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Blind Filly...What would you do?

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  • #21
    I think people are being quite unfair to the OP. The fact is there are some horses that are never quite right. It sounds like between the health and fear issues this filly will never have a good quality of life.

    That said, being shot like a hunted animal would not be the way I would do it. Euthanasia by bullet is fine, but it needs to be done properly at close range. I would NEVER want to do it from a distance. Too easy to miss and have an injured animal that is in pain and panicked.

    If you can top feed wormer paste, you can probably also top feed ace. Once she's sedated enough to catch and handle there are plenty of humane ways to euthanize.

    A friend of mine had to euthanize her heart horse after repeated bouts of uveitis. He'd been a well socialized hunt horse but losing his vision repeatedly left him spooky and he became a danger to himself and others. This horse had every treatment recommended to him and he still could not be saved.
    The rebel in the grey shirt


    • #22
      Originally posted by JWB View Post
      I think people are being quite unfair to the OP. The fact is there are some horses that are never quite right. It sounds like between the health and fear issues this filly will never have a good quality of life.
      Agreed. Sometimes you can't win on this board. Had the filly been stalled, people would have been flaming her for NOT having the filly out in pasture with similarly aged horses (because, as has been posted constantly, all youngsters should be in fields to run, play, and develop). Folks, being in a field does NOT mean there was no attempt made at handling this filly.

      My parents once bred a filly that was handled on a daily basis from day one. After she was weaned, same thing as the OP's horse. She became increasingly feral and no matter how much she was worked with, nothing changed. Never had that problem with any other horse we raised. Ever. By the time she was a yearling, her default mode when handled was "rear and flip." Saw the horse throw herself up and over into a water trough to get out of being handled. Even with constant work through the next 2 years she remained unpredictable and continued to use rearing as an evasion. Vet couldn't find anything physically wrong. She was simply not right in the head. A horse like that is not safe, and should be humanely euthanized. I would put ACE in her feed and go from there as opposed to having her shot in the field, though.
      Proud member of the Snort and Blow Clique


      • #23
        Euthanasia is fine for the lost cause or a horse with poor quality of life . I think most people agree with that.

        It does not ever hurt on a discussion board though to explore all aspects of the matter when people ask for advice because - human nature- it is very easy to skew the responses by slanting your narrative. Even so, questions may arise.

        Most of us would say of course go ahead and put down a blind filly.

        But then we find out the filly may not be blind, may even have a manageable condition, has never been examined by vet, has never been treated for the conditon and no steps have ever taken to manage the condition or prevent flare ups in three years because she has been allowed to become feral.

        We are told the OP is experienced and this is an exception but, really?

        When you had a wellbred yrling with Uveitis episodes,then was the time to socialize ,train and introduce to humans or send to someone else who could because yes uveitis can lead to blindness.

        So now, she is three, feral, with an unmanaged undiagnosed untreated condition and you want to put her down.

        Go ahead but if you only want hugs, don't ask for opinions.


        • #24
          I raised my eyebrow at the fact that the filly had these reoccurring episodes and it seems like no real attempt was made to increase her handling, since she was unable to be caught. But then, horses, like people are sometimes born just not all there. I don't think that any amount of hugs and cuddling would have changed Dahmer, and I don't think that any amount of hugs and cuddling will help this filly. Three years is a long time to be acting feral and she's going to end up hurting somebody, esp once she's feral and blind.

          I don't think that this is all the fault of the OP, and I think that she's making the best choice for the situation.

          I've used blind horses with great success, but IME they've always been trusting towards their humans. They have to be. A horse is a big animal to be blundering around without sight, especially if they have a mentality like this filly.

          Put her down humanely, not via a bullet.


          • #25
            I think the "some horses are born different" is a bit of a BS line here, if you have a weanling filly that's hard to handle then you run it into a stall and handle it. I've dealt with horses that have minimal handling and after a few weeks of being stalled at night and handled several times a day they come around. It's not that difficult. I mean, nobody even trims this filly's feet.


            • #26
              Originally posted by Marshfield View Post
              Her quality of life doesn't sound great. Even if you could handle her more easily, uveitis is painful. Euthanasia via gun shot sounds reasonable if you opt for euthanasia.


              • #27
                Originally posted by halteralter98 View Post
                I will take credit for her lack of handling after her yearling year. She lived out with the other foals 24/7, run in area, small group of youngsters. This is the ONLY foal in 50 I've bred that has ever had human trust issues like this. It IS possible that sometimes you just can't get through to a foal. I'm sure much of it was vision related. In the past I've not had the ability to stall her and really work with her (most foals don't need stalls to socialize). I have a huge barn now and could bring her in, but really for what? out in the field she is a mess right now, the other horse friends are not being cruel to her, but she's just so scared. Not all blind horses are like that. I used a 100% blind mare last year to teach lessons on. Best school horse ever.

                OP, dont worry about the folks giving your grief. Folks that do that usually have never had to deal with bad situations.

