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When to say "enough is enough"

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        01-24-2012, 03:32 AM
      #21
    Banned
    I have to say you are stronger then I.
    It would have been a much harder decision for me, and sadly I think I would have to see them start to suffer before seriously considering it.
    Because just like you and bubba said, how do you put a horse down that still seems so happy and full of life, that has to be very hard.

    When my Toot Man started to deteriorate I was faced with the option to go ahead and end his suffering, but he still ate and drank and ran up to me in the pasture but he had lost his spark and his was loosing weight no matter what I did.
    The vets could not find anything that was causing his weight lose but they kept reassuring me that if he could make it to summer he would probably get better.
    I will to this day say he died of heart break after I retired him from barrels but luckily when I finally got to the point of making that call he passed on his own.
    He layed his head down by the creek and is now running in the fields of heaven.

    I am so blessed to have known him, much less been his owner, for the short time that I was given.
    I will never forget him nor will I ever come across another one like him.

    I am grieving with you but I also understand that relief that you feel.
    I am relieved that he is no longer hurting and I no longer feel selfish for holding on when he was visibly telling me he was ready to go.

    I hope if I am ever put in a similar situation again I can be like you, but it is so very very hard to do.
         
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        01-24-2012, 03:55 AM
      #22
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sierrams1123    
    I have to say you are stronger then I.
    It would have been a much harder decision for me, and sadly I think I would have to see them start to suffer before seriously considering it.
    Because just like you and bubba said, how do you put a horse down that still seems so happy and full of life, that has to be very hard.
    The decision was as far from easy as you can get for me sierrams1123, I cried, and cried, and cried, and fell onto my knees in front of his stable and wept so hard that I could not stand I had to be dragged into the car by my partner. I cried all night, I did not eat for 2 days, the night before it was done, I had nightmares about his passing going wrong and him suffering through it. I tried to go to work, and I cried even more, I cried in front of the students, in front of my colleagues.
    I called my vet and begged him to sedate Hugo heavily first, even though he always sedates first, but I had to be sure.
    It was the hardest decision I have ever had to make. I feel like my heart is shattered into a million pieces, like no horse will ever fill the hole that Hugo left. I feel a whole lot of guilt, that I promised him that I would fix him, I promised him that we would go to the beach next summer and gallop through the water. I feel like I let him down, breaking those promises, even though he didn't understand what I was saying anyway.
    I have never, never in my life, been as devastated as I have been these last few days. I have always been able to maintain a degree of control over my emotion, when I have lost family members, and friends, I have grieved, but have been able to limit myself to grieving in my own time. This time, I feel like I have sentenced my best friend to death, the guilt of it absolutely crippled me. Seeing his happy face for the last time on Monday, had me questioning for the whole day whether I was doing the right thing.

    Not until my vet confirmed that there was no other hope, and he would be forever in pain, did my guilt ease enough for me to not feel like a murderer.

    It is always hard, particularly when that horse is a one in a million horse, you feel horrendous. But it still comes back to putting your own emotions, in front of the horse's needs. The horse does not know what is happening, it has no idea that it won't be around tomorrow, it is not stressed. It only knows pain, and the stress of confinement or separation.
         
        01-24-2012, 04:03 AM
      #23
    Yearling
    Hugs to you Kayty.
    Posted via Mobile Device
         
        01-24-2012, 05:05 AM
      #24
    Banned
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Kayty    
    The decision was as far from easy as you can get for me sierrams1123, I cried, and cried, and cried, and fell onto my knees in front of his stable and wept so hard that I could not stand I had to be dragged into the car by my partner. I cried all night, I did not eat for 2 days, the night before it was done, I had nightmares about his passing going wrong and him suffering through it. I tried to go to work, and I cried even more, I cried in front of the students, in front of my colleagues.
    I called my vet and begged him to sedate Hugo heavily first, even though he always sedates first, but I had to be sure.
    It was the hardest decision I have ever had to make. I feel like my heart is shattered into a million pieces, like no horse will ever fill the hole that Hugo left. I feel a whole lot of guilt, that I promised him that I would fix him, I promised him that we would go to the beach next summer and gallop through the water. I feel like I let him down, breaking those promises, even though he didn't understand what I was saying anyway.
    I have never, never in my life, been as devastated as I have been these last few days. I have always been able to maintain a degree of control over my emotion, when I have lost family members, and friends, I have grieved, but have been able to limit myself to grieving in my own time. This time, I feel like I have sentenced my best friend to death, the guilt of it absolutely crippled me. Seeing his happy face for the last time on Monday, had me questioning for the whole day whether I was doing the right thing.

