When to say "enough is enough" - Page 4

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When to say "enough is enough"

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    01-24-2012, 12:27 PM
Green Broke
We have this thing in the army. We don't say goodbye and we don't say sorry for a loss.
We say well see you when we see you, you don't know how long you will have with someone and you don't want that finality to the moment. You will see hugo again. He will be in every horse you meet, and he will wait for you, and show you the way.
We don't say sorry we say we are glad for whatever time we had together. I am glad that you had happy and loving moments with your boy. I am glad that when you made the call it was with his well being at heart, and he was happy before hand. Not in agony, not lonesome. But with you who loved him there.
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    01-24-2012, 08:13 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by Roperchick    
we have this thing in the army. We don't say goodbye and we don't say sorry for a loss.
We say well see you when we see you, you don't know how long you will have with someone and you don't want that finality to the moment. You will see hugo again. He will be in every horse you meet, and he will wait for you, and show you the way.
We don't say sorry we say we are glad for whatever time we had together. I am glad that you had happy and loving moments with your boy. I am glad that when you made the call it was with his well being at heart, and he was happy before hand. Not in agony, not lonesome. But with you who loved him there.
What a lovely post, well said.
    01-24-2012, 08:55 PM
Kayty, your post the other day almost made me cry, because I know EXACTLY what it's like to be in that situation. After my parents' divorce, we free leased the horses out to a horsey couple in the country to be used for pleasure riding while we got our lives back in order. At the time, we had Arthur and a Missouri Fox Trotter gelding, Beau. These horses were absolute best friends. Beau (he was around 20) was like a tank....around 15.2hh, and very powerfully built. While he was out on lease, he foundered on rich grass. We fought against the disease for a while, but at one point we just knew he didn't want to be here anymore. He couldn't enjoy his daily activities without pain, and the best choice was to have him put down at that point. I was around five years old, and I remember having to be drug away from this horse, screaming and crying, before the vet came.

Deepest condolences.....it's always hard to put down a beloved horse.
    01-25-2012, 12:06 PM
Originally Posted by Kayty    
I guess the passing of my beautiful gelding Hugo yesterday has inspired me to start this thread, I suppose with the hope that maybe a handful of people in similar circumstances will take on board the advice given.

Both within this forum, and in the 'real world', we so often see horses enduring long, painful treatments or ailments, because the owner just cannot let go.
For the last 18 months, I have been fighting with the process of hock fusion, which, although not terribly painful for the horse, they are unsound to work for quite some time, and often need to be on courses of bute when the hock swells.
For 18 months, I said that if I thought Hugo's quality of life would be affected, I would put him to sleep. On a number of occasions, I called my vet, asked him to come and look and if he thought putting him to sleep was the best option, then I would agree to that.

Recently, Hugo managed to hyperextend his front leg in the paddock, and tore his suspensory ligament.
From this moment, there was a very pressing thought in my mind that putting him to sleep would be the best thing. I tried for 2 weeks, keeping him stabled, poulticed, bandaged and so on. There was a significant improvement, until I found him one day in the stable, with a bowed tendon.

Now, for these injuries, I could have opted for stem cell treatment, shock wave treatment, putting him in a full leg cast for 8 weeks etc. And maybe, he would have been able to walk on the leg at the end of it.
But was the treatment worth it? Would it be fair to make a horse, that is so used to being able to move freely around a paddock with other horses, stand in a tiny stable with no equine company, for months on end? Would it be fair to make that horse, also have to withstand constant pain, discomfort and stress, in the hope that maybe, just maybe... he might walk again? Even if that hope was quite far fetched?
Would it be fair, to expect the horse to then go through painful side effects in his other limbs, such as rotating pedal bones, and arthritic changes in major joints... because maybe, just maybe, he will walk again?

The same scenario applies to severe colic, long term illnesses and so on.
Is it REALLY fair, to expect an animal, that's lives only for today, to go through so much pain and stress, because you as the owner, can't bring yourself to let go?
I feel guilty that I didn't put Hugo to sleep as soon as he did his suspensory. He was never going to make a full recovery, and his legs were so worn out from his huge amount of time on the track, that even if the ligament did repair, I'm sure another problem would have emerged shortly thereafter. But that ugly, selfish human emotion that cannot let go of people or animals that we love, reared its head and I couldn't bring myself to do it when maybe.... just maybe, he could have recovered.

