So the question on my mind is what happens when its not that obvious? I don't want to get into specifics but there is a situation that I know of and its bothering me. Of course its not my place to ever tell the horse's owner what to do. She loves her horse very much and has tried all she can to save him. I don't want to go into specifics but let me try to paint the picture.
The horse is a very spirited horse with lots of spunk. He is 25 or so. He has a leg injury he cannot recover from. He is on three legs right now and confined to a stall and small paddock but he really can't walk. He seems agitated and for a day or so stopped eating. However he has started eating again. He can only have hay. He seems to manage the pain (he is getting some bute.)
Several vets have weighed in and the consensus seems to be let him go on like this until his other front leg goes or he stops eating, etc.
However I know another vet who said he is in pain and not happy and no reason to prolong his life.
I feel so badly for everyone involved.
I guess what I am asking is how do you make the decision when to put a horse down?
I know in my mind quality of life is key. People can be disabled and still enjoy life via books, internet, movies, chats, telephone, writing, artwork, etc. Horses really cannot do these things. Horses also cannot be sedated enough to really get rid of the pain the way a person can.
I am really have mixed emotions on this. I know there is nothing I can do but be supportive and pray for his owner and help her deal with her broken heart once he goes but I really think someone needs to start telling her is getting close to time.
So having said all that, what are your thoughts on when to put a horse down?