How do you know when to let go?
 
 

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How do you know when to let go?

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  • Search if a horse founders, when should you put them down
  • When to let go of your horse

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    07-23-2012, 09:01 AM
  #1
Yearling
Unhappy How do you know when to let go?

I have an 18yo gelding i'm considering putting to sleep due to his chronic lameness. I've had him since I was 12 and he was foundered at 3, he's had nothing but problems ever since. I've just being doing my best to keep him comfortable and happy. But now due to his age, I think it may be time to let him go, he might not come back around and be able to walk after we do everything that's necessary to help correct his condition. Its been a battle for so long, and now i'm beginning to see about his quality of life, and whats in it for him when its all done and over with. He now stays away from the herd, spending hours and hours by himself.
Is it fair of me to keep trying or would it be best just to say good bye?
This is such a devastating decision.
Thanks.
     
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    07-23-2012, 09:44 AM
  #2
Started
If he is that miserable you either have to address the issue asap or let him go. Cost can be a factor as well.. 18 is not old, but for a horse who is in constant pain that isn't going to be remedied it is time. At the least it sounds like this horse is in a lot of pain. Fixable? Can't tel you from here. If it is his hooves, the right trim might work for him. It does happen but not always. We would need more info to comment on that.. Whatever you decide do it well.
Elizabeth Bowers likes this.
     
    07-23-2012, 09:48 AM
  #3
Started
If his quality of life is not good, if he is in pain day in and day out, he is ready to go.
Horses do not think of tomorrow might be better, they think I hurt today...
Don't put him through more pain and treatments if there is not a guarantee that he will be pain free, let him go in peace.
Seems to me, with your post, that you already know what you need to do. Don't keep him alive for you, let him go to be out of pain.
     
    07-23-2012, 10:01 AM
  #4
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Appyt    
If he is that miserable you either have to address the issue asap or let him go. Cost can be a factor as well.. 18 is not old, but for a horse who is in constant pain that isn't going to be remedied it is time. At the least it sounds like this horse is in a lot of pain. Fixable? Can't tel you from here. If it is his hooves, the right trim might work for him. It does happen but not always. We would need more info to comment on that.. Whatever you decide do it well.
I know he's not old, but he's had these problems off and on since he was 3. I think I have almost $3,000 in this horse now, and I can't even ride him because of his lameness. Every so often he gets an abscess and I soak his feet and give him bute, up date him on his shots. He won't let anyone but me touch his feet, and that's limited. As soon as I notice a problem i'm on the phone with the vet. I know I don't have the money to keep putting into him. At this current moment he's totally lame in his left foreleg, I checked his foot, the sole is flat on the ground. He can hardly stand on it. He's been fighting this battle of lameness for a really long time, and I just don't see it fair to continue. Even if it is fixed will he really be ok, or is there a chance of problems arising again? I'm just trying to factor in everything here to better his life. Plus I have 3 others I have to tend to, which makes it even more difficult, because him and his brother have been together for all of those 18 years. Currently he is out to pasture 24/7 with access to a fresh spring and plenty of shade, and in the winter free choice hay. He gets no grain what so ever. Pasture is pretty well done growing due to the dry weather.
Thank you for your advice.
     
    07-23-2012, 10:15 AM
  #5
Green Broke
What is his diagnosis as to why he is lame? Has he had a lameness workup?
Have you had him since he was 3? How do you get his feet trimmed if he won't let a farrier handle them? When was his last professional trim?
Sorry for all the questions but they are important as his life is on the line.

If he can't walk on that leg he should be put up in an area where he doesn't have to walk around to get to food & water.
Appyt likes this.
     
    07-23-2012, 10:24 AM
  #6
Yearling
Well when he foundered when he was 3 he was just turned out to pasture. No I didn't get him until he was about 8-9 years old, so if he had any rotation I had no idea of it at the time (i was only 12). My grandfather would trim his feet as he felt necessary, which meant usually still leaving his toe kind of long. Last July, so its been a year, but he does a good job of keeping his feet well trimmed himself.
If I separate him he will find some way to escape, I don't know how he does it, but he's one of those houdini horses, and when separated he gets a bit aggressive.
I don't totally know his diagnosis as to why he is lame yet, my vet might not be able to come out until tomorrow or wednesday. She believes its an abscess causing the problem.
     
