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Depo Deaths - Chronicle Article

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  • #41
    Originally posted by mvp View Post

    OK, but now you have changed the argument from "horses don't consent to anything, good or bad" to "OK, this is bad, but it's not the worst of the bad out there. Lunging is worse."

    All that ignores the rest of what I had to say about how we have raised the bar to an unrealistic standard for most horses. If we lowered that, we wouldn't need to quiet horses one way or another. The only way you get to make the argument that chemical quieting beats the body-trashing is if we treat those impossible standards as impossible to change rather than an entirely made up standard in a hobby sport.

    It does not have to be so, the problem of the judges seeking employment not withstanding. And if you think that argument stands, be prepared to co-sign what the Western Pleasure folks and judges do in pursuit of their ideal.
    Except that depo/medroxy is not for getting a horse quiet, any more than birth control is for keeping women and girls calm. it is to help regulate cycling,mood and behavior. there are plenty of jumpers, and hot ones i'm sure, that get it

    We have a very sassy little fox hunt mare that is a raging bitch without the help from hormones; she'd love to hurt you without them, and also has the charming habit of stopping, spreading her legs and peeing every chance she gets without her regumate. the point is to make them safer for everyone involved, including themselves and other horses. Over lunging is about getting a horse quiet. Ditto Perfect prep, acepromazine, reserpine, etc.

    I don't think the standards are unrealistic. Why lower the bar? And judges are more lenient now wrt horses playing a little, or as they call it "being expressive", especially with greener horses.. I know they are, because i've won plenty of big classes on horses that are a little..."expressive". Now a novice adult horse, maybe not so much, but that's a different animal

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    • #42
      Originally posted by Lilly123B View Post
      Horse was gelded late. Very studdish. That’s why we were using the depo. Trust me, it did nothing to sedate him. He was very opinionated. Made it so he wasn’t so aggressive in turnout with others. We tried turning him out and he jumped out twice. Hurting himself badly the one time.

      Compounded medication was checked and fine. As were the vaccines.

      yes, I was not informed of the article or asked for consent before information was given. Nor was facility owner/head trainer.

      thank you for the condolences. My daughter and I watched him seize to death for 10 minutes feeling utterly hopeless.
      So sorry for your loss, Lilly. It sounds like you made all the informed decisions you were able to, complete with veterinary insight and assistance, to ensure that your horse had the best life possible - I am very sorry to hear that this happened. Sending my condolences to you and your daughter. What a heart-wrenching thing to have seen.

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      • #43
        I am really questioning the Chronicle running this story especially when the owner had no idea. I’d also question the integrity of the AT.

        Comment


        • #44
          Lilly123B I am sorry for your loss. What a terrible shock for all of you.

          I too, am very surprised that the death of your horse and an interview with a trainer that you employ, were used in an article without your knowledge. Not OK. Not at all.

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          • #45
            Originally posted by Denali6298 View Post
            I am really questioning the Chronicle running this story especially when the owner had no idea. I’d also question the integrity of the AT.
            No kidding. Mollie Bailey , can you chime in?

            If I were the head trainer? This would be an assistant trainer without a job. You do NOT talk to anyone without consent of the owner and head trainer BOTH. It's incredibly unprofessional. And to misrepresent this death is unacceptable.
            Last edited by MyssMyst; Oct. 12, 2019, 07:27 PM. Reason: Tagging the correct person this time
            Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique

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            • #46
              Molly left COTH to work for Jump Media last year (I think - can't remember exact timing). I don't think she frequents the forums any more.
              https://www.youtube.com/user/supershorty628

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              • #47
                ^^^^This. Mollie Bailey wrote the article

                Comment


                • #48
                  Oops, tagged the wrong Mollie!
                  Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique

                  Comment


                  • #49
                    Molly doesn’t work for COTH any more IIRC.

                    I tried Depo for my pissy every three weeks mare, didn’t seem to do much. Stayed with the RM. Barn did use Depo on some late cut geldings who occasionally acted like bullies despite good training and riding. For those wondering about the late cut geldings mentioned so often here? It is common for the better quality European male sale horses to be marketed intact, even with a few offspring on the ground, to offer more options to buyers.

