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Putting a mostly healthy horse down. The emotional side.

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  • Original Poster

    #81
    DH came with me when I took my gelding to the vet's to x-ray his neck (appears C2 was broken at some point, and there is arthritis starting at the top of C2 and C3, and some bone filling in the gap that the spinal cord passes through, which is causing the issue...so I guess his retirement is permanent, but at least doesn't seem to be in pain, and progress seems slow).

    After I headed home with the gelding, DH stayed at talked to the vet, and we have now booked the vet (who booked the truck for us to pick up her body). My anxiety has gone down, and I think I have detached myself a bit now that I don't have to think about it...which is making it easier to treat the mare more normal and spend time with her without breaking down. My vet has so far been great about it as well, which helps.

    I admit I was afraid about posting here, especially not under an alter, but I give the advice to put horses down that are dangerous to people that talk to me, but didn't realize how hard it actually was. This has given my some solace, and hopefully it can help others too.
    Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

    Comment


    • #82
      Yes, the heart of the matter is it is very hard to do - even when you have good reason to do so. In some way, it always will be a hard decision.

      Just remember this: euthanasia is not what killed these animals of ours. Euthanasia is what ended their suffering.

      My sympathies and yes - it will help others.
      Last edited by hurleycane; Apr. 14, 2013, 09:06 PM.
      from sunridge1:Go get 'em Roy! Stupid clown shoe nailing, acid pouring bast@rds.it is going to be good until the last drop!Eleneswell, the open trail begged to be used. D Taylor

      Comment


      • #83
        Ive had to put a couple of horses down for various reasons, one because of being a dangerous horse and I couldnt with a clear conscience sell or give him away. Its always a million times harder on the humans than the horse. The horse has no idea whats coming, its just another day for him. Theres no anxiety, no worrying about whats coming...to the horse. To us, its awful. The longer I live the more I know euthanizing horses is the best thing for them, for whatever reason you may have. For us, not so much. But then again, isnt it about whats best for the horse? We all die sooner or later, we could only hope to have as peaceful a passing as euthanizing.

        Comment


        • #84
          Im sorry that you have to make this decision, but I support your decision. Like the other posters said, it is always hard to put down a horse. I would rather put down my horse then leave it in pain or a potential bad situation like many do when they gave away their lame or older horses.
          I am on my phone 90% of the time. Please ignore typos, misplaced lower case letters, and the random word butchered by autocowreck.

          Comment


          • #85
            Sending you hugs during this tough time.

            Comment


            • #86
              DH came with me when I took my gelding to the vet's to x-ray his neck (appears C2 was broken at some point, and there is arthritis starting at the top of C2 and C3, and some bone filling in the gap that the spinal cord passes through, which is causing the issue...so I guess his retirement is permanent, but at least doesn't seem to be in pain, and progress seems slow).

              After I headed home with the gelding, DH stayed at talked to the vet, and we have now booked the vet (who booked the truck for us to pick up her body). My anxiety has gone down, and I think I have detached myself a bit now that I don't have to think about it...which is making it easier to treat the mare more normal and spend time with her without breaking down. My vet has so far been great about it as well, which helps.
              Sorry CHT, what a yucky situation...I know that you have agonized about the decision, and have 100% confidence that your decision is right for the horse. You're definitely not someone who takes the convenient way with horses if it compromises their well-being Also sorry to hear about your gelding, but at least you know now, and he's certainly happy in retirement

              Just wanted to say that your DH did EXACTLY what mine did when Warrior was hurt, and I realized later that he could not possibly have chosen better. While we are a family, and the horses are partially "his"...we both know that they are really "mine." My DH doesn't have the same priorities with pets...but he knows that I am very passionate about responsible animal ownership. He would NEVER give me his opinion if he thought it might impact a critical decision regarding my own animals. Like your DH, he cares about animals, and doesn't want them to suffer. He's also very liberal with opinions if we're discussing hypothetical situations, or someone else's horse situation. That's how I know that in a case like this one, mine would have no trouble giving the horse away, or even selling it, provided we disclosed the issues. If the buyers were hurt, or the mare was bred and produced a bunch of crazy foals...well, that was someone else's decision. He respects the fact that I do not agree with him when it comes to MY horses, and he is also open-minded enough to realize that his opinion is not the only "right" one.

              When it comes to my horses, DH is very careful to only offer opinions on things that directly impact him (like joint financial commitments or something) and mainly just wants to support the course of action that I am ok with, provided I am not putting myself in danger (or bankrupting us.) He's the one who helped me herd Warrior into the trailer, and he's the one who assisted at the vet's office, and he was there to listen to my conclusions...but he was not willing to speak up with a recommendation until I had made my decision and was satisfied with it. When he felt that I was too emotional to make a rational decision, he encouraged me to wait a few days and see how things looked...but he didn't try to offer his opinion at that time either. The horse was happy enough, eating, drinking, playing in his field...we just couldn't catch him. It was pretty likely that a few more days of eating, drinking and playing weren't going to hurt much.

              While I was annoyed with DH in short spurts during the event, when I look back, I realize that he was exactly what I needed during a very stressful time. I would have resented him very much if I felt like my decision had been swayed by his opinion.

              I hope you enjoy some time with mare over the next few weeks, no pressure to ride or train. Her horsey mind will go to rest at peace, confident that she's just the best, nicest mare ever, with a belly full of nice hay and cookies, her favourite person relaxed and calm (though sad.)
              Lifestyle coordinator for Zora, Spooky, Wolfgang and Warrior

              Comment


              • #87
                ((Hugs)) We do the best we can do with what we know.
                The problem with political jokes is that they get elected.
                H. Cate

                Comment


                • #88
                  Thinking of you during this difficult time....