    07-23-2012, 10:33 AM
  #7
Green Broke
Poor trimming only once a year may be the root of his problems along with the founder.
If he were mine I would put him up with a buddy, get some x-rays & have his feet done-well & often. Pasture is not the best choice for a foundered horse, especially a stressed pasture that is his only food source.

He may only have an abscess now but bad feet will make him more prone to having abscesses.
Appyt and Elizabeth Bowers like this.
     
    07-23-2012, 11:03 AM
  #8
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by natisha    
Poor trimming only once a year may be the root of his problems along with the founder.
If he were mine I would put him up with a buddy, get some x-rays & have his feet done-well & often. Pasture is not the best choice for a foundered horse, especially a stressed pasture that is his only food source.

He may only have an abscess now but bad feet will make him more prone to having abscesses.
I understand this, but he has to be sedated for anyone else to touch him, and if I have to do that every week to have his feet corrected, then is it really worth all the trouble and trauma. Even my vet doesn't think it will get better by the sound of things. My husband wants to get x-rays done, and I would like to also to see if he had any rotation at all that can be corrected. The pasture isn't stressed yet, they have been on if for about 2 weeks now, and no he didn't have any problems when he was moved. This has been an on going problem, I just don't know if its fit to keep going like this. He really means alot to me (and my husband) i'm just trying to consider what would be best for him. And what i've noticed he's lost a little weight too.
And no local farrier in my area will touch him because of his aggressiveness towards men. (i can't correct that, I don't understand the root of that problem). He did have a buddy and he still escaped, the buddy stayed in the barn....
     
    07-23-2012, 11:41 AM
  #9
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elizabeth Bowers    
I understand this, but he has to be sedated for anyone else to touch him, and if I have to do that every week to have his feet corrected, then is it really worth all the trouble and trauma. Even my vet doesn't think it will get better by the sound of things. My husband wants to get x-rays done, and I would like to also to see if he had any rotation at all that can be corrected. The pasture isn't stressed yet, they have been on if for about 2 weeks now, and no he didn't have any problems when he was moved. This has been an on going problem, I just don't know if its fit to keep going like this. He really means alot to me (and my husband) i'm just trying to consider what would be best for him. And what i've noticed he's lost a little weight too.
And no local farrier in my area will touch him because of his aggressiveness towards men. (i can't correct that, I don't understand the root of that problem). He did have a buddy and he still escaped, the buddy stayed in the barn....
Your vet doesn't think he will get better because the husbandry won't change & your vet knows that but is too kind to say so, however I'm not.
To get better your horse needs a proper diagnosis, training for his handling issues, farrier visits every 4-6 weeks-maybe even special shoeing & sedation, a strict diet change, horse proof housing (paddock or barn), limited grazing & maybe a few more things I am missing.
He is or should be a high maintenance horse. If you can't do that religiously then the kindest thing to do is to put him down. Sorry but those are the facts.
     
    07-23-2012, 11:45 AM
  #10
Started
You may have to learn to trim his feet yourself. Abscessing is most likely caused by lack of hoof care and or his diet. I am going to guess lack of hoof care, possibly also due to his founder issue at age 3. If he has some pathology inside the hoof due to rotation it is highly likely the hoof balance issue is the cause of the abscessing. This is easily corrected with good trims. There are female trimmers also, btw. This yahoo group is excellent at helping people with problems like yours. They will want pics so check out their how to take good views.. You can do the trimming yourself if you cannot find good trimmers in your area.. Trimming may include some training when horses are uncomfortable with other people handling them. Long toes are not good and neither are high heels or flares. I am with Natisha. This is not sounding like a death sentence. I think there is hope. Get the rays of the hoof so that a hoof practitioner can see what is going on inside. Do not shoe this horse with high heels... Just sayin.. :) Your horse is losing weight due to pain which makes him/her not want to eat.. I had one with an unknown abscess who lost a lot of weight before we discovered the problem. You can bute lightly to help ease the pain(1 g 2x a day if necessary). Too much will not allow the abscess to burst tho.
Elizabeth Bowers likes this.
     

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