Went to the ranch yesterday after the BO called me to tell me one of Bella's tumors (melanoma) had burst. We have already been down this road, and I knew it was a good thing,just messy and smelly. So I show up to clean it out, and it was WAY worse then I've ever seen it. Bella was being super sensitive so I decided to brush her down to get her to relax. I got o her stomach, and I noticed it felt funny. I looked to see a HUGE mass... and I'm not talking fist sized.... it went from her girth to her teats and nearly as wide as her stomach and 3 inches deep. I have never seen anything like this before so I went straight to my BO who has been breeding/boarding for years. She said it looked like edema, which, still, I had no idea what it was. She told me in older horses often it meant heart failure... She then told me that the Vet would be out the next day so I could have him look at her. So Then I took my time and cleaned her up real good.... the tumor was really bad, and it took 3 hours to finish cleaning and wrapping it... but it was time spent with her
I got there today at noon and went straight to Bella.... she is still acting her normal self. Lovey. I brought her over to the vet where he looked her over. He told me to look carefully at her neck.... it was pulsing. He then told me that having a visible pulse in the neck isnt normal, and is also a symptom of a heart problem. Then he looked at her edema and then hr melanoa tumors, and said that the edema, in Bella's case, would be caused by one of two things....
1) It is caused by whatever heart condition she has... He said there was no audible murmur or defect, but it's obvious there is a problem... If this is the case, the Lasix injection her gave her and the naquasone paste that I am to give her daily will make the edema go away. The end note though, is she does have a heart problem, and will need to be watched carefully, and he suggested that she be put down soon (within a month or so).
2) It's caused by a melanoma tumor pressed on a lymphnode (sp). If this is the case, my only option is to put her down (within a day or so).
Neither prognosis is good. Both end in me losing her. I think the only thing I can do is put her down, knowing that I will be sparing her pain. I would hate myself if she went into heart failure and died... to let her leave this world in such pain, and I am sure she'd be scared. I can't do that to her. She has been too good to me, I will not be selfish. It would not be right for me to keep her around because I don't want to let go. I know my heart would drop every time my phone rang thinking it would be my BO telling me Bella's down.... So, now I must be strong for her, because she has always been so strong for me, and I must let go.
I will forever love my baby girl, Bella. No horse will ever hold my heart the way she does.