However, currently I'm actually genuinely worried due to how the last 6+months have been for Lacey - is it REALLY fair to keep her around much longer?
I'm probably overreacting = the reason for this thread. You guys generally have good outside perspectives that I really value to help me keep my head. :)
Basically, this is probably going to get long so bear with me:
So last April she had a super severe ERU (Moon Blindness) flare up (SUPER painful). At that time I first learned that she even HAD ERU. She's had it for some time since she's very close to blind currently (each flare up causes some vision loss) and now she's being cared for appropriately but she only has maybe 5% vision in one eye and mayyybe 15% in the other eye.
All summer she was in daily pain from her eyes, even with a 90% UV blocking flymask (UV is the "bad guy" here) so she was on daily painkillers ("natural" stuff that has abilities like bute without some of the more terrible side effects).
Now that it's starting to cool off, her eyes are doing tons better and we have finally gotten them under control (as much as something like this can be). They haven't been swollen/watery/etc in weeks and she's obviously not in too much pain from them (still wearing a flymask 24/7 though - 75% UV blocking at night, 90% blocking during the day). I've actually taken her off the painkillers for now so she's only on anti-inflammatories (30,000mg of MSM is the eyeball "therapeutic" level, flax seed, ACV, etc) and she's doing really well that way.
HOWEVER, now that we got that under control, she's tweaked something in her left front pastern and it's been swollen and very sore for some time.
She first did something to it about 3 weeks ago (she twisted it going into a trot), then it seemed to heal up 90% of the way, then she started running around again and BAM, now it's swollen daily and obviously very painful. The swelling goes down the more she walks around and some days it's better than others but I don't know.
The vet was pretty unconcerned until she re-did whatever she did and then it hasn't gotten better - they're coming out on Saturday to take a look (I'm in school from 8-5:30 so not a whole lotta daylight time for a vet visit during the week, unfortunately, otherwise it would be sooner).
With this^ she's even limping at a walk. Cold hosing helps with the walk-limp though so that part at least might just be swelling.
Anyway, so I'm pretty nervous about this vet visit. I can't FEEL anything on her legs that I would term as "unusual", but she is 27 and certainly does not have the smooth legs of a youngster.
Then, we're about to go into winter and with the mud that will inevitably come and her eyesight...
I just don't know.
I don't even want to think about not having my best friend around but at the same time....I REALLY don't like this whole "daily pain" aspect of her life.
Attitude-wise, she's doing great. Happy to see me everyday, grazing around the pasture per her usual behavior, trotting (ie, gimping) and cantering upon occasion - much to my chagrin, eating all her food, not laying down more that usual, etc etc. She actually shoved past me the other day as I was coming in the gate + got "out" and went on a little fast walking tour of the neighborhood - VERY happy to be out.
Basically, physically she's like at 65% awesome and mentally she's at 100% awesome. If she were low % in both areas, the choice might be easy (well, obviously not, but easier).
Though I don't want to, retiring her most all the way is definitely in the cards. Especially with my school schedule, even if she was up to riding, I really don't have the time except for the weekend. :/
I always said I would do it when L got close to 50% daily pain with no hope of recovery but when her mind is so happy? And of course, hopefully the vet will say that she just needs some...I dunno...but that she'll recover in 2 weeks if I follow 5 special steps..or something.
Hrmph. Darn old horses. I want her to be like 42 and the happiest old horse in the world. That'd be ideal. And maybe she still will get to 42, maybe this is just a minor setback...
I will obviously based my opinion off what the vet has to say when she comes out but I don't want to prolong the inevitable out forever for the sake of my own heart. That's just not fair to the old girl.
But basically with your current/past horses, when would you/have you drawn the "line"?
Thanks for listening to my ramble...