The terrible decision, vets bills and when they become too much. - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #21 of 29 Old 09-24-2010, 10:05 PM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Tulsa, OK
Posts: 2,042
• Horses: 1
Originally Posted by Speed Racer View Post

I wouldn't pay for colic surgery on any horse. It's risky, expensive, and there's no guarantee the horse is going to make it even if it's otherwise young, strong, and healthy. Some people would. Neither of us is wrong.
Funny that you mention that, a lady I know had a horse colic about 4 years ago. She was 14 at the time, healthy as can be. She really loved the horse and she went ahead and got the surgery. The horse survived and is still in the show ring today. However, it costed $3,000+. I'm not sure if I'd pay that much for any surgery, but I'm sure glad she did, that's one amazing beast.

I just try to think of the horse. Sure, I can justify spending TONS of money if I really love/believe in the horse, but if the horse is in needless pain it's obviously better to end it. I know someone who has a stallion that foundered REALLY bad and is having wooden shoes put on every 10 days. It gets 'bed sores' from laying in the stall so much. He's a great horse, but it's very selfish of his owners to put him through that.

Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world. ~Harriet Tubman
Eliz is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #22 of 29 Old 09-24-2010, 10:34 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: alberta
Posts: 2,747
• Horses: 1
We *almost* had to make that decision a few years ago about a month after i got my firsdt horse. He stayed at the vets for two days, but there wasnt much of a decision for colic surgery, it was a no. I was like, 11, so my mom told me no, we wont pay that much for a horse that may or may not make it.

Now that im older and i actually understand, I wouldnt. I dont know how much my parents would be willing to pay, but for us i guess its more of 'whats the chance the animal is going to make it? how much suffering is it going to go through?' Im not sure i could freely live with the weight on my shoulders that i let an animal suffer, but then again, what about thinking that i didnt try very hard to keep it alive? i think theres a happy meduim, IMO some people take it to far and keep a horse that should be dead, alive.

If there are no horses in heaven... im not going.
ridergirl23 is offline  
post #23 of 29 Old 09-24-2010, 11:07 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 432
• Horses: 2

I have been in the this place before at least 4 times with horse and once with a dog. I will explain each one.

The first one is about the dog. We had a border collie that my dad rescued from the shelter. The dog was an absolute hoot to have around and enjoyed his home. He was always sneeking in to chase the horses. This result in him getting his front leg broke after being kicked by the stud. My sister and I went in partners to pay the $400 vet bill because we loved the dog and he belonged to our dad. After weeks of trying to limit his ability to run around and laughing as he happily tried to run off with a casted leg things did not heal properly. We had another vet try to reset the leg and that did not work either after another 3 weeks in a cast. He had been in a cast for almost 4 months. We learned that it was a disease that was causing him to not heal and had to put him down.

The three horses.
- The first was a Palomino Gelding that our family aquired as our first actual horse. We had owned him from 6 months of age to about 4 years of age. He had gotten ran into a fence by another mare and had to have stitches and later caught an infection and had to be put down. The infection was a result if him staying at the vet school and causing him to colic. We had taken home not 24 hours earlier and had to return him. The colic surgery that was required would have cost more than $1000 (don't know exact cost) and the horse only had a 25% chance to live. At the point of making the decision the vet observed the horse and found that he was severly anemic. The low percentage chance of survival and cost resulted in him being put down.

- Horse #2 was a mare that was 4 years old and never halter broke. We purchased her out of the slaughter sale and thought that she would make a nice horse. We had her for two days and was able to put a halter on her and lead her around. On day three she freaked out and flipped over backwards. She hit the ground hard and lost all control of her body functions and went into having attacks. We called the vet right then and he stated that there was nothing he could do and that she would die. He said it would be a small miracle if she even got up. Soon after that she started trying to get up. She was able to stand on her own and walk around, but could not blink her right eye or even clinch her lips together. We ended up feeding and watering her every 4 hours by hand and smashed feed. We tried to easy her pain and give her a chance since she showed the will to want to live. After one week she stumbled and fell. At this point she would not get up and had to be put down.

