either turns up some promising treatment avenue and/or makes it clear to you what the humane decision is. Stay strong and stay safe! Whatever happens, you should take some comfort in knowing that you (and your mom, vet) have been dedicated to this horse and thoughtful about his care, and seem to be doing everything you can for him.
                Evolutionary science by day; keeping a certain red mare from winning a Darwin award the rest of the time!


                • #28
                  Please have courage and have strength. If the animal says it's time to go, let him go. I failed in doing so several years ago and it haunts me.
                  It's a uterus, not a clown car. - Sayyedati


                  • #29
                    Many of these posts brought tears to my eyes. I wish I could write so eloquently as others have done. I don't have any experience with this but I have lost loved ones and it is never easy. Jingles for you and your boy during this difficult time... Please update us when you get the chance.


                    • #30
                      More jingles today...
                      Boyle Heights Kid 1998 16.1h OTTB Dark Bay Gelding
                      Tinner's Way x Sculpture by Hail to Reason
                      "Once you go off track, you never go back!"


                      • #31
                        I put my 28 yr old heart horse down in Oct. He came into the barn on Thurs morning to get his grain. When he went to turn around in the stall he almost fell down and was having some trouble balancing to get his grain on the ground.

                        He had neck arthritis that I was able to keep in check for 4 years with aspirin and then previcoxx. He was able to be ridden very lightly until the last 6 months of his life.

                        He was not a candidate for stall rest or small paddock turnout. He was happiest out 24/7 with the herd.

                        I had him put down the next day. If I could have made all the arrangements to do it the day of, I would have. The farm were I board won't let you bury your horses on it. I trailered him the Friday morning to his final resting place.

                        It was a hard day, but what was most important was my horses comfort and safety, not mine.


                        • #32

                          Please also consider that your horse acting fine might simply be instinct and the brave face of a prey animal not wanting to show how much of a struggle things are.

                          Originally posted by Martha Drum View Post
                          Another way to consider it is, If you put your horse/dog down before you think it's necessary, you might wonder about it; but if you wait even a day too long, you will know, and feel terrible about it for a long time.
                          So true!


                          • #33
                            Jingles and prayers for you both. I, too, have waited too long with one of my beloved animals and cannot stress enough better a day too soon than even an hour too late. It will haunt me forever.
                            What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!


                            • Original Poster

                              Wow...I am so incredibly grateful for all your kind words of encouragement. I'm sitting here reading this with tears streaming down my cheeks, and I just have to say that it is so comforting and humbling to know that you all understand exactly what I'm going through right now. Thank you so much for all the support...this is one of the hardest times of my life, but I take solace in knowing that I'm not alone in this.


                              • #35
                                Whatever options you decide on, it sounds like with your mom and your vet you have a good "team" to process things with. I hope some options open for you,so you can feel more resolved about where you want to go. Prayers and jingles.


                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by PrinceSheik325 View Post
                                  ...this is one of the hardest times of my life, but I take solace in knowing that I'm not alone in this.
                                  You are not alone. Lots of us have had to make that call. No one wanted to, but I think a safe, peaceful passing for our beloved friend is the price for all the generosity our horses shower on us.

                                  You may decide it's the right thing to do, and that now is the right time. Knowing that in your head will not make it easier on your heart. It takes a great deal of courage and love. Perhaps more than you think you have. But it's there, within you. I am so sorry you're faced with this hard decision.


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by Martha Drum View Post
                                    Another way to consider it is, If you put your horse/dog down before you think it's necessary, you might wonder about it; but if you wait even a day too long, you will know, and feel terrible about it for a long time.
                                    You won't know the full value of this statement until you you have lived thru this experience. Once. Then you'll know. This is how we ourselves got so wise.

                                    I agree with the poster that said your horse's instinct makes him appear fine at times, take a longer look at when he is having trouble.

                                    I am glad that you have support and consul going thru this. Every one of us has had to learn how to face life and it's fragileness. {{hugs}}


                                    • #38
                                      FAR from alone! But I think those that have not had a deep relationship with a horse do not quite understand.

                                      It was heart breaking when I had to put my “heart horse” one in a life time best pal down. I seriously had not known a sorrow like that before, or since the day I lost him. But like others have said, the pain is not from regret, but from the loss.

                                      I remember taking a sociology class in college called “Death and Dying”. One of the things that really struck me is that EVERY relationship we have in life, will come to an end. Be it growing apart from a friend, or death of a parent, a break up with a loved one – or our own death, the relationship as we know it here on earth will cease at some point. Its sad thought, but on the other hand lets us appreciate what we have – and the cycles of life.

                                      The other point made – Love expands your heart – think of your heart as a vessel, the more loved it is filled with, the bigger it gets, and conversely, the bigger the heart, the larger the capacity for grief.

                                      I am not saying these things to scare you, just to point out things as they are. When the time comes, it is going to be really hard to go on without him. But that is just a testimony to the love which expanded your heart.

                                      TIME will heal – your memories will always be there, and even more, his affect on you, the person you have become, and the way your relationship has shaped you will be with you forever.
                                      APPSOLUTE CHOCKLATE - Photo by Kathy Colman


                                      • #39
                                        No advice to offer ... just jingles for you and your horse.


                                        • Original Poster

                                          Appsolute...and everyone else who has responded to my post...

                                          Thank you so much for your thoughtful and eloquent responses to my post. Your words really hit home, and I cannot tell you how much I appreciate them.

                                          My boy is also my "heart horse," my best friend, my number 1 man (my fiance recognizes and embraces this thank goodness!). I think the hardest part is that he may never have the retirement I dreamed of for him. All of this happened so quickly - I just never thought I'd be facing this decision when he was only 22.

                                          Thanks for your support...it really means a lot.