End of Life Decisions...
Some of you may remember me adopting George the Pony... an aged, broke to death kid pony who was looking for a retirement home... he was thin when we brought him home in October, but gained weight quickly on a alfalfa/oat mash.
George is greying everywhere, not shedding out very well and is basically an old pony. Well, when he got his shots and worming this spring, the vet said he wasn't 20 something like I thought, he was well over 30 ... "older than Noah and could die anyday" but doing well. He said I was treating him very well and he looked fantastic...
So today I go out and George didn't whinny at me to hurry up and get him his mash... I thought it odd, but didn't really think too much about it. I rode Daisy, and started cleaning the stalls. It has been really cold so George has been in a thickly bedded stall at night. I found George's mash from the previous night in the shavings, like he had dumped the whole bucket out.
I put him in his stall and gave him fresh mash, and he just looked at me. Bright eyes, no distress, no colic, just quiet. I noticed then he looks sucked up though... he nosed the bucket then turned away. This is the pony who will just about knock you down to get to his feed... checked his gums and they were nice and pink. No temperature. Called the vet and he said watch for distress and give him a call in the morning... He thinks George is heading towards end of life and I need to make some decisions about it.
This is heartbreaking. I got him last fall, and Wren (my 7 year old daughter) has been learning to halter, lead, saddle and mount by herself on him. She only wants to walk at this point, which is great, because that is all he is really capable of - they have a great time and I am quite fond of the little stinker.
I am hoping for improvement in the morning, but am very sad to be having to think about it...
Here's a pic from yesterday...
What a cute little man! Is he still eating his hay? No signs of colic or choke?
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He can't eat hay anymore, vet tried to float his teeth, but said they were smooth and wavy and nothing left to float... I give him hay but he just chews it up and spits it out... he basically lives off of his mashes.. he gets alfalfa pellets and whole oats twice a day...
and no signs of colic or choke...
I remember the thread you posted when you got this pony. He got a loving home to help him leave the world the painlessly. Be strong kiddo, do right by the pony, he deserves it.
What a sweet old man.
I know it's a different species but when my rats get old I try to mix some applesauce in their oat mash(that's what they get when they are too senile to chew any longer) sometimes it helps bring their appetites back. Maybe it's worth a try?
He is adorable and obviously knows he is well loved. He will let you know.
Sweet sweet old man. Has he been drinking? Oldies have a tendency to not drink enough when the water is cold and can get constipated. I would try to offer him a bucket of tepid, even warm, water. If he sucks it up right away, you may have found the reason......crossing fingers....
Apollo, that is a good idea... a friend of mine is bringing over some low starch equine senior tomorrow and some timothy pellets, I can't give him the normal equine senior because he almost foundered on it... we are going to try to tempt him with something new...
I was crying when my non horse hubby came home, and when I told him what was wrong, he wanted to go see George... he got some hot water in an old gallon jug, then took just a little of the equine senior and mixed it up and sat with George and hand fed him it... It was just a taste but at least he got something down... my hubby is a good, good man.
And in the end, if it's time - we'll let him go with dignity. Just REALLY, REALLY hoping it's not time yet.
I'll go take him a bucket of warm water, it has been cold .. I think he's drinking because his water bucket is going down... but maybe some warm water will help... we have been having extreme weather changes here... from 60 to 9 degrees and back... wondering if the temp changes are bothering him...
The only other thing we've changed is that Daisy and George are both getting feed thru fly control at night... I started him on it this week. Vet said it is absolutely safe for him, and he likes the taste...
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