    Not until my vet confirmed that there was no other hope, and he would be forever in pain, did my guilt ease enough for me to not feel like a murderer.

    It is always hard, particularly when that horse is a one in a million horse, you feel horrendous. But it still comes back to putting your own emotions, in front of the horse's needs. The horse does not know what is happening, it has no idea that it won't be around tomorrow, it is not stressed. It only knows pain, and the stress of confinement or separation.

    I am so sorry for your lose, I have no words other then over time it does get easier.
    If I let myself get caught up in it and think about it too much I will get just as bad as you explained above and Toot has been gone for about 2 years now, he was a one in a million as well, and I wounder ever day what if.
    I try not to let it bother me too bad and I hope that in time it because easier for you. Just continue repeating over in over in your head that he will no longer hurt or feel pain and that he will forever run in your heart, its something that helps me when I get a little low.
         
        01-24-2012, 05:28 AM
      #25
    Green Broke
    I, too have had to make that hard decision,& it's never easy. So sorry for your pain. I can tell it's very deep-remember him on a good day & do not think you broke promises to him. Your sacrifice eased his time in pain & you really tried. Listen to your vet & know you did the best for Hugo. You are very brave,please don't feel so guillty.
         
        01-24-2012, 07:22 AM
      #26
    Yearling
    I think you did the right thing. I am so sorry for you.
    Remember the old timer's who say, " No foot, No horse."....
    Hugs. Susan
         
        01-24-2012, 08:16 AM
      #27
    Green Broke
    Kayty, while I will not say that I know what you are going through, as the feelings are NEVER exactly the same, I will say that I can empathise with you. A lot.

    We had Trojan schedule to be PTS at 10am on the 26th of October 2010. We made him a huge feed in the morning and bought a brand new 5kg bag of carrots for him. At 9.45 I collected him from the paddock. He sauntered over to me and dropped his nose in to the halter, no doubt figuring more food was on the way. Even that was enough to make me lose it. How could it possibly be the right thing to put down a horse who was so happy?

    As I walked him away from the paddock I was sobbing and he was calling back to the other horses. He pranced beside me the whole way up to the arena where we were going to wait for the vet to arrive. I turned him loose in the arena when we reached it and he immediately began trotting circuits.

    After many phone calls trying to find out what was going on, 3 hours later the vet rang and told us he wasn't going to be able to make it out that day. Standing beside that arena watching him wander around, alternating between pinching grass from under the fence, rolling in the sand and running up and down bucking like a loon while a gaping hole in the ground waited for him behind the car, I knew there was no way I could bear to take him back to the paddock and bring him back up again another day.

    We rang another vet who was there within an hour. When he arrived TJ was in the middle of trotting laps around the arena, occasionally kicking up his heels and snorting. The vet took one look at him and actually said to us "surely not?" Even he could not believe that the fat, shiny and quite obviously full of himself horse in front of us was in so much pain that we had made the choice to end it for him.

    All of this had me feeling like I couldn't possibly be making the right choice. And as you said I was feeling an awful lot like a "murderer". Even after TJ took his last breaths (with his mouth still full of carrot and grass) and the vet palpated his leg and his wither and told me that we had done the right thing, I still could not believe what I had done. I felt that I had betrayed him by not trying harder. Despite knowing that it was not going to be long before he could not even eat, I still couldn't believe it.

    It's taken a lot of time, but I have mostly come to accept that there was nothing we could have done other than shortening the time Troj spent suffering. I still have days though that I feel like we made the wrong choice. Grief will do that to you.

    Hugo was truly lucky to have you to spend his last years with.
         
