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You are invited to join "Treatments Anonymous" - COTH chapter

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  • You are invited to join "Treatments Anonymous" - COTH chapter

    I've come realize that seeking treatment after treatment is like gambling. We think that the next vet, next procedure, next test, next shoeing, next saddle, like the next bet in gambling will win the jackpot. That if we stop *now* all the money and time we invested before will be lost but if we keep trying we can "win" back our losses by finally fixing the problem and having our horse back. That probability is on our side because we've already ruled out this and that and the other. And the worst part, like with gambling, is MAYBE the next treatment WILL be the answer. So we keep trying because if we don't try we have NO CHANCE of winning.

    Anyway, it seems waaay to close to being a mental disorder.

    edited:
    I originally had a "testimony" but it put the wrong focus on the post.
    Last edited by Stacie; Nov. 4, 2009, 10:53 AM.
    "The mighty oak is a nut who stood its ground"

    "...you'll never win Olympic gold by shaking a carrot stick at a warmblood..." see u at x

  • #2
    HI, STACIE!

    I can't say that I have a treatment problem. What I have is a horse with an undiagnosed lameness in his left front. It's probably soft tissue, and I have spent around $3500 on various ultraounds, x-rays, lay up places (aka rehab), etc., and what I have now is a highly trained trail horse.

    I could spend another couple of grand for a full scan, but there is no guarantee that anything will turn up, or that if it does, there will be a remedy. And he's 19, and not so strong in his hind end as any aged horse would be, so what would be the point?

    Thank goodness he has the temperament to be a pet and mosey along the trail. I just have to park my dressage goals for now.

    Stacie, I hope you find peace.

    KEEP COMING BACK!
    2012 goal: learn to ride like a Barn Rat

    A helmet saved my life.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      I modified the first post because in trying to make it seem like an AA testimony, it made the focus all wrong.
      I was just really struck by how similar the thinking is between not being able to walk away from a loosing table in gambling and walking away from trying to fix a horse.
      "The mighty oak is a nut who stood its ground"

      "...you'll never win Olympic gold by shaking a carrot stick at a warmblood..." see u at x

      Comment


      • #4
        I suppose there are similarities but there are big differences too. Fixing a horse is fixing a living thing you promised to take care of to the best of your ability. One more test just seems like fulfilling that promise to me.

        Comment


        • #5
          I dunno, I think it's a hard thing to judge point blank. Each situation is different.

          For instance, at the moment we're treating my mare for what we think is a sinus infection. She got a really persistent runny nose over a month ago that didn't go away. At first we thought it was just a bad cold but it never went away so we went to the vet. They scoped her and did xrays and thought they saw a "suspicious" tooth, which could be causing the sinisitus. It was an "obviously" rotten tooth though. So we scheduled in for surgery to have it removed. The day we went in for surgery, the runny nose had changed to the other nostril....which means it's likely *not* a tooth. They re-xrayed and re-scoped her to see if they could see anything different. Only difference was this time they could see a bunch of fluid buildup in her sinus's. But they still weren't sure if it was just a sinus infection or a tooth causing the issue.

          So we had two options, try heavy duty antibiotics for a month OR do surgery. If the antibiotics don't work, then we still might have to do surgery. The problem I have with the surgery is that we don't know if we should just go in and treat for a sinus infection OR do that AND pull out the "suspicous" tooth.

          It's really not one of those cut & dry situations. I've had a couple of people comment that they can't believe I'm spending so much to fix my mare. My response was "Sooo what? You'd put a horse down just because she has a chronic runny nose???" Ummm no.
          __________________________________________________ _
          Proud member of PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals!

          Comment


          • #6
            Maybe we need a special "eight ball" with answers like:

            go for the xray

            wait three more days

            try six months layup

            bandage and soak

            Comment


            • #7
              I like that idea!
              __________________________________________________ _
              Proud member of PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals!

