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Blind Filly...What would you do?

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  • Blind Filly...What would you do?

    I'm posting this under and alter because I can't believe I'm even considering this. I have a filly that is three (just turned three in November). This filly was born and lived outside with her dam 24/7. Handled at birth, she was friendly, but not overly friendly. As she was weaned she got to the point she was uncatchable. Didn't trust humans. We had never had a foal like this before.

    About halfway into her yearling year she started to develop boughts of uveitis. The vet could not treat her as we just could not catch her and the barn we were at at the time had no safe stalls in which to contain her. We've moved since then. She'd done well all summer with just one small bought. I am at the point I can go up in the pasture and rub and pat her and she's ok with that. Most days. We feed her dewormer through her grain (she eats the paste on top) and her feet she has self trimmed nicely (think mustang).

    Well she recently had another bought of uveitis. She is out 24/7 with her friends and a run in. Only once in her life has it effected both eyes and we were in a place where we had a barnyard. Now she is bumping into the fence shocking herself. It's tearing me apart.

    Personally I think the best choice for this filly is to put her down. I am committed to her for life IF I can save her, but she has no desire to join up with humans, and perhaps it's because her vision is impaired. The problem is to catch her and contain her and have the vet out to put her down, her adrenaline will be up and we all know that does not work with euthanasia. Am I nuts to consider getting a professional to shoot her in the pasture and bury her on my farm? I feel she could be eating the then put down, quickly with no pain to her. I am a wreck even thinking about this. But i've tried to work with her. She is a lovely move, a great size and a nicely bred horse, but if I can't save her eyes and she doesn't trust me....then what?

  • #2
    Blind Filly...What would you do?
    I'm posting this under and alter because I can't believe I'm even considering this. I have a filly that is three (just turned three in November). This filly was born and lived outside with her dam 24/7. Handled at birth, she was friendly, but not overly friendly. As she was weaned she got to the point she was uncatchable. Didn't trust humans. We had never had a foal like this before.

    About halfway into her yearling year she started to develop boughts of uveitis. The vet could not treat her as we just could not catch her and the barn we were at at the time had no safe stalls in which to contain her. We've moved since then. She'd done well all summer with just one small bought. I am at the point I can go up in the pasture and rub and pat her and she's ok with that. Most days. We feed her dewormer through her grain (she eats the paste on top) and her feet she has self trimmed nicely (think mustang).

    Well she recently had another bought of uveitis. She is out 24/7 with her friends and a run in. Only once in her life has it effected both eyes and we were in a place where we had a barnyard. Now she is bumping into the fence shocking herself. It's tearing me apart.

    Personally I think the best choice for this filly is to put her down. I am committed to her for life IF I can save her, but she has no desire to join up with humans, and perhaps it's because her vision is impaired. The problem is to catch her and contain her and have the vet out to put her down, her adrenaline will be up and we all know that does not work with euthanasia. Am I nuts to consider getting a professional to shoot her in the pasture and bury her on my farm? I feel she could be eating the then put down, quickly with no pain to her. I am a wreck even thinking about this. But i've tried to work with her. She is a lovely move, a great size and a nicely bred horse, but if I can't save her eyes and she doesn't trust me....then what?
    She wasn't trained or socialized as a foal, just left to roam feral and you haven't had any time or funds to pay someone with time to put some basic handling and human trust into her for three years?

    And she has recurrent health issues that can't be treated due to her never being taught to be handled or socialized to people?

    And now you're considering having her shot in the pasture so you don't have to handle her, watch her get zapped by fencing?

    And you say you're committed to her for life IF you could handle her or she could see?

    Honestly? I have no words....
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte

    Comment


    • #3
      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.

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        She was socialized at birth, friendly but not overly friendly. As she was weaned (after) she became more feral and unable to be caught. I'm sure it had to do with her vision. I will catch her and put her down if that is the best option. But I just see it stressing her more then she is already stressed. In her three years she has had maybe four or five boughts of uveitis where for about 2 days her eyes were cloudy. This time she has it in both eyes. She was fine last night. I was out in the field scratching her and rubbing on her. Tonight she can't see.