                    These horses are 4-8 years old, well past typical castrations age. It’s not a reach to attribute some of the rude behavior to that and, anecdotally plus my own personal observation with horses I knew very well for some time, it reduces that behavior. Did not seem to “ quiet” them, they didn’t need quieting, they needed to stop occasionally acting like a thug. Certainly did nothing, in my observation, for other geldings outside that group of imports and my barn did not administer it to everything in the barn as some do,

                    IMO it gets overused by some without clear cut understanding of what they need to accomplish by injecting it for owners that don’t know what their horse is getting or why. There is unfortunate lemming behavior by too many responsible for care of client horses and lack of understanding why they didn’t win let alone explain to client the real reason they aren’t hanging a blue on the drapes.

                    Anyway...think actual sceintific study using consistent administration of a uniform product is called for. In the meantime, there is doubt so if I was an owner, Id just go with the when in doubt don’t theory,


                    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                    Comment


                    • #50
                      Originally posted by hoopoe View Post
                      Is anyone bothered by the fact the "AT" talked about a clients business without consent? To a reporter, which is far worse that someone else in the barn?
                      I am absolutely not bothered by it. The AT gave no identifying details about the horse or the barn in the article. She participated in something that led to a horse's death - she was understandably upset by that. If she heard a reporter was doing a story on Depo, I can uunderstand why she would want to talk about the incident she was involved in. I would be more upset if she continued blithely giving Depo to other client's horses without worrying about it or discussing it. What if you were the client 6 months from now who's horse got depo and died and the AT said, "yeah, bummer, that's the 2nd time that's happened to me."?

                      It is unfortunate if she did in fact get the facts about what caused the horse's death wrong (and a fact-checking failure on the Chronicle's part) - but we are taking the word of an anonymous COTH poster about that.

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        Originally posted by Gardenhorse View Post

                        I am absolutely not bothered by it.. The AT gave no identifying details about the horse or the barn in the article. She participated in something that led to a horse's death - she was understandably upset by that. If she heard a reporter was doing a story on Depo, I can uunderstand why she would want to talk about the incident she was involved in. I would be more upset if she continued blithely giving Depo to other client's horses without worrying about it or discussing it. What if you were the client 6 months from now who's horse got depo and died and the AT said, "yeah, bummer, that's the 2nd time that's happened to me."?

                        It is unfortunate if she did in fact get the facts about what caused the horse's death wrong (and a fact-checking failure on the Chronicle's part) - but we are taking the word of an anonymous COTH poster about that.
                        You aren't the owner of the horse. Obviously, their opinion carries more weight.

                        "Blithely giving Depo to another clients horse without worrying about it or discussing it" is a completely different scenario than participating in an interview with a national magazine, without consulting the owner.

                        I wonder how you reconcile that comparison.

                        Comment


                        • #52
                          Originally posted by skydy View Post

                          You aren't the owner of the horse. Obviously, their opinion carries more weight.

                          "Blithely giving Depo to another clients horse without worrying about it or discussing it" is a completely different scenario than participating in an interview with a national magazine, without consulting the owner.

                          I wonder how you reconcile that comparison.
                          I would agree. And just not giving identifying information doesn't mean that the information can't get out. All it takes is ONE person in a FB thread to identify the horse/owner... And all hell is breaking loose. The acceptable protocol would be to bring the concerns to the head trainer. If you have questions and the head trainer won't answer? You need to decide if that's really someone you want to work for. It is NEVER acceptable to just go to a national magazine and run your mouth. Ever. It's never acceptable to run your mouth period, especially when you don't have all the facts.
                          Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique

                          Comment


                          • #53
                            Originally posted by Lilly123B View Post

                            thank you for the condolences.
                            Oh, Lilly. I am so, so sorry for the trauma you and your daughter experienced. The pain of the loss must be immense. I’m even more sorry that this was put into the public sphere without your knowledge or consent. How violating! I hope the happy memories will eventually bring you comfort. ❤️

