New horse health issues..Would you keep? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 05-10-2009, 10:13 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Indiana
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New horse health issues..Would you keep?

O.K.--Her's the short version of a long story..
Mother in Law just took delivery of a mare that she has been waiting for for 3 months. The mare was given to her. The people who had her are "experienced, wonderful and knowledgable horse people"
The mare is 24 or 28--we have been told two different stories.
The mare is severly underweight- 200 to 250lbs.
Still has most of her winter coat. Obviously they don't do grooming.
Her feet look awful.

When they brought Folly, they talked none stop about how "knowledgable" they are. Even claim they are going to bring a experienced show rider to "show us how to ride her properly!" They brought 4 bales of hay with them for Mom to "have" then wanted her to pay $5.00 a bale. The hay is awful, all dry with no nutrients. No wonder she is underweight.
On top of all this, they turn her loose in the pasture at Moms, where she just runs wild all day and say nothing about the horse having arthritis. Today she's is so much pain she will barely move. You can tell from her eyes she is miserable.
Mom is heartbroke. Was lead to believe this mare was in alot better health. Owned by "professional" horse people.

Any advice would be very welcome.......

Horses are the guarding angels of the soul.
redneckprincess70 is offline  
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post #2 of 10 Old 05-11-2009, 01:49 AM
Join Date: Mar 2009
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Honestly - I'd turn the people in for animal neglect. They clearly don't know what they're doing, they lied to you, and this mare is in critical health condition. Have they other horses? I'd call animal control, have them out to evaluate the mare, and tell them the whole story.

In the mean time, you're going to have a hard time trying to get rid of a mare in that condition. It might be best to see what you can do for her - but if she's barely moving... it may be better for her to be put down. An older horse than underweight with feet problems and arthritis that severe... will be a difficult, long, painful recovery, if one is possible. :\

What a sad situation. Sorry to hear about it.
LeahKathleen is offline  
post #3 of 10 Old 05-11-2009, 08:02 AM
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I'm sorry, but in her current condition and age, I would have her humanely euthanized. :(

Yes, it may be possible to rehabilitate her to the point were on most days, she could comfortably live out the rest of her life. But that poor mare will never, ever be suitable for riding again, or any other work really.

Those people should have animal control called out on them. Unfortunately, in the US, an animal is the same as a chair or a couch. Fines are little, if any, and jail time (if any) is minuscule. It's honestly pathetic how we persecute petty, non-violent crimes and yet we quite obviously ignore the severe pain and suffering some animals must go through, just like this mare.

Wait! I'll fix it....
twogeldings is offline  
post #4 of 10 Old 05-11-2009, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by redneckprincess70 View Post
Any advice would be very welcome.......
Ask for a copy of her health history and then talk to a vet.
mls is offline  
post #5 of 10 Old 05-11-2009, 10:47 AM
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All of her issues may very well be related to her age.

At 24-28 years old, hay is going to be of only limited use as a part of this horse's diet. A complete senior feed needs to be the main staple of her diet and hay fed as more of a pacifier.

Arthritis to some degree is also generally seen in senior horses, but is often manageable.

Her winter coat still being present may very likely be due to a metabolic disease called Cushing's. Again, this is an age-related disease. Other symptoms of Cushings (and very probably insulin resistance which occurs often in conjunction with Cushings in senior horses) is poor performance, lack of energy, muscle mass loss along the topline.

A good place for your mother to start is to ask for a copy of this mare's medical records from the previous owner. (The previous owner has to contact her vet to have medical records released to your mother.) And have your vet out to assess this mare's age and overall health. Bloodwork to test for insulin resistance and Cushings would also be a good idea.

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a free horse---they are always going to end up costing the new owner money. And since the previous owner was looking for a new home for this mare they can't be brought up on abuse or neglect charges because they were looking to get her out of her situation.

Cindy D.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
Ryle is offline  
post #6 of 10 Old 05-11-2009, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
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Location: Indiana
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additional information on post.... First, these people have several horses they are giving away. The excuse, they want to spend most of the year in Florida and don't want to pay someone to take care of them.(they are retired) Second, According to previous owner, they felt no need to give her shots for the last 3 years. Third, They wanted to know if we knew anyone who showed horses in or area. The she could be shown by a professional! (This is making me sick) Fourth, The people who had her are my Mother in laws, nephew's, wife's, parents. (Hope everyone followed that) They talked this mare up like she was the pick of the herd at their stable. She was the Alpha mare. And their prize show horse. These people are insane. This poor baby needs help, bad. Not a professional rider to "show us how to ride her correctly" and show her because, "She could still win ribbons!" Fifth, They made it very clear that if anything happened to Mom, Folly is to go back to them. (over my dead body)

My mother in law is retired and just wanted to give a older horse a good home where she could spoil her and they could be old together. Maybe ride occasionally, just a gentle walk down the road or around the farm. Mom's not in the best health and can't "rodeo" on a horse.

As far as turning these people in, I have an old neighbor, whom I've been trying to track down, who runs a rescue here in Indiana. I'm hoping to get her to come look at Folly and give me some advice.

Horses are the guarding angels of the soul.
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post #7 of 10 Old 05-11-2009, 01:55 PM
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i had an older horse once who was in that age range beautiful horse. he lost almost all of his weight and one day he layed down and refused to get back up we brought him hay feed and water. the next day he refused to eat his feed so we put him down. you cant keep a horse alive forever.

Strength lies within the heart
but the strengh to trust lies between the horse and his rider!!!
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post #8 of 10 Old 05-11-2009, 02:06 PM
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I guess what I would do is...

1) Have a vet out...check her teeth especially.
2) Have a "barefoot" farrier out. Make sure she is trimmed regularly and given a good bevel on the will help her arthritis.
3) Beet pulp (rinsed and re-rinsed to remove sugars) choice salt and minerals...grass hay all day everyday. I would also add flax because Im sure she's lacking on her Omega fattys.
4) Groom groom groom.
5) If that hair doesn't start coming off...have the vet back out and do the blood tests Ryle suggested for IR and Cushings.

DO NOT give her any grain especially with molasses to try and "fatten" her could severely shock her system. Do not turn her out on lush green pasture...again a shock to the system. Do not keep her stalled all will hurt her arthritis more then keeping her loose.
hotreddun is offline  
post #9 of 10 Old 05-12-2009, 07:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Ryle View Post
And since the previous owner was looking for a new home for this mare they can't be brought up on abuse or neglect charges because they were looking to get her out of her situation.
HUH? So as long as a owner is looking for a new home for their horse they cant be brought up on charges for neglect or abuse charges ?

That would be everyones excuse for not taking care of their horse.

"I was looking for a new home for it so stopped taking care of it."

As the owner of the horse they are responsible (legally) for the care & health of the animal.

I would have the local Animal Society come look at her, so your family isnt blamed for her condition.

"If your gonna act like a turd...go lay in the yard."
lonestarlady is offline  
post #10 of 10 Old 05-13-2009, 09:23 AM
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That is what we were told when a client wanted to bring up people on charges when she went over to look at mare they had for sale. Because the owner is trying to get the horse into a better situation when they can no longer care for it, they won't bring charges.

Cindy D.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
Ryle is offline  

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