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Drop dead gorgeous warm blood mare, what would you do

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  • #21
    Euthanize. It's really hard to follow through on this but it is the most reasonable and responsible thing for everyone.

    Earlier this week, I was about to call a couple of people who had been referred as possible homes for my lovely, sweet-tempered, young, lame mare ... Then I was told about a previous owner who wants to buy back a palomino stallion for his breeding program. The stallion is barely broke, lame, and cryptorchid. Yet the owner is a skilled horseman and a smooth talker. I was distressed because it brought home the likely future for my mare. She's pretty, papered, and free. At some point she would be bred for profit and the foal sold to an unsuspecting buyer. And thus the cycle of genetic lameness would be continued. Stop it now, if only for the sake of future foals that didn't asked to be born, doomed from the start.

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    • Original Poster

      #22
      Yes, thank you for all the responses. She actually is on all day turnout in the winter and all night turnout in the summer. I’ve have changed vets a few times and never found anything even after last MRI. Yes tested for Cushing, she is not positive, yes tested blood level for EPM not positive.
      I will not breed her or use her as a donor for blood or to carry another foal. I’ve had her for 6 years and she is my family.
      Yes, I guess I was asking about euthanasia.

      I have another horse that I don’t ride as he was purchased for the professional division. I’ve been fortunate, to have a riding horse for me and one to watch.

      believe me I’m not wealthy, I work to pay for my horses and could have retired except for my love of my horses. I guess,at this age, I can’t afford to keep her even at a turnout board, have my professional horse, and than a riding horse for me. So, do I keep her or let her go over the rainbow. I know this is a personal decision, I just needed to feel sorry for myself.

      I know now some will view this , as poor her, but really I’ve sacrificed so many other earthly pleasures for my “kids”. I might just have to let her go.
      i appreciate your comments, sometimes you have to others to get your feelings out. Thank you

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      • #23
        Equioxx has been a game changer for several of my horses. My primary show horse is on it daily and has been for two years. He went through 18 months of laminitis and while he is absolutely sound without it, he is far happier/more comfortable/moves better on it. We’ve had zero issues with him or with my retirees who are on it as well!
        Nine out of ten times, you'll get it wrong...but it's that tenth time that you get it right that makes all the difference.

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        • Original Poster

          #24
          Thank you I am going to try the previcox, I need to give her and me another chance! Thank you all!

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          • #25
            Great choice. My late horse was on for arthritis it from a couple of years before it retired at age 21 (pasture injury) until we let it go just short of 30th birthday. It’s a game changer in managing the comfort of aging horses so they can enjoy their retirement.

            It was also a light bulb moment for me understanding how chronic pain, even low level, can effect everything from mobility to appetite to overall mood in aging horses. At some point, it won’t be enough and you need to prepare a plan for that. Thinking it out in advance will make eventual decisions much easier.
            When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

            The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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            • #26
              Originally posted by wannabedvm View Post

              Still might not be good since the mare suffers from lameness already.
              You do realize that many MANY broodmares are not competition sound? They are breeding sound and as long as it's not an act of cruelty, she'd still be a candidate for ET.
              The thing about smart people, is they look like crazy people, to dumb people.

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              • #27
                What is the current diagnosis on her lameness? If it’s another soft tissue something, I wouldn’t want to try to power through with NSAIDs. If it’s arthritis, maybe. My friend basically owns this same mare, although she is not as old yet and not sweet on the ground. And chasing lameness around and around in all 4 legs has gotten to be too much. There is a combo of foot pain, soft tissue injuries, and arthritis. There is a soft place for this mare to land, but the owner has had to give up for a while at least on making her rideable.

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by Jumphigh83 View Post

                  You do realize that many MANY broodmares are not competition sound? They are breeding sound and as long as it's not an act of cruelty, she'd still be a candidate for ET.
                  Without knowing the cause and extent of whatever’s wrong here, asking the mare to carry the extra weight to full term might not be a great idea...and what about NSAID pain relief during pregnancy? Might not be that attractive as a surrogate and not a realistic option for OP.
                  When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                  The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

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                  • #29
                    I'm 66. At this point I have more money than time (and I don't have a lot of money!). I've been in a similar position. My mare could hardly lose a hack and was just as good over fences (though she did have a peak). But she blew a suspensory twice, and three vets told me her chances of staying sound if I jumped her (even over x rails) was 30%. I didn't seem fair to her -- or me. So she is now a beautiful lawn ornament. And I have another horse who can cart my old body over 2 foot courses safely and soundly. Get a horse who can do the job you want so you can ride yourself into the sunset jumping x rails. Time is precious.