- Horse #3 This is more on a personal note to myself. I had owned this mare for 8 years and she was a gift from my dad. I had raised 4 colts out of her and greatly enjoyed riding her as she was a dream to ride. I had just gotten a job right out of college and moved from home. I left my mare with my parents and little sister. The mare had ended up cutting her entire right side from her shoulder to her hip on the side of the barn. The vet bill was only $200 dollars and I paid it knowing that the mare would be fine. Just about the time she was healing pretty good she was turned back out to pasture. I don't know what had happened but she was later found dead out in the middle of the pasture. My parents and little sister dearly loved the mare, but it was very painful for them to call me and tell me that she had died. Now I did not draw the line at $200 and would not have at a higher bill as long as I knew that she would be just fine. However after thinking that everything was going good we still ended up losing the mare from unknown reasons.

- Horse # 4 My family had just purchased a yearling filly at a well known sale. We hauled her home in a two horse trailer and after we got home found out that she had split her head open on something in the trailer. We hauled her to the vet and put stitches in her head which cost around $300. She healed up fine and did not have any brain damage. She went on to be a 4-H show mare for a kid to replace a 20 year old mare that had just past away. Happy ending here... It was worth the bill and we were confident that everything would be good.

Last edited by Velvetgrace; 09-24-2010 at 11:10 PM. Reason: .
Velvetgrace is offline  
post #24 of 29 Old 09-24-2010, 11:07 PM
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 21
• Horses: 2
As a vet student, this is a big deal for me both professionally and personally. And when it comes down to it, there is no one that can make your choice for you. That being said, it is hard for us as veterinarians (or up to this point for me, as a vet tech) to counsel you as owners. However, I would greatly encourage you to consult your vet when you have doubts. We as vets have nothing in mind more than your pet's well-being and happiness. We are taught to evaluate the quality of life for your pets.
That said, pay attention to your pet. They can tell you when it is no longer worth it for them. Please don't keep them alive for you. I became aware of a horse being kept alive (downed) for weeks, to the point where he developed bed sores, even when the vet told the owner that it was very very unlikely that they would be able to get the horse back on his feet. He was ready to go. So listen to the subtle cues that your pet, and your vet, are giving you. We can help you make the decision. Vets are also good resources for grief counseling, etc.
Money, money is tough. Ask about resources for help with payment (it's out there!).

Last edited by potterspoet; 09-24-2010 at 11:10 PM.
potterspoet is offline  
post #25 of 29 Old 09-24-2010, 11:19 PM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 324
• Horses: 1
aforred, I'm so sorry about your recent loss :( And to the OP: you are wonderful for what you are doing for your puppy (8 is still a puppy).

Luckily, we haven't had to face this situation with our horses where there was any "what should we do?" question. When our 34 year old Thoroughbred mare went down one morning, she had her usual spirit and eager eye, was eating, even while laying down... but she had suffered a stroke and one whole side of her body no longer functioned strongly, which is why we couldn't get her up :( The vet did some tests with her responsiveness to him pulled her legs, and the whole side of her body was essentially useless... her condition dictated the situation.
leonalee is offline  
post #26 of 29 Old 09-24-2010, 11:38 PM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Oklahoma
Posts: 432
• Horses: 2
Being raised on a farm we have had our share of being knocked down several times. This kind of makes a person hard hearted, but we are still sensitive to some situations.

The baby pig that was killed by the sow last night could have been the grand champion at the fair, however the survival of the fittest played a larger role in the baby did not move fast enough to get away from his mother. All we can do is remove him from the barn and bury him.

Then we get favorite sow that had raised several baby pigs that went on and won shows everywhere. The sow had a habit of unlatching the gate and showing her self out. Since she had been shown in the 4-H shows she was tame and easy to put back up. One day duriing the summer she let her self out, but the gate closed behind her. She could not get back into the barn where it was cool and ended up laying out in the heat and sun next to another pen of pigs. Her cool trick led to her death carrying a litter of babies. Anger raged and tears fell between me and my dad for almost a week. We blamed each other and could barley speak to each other.