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              I find everything about this article distressing. I’m so sorry Lilly. The last thing you needed was this invasion of privacy and being put in the position of having to fact check an article you didn’t authorize
                              ~Veronica
                              "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                              http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

                              Comment


                              • #55
                                Originally posted by kirbydog View Post

                                Except that depo/medroxy is not for getting a horse quiet, any more than birth control is for keeping women and girls calm. it is to help regulate cycling,mood and behavior. there are plenty of jumpers, and hot ones i'm sure, that get it

                                We have a very sassy little fox hunt mare that is a raging bitch without the help from hormones; she'd love to hurt you without them, and also has the charming habit of stopping, spreading her legs and peeing every chance she gets without her regumate. the point is to make them safer for everyone involved, including themselves and other horses. Over lunging is about getting a horse quiet. Ditto Perfect prep, acepromazine, reserpine, etc.

                                I don't think the standards are unrealistic. Why lower the bar? And judges are more lenient now wrt horses playing a little, or as they call it "being expressive", especially with greener horses.. I know they are, because i've won plenty of big classes on horses that are a little..."expressive". Now a novice adult horse, maybe not so much, but that's a different animal
                                Except that in reality it is very much used for calming in the show ring, and research has shown that it does not, in fact, suppress estrus in mares.

                                I have less of an issue with someone using it to keep a horse sensible for trail riding or fox hunting, because if the owner of the horse is aware of the potential risks and feels that it is still a good choice, hey, that’s their decision to make.

                                But in the show ring, it absolutely is used for calming and to give a competitive advantage. Geldings have no “hormonal cycle” to regulate, and yet many of them are still competing on Depo. Add the risks in on top of that and that fact that it’s been shown to not actually do what its proponents claim (suppress estrus) and I see no reason it should continue to be show ring legal.

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  Here’s the thing...why do we geld horses in the first place? Part of it is to make them more rideable for the majority population. It’s also because it’s a lot easier to manage them in the average boarding barn. Why do geldings have the stereotype of being easy going friendly, docile horses? Because they aren’t stallions. In some horses, gelding does not take away all of the stallion type behaviors. Is Depo overused in the show ring? Probably. But there are some legitimate reasons to use it to administer it to geldings. For some it really helps them have a better life.

                                  My friend’s mare does a lot better on Depo than she ever did on Regumate despite that not being supported by the research. She is also not a show horse but was difficult to manage in the barn and turnout, including kicking so much in the stall she would hurt herself, had terrible back pain during her heats so you couldn’t ride or do much at all with her, and regumate had little effect. As kind of a last ditch effort, the owner with the support of her vet switched to Depo to see if it would be any different, and she is a much happier mare. In turn this does make her calmer.

                                  And back to geldings...for those that do show, Regumate is illegal for geldings IIRC with USEF leaving few options for hormonal help.

                                  Depo is not a tranq, sedative or anti-psychotic. It isn’t the same as giving Reserpine. I’d argue it’s more like giving Previcox to a mildly arthritic horse to improve its quality of life. Which might in turn also make it more rideable for longer.

                                  I used to use the implants on my mare many years ago. Those have fallen out of favor and in a mare you could screw up the timing and then be out of luck doing anything about it for weeks. I wonder if that could be a safer alternative for studdish geldings.

                                  Comment


                                  • #57
                                    Originally posted by IPEsq View Post
                                    Depo is not a tranq, sedative or anti-psychotic. It isn’t the same as giving Reserpine. I’d argue it’s more like giving Previcox to a mildly arthritic horse to improve its quality of life. Which might in turn also make it more rideable for longer
                                    Reserpine was primarily used (in humans) as an antihypertensive medication ... it just turns out it also has antipsychotic effects.

                                    As as far as I know the mechanism of action of Depo in horses isn’t fully understood but it is hypothesized that it may have some central GABA-ergic effects ... which would mean that it is also a sedative of sorts.

                                    Geldings with unusually studdish behavior may well benefit from being given Depo, and I’m not saying it should be taken off the market. But I don’t think there’s such an epidemic of studdish geldings that it would explain why half the horses in the hunter ring are receiving Depo, and I’d also bet dollars to donuts that most of the horses that show on it were “prescribed” Depo by the trainer, not the veterinarian.

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      Originally posted by Sticky Situation View Post

                                      Reserpine was primarily used (in humans) as an antihypertensive medication ... it just turns out it also has antipsychotic effects.

                                      As as far as I know the mechanism of action of Depo in horses isn’t fully understood but it is hypothesized that it may have some central GABA-ergic effects ... which would mean that it is also a sedative of sorts.

                                      Geldings with unusually studdish behavior may well benefit from being given Depo, and I’m not saying it should be taken off the market. But I don’t think there’s such an epidemic of studdish geldings that it would explains why half the horses in the hunter ring are receiving Depo, and I’d also bet dollars to donuts that most of the horses that show on it were “prescribed” Depo by the trainer, not the veterinarian.
                                      In total agreement with your conclusions. It’s like PP except it’s, apparently, less benign. Clients often demand these things as quick answers to performance issues that likely serve as more of a placebo for the owner. Trainers don’t want to tell the truth about reasonable show ring expectations for client horses. Too many vets placate their trainer clients by providing unresearched drugs or script.

                                      Particularly in the Hunters, the issue isn’t always more training, it’s a better quality, better moving horse with a better jump before a better rider even gets on it. Too many are turned into pin cushions and filled with calmers and they still aren’t coming out of the ring with a blue ribbon unless somebody pulls a rail.

                                      When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                                      The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                                      Comment


                                      • #59
                                        Originally posted by skydy View Post

                                        You aren't the owner of the horse. Obviously, their opinion carries more weight.

                                        "Blithely giving Depo to another clients horse without worrying about it or discussing it" is a completely different scenario than participating in an interview with a national magazine, without consulting the owner.

                                        I wonder how you reconcile that comparison.
                                        I think that overall horse welfare is more important than the feelings of one horse owner. I am very sorry for the owner that their horse died, and that it was under such distressing circumstances. It sounds like a horrible thing to have witnessed. But if Depo is really causing horse deaths, I believe the broader horse community deserves to know about it. Talking to a reputable horse news source is one way to make sure this isn't brushed under the rug and that people are aware of the potential danger.

                                        I acknowledge that there are claims that the Chronicle got the story wrong, but I think that is a different issue than whether the AT had the right to talk to a journalist about an incident with a horse that she personally experienced.

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          Originally posted by Sticky Situation View Post

                                          Reserpine was primarily used (in humans) as an antihypertensive medication ... it just turns out it also has antipsychotic effects.

                                          As as far as I know the mechanism of action of Depo in horses isn’t fully understood but it is hypothesized that it may have some central GABA-ergic effects ... which would mean that it is also a sedative of sorts.

                                          Geldings with unusually studdish behavior may well benefit from being given Depo, and I’m not saying it should be taken off the market. But I don’t think there’s such an epidemic of studdish geldings that it would explain why half the horses in the hunter ring are receiving Depo, and I’d also bet dollars to donuts that most of the horses that show on it were “prescribed” Depo by the trainer, not the veterinarian.
                                          I agree with you here. I have known a few mares that absolutely needed medical help to deal with pain / unsafe behaviour during their cycles. In all my years working with horses (and I’m old) I have never met a gelding that was so studdish it required drugs. Not to say they don’t exist, but just that they aren’t that common. Certainly not so common that you might randomly come across 5 or 6 of them entered in the same class at the same show...

                                          And while I don’t see a problem with turning to your vet for help with a horse who is unsafe to handle at home due to studdish behaviour that can’t be resolved by training, drugging it to compete in a certain discipline seems like an odd solution. If it’s not suitable by nature to plod around in the hunter ring, why not find it a discipline that it is suited for?

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