        Comment


        • #5
          I will agree with you, I think you need to put her down. You are doing her a disservice keeping her.
          www.facebook.com/doggonegoodgoodies
          http://doggonebakedgoods.com/

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          • #6
            I too agree that a lot of the problems here are your own making, but that's really water under the bridge at this point. This filly has zero quality of life. Put her down somehow and pledge to do better by future foals (if you are continuing to breed.)

            Comment


            • #7
              I applaud you for actually being able to step up and do the right thing. It's not going to be a popular opinion, and I would perhaps try getting her into a smaller spot where she could be caught more easily, even a day or two in advance of the vet visit, so that you could have the vet put her down. I'm not in favor of having her shot in her field.

              That being said, if she IS blind and likely to stay that way, keeping her in a small area, and depriving her of equine friends making her more dependent on you could make her more likely to 'join up' with you. But then you have a blind horse and you have to ask yourself what you're going to do with her.

              I have enough strength that I could do that. Of course, I call it strength, others would say I have no heart. But I don't believe being PTS is the worst thing in the world. Beats the many unpleasant alternatives, like starvation, Craigslist, or the slaughter house should something happen and you are unable to keep her anymore.
              ~Kryswyn~ Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo
              Check out my Kryswyn JRTs on Facebook

              "Life is merrier with a terrier!"

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                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.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Put her down and don't breed again. As an owner of a 3 year old homebred filly I can't even imagine allowing a filly to become feral.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Kryswyn View Post
                    I applaud you for actually being able to step up and do the right thing. It's not going to be a popular opinion, and I would perhaps try getting her into a smaller spot where she could be caught more easily, even a day or two in advance of the vet visit, so that you could have the vet put her down. I'm not in favor of having her shot in her field.

                    That being said, if she IS blind and likely to stay that way, keeping her in a small area, and depriving her of equine friends making her more dependent on you could make her more likely to 'join up' with you. But then you have a blind horse and you have to ask yourself what you're going to do with her.

                    I have enough strength that I could do that. Of course, I call it strength, others would say I have no heart. But I don't believe being PTS is the worst thing in the world. Beats the many unpleasant alternatives, like starvation, Craigslist, or the slaughter house should something happen and you are unable to keep her anymore.
                    Thank you, she has never wanted for food or shelter. Really she has had a great quality of life minus the uveitis flair ups. Her eyes will most likely clear in a few days, but this will happen again and even if I treat it, it will still come back to haunt her. Just because she is not handled and doesn't trust me doesn't mean she has a horrible life. She's never been cooped up, hit, whipped, etc. She's had the life of just being a horse. I guess the only difference is out in the wild the cougar would have gotten her by now.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      If you say her quality of life is good minus a few days a year- I'd put the time and effort into socializing her. Yes- it means having a suitable living situation for her (stall and small pen) - which you really needed all along.

                      There is a rescue that specializes in blind horses. I would speak with them and see if you can pay for her to live there.

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Originally posted by joiedevie99 View Post
                        If you say her quality of life is good minus a few days a year- I'd put the time and effort into socializing her. Yes- it means having a suitable living situation for her (stall and small pen) - which you really needed all along.
                        .
                        We are going to put a top door on one of the stalls tomorrow and start working with her in the stall. In her three years she's had maybe 2-3 weeks total of days where she was scared/uncomfortable with her eyes. The other days she was running bucking and playing with her friends.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          she has a bout of uveitis at the rate of twice (minimum) a year.

                          seems like this horse never felt too good in human company (to the point that you can't treat her when needed)

                          I am not going to knock your handling skills, some individuals are just not wired right....

                          But I am wondering why there had not been steps taken once it became obvious that the uveitis isn't going away?

                          Alas....

                          You can probably feed her enough tranquilizer to sedate her enough to put her down.

                          I don't know too many people who like to shoot stuff in pasture. Though there is the odd person with a cold streak.

                          But if all else fails, a skilled marksman can likely drop her for you with no further distress.