So the point is we cannot babysit our animals 24 hours a day and give up our own lives. You might prevent one injury from happening, but it could be a disease the might sneak up on you later. Don't put your own family on hold, but rather get them involved with her love for your animals. If you do have to put an animal down it will be easier than going through the pain by yourself.
Velvetgrace is offline  
post #27 of 29 Old 09-25-2010, 01:38 AM
Green Broke
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Western Australia
Posts: 2,655
• Horses: 10
We are facing this at the moment with my fiance's horse. He developed joint ill as a baby which we have now found out doesn't appear to have been properly treated, as it is now not only progressing in his near hind fetlock, but is also in his withers. The rate that the bones are degenerating means there is nothing we can do, but keep him comfortable until he lets us know it's time to let him go.

Now there is a SMALL chance that my vet's diagnosis is wrong. However, to confirm it he would need thousands of dollars worth of x-rays and even if it showed something other than the joint ill, it wouldn't be something fixable, so the outcome would be the same.

So now we just wait until Trojan tells us that it's time to let him go. We have a maximum of 2 years, but the vet is doubtful that we will be getting more than a month or two.

Trojan 09.11.02 - 26.10.10 // Kody 01.09.89-25.06.12 // Rex 05.11.95-21.12.12
HowClever is offline  
post #28 of 29 Old 09-25-2010, 02:10 AM
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Kansas
Posts: 1,567
• Horses: 7
So sorry to hear that, HowClever.

Learning never stops
aforred is offline  
post #29 of 29 Old 09-25-2010, 02:33 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Southeastern PA
Posts: 9,420
• Horses: 1
As I started this thread, I feel obliged to read it, but it is so sad, I am so sorry for all of you. Gawd only knows why I talked about such a bleak subject, so I am now upset reading all of your stories! :( The overwhelming story is heartening though, you all thought of your horses and not yourselves! Big time kuddos for doing that.

Originally Posted by leonalee View Post
And to the OP: you are wonderful for what you are doing for your puppy (8 is still a puppy).
Thanks, and I am nervous to say it, but this past month he is doing better. He now gets back up on the sofa and gives me leg cramps at night because he is getting back up on the bed, and with a big husband, him and the other dog, I have a sliver of mattress and covers. But I am happy to have the leg cramps! :)
We always thought of him as being one of those big loveable dumb dogs, as he would do really stupid things, but he is smarter than we thought. When he would trip up the stairs I would smile assuming he was just being dumb, now it turns out he was blind for longer than we knew, and so smart he knew his way around, and we did not notice. Funny how the 'dumb' animals prove us to be the dumb ones!
AlexS is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the The Horse Forum forums, you must first register.

Already have a Horse Forum account?
Members are allowed only one account per person at the Horse Forum, so if you've made an account here in the past you'll need to continue using that account. Please do not create a new account or you may lose access to the Horse Forum. If you need help recovering your existing account, please Contact Us. We'll be glad to help!

New to the Horse Forum?
Please choose a username you will be satisfied with using for the duration of your membership at the Horse Forum. We do not change members' usernames upon request because that would make it difficult for everyone to keep track of who is who on the forum. For that reason, please do not incorporate your horse's name into your username so that you are not stuck with a username related to a horse you may no longer have some day, or use any other username you may no longer identify with or care for in the future.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.

Old Thread Warning
This thread is more than 90 days old. When a thread is this old, it is often better to start a new thread rather than post to it. However, If you feel you have something of value to add to this particular thread, you can do so by checking the box below before submitting your post.

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
This Years Congress Bills For Slaughter SorrelHorse Horse Protection 2 05-29-2010 02:51 PM
Bills of Sale thunderhooves Horse Talk 7 04-15-2010 07:36 AM
vet bills farmpony84 Horse Health 15 01-27-2009 10:11 AM
Paying bills with spiders Spyder Jokes and Funnies 9 11-20-2008 12:01 PM
stuff for sale!!! needs to go asap to help with bills!!!! rezzi Tack and Equipment Classifieds 0 09-08-2008 05:41 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome