So about 2.5 months ago I took a rescue horse from a group that pulls horses out of feed lots destined for slaughter. I had someone haul him to my place. I was told they thought he had back injuries but when he stepped of the trailer I was taken back by what I saw. His left front was bent back and he was walking on his bulbs. He walked on both feet like that but the left was way worse. He was extremely underweight but I expected that and it was probably to his benefit since he was so lame in the front. I had my farrier out the next day and he said he hadnt had his feet done in years. We agreed to have trims done every two weeks and then put eggbar shoes on to get his weight off his bulbs. I also dewormed him. He appeared to walk off slightly better after the first trim. I put a call in to my vet to get his opinion. Within two weeks he went extremely downhill in his right front which was his "better" foot. I put in an emergency call to my vet and he said it didn't look good. He hadn't seen anything like it. It appeared that he had abscessed 3/4 of the way around his entire foot and infection was coming out of the cornette band and heel. He put him on bute 2x a day and 15 smz's 2x day. I am scrubbing it with bedadine scrub and using "Today" to put in open abscess' There are 3-4 open abscess' on the one foot. I have now been doing this for 2 months. He seems to get better when he knows the vet is coming to check on him but then he gets worse again. Does anyone know what else I can do? He is such a sweet horse I hate the thought of putting him down, but his "bad leg" looks even worse since it is taking most of the weight now. He has a ruptured deep flexor tendon in that leg. Worst part about all this is how happy he seems to be. He loves attention and is just generally a happy horse. It is not making it any easier for me. We are so attached to him but I don't want him to suffer. Any suggestions would help, vet said he would be on SMZ's for awhile but he also said he is too thin for shots since he has no muscle. He is slowly putting weight on but I don't want to overdue it.
I'm surprised your vet hasn't talked to you about euthing him, if he's really that bad off.
He could easily develop laminitis in the feet that aren't infected, because he's throwing his weight off the injured one. If his 'bad leg' is looking worse, it's most likely breaking down under the strain of the extra weight.
It's not cruel to put an animal out of its misery. You've given him two good months of love and food. If your vet tells you it's time, believe him/her.
I will be honest. You sound like you have a kind heart. I think that you wallet will be crying soon. There are soooooo many extra bred and unwanted/unneeded horses out there. I really wonder about this rescue. I bought/adopted a rescue QH--look under MY HORSES to see "Buster"--and they take in donated animals. They don't have to go out of there way to find them. (Look at the threads about neglected/abused horses on this forum.)
I guess if you want a pasture pet, then this is made to order. I got into riding horses, and I want athletes. I'm not sure that this little horse will become one.
Im kind of surprised but I am expecting my vet to recommend it. I told my vet I didn't care if we ever rode him I just wanted him to be comfortable. I know I have a soft heart, I wish I didn't but I can't help it. Im not happy with the group that did not disclose the obvious issues. I was just trying to help the last horse that was left on the lot. I see why no one took him now but I figured I would at least try to help him.
You HAVE helped him by showing him love and compassion, but for some the best gift is to be let free from their pain and failing bodies.
I know a mare similar to the horse your describing. We've thought about putting her down, but every time the convo comes up, she starts doing a lot better. Hard to say. How do you know he has a ruptured tendon? This said mare has a calcified tendon, and we want to try runners relief on it. Just a shot in the dark to see if we can get her at least comfortable. She is so sweet and happy, unless she's really hurting. You could google runners relief for horses and see if you think it would be worth a try?
I will defintely ask my vet about Runners Relief. That stuff looks amazing. Thx. I had two different vets tell me it was a rupture but no x-rays were done. I'm having the vet come out again this week so we will have to reevaluate the situation. Every time he comes out I mentally prepare myself for him to be put down. It's like a emotional roller coaster.
I'm all for trying everything & it sounds like you are but try to keep his best interest in mind, though I know you are doing that too.
Speed Racer's post says it all.:-(
Streakinstones.. You and I have a common interest, we both have bleeding hearts. I joined the forum about 2 weeks ago when I purchased a pony from the auction. I rolled the dice, and jumped in with both feet. My intent was to let him be a companion for another horse. All well and good.. except his health. I wont drag out the message here, if you want to read about it you can search Rescued Pony~Cushings.
But, I am in the process of having my vet runs a few blood tests.. but before I even started the appointment, I told myself I will do what I can safely afford to do for him, and I will keep his well being in mind. I would never return him to an auction house. I told myself if his prognosis was poor, I would put him down peacefully. At this time, I am happy to say I believe we will have a nice little future together. I can very much relate to your feelings for your rescued horse. But if the time comes to make that decision, even though your time together was short.. he knows he is loved. You are lucky to have that bond with him. I wish you both the best.
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