                For your own sanity - dont post here again on this thread - it is a trainwreck in the making....

                since i have seen a horse with reoccurring uveitis and it is NOT pretty and very painful - i think the best choice is to put her down.

                You know the right thing to do - she will have not much quality of life because of the pain.....

                good luck and hugs.


                • #28
                  I think the "some horses are born different" is a bit of a BS line here, if you have a weanling filly that's hard to handle then you run it into a stall and handle it. I've dealt with horses that have minimal handling and after a few weeks of being stalled at night and handled several times a day they come around. It's not that difficult. I mean, nobody even trims this filly's feet.

                  The filly was cut loose by her owner long ago when the owner decided not to deal with handling issues with a yrling who started having uveitis issues. It went off the rails there. So by not addressing uveitis when it first appeared such that it has now been completely unmanaged and untreated, nevermind ever seen by a vet. Not a reasonable or responsible approach to a yrling with suspected uveitis.

                  Nevermind, mbm is in your corner and anyone who points out hard truths is a big meanie who knows nuthin.

                  whatever, but you DID ask for opinions..


                  • #29
                    Originally posted by Crockpot View Post

                    Nevermind, mbm is in your corner and anyone who points out hard truths is a big meanie who knows nuthin. .
                    giving honest feed back and responses is not what i was responding too. instead i was responding to the folks who will pile on once someone says "X"

                    In other words there is a difference between "i feel that this might of been handled differently" and "you brought this on yourself" especially when one doesn't really know what is going on and the OP is clearly reaching out.

                    i guess i dont get the whole lets make an OP feel bad thing.... <shrug>

                    as for OP not posting any more - the more the OP posts the more likely it is that someone will figure out who s/he is IRL.....


                    • #30
                      In other words there is a difference between "i feel that this might of been handled differently" and "you brought this on yourself" especially when one doesn't really know what is going on and the OP is clearly reaching out.
                      Well that foolishness is all in your mind, mbm. No surprise there.

                      The point being made by some is that there has been no diagnosis whatsoever !! or prognosis or even any attempt at treatment or management or any type of training at all in the last 3 yrs so sharpshooter MAY not necessarilly have to be the next step.

                      OP should do what she wants to do.but if asking for opinions on a discussion board, she will get them and people like mbm will always say ignore other opinions, there there poor dear.


                      • #31
                        Pasture raising young stock is a good thing.

                        Shooting/euthanizing a painful horse isn't a bad thing.

                        Shooting/euthanizing a Hates People horse isn't a bad thing.

                        Pasture raising a youngster, then trying to handle it, finding out it's not going to be an easy little thing to work with, leaving it be, watching it get recurring bouts of a very painful problem and not having it treated due to it's being "difficult to train", continuing to not handle it at least to the point of being able to put a fly mask on it on bright days or able to have a vet look it over and allowing it's chronic painful condition to get to a point where it's now blind, scared and bonking into fences is NOT a "pasture raised for it's health instead of locking it into a stall" situation.

                        OP stated it was difficult to handle, not dangerous. OP didn't say it was attacking people or trying to hurt itself and that OP takes responsibility of not bothering to teach it handling since it's been a yearling.

                        I'm not saying OP is evil, rotten or whatever. I am saying that though it might be easier to ignore the difficult horses on property...it needed to at least be halter broke. Which can be easily done without shutting it away in a stall. (drama queens ) Round pens, small paddock with run in, even an in & out stall with attached run. Don't have any? Make one. Just don't take the easy route and ignore a difficult animal that's experiencing a painful, recurring eye problem that can lead to blindness.

                        Color me crazy, call me judgey pants...I'm pretty sure I'll survive it. But IMO, while it might not be abusive; it's most definitely neglectful. What happens if the horse were injured? Got sick? Since slowly going blind is ok, are those okay to leave untreated also?

                        And yep, have handled and worked with plenty of problem horses. Ground working with a handful of them now. "Problem" adult horses learning to be halter broke and handled just enough for their own protection and safety. It happens...doesn't make it evil but also doesn't make it right. Or safe for the animals.
                        You jump in the saddle,
                        Hold onto the bridle!
                        Jump in the line!


                        • #32
                          lol! that is not what i said... at all...

                          just to be clear: when someone is reaching out the kind thing to do is to give your POV in as helpful a way as possible. Even if you disagree etc.

                          that way the person can hear what you are saying....


                          • #33
                            Originally posted by enjoytheride View Post
                            I think the "some horses are born different" is a bit of a BS line here, if you have a weanling filly that's hard to handle then you run it into a stall and handle it. I've dealt with horses that have minimal handling and after a few weeks of being stalled at night and handled several times a day they come around. It's not that difficult. I mean, nobody even trims this filly's feet.
                            I think maybe you have not been around enough foals and young stock.
                            If you had, you probably would have, sooner or later, come across one that, no matter what you do, are not quite right in a way that makes them unsafe to live with.
                            Remember, we are not talking about raising hippos, but domestic horses.

                            Now, was this filly not right?
                            That we don't know, but seems that was a possibility here.


