Melanoma... What would you do? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 10-13-2008, 10:03 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Plymouth, MA
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Melanoma... What would you do?

Hello ALL....

I have had my horse for 4 1/2 years. He is a great, lovable guy. However over the last 2 years his Melanoma has progressively worsened. He can still pee and pass manure with very little difficulty and that's mainly, ultimately what will lead to his death (naturally).
The vet says if this were to happen it would be an awful way to die. (Bad collic presentation)

He still is very hearty, active, and happy. He eats fine. More than fine, lol...

So the catch. ......

We can barely work because his tumors are always bursting open (they look like cancker sores) and bleeding or ooozing. So mainly everyday I go see him and clean his butt, disinfect and put him back in his stall... Occassionally he gets turned out in the paddock, when there is no sores... He rarely shows pain to them but they will never get better or go away. We have tried Interluken-12 and his immune system cannot handle the side effects.... We are batting zero.....

SO my decision is.......

Wait it out till he cant function...

Or make a very difficult decision while he seems happy and not in pain...

Im asking horse owner to horse owners... It is my decision, but what would you do if it were your team mate?..........

"Alis Volat Propriis"

"Good things come to those who wait..."
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post #2 of 19 Old 10-13-2008, 10:07 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: May 2008
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tough decision - i know it's a hard one to make.

a lot of people that i've known in similar situations will wait until the quality of life is affected, others will go ahead and put them down while all is good.

It's really a personal choice; there is no right or wrong answer.

good luck

Justin (qh/tb)
Boo (asb)
kickshaw is offline  
post #3 of 19 Old 10-13-2008, 04:08 PM
Join Date: Feb 2008
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It is a hard decision to make. Have you gotten a few different opinions from vets about this? I recently turned down a horse I was going to get after she failed the vet check. She also, was diagnosed with a similar type of cancer.

Its only a decision you can make. I would base my decision on what the vets thought :)

Promoting the beautiful Canadian Horse
my2geldings is offline  
post #4 of 19 Old 10-13-2008, 04:23 PM
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Canada
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There's a saying that goes something like this" "better to put an animal down a day too early than a day too late"
The greatest gift you can give any animal is giving them a peaceful, dignified ending.
It's something I try to remember, as hard as it is.

I would talk to your vet and see exactly what his prognosis is and what his comfort level is at the time, and make your decision from there. There isn't a right or wrong answer. There's only what is right for you and your horse at this specific time.
so sorry you have to go through it
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post #5 of 19 Old 10-13-2008, 04:49 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Plymouth, MA
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We have had 3 different opinions that are all the same. We have tried all options including new medicines. All prognosis are we are on borrowed time. My current Vet says he has never see tumors of this size and the horse still functioning. He said he would stand by my decision because he has seen what hes gone through and there is no light at the end of the tunnel.... It is untimatly going to be my decision when unless he tells me sooner. I just dont know when . WHEN is.... I mean he seems like he could stay this way for another year, yet I dont know! ..... Im just concerned and confused... and I think a bit is selfishness coming through....

"Alis Volat Propriis"

"Good things come to those who wait..."
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post #6 of 19 Old 11-13-2008, 12:00 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
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If it were my pony, I'd make his life as good as possible and as painless as possible for as long as he was happy. If he starts to become unhappy, frustrated, and there was nothing more I could do....then I'd start to make plans. I would definitly not wait until it happend naturally, that sounds horrible. It's a yucky situation no matter what. Whatever you decide to do I will support you....
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post #7 of 19 Old 11-13-2008, 12:21 PM
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: British Columbia, Canada
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I'd like to start this with, no I'm not a nut job.......

What is the horse telling you? Is he showing you signs that it's time.

Being selfish and wanting to keep them alive as long as we can is completely normal and your not a bad person. Listen to him, he'll tell you when it's time.

Another old saying: "it's better to be a minute too soon than a hour to late"

{{hugs}} I'm sure you will do what's right for him.
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post #8 of 19 Old 11-13-2008, 03:18 PM
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Location: New Jersey
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I'm not sure how much I will help you, but I just got done reading a book "Chosen by a horse"

There was a part when her horse had a tumor behind her eye and while she did everything possible, it did not make the tumor better and she was in the same boat you are in now. Her vet (and friends) told her when it's time, she'll tell you. And like you, she didn't know when WHEN was. The horse was only given a few weeks to live and any more than that would be a miracle. (this was taking place in winter) The horse made it through to the spring and in her own way, she told her owner that it was time.

If WHEN is not now, then it's not his time. I'm sure he'll give you a sign when he's ready.

I'm sure this has got to be the hardest thing. ((hugs))

Just enjoy your time with him. Give him special treats, give him lots of love, do things that both you and him enjoy. Let him (if you want) run around in a pasture and watch him (with a big smile) on your face and he bucks and farts and just enjoys his time.

I am so sorry that you have to make this decision
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post #9 of 19 Old 11-14-2008, 09:29 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Plymouth, MA
Posts: 207
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Thank you everyone... It is hard and the last thing i would do is be selfish and make him suffer... Even the slightest.... I know now isnt the time but the time is not far.. Somedays I think I am closer than others.. My Dad is having the neighbor get the hole ready in the yard, so that if he has to go before winters end the ground isnt frozen to dig it, it will be there...

We are on borrowed time... And I am trying to make the most of it. I just wish I could quit my job and spend more time- freeze time and bills and life so I could see him more...

"Alis Volat Propriis"

"Good things come to those who wait..."
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post #10 of 19 Old 11-14-2008, 11:56 AM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
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No advice here beyond what's ready been said but my heart's aching for you.

"Be the change you want to see in the world."-Mahatma Gandhi
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