              Comment


              • #8
                I like this idea too!
                Originally posted by RugBug
                Don't throw away opportunities because they aren't coming in exactly the form you want them to.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by twofatponies View Post
                  Maybe we need a special "eight ball" with answers like:

                  go for the xray

                  wait three more days

                  try six months layup

                  bandage and soak

                  Someone needs to take this idea and run with it.
                  Here Be Dragons: My blog about venturing beyond the lower levels as a dressage amateur.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by twofatponies View Post
                    Maybe we need a special "eight ball" with answers like:

                    go for the xray

                    wait three more days

                    try six months layup

                    bandage and soak


                    We've said this for years at the vet clinics I've worked at! Both places I've worked we've had an actual magic 8 ball that we would occasionally jokingly ask for answers.
                    ~Nancy~

                    Adams Equine Wellness

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Originally posted by Brigit View Post
                      My response was "Sooo what? You'd put a horse down just because she has a chronic runny nose???" Ummm no.
                      Definitely been there! And I have about 17K in vet bills to prove it but I also have three fabulous horses that would not still be with us

                      In those cases, though, it was a no-brainer. Never even considered not treating any one of them because, as you say, let a horse die because of a treatable infection? How stupid is that? I never once *doubted* the decision.

                      But when *doubt* comes in. And anxiety. And the bills mount and number of procedures grow and still the answers allude you. And you start weighing the time, worry and money against the likely-hood that an answer will ever come.
                      And that's when it becomes the lottery's moto "You have to play to win" .....because if you stop, you lose. *It all*


                      Paint the 8 ball bworn and glue bits of straw and oats on it and make a

                      "Magic Poop Ball"
                      "The mighty oak is a nut who stood its ground"

                      "...you'll never win Olympic gold by shaking a carrot stick at a warmblood..." see u at x

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Stacie View Post
                        Definitely been there! And I have about 17K in vet bills to prove it but I also have three fabulous horses that would not still be with us

                        In those cases, though, it was a no-brainer. Never even considered not treating any one of them because, as you say, let a horse die because of a treatable infection? How stupid is that? I never once *doubted* the decision.

                        But when *doubt* comes in. And anxiety. And the bills mount and number of procedures grow and still the answers allude you. And you start weighing the time, worry and money against the likely-hood that an answer will ever come.
                        And that's when it becomes the lottery's moto "You have to play to win" .....because if you stop, you lose. *It all*


                        Paint the 8 ball bworn and glue bits of straw and oats on it and make a

                        "Magic Poop Ball"
                        No need to make Magic Poop Balls out of black eight balls.
                        Just wait for a horse to make them for you and you can have as many as you wish, fresh too.

                        My measure to keep trying with a horse is first, is the horse's quality of life very good and second, is the prospect of something helping real?

                        Without quailty of life for the horse, treating is borderline abusive.
                        That is why we let our horse go, with the nail puncture on the back foot, clear into the coffin bone, after a fruitless five weeks, where his pain was hard to control.

                        Excellent quality of life is why we are now on our second operation on our 29 year old with squamous cell carcinoma.
                        It is superficial right now and he doesn't even know there is anything wrong, other than he sure is getting much extra attention.

                        Each horse is a case onto itself, hard to decide in theory when to continue and when to quit with a sick horse.

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                          No need to make Magic Poop Balls out of black eight balls.
                          Just wait for a horse to make them for you and you can have as many as you wish, fresh too.
                          yeah, but they won't have advice in them like "poop happens"
                          "The mighty oak is a nut who stood its ground"

                          "...you'll never win Olympic gold by shaking a carrot stick at a warmblood..." see u at x

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                            My measure to keep trying with a horse is first, is the horse's quality of life very good and second, is the prospect of something helping real?
                            Excellent advice. We do everything in our power to make sure that the quality of life is the best it can be for our creatures. And as time passes and I am blessed to be able to be at home day in and day out analyzing (lol!) and working with the horses here I have learned a couple of things:

                            1. They really do tell you when things are working and when they aren't.

                            2. You have to know what your horses REAL normal is. Sometimes you have to remove them from their day to day to really see that.

                            3. Each horse is so different. But if you ensure that your horse has the best possible quality of life you know what ever your decision is, that it is the right one for your horse and for you.

                            That said, I am not addicted to treatments. I have been in the past but I finally have an excellent vet and farrier and the horses have found their "normal" and it has helped me so much to understand what works and what doesn't for them.

                            And when all else fails I rely on the wondrous advice "It is a miracle the species has survived this long"
                            I Loff My Quarter Horse & I love Fenway Bartholomule cliques

                            Just somebody with a positive outlook on life...go ahead...hate me for that.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I just broke out of this addiction, with some "help" from my horse. It feels good on the other side.