                            • #34
                              Originally posted by mbm View Post
                              OP, dont worry about the folks giving your grief.
                              OP wanted people to hold her hand & say that her plans for this filly are OK - she'll follow the path of least resistance anyway as that is the 3 yr pattern that has been established with this filly.

                              My #1 Issue - yearling/2yr old/3yr old horse that has been denied basic medical care:
                              OP would actually need to want to change this & she doesn't, so YES filly should be HUMANELY euthanised.
                              And somehow shooting her in a field at a distance doesn't actually strike me as humane euthanasia - where do you even find this marksman that is trained in killing horses "instantly" from 300 yards - cause if she's truly feral, that is about the distance that she would allow a strange human, nevermind one that stinks of strange things ...

                              Folks that do that usually have never had to deal with bad situations.

                              PSA: you can actually find a vet that will distance sedate a feral horse & then continue with treatment, there are several options on this front.


                              • #35
                                Sure some horses have stronger personalities that makes handling them difficult and those horses are best handled by a professional.

                                You can't say that a horse who has lived most of its life untouched in a field is "different", it's just feral.

                                If everyone wrote off weanlings as "different" when they entered the "I'm not on my mom and people are scary" phase we'd run out of horses pretty quick! You handle them daily with a firm and kind hand and they come around quickly.

                                I'm not going to let the OP pull the "different" card here. I think she needs to top dress the feed with ACE and put the horse down because at this point she's totally failed this creature.


                                • #36
                                  I agree that, even if the filly was not right and feral, no matter what happened, uveitis or a broken leg, she needed to have received attention, one way or another.
                                  Not sure that was happening, but maybe she was tended to before?
                                  The story is not quite clear on that.
                                  Definitely get her attention now, whatever you and your vet decide is necessary.


                                  • #37
                                    Originally posted by mbm View Post
                                    lol! that is not what i said... at all...
                                    I'm willing to give you that it may not been have been what you were thinking or meant, but, yes. Yes it was what you said. Or certainly read that way.
                                    "Aye God, Woodrow..."


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by alto View Post
                                      OP wanted people to hold her hand & say that her plans for this filly are OK
                                      But her plans are perfectly ok - well, I too would lean towards Acing her and vet euth, not a sharpshooter in the pasture, but other than that they're fine.

                                      The horse was neglected if it wasn't seen/treated by the vet during previous bouts, and the "feral" issue is a cop out (either the horse as dangerous to handle and just should've been euthed long ago, or it was just more difficult that OP's other homebreds and therefore OP threw up her hands and let it sit in pasture, whatever).

                                      But at this point the horse is having issues, OP doesn't appear highly motivated to correct the handling problems, and there are enough horses without either handling or health issues looking for a good home - so why the heck not euth this critter? If it's done humanely critter won't care, and it doesn't seem like anyone is incredibly emotionally connected to the filly either, so there should be no to minimal suffering on both the horse and the human end. It's sort of a no-brainer decision to me.
                                      Proud Member Of The Lady Mafia


                                      • #39
                                        It truly sounds to me that the most humane thing to do at this point is to euthanize the filly. She just has too many cards stacked against her now. Perhaps if things were handed differently, there would be more of a likelihood for a positive outcome, but, then again, perhaps not. There's no way knowing that one way or another. As the situation exists here and now, I agree with those who say to give her plenty of ace and then humanely euthanize her.


                                        • #40
                                          I have a mare with Uveitis, she has lost most of her vision from it despite immediate vet attention and follow up care for every episode. Uveitis is extremely painful, sorry but I was a little sick at the idea of her going without treatment or at least pain relief at the least. I am also surprised that she has been without hoof care, yes I read about "self trimming" for several years. I just can't imagine not feeling an absolute need to resolve this when she was quite young. Then again I have not walked a mile in your shoes, so I don't mean to accuse you of not caring for her either.

                                          My mare's issues are draining both $$$ and emotionally. I worry about her constantly, I am refencing my entire property piece by piece so she will be safer. She was chased through a fence by a pasture mate, that horse is no longer here (and a few other reasons of course). She is my first priority horse wise. That is, IMO, what a handicapped horse requires. I do this because I absolutely love her and I feel I owe it to her... she is my heart horse and a pet to me.

                                          I guess my point is unless you can dedicate yourself fully to her, and if she cannot be treated safely, put her to sleep. Similar to your mare, my mare's flare ups have decreased to the point that it is very rare now... less than once every year and a half if that. She seems very comfortable and well adjusted, does not test her fences and she adjusted to new surroundings very easily. Your mare quite possibly would too... she needs time to get used to not seeing. But you need to decide how far you are willing to go for her and how far you think she could come as far as handling is concerned. My mare is a real sweetheart and has that need to please attitude, it really helps that she is easy going and she really looks to her person for confidence so in strange situations she doesn't freak out if you reassure her.

                                          No one can answer this question for you, only you know your filly and your and her limits. But there will be no way for her to continue as she is, being mostly feral. No way can I see that working for a vision impaired horse. Best of luck, not an easy decision.