Now that he is gone, a weight has been lifted off my shoulders, and I no longer feel riddled with guilt. He went peacefully, I opted to have him sedated heavily, and then given the 'green dream' by his regular vet. He was then buried beside my friend's young mare, that was put to sleep under similar circumstances.
I can feel at peace with my decision, knowing that he is no longer in any pain. He had no idea what was happening, there was no stress involved what so ever. He left us, surrounded by people that loved him, and passed with his head in my father's arms.

Even though it hurts terribly, and I miss him dearly, I am glad it is done. I can feel glad that I let him go before he was in too much pain and began to suffer. He was still happy and bright, and eating well.
Why wait until a horse is in agony, when it can't stand but has been trying to tell you to let it go for weeks on end? The horse does not think about tomorrow, next week or next year, when it might be better. It only knows, now. Is it fair to make the horse's 'now', full of pain and stress, when there is not a great chance of recovery in the end?

I suppose you could call this all a bit of a ramble, and really, it is. My head is still swirling, I've been crying for hours and I miss my special Hugo terribly. But the knowledge that I did the right thing, is getting me through.
Maybe others in the same situation can learn from what I, and many others, have had to do, and decide to this time, put their horse's needs before their own, no matter how badly it hurts.

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    01-25-2012, 12:11 PM
We can go back and beat ourselves up .
Hugo loved every dayr he had with you.

That look of love in those big beautiful eyes was about what you gave to him not what you didn't.
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    01-25-2012, 12:11 PM
Originally Posted by dirtroadangel    
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    02-03-2012, 11:01 PM
I thought I would share my story of my first two horses Josie and Abraham.

Josie was my first horse, small little flea bitten arabian mare. We got her under weight, was told she was 16. The owners daughter lost interest in her. After about four months of owning her I rode her down our driveway. For some reason her head went down and mine hit the ground. Ouch! I had the vet come out as her knee joint was swollen. I found out more from that vet she was about 30 and never had her teeth done, she was calcification build up in her knee. From that day one, on her good days she would just lead some little kids around. But than came the battle of mashes, grains and all the recipes to keep weight on. It was a 3 year battle.

Joe joe (josie) was no longer my ridding horse so I got abe a 24 year QH. Man was a go go horse and he was my side kick. In 2008 two days before christmas I woke up to joe laying in the pasture. She had struggled to move as there where marks in the snow. Prior to this I had made a few vet calls, and we had two incidents of having to pick her up in the pasture (my family help). I knew it was time and her battle was coming to an end. I never will forget seeing the needle in the vets hand and holding her head in my lap as she took her breaths.

Abe was about 27 than. She was his "wife". I led him to see her after. He didn't do much. Although for the next month he neighed in his pasture (with other horses) and ran the fence. He never done anything like this before. He charged my mom once in this time frame which was not like him. He suddenly dropped weight. That summer he choked and ended up with aspiration pnemonia. We where up to date with everything. One thing was his teeth. I asked my vet several times to check them due to a second choke and he said he too old chances are he lose them. Well after a 3rd choke he finally did and there where sores along his tounge. I was pretty upset. The grains, mashes, hay cubes, high expensive diet suggested by a nutrionist did nothing. I later had a second vet take a look to just check and his two molars at the back sat two inches higher than they should. Now this was over a 3 year span.

On christmas day this year I went to do chores where I rent for the horses aftering going to the bf for christmas morning. Abe was down. I saw from the fence that this was the time. I new it was coming. I just felt what if this attempt of grain will work. I had the vet come out and it was like josie all over, that needle seeing it is the most heart breaking thing I ever had. And those last breathes will always make me heart ache. Abe and joe passed 3 years apart. He was never the same after I lost her. They are in mind running open fields in the sky again.

In 3 years abe has cost me about 3000.00 in vet bills. 5000.00 in grain and supplements and a lot of tears. Would I do it all again yes. I wanted to give him the chance to fight. It was first time he was ever down when the needle came. We tried get him up but I knew in his eyes it was time to let go. He was never lame or in pain the showed. He was happy. He just had a broken heart, and old age.

My first two horses where seniors, I would of done it all over and walk the struggle with them. I always kept in my mind they would tell me. I miss them both so much and pasture never feels the same. But they gave me joy and I tried to give it back.
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