                              How it was, what happened, and what it's like now:

                              Horseling who never had never been hurt came up officially and suddenly lame. Spent the money, time and effort my vets asked for in diagnosing and treating the various problems we though were there.

                              God intervened by having me move to a new state and barn where I had to use a different vet (trainer's monopoly). Not yet done paying off previous vet bills, but having what we thought was a diagnosis and partial solution, Horseling went lame again way too fast. We were in deep doo-doo.

                              God acted again: Costs for Horseling's care just about tripled when I got to the new state to start a new hard-core job that really didn't mesh terribly well with my show aspirations. I didn't want to get into recovery.

                              So when the new $$$ vet found the real problem and offered a buffet of $$$$ options that might sorta work as a temporary bandaid, I had a "spiritual awakening."

                              It sucked, but I chose a $ course of treatment, found Horseling a great semi-retirement situation and am now concentrating on my job.

                              God does for us what we cannot do for ourselves.

                              Also, everyone has their "rock bottom." I spent $3K to reach mine and could have doubled that to "try one more thing." You can spend as much as you want and say Uncle whenever you want. If you are truly sick, God will keep turning up the volume on your rock bottom until you hear it. As horsemen, however, we are lucky because we have a horse who is not getting better and a good, honest vet standing right there to keep us from throwing good money after bad.
                              The armchair saddler
                              Politically Pro-Cat

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Bluey View Post

                                My measure to keep trying with a horse is first, is the horse's quality of life very good and second, is the prospect of something helping real?

                                Without quailty of life for the horse, treating is borderline abusive.


                                Each horse is a case onto itself, hard to decide in theory when to continue and when to quit with a sick horse.
                                Super advice.....

                                I think learning when to quit and when to go on is a process. Sadly it is something we are sometimes only able to gauge after we've gone through it a few times.
                                We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Too funny and too true!

                                  Originally posted by twofatponies View Post
                                  Maybe we need a special "eight ball" with answers like:

                                  go for the xray

                                  wait three more days

                                  try six months layup

                                  bandage and soak

                                  Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
                                  EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    ---"Quote:
                                    Originally Posted by twofatponies
                                    Maybe we need a special "eight ball" with answers like:

                                    go for the xray

                                    wait three more days

                                    try six months layup

                                    bandage and soak"---


                                    You fogot: Go ask on the internet, see what others would do.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Welcome to the club?

                                      Guess hubby and I could be a member of this club, if Willie having three major surgeries in three months counts? : We are at $13,000+ and still climbing with the special shoeing required, radiographs every four weeks, and the meds required for his Cushings (even with our vets helping out as best they can to keep the bills somewhat in line, and with our farrier working almost at his cost - great people!!) We don't have this type of $$, we are both retired from our real careers, and both work part-time to support our horses in the manner to which they have become accustomed....
                                      We are at day 24 after his last surgery (SCC of penis) and are hoping that there are no complications this time, and that he has healed as he should. But every day I fear that he will have trouble urinating once again, and we will have to make another decision. But as long as he shows his zest for life, and his desire to live as he has done through this entire horrible ordeal, I am afraid I already know what that decision will be, if it gives him a chance to continue the life he so obviously loves.
                                      stained glass groupie
                                      www.equiglas.com

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by eventgroupie2 View Post
                                        Guess hubby and I could be a member of this club, if Willie having three major surgeries in three months counts? : We are at $13,000+ and still climbing with the special shoeing required, radiographs every four weeks, and the meds required for his Cushings (even with our vets helping out as best they can to keep the bills somewhat in line, and with our farrier working almost at his cost - great people!!) We don't have this type of $$, we are both retired from our real careers, and both work part-time to support our horses in the manner to which they have become accustomed....
                                        We are at day 24 after his last surgery (SCC of penis) and are hoping that there are no complications this time, and that he has healed as he should. But every day I fear that he will have trouble urinating once again, and we will have to make another decision. But as long as he shows his zest for life, and his desire to live as he has done through this entire horrible ordeal, I am afraid I already know what that decision will be, if it gives him a chance to continue the life he so obviously loves.
                                        Willie is one lucky horse, that's all can be said. Hugs.

                                        Comment

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