                          But personally I would cut my losses and call it quits.
                          Under the given circumstances, leaving her as it is, it's only making you 'feel better' but not the horse.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            If you can walk up to her in pasture now, there is no need for a professional to shoot her. What is it with people needing "someone professional to come shoot their horse"? Walking up to her in the pasture can be calm and subdued and then halter her which might take a while granted and then quietly euthed. She's blind, she hasn't had much time put in to her, give her a bucket of treats and let her go peacefully. I don't know why but this reminds me of that thread with the lady with the wild crazy horse she wanted someone to come shoot. It doesn't need to be some big drama, if you care for the filly, this is probably the best for her and if you can't be calm you can ask a friend to hold her. Doing right by horses with iffy quality of life issues is never fun, it is very sad but you brought her into this world, so giving her a dignified end is the right thing to do. There are already too many horses with out issues desperate for a home.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Catch her. Have her put down. Do the right thing for her.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                What does your vet say about her eyes?
                                What does a Veterinary Ophthamologist say about her eyes?

                                As she only has limited bouts of uveitis & this is the 1st time for both eyes, why can't you wait for her to recover, have a thorough vet exam done, & then offer her to someone that has the time & energy to put into working with her ...

                                but she has no desire to join up with humans
                                As she has some issue with trust, she may need daily work for weeks - months, I suspect she will become a wonderful partner to someone

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  So her uveitis was never treated and no preventative measures ever taken such as on sunny days? That's unfortunate.

                                  Reading the OP again, it appears these episodes have been fairly rare and that you are perhaps being rash considering all that you have said.

                                  Some episodes as a yrling (untreated) then nothing other than one minor episode until this recent episode at age 3. If she had been socialized you would be keeping her in on bright sunny days, perhaps turning out at night, having her wear a shield to prevent flareups and keeping her in and treating during flareups rather than helplessly watching her run into fences because she is now feral.

                                  You make no mention of a vet ever examining her eyes. At least I would do that before bringing in the sharpshooter ( hope you aren't thinking of doing that while she's with the herd but that's how I'm reading that).
                                  Last edited by Crockpot; Dec. 1, 2012, 06:24 AM.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Alagirl View Post
                                    But personally I would cut my losses and call it quits.
                                    Under the given circumstances, leaving her as it is, it's only making you 'feel better' but not the horse.
                                    I agree with this.

                                    She sounds like a horse that has never really liked humans. Yes, she could be forced to like them and it seems everyone here thinks you should do that. Keep her inside and force her square peg into that round hole or maybe give her to someone else to force her.

                                    I thought pasture raising babies in groups was pretty normal and actually liked by most people.

                                    Euthanasia is not evil.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I think her uveitis is not the real problem, but that maybe she is not wired right and so is a danger to herself and others that may interact with her.

                                      We had many foals a year and this one filly was so very spooky and different than the rest.
                                      With the same handling as all our other foals, she just kept becoming more feral and once weaned, other horses fought her, eventually had to keep her by herself and no amount of handling was getting her any better, she was getting worse.

                                      Our vet, the spring she was a yearling, examined her and euthanized her.
                                      She was just not right and just getting worse, to the point it was dangerous to try to handle her.

                                      Don't know if this filly is like that, but some times, there is the rare horse that just is not wired to be safe to have around or work on, as those uveitis crisis are showing them there.

                                      Our vet said that, in the wild, such horses would have long ago self destructed.
                                      I am not sure we do them a favor by protecting them just so they can stay alive, when their brain is yelling "danger, run!" so much of the time, without relief to be had.
                                      What quality of life is that?

                                      What to do with this filly?
                                      I think the owner has already decided euthanasia is best.
                                      The question in the OP seems to be, how?
                                      I say, see what your vet tells you, they also are trained to shoot if that is necessary.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Eye conditions are extremely painful, but horses are very stoic animals. I suspect she has had additional (more minor) episodes that have gone unnoticed over the years. The uveitis is not going away; it will just get worse with time. Treating a feral horse's painful eye condition would be almost impossible. Unless you can get her to wear a Guardian mask outside and get her to the point where you can treat her eyes safely, I would euthanize her. A very experienced vet would be able to deal with the adrenaline; horses are euthanized on the track often with high levels of adrenaline. A gunshot might be risky in this situation if you could not get her to stand quietly long enough for the shooter to get the right mark and angle.

                                        I would NOT pass this horse on to anyone else; the risk of her ending up in a bad situation would be quite high.

                                        Comment

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