Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Southern California
• Horses: 0
My 4 yr old OTTB has issues with his stifles locking, but his treatment is work (forward trotting, trot poles, etc.). Sometimes, working consistently (being ridden for days in a row) will help, but other times he still sticks and locks, or is a little off on the leg until he can work it out.
For the past few days, he has been taking it easy (just turn-outs) due to pulling up lame during one of our rides.-- We think it is a stone bruise, and treated it as such. When he can't be ridden, his stifles usually act up more and you can tell he is uncomfortable. I do bute him when it gets bad and he is overly uncomfortable, but thankfully have not had to do that for a while.
Anyways, to my point, I can empathize how hard it is to watch them when they are in pain and know you can't do much to fix the problem. My guy's situation is much less severe compared to yours, but I can understand how hard this must be for you. I feel so bad when my boy's issue flares up, especially since he is still so young.
I do not know your horse or the exact extent of his condition(s) so can not say if you should put him to sleep or not, but I honestly feel a horse owner (animal owner in general) just has to listen to their horse and needs to recognize when it is time to let them go.
Given what you have said, I would try the bute and see how that goes. If it proves not to help, then I would take a second to reconsider his condition and evaluate if he is living a happy life. Is he eat and drinking? Does his attitude seem positive, or does he seem depressed and is acting like he spends the majority of his life in pain and is suffering?
It is a very hard medium to find. You want to give him the dignity to leave this world before his condition declines severely to the point of no return (though still being able to exhaust all options/treatments), but you also do not want to wait too long to where he is suffering in pain for months and months.
There was a horse at our barn that foundered. He would lay down 99% of the time, he was getting sores from laying down so much, but he was still eating when it was made easy for him to get to (though still loosing weight). In my very honest opinion, his owners waited far too long to end his life. Had he been my horse, I would have put him down months prior, but they waited until he could no longer get up (he no longer had the will to get up, honestly), and was in such severe pain. It was very sad to watch.
Last edited by LostDragonflyWings; 06-15-2013 at 04:10 AM.