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                    • #30
                      Hello OP. My heart aches for you. I firmly believe euthanizing in this type of situation is kindest to the horse. Horses have zero expectations of tomorrow. They live only in the moment. If her moments are painful, the right thing to do is let her go. That is not euthanizing for convenience. That is euthanizing out of love. Too many owners wait until the horse is miserable. It sounds like this horse has had a million dollar work-up and is not ever going to be comfortable.

                      I currently have an older horse on Dex. She is my heart horse that I've had for 19 years. With this colder weather, she is having trouble getting up. Once she is up, she is fine. Our Vet has me giving Dex which will hopefully get her through whatever is going on. If she continues to have trouble getting up even on the steroid, I'm going to let her go. I'm terrified of her going down over night in the freezing cold and suffering there until the next morning. She HATES stalls, so that is not an option. I'm sure some would say that since she has a good quality of life most days, that it isn't time. I disagree with that. It is always better to put them down a day early than a moment too late.


                      #JusticeForSunshine

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                      • #31
                        Not really adding anything new, but I myself would try keeping her on Equioxx and seeing if it helps. In my experience it has helped many horses. You're right....it can have long-term side effects. But if you're considering euth anyway, and this can buy her a few years before side effects occur, it seems to be a reasonable thing to try for everyone's sake.

                        That said, if you'd still be afraid to ride her even if she's sound, that's a whole different ball of wax. BUT, if she's sound enough to return to regular work, she might be nice and quiet and safe for you!

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                        • #32
                          I suggest Equioxx as well. Talk to your vet on getting some and use for a month before you make any definitive conclusion. It takes a bit of time to work its way in the system and have an effect. you will not see a change overnight. I have one retiree with poor legs that is on a small dose 1x a day as maintenance to keep her comfortable and so far so good. We really like it.

                          Is she shod? If so, is she shod on all 4? What is she shod with? Does she have thin soles making her sore? How often is she turned out and what kind of turnout is she in? does she have pasture mates who could potentially be beating on her?

                          Have you considered speaking to a specialize farrier in your area. Perhaps a good and less expensive option to start with would be a good farrier who could get her angles right and into shoes that offer the best support. Without good feet you have nothing.

                          Suspensory injuries are not, so to speak, the "mares fault". They happen with sport horses.

                          If there is nothing glaring on her xrays and work up from a skilled vet team; I am cautious to say shes serviceably unsound. I feel like something else is going on like shoes/feet that could be easily maintained. I have never been one to jump on the "lets Inject" train; especially for a reoccurring soundness issue.

                          I suggest speaking with a specialized farrier in your area and have them take a look at her. Next step would be a local vet who specializes in unsoundness, can listen to the back story, and do an honest assessment. See where these 2 avenues lead you. Next, I would give her 6 months to 1 year of vacation. Let her heal and see how she comes back

                          I understand you are frustrated because you want something to ride but I feel as if the secondary specialized opinion may help you immensely instead of wasting time and money trying the same thing over and over again.

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                          • #33
                            It is hard - I am in the same position almost. While it is good to have people to throw out ideas in the end I will have to
                            make up my mind what is best for my lovely horse. I bred her, had her mother and her grandmother was my saddle horse for many years....she's part of us. Take the time you need to make up your mind - it takes time to become used to the thought, if it necessary to put her to sleep.
                            Proud member of People Who Hate to Kill Wildlife clique

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                            • Original Poster

                              #34
                              Yes, thanks all again for the replies and suggestions. I’ve started her on previcox and am hopeful after reading responses.. Will keep you all updated and send prayers
                              thanks again

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                              • #35
                                Originally posted by Jumphigh83 View Post
                                What about a recipient mare for ET? Her genetics would not affect the foal and she'd have a useful life....
                                If the mare's conformation is affecting her soundness, then her genetics would affect the foal.

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                                • #36
                                  I don’t know if you are a fan of joint supplements but I’ve been impressed with Equithrive, which you can give with Equioxx.

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                                  • #37
                                    Often these things that move around the legs and do not respond to medicines are an old neck injury that makes a neuropathy in the limbs because it squeezes the spinal cord. Often the horse will carry it's head in a typical way that is an arched neck that looks nice but is quite stiff, but sometimes they do not do this. I would x-ray the neck. If it that she will not get better, I am sorry.

                                    People do not consider the long term impacts of neck injury but it is as serious in a horse as in a human. Maybe more so.

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