        01-24-2012, 10:53 AM
      #28
    Super Moderator
    I had to make the decision for my dog Anna a few years ago and when I made the decision I thought yes. I'm doing the right thing but then when I did it, it was just the hardest thing I've ever had to do. I told my husband that any further decisions like that will have to be made by him. I've given him complete permission to make those decisions even for my beloved QH that I have had for over 20 years because I know from the bottom of my heart that I won't make the decision with due regard to the animals health. It will be made for my own selfish purposes.

    You did the right thing. Do not second geuss yourself and do not ever spend time thinking about the "what if" scenarios because it will forever bother you.

    Cry your eyes out and think of him often but know that you did right by him and he will be forever thankful.
         
        01-24-2012, 12:02 PM
      #29
    Green Broke
    You as the owner of the horse and in possesion of all the medical history of the horse made the correct decision and you do not have to justify it to anyone.

    I've been in the position before several times:

    Stan did his suspensory quite badly, however unlike your boy he was an otherwise completely healthy horse with no medical issues and despite being 18 yrs old he had no arthritic changes. So we put him through stem cell therapy and 6 months of box rest. He came right in the end and wasnt distressed about it at all.

    Rian I wish we had known before hand about his tumor but he showed no signes untill he had ruptured his bladder and was dieing.

    Harvey has a tumor behind his eye. He is 30 yrs old. He had one course of steroids to see if it would reduce the tumor, which it did. Howeve had the steroids not worked he would have been PTS and if the tumor comes back he will be PTS. We will not put him through colic surgery.

    Pride his a healthy horse with no major illnesses however he is 29 yrs old now. We would not put him through anything majorly invasive.

    We did find out about a cancerous tumor in anouther horse and I supported his owner through the very very hard decision of haveing to put a horse to sleep who looked completely healthy on the outside. Unfortunatly he had a grapefruit sized agressively cancerous tumor in his bladder, his life span was counted in months at the most and it would have been a very very painful death if we did not have him PTS. My friend got an awful lot of grief from an awful lot of supposedly experianced horse people who believed it wrong to put him to sleep because he looked healthy, But when you have 3 vets and the best vet school in the country telling you to have the horse PTS you realy don't have an option. She even flew a specialist in from Australia to see if he could operate on it and he said he couldnt. Money was no object for this perticular horse. He was one in a million, a Warmblood with the looks, movement and ability to go to PSG in standard dressage, but the incredible nature and temprement to take a disabled rider from ploddy cobs to the Para dressage finals at the Royal international horse show.

    I go by the theory "better a month too early than a minute too late"
    Kayty likes this.
         
        01-24-2012, 12:08 PM
      #30
    Trained
    So Sorry Kayty! These kinds of decisions hurt more than anything else. Honestly I don't think one gets over something like this. I know how bad you are hurting, how strong you have to be to go through with it and make the call. HUGE HUGS!

    Rooster was given to me after two bouts of colic and a terrible founder. His team penning owners couldn't use him and he was restricted to a 1/4 acre dry lot. I took him in to try and rehab him and had him for over 21 years. He was my main man, super horse. He recovered but as he got older he developed too many issues to list. I retired him at 19 due to arthritis, kept him for my future kids horse. He made it for many years until his system started to fail due to his past. He had lost all his teeth at 26, and for two years lived off mash pellets, suppliments, and antibiotics. Then he started to colic again, pulled him through twice but his intestines were failing. Another winter was looming and his condition was better but not near able to take the cold. I could have dragged him through another one but I had only seen him trot twice that summer his arthritis was so bad. It was a sunny nice October day and I walked him across the 300 acres, all feisty like a two year old, calling to his girls. He was acting so young and spry it was all I could do to keep him in the meadow, I couldn't believe I was doing this and there he was acting like he was a picture of health. Then to make things worse I had to wait an extra three hours for the vet, he was late. He eventually showed and then we had him buried overlooking the property. Bawling now. I can't get over it, never will. The vet had helped me keep him going for so long, he held me in his arms and told me it was the right decision, there wasn't anything more we could have done. Better then than with him suffering and going down again.

    This makes me treasure my current horses even more knowing we'll go down the same road. Huge hugs to you, I'm so sorry. You made the right call, but it wasn't an easy one.
         

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