Regrets? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 16 Old 09-08-2013, 12:59 AM Thread Starter
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Regrets?

So this is more for advice on how to handle a friend.
I have a friend who euthanized her 14 year old horse about 3 months ago. Both of his parents had navicular, and passed it on to him. He was not even pasture sound. He was in a terrible amount of pain.

Said friend treated it for well over a year with different shoes, supplements, medicines (which gave him ulcers), x-rays, various vets and specialists.

Now she's off in farrier school and was showing the x-rays to a professional there, who is pretty sure that he would have been okay with additional treatments and changing the palmar angles and that he thought the navicular bone was actually okay.

....so now she's second guessing herself and she's not very sure she did the right thing.

If you were in this situation, what can you even offer to say? I'm really at a loss.

Any suggestions??
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post #2 of 16 Old 09-08-2013, 01:13 AM
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She did the right thing. And second guessing is easy when it is done, she will always wonder even without someone else's input.

This professional was not there to see the horse and how the horse was acting, she was.

She needs to put x-rays up, and quit talking about it with strangers who didn't know horse.

People are always experts and can fix anything when they don't have to really try to.

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post #3 of 16 Old 09-08-2013, 01:37 AM
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I pretty much agree with Palomine.

The other thing is that x-rays and other things can be misleading. An x-ray might look fine but in real life the horse is in pain. Tests come back normal but the horse is sick, etc. At the end of the day its about the presentation of the horse itself.

Your friend obviously did everything she could and cared a lot about her horses. When we lose a horse I think almost everyone second guesses what they did or didn't do.

It sounds like the horse was in a tremendous amount of pain and it sounds like she did the right thing.
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post #4 of 16 Old 09-08-2013, 03:15 AM
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X rays can be misleading and often are if you're just looking at them and not the animal. I was in the opposite situation where I wasn't sure if I had made the right call NOT putting my dog to sleep. She had kidney failure and through x rays and what not our vet said that it was irreversible and due to old age. I deliberated about putting her to sleep but after consulting with him and being assured that it either route would be painless I took her home. After she died I worried for a LONG time if I had made the right call but looking back everyone (including our vet) who saw her at our house said that she had no pain, she just looked tired and lethargic. But those were people who knew that animal, to someone on the outside the situation could be vastly different. In some ways your friend will have to come to terms with it herself.

I would tell her remember the animal you had, remember the good times, and all that. You did the best that you could, and gave it a happy life before it's end.
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post #5 of 16 Old 09-08-2013, 04:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BossHoss View Post
Now she's off in farrier school and was showing the x-rays to a professional there, who is pretty sure that he would have been okay with additional treatments and changing the palmar angles and that he thought the navicular bone was actually okay.
I agree with the other replies. Also, it is very "unprofessional" for a professional to make this type of statement, IMHO.

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post #6 of 16 Old 09-08-2013, 06:02 AM
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I don't know what the right thing to say would be. Maybe letting her know that at the time she made the best choice for what she knew then. Even if she had met this professional now the horse would have suffered for three months, and then through diagnosis and treatment could have likely not worked. Even if it had worked it could have only been a temporary fix, and it could have worsened over time. She made the best decision she could at that time.

I don't think it's unprofessional for a farrier to say that in this situation, as she was at a farrier school where the purpose is learning. Rather than the relationship off a customer and farrier.
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post #7 of 16 Old 09-08-2013, 10:02 AM
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Farriers are not radiologists. I am sure many of them know plenty about hooves, but taking and interpreting x-rays is not part of their training. I'd leave that to the vets...
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post #8 of 16 Old 09-08-2013, 10:10 AM
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Assure her that we all can make the best decision based on what we know at the time. We can't pretend to know everything and what we know today can't have affected decisions made yesterday. She is feeling sad, but second guessing her decision is only making her feel worse. She did her best by her horse and she must find comfort in that.

The professional is making a call on what he sees in the x-ray which is only part of the storey. He wasn't there either. Your friend had far more to work with than he does.
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post #9 of 16 Old 09-08-2013, 10:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Palomine View Post
She did the right thing. And second guessing is easy when it is done, she will always wonder even without someone else's input.

This professional was not there to see the horse and how the horse was acting, she was.

She needs to put x-rays up, and quit talking about it with strangers who didn't know horse.

People are always experts and can fix anything when they don't have to really try to.
^^^this

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post #10 of 16 Old 09-08-2013, 09:20 PM
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This is off topic and I don't mean to argue but many farriers are trained to look at x-rays, no not all of them but it is a little unfair to declare that all farriers can't read a hoof x-ray. An x-ray of another part of the body maybe not so much. Many farrier schools go in depth into radiology and many farriers apprentice with vets who help them learn as well. Also many learn from years and years of working with vets and owners and begin to understand how to read an x-ray.

I would especially think that a farrier who is teaching would be proficient at reading x-rays. In my experience the men and women who take it upon themselves to teach this mastercraft are knowledgeable above and beyond tacking on a pair of shoes.
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