                  Comment


                  • #89
                    Jingles laced with strength and understanding continue for this family ~

                    Jingles laced with stength and understanding continue for this family during this most difficult of times ~ ((hugs))
                    Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

                    Comment


                    • #90
                      May you find peace in your decision.

                      Comment


                      • #91
                        Many more hugs to you. I also wish that you are at peace with your decision. It would be my decision as well if faced with this situation.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #92
                          We put her down this morning. It went as well as it could I suppose. She was easy to catch and reasonably pleasant, and it went quickly/smoothly. It was the first time I had seen a horse put down that wasn't already down and I was expecting more of a crumple, but she seemed at peace for the entire process.

                          The weather was grey and snowy which seemed suitable.

                          I cried. A lot.

                          Then I took the dog for a long walk at a local provincial park, went to check out a friends puppies and otherwise stayed away so the truck could come without my presence.

                          Only it didn't come. A mix up with the address and a pissed off driver. Not coming now until Monday. We expected her to be picked up by 1:30pm, so I closed the barn and we put her down near the barn. So now I have her covered in a tarp on the edge of my parking lot for the entire weekend.

                          I am not ok with this. I think I will loose it if I see someone looking under the tarp (although I get people might be curious). I will really lose it if the fox or neighbours dog starts sniffing around.

                          For all the potential things I worried about, this was not one, but this is upsetting me more than I could have foreseen.

                          @#%#$%^
                          Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

                          Comment


                          • #93
                            Oh CHT, I am so sorry that there are issues with the pickup. Is there anyone else to call?

                            Big hugs for the tough decision. You did the right thing.

                            Comment


                            • #94
                              Sending my sympathy.

                              Comment


                              • #95
                                Originally posted by CHT View Post
                                We put her down this morning. It went as well as it could I suppose. She was easy to catch and reasonably pleasant, and it went quickly/smoothly. It was the first time I had seen a horse put down that wasn't already down and I was expecting more of a crumple, but she seemed at peace for the entire process.

                                The weather was grey and snowy which seemed suitable.

                                I cried. A lot.

                                Then I took the dog for a long walk at a local provincial park, went to check out a friends puppies and otherwise stayed away so the truck could come without my presence.

                                Only it didn't come. A mix up with the address and a pissed off driver. Not coming now until Monday. We expected her to be picked up by 1:30pm, so I closed the barn and we put her down near the barn. So now I have her covered in a tarp on the edge of my parking lot for the entire weekend.

                                I am not ok with this. I think I will loose it if I see someone looking under the tarp (although I get people might be curious). I will really lose it if the fox or neighbours dog starts sniffing around.

                                For all the potential things I worried about, this was not one, but this is upsetting me more than I could have foreseen.

                                @#%#$%^
                                I'm sorry you are going through this. I lost a foal a few years ago and we moved the body to my horse trailer until " the truck " came. I told everyone to stay out if the trailer and why. Someone "had" to open the damn door, causing a flip out on my part. Keeping the body was the most traumatic. Our local guy will come out regardless of time if you pay a little extra, just a thought.
                                Come to the dark side, we have cookies

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #96
                                  My vet called to say we could store her at their clinic (we have a flat bed trailer), but I think that leaving her where she is might be easier for me. I parked my car in front of her and tucked her in better.

                                  Fortunately it is cold, so no bugs or smell to worry about. Now I just have to restrain myself from dwelling over her body like I did when Ziggy died.

                                  I am wondering now if I should keep some of her tail. Maybe this "error" is giving me a chance to do so.
                                  Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

                                  Comment


                                  • #97
                                    Keep the tail, CHT. Even if you don't want a bracelet or something now, the tail is easy enough to keep around in case you decide you want something later.

                                    Comment


                                    • #98
                                      You did good. She is at peace and doesn't care where her earthly vessel is located right now. I agree, keep the tail. Godspeed.
                                      McDowell Racing Stables

                                      Home Away From Home

                                      Comment


                                      • #99
                                        Very thoughtful of your Vet to offer this. It is good that she went down without trauma. Take solace that you did right by her and you will do right with her remains. Hugs and sympathy. None of this is easy - ever.
                                        from sunridge1:Go get 'em Roy! Stupid clown shoe nailing, acid pouring bast@rds.it is going to be good until the last drop!Eleneswell, the open trail begged to be used. D Taylor

                                        Comment


                                        • I don't know, you may find the delay to be part of the healing/letting go process. For 2 of the 3 horses I've put down on my farm, they were gone immediately, just kinda poof. Which is how we arranged it, of course. With the third, the truck couldn't come til the following day. I had obviously tarped Chance, and at first avoided that whole side of the barn as if it were haunted. But you know what? I visited him the next morning, before the truck came. I found it kinda peaceful. Unlike stroking his neck when he was first put down, when he still felt "there" and warm, etc, the next day I could sit there and cry over his body but with the firm and certain knowledge that he was completely gone. It was a form of closure I guess.
                                          I just want to say that you shouldn't be all oooged out about his body-- go ahead and touch it, say your goodbyes more than just once. It's unfamiliar and scary only because we've sterilized death and made it clinical and outsourced it to funeral homes and the like. But if you don't avert your eyes, if you confront and accept that he's still there, you may find comfort or at least come to grips with the discomfort.

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