Update on Red - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 02-04-2020, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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Update on Red

I took a little break from the forum while we ruminated on things. Last I was here, about a month ago, I had been thinking about selling our horses until we can afford to board. We talked to other horse owners in our life to get some perspective and did decide to go that route. We listed both horses and sold our mare very quickly to a friend of a friend. We keep in touch and she is doing very well.

Very soon after I listed Red he fell lame again.

A bit of back story:

Last July I had gone out in the morning to see him and he was laying down. He had a hard hard time getting up and when he did, he rocked back on his heels and wouldn't move. I took a video and posted it here. When he got to moving he walked like he was drunk, stumbling all over the place. Everyone who saw the video thought either founder or a neurological issue like EPM - including the vet tech when I called to have the vet out. When the vet got to us, he diagnosed Red with colic. We were all baffled.

Ever since then, we hadn't been able to get him sound. My farrier back then thought he had really run forward heels and bad thrush. By November he was completely lame, and had to have bute daily to be able to even walk. I posted photos here and everyone agreed I needed a new farrier. I got a new farrier and she said his heels weren't as run forward as we thought, just a horrible trim job, thrush wasn't bad either once he got trimmed up properly. She put keg shoes on him, didn't see the need for anything more fancy. He was great after that. Then he fell lame again. Not always, but every now and then. Few days here and there.

This past weekend, he was due for new shoes. We decided to go with natural balancers on the front. We left the back bare. He is now lame all the way around. His feet hurt so bad she couldn't even trim him, even tranquilized - she was only able to rasp him down.

I called my vet and we speculated - maybe he really did founder back in July and it was left untreated and now there is an issue with the coffin bone? This whole time we have been feeding him soaked alfalfa cubes three times a day which would obviously be horrible if he HAD foundered. It's definitely worse on the front left but he is lame all around. We aren't sure what to do. Right now I still have him listed but as a companion horse that requires shoes and could possibly be sound again with further treatment.

Right now I have two options (keep in mind this is a cheap old horse we are trying to sell anyway, but would like to have a good retirement home):

1) have the vet out to do x rays ($220) and then the farrier to put appropriate shoes on (aprrox $170). Then list him as probably a companion horse for a few hundred.
2) have him shod like a laminitic horse, she is offering us a discount. $80 for the shoes plus $35 for tranquilizer. Then list him as a companion horse. I just spent $140 on his shoes this weekend.

The vet said personally he probably wouldn't seek any further treatment. I don't know if he meant euthanasia (seems extreme?) or just sending him off to a retirement wherever we can. Given his issues, I am so worried about him not getting the proper care he needs.

We have had the vet out so many times, tried so many things, we've been hemorrhaging money for months and months. (Part of the reason for selling - we haven't even been able to enjoy horse ownership).

Right now I am leaning towards getting him shod like a laminitic horse and rehoming as such, but.... I don't know. Trying to keep in mind this is an 18 year old horse. He isn't young anymore but should have plenty of years left to hang around and munch hay.

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post #2 of 25 Old 02-04-2020, 11:44 AM
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If you listed him as a companion horse, given his age and that he needs special care, I'm not sure what sort of takers you would find. And when you say "sell," I have to assume you mean give away. I can't imagine anyone offering money for him, except as, well, you know.

Honestly I would be suspicious of anyone who was willing to take him. No way would I give him to someone I didn't know.

Sorry, this probably isn't helpful. But, given the choice between giving him to some random person and having him euthanized, I might go with euthanization. And I'm not someone who would usually think of euthanizing.

I'm really sorry.

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post #3 of 25 Old 02-04-2020, 11:47 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ACinATX View Post
If you listed him as a companion horse, given his age and that he needs special care, I'm not sure what sort of takers you would find. And when you say "sell," I have to assume you mean give away. I can't imagine anyone offering money for him, except as, well, you know.

Honestly I would be suspicious of anyone who was willing to take him. No way would I give him to someone I didn't know.

Sorry, this probably isn't helpful. But, given the choice between giving him to some random person and having him euthanized, I might go with euthanization. And I'm not someone who would usually think of euthanizing.

I'm really sorry.
Yes, that's exactly the thought. My ONLY hope is getting the x rays, but even then it's minimal hope. Vet said either way it's going to be a very poor prognosis with little chance of him ever being sound again.
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post #4 of 25 Old 02-04-2020, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WildestDandelion View Post
Yes, that's exactly the thought. My ONLY hope is getting the x rays, but even then it's minimal hope. Vet said either way it's going to be a very poor prognosis with little chance of him ever being sound again.
You were fortunate to find such a good home for the mini, and that is piece of mind for you.

You will save time, money and heartache by just having him euthanized. The horse most likely has some metabolic issues, causing all the feet trouble.

At this point, looking at nearly $400 for xrays and shoes, then try to find him a home, really going to take a lot of time and money. You could spend the same money and just have him humanely euthanized. Will give you the piece of mind that no one is abusing him or sending him to slaughter.

It is time.
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post #5 of 25 Old 02-04-2020, 12:08 PM
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Personally I would get xrays and know for certain - it'd be easier to rehome knowing exactly what you'd be dealing with or for future owners. Even for retirement if he isn't in work and currently in pain just being alive I'd personally want to know if he had foundered or not. If I couldn't figure that out then I'd rather put an animal to sleep than send it lame into the unknown (coz you know how it can be). Can't guarantee him a good retirement if he's not yours.

So yeah thats me.

1. Xray and know for sure and then decide plan b.
2. Or PTS having had a good life and a good end.

Sending into the unknown and hoping someone will plug money into an older horse without a definite diagnosis and needing expensive investigation is a big no-no to me. Do the investigation, if you can, then at least you and future owners know exactly what they are getting and if its not looking good you can PTS without feeling too bad. If I recall correctly there is also such thing as stress induced laminitis? A big move while in pain might just off him anyway if he's gone on this long or prone. I feel like you want to do the right thing but struggling to justify the expense. I hate money. But I can always make more. To buy another breath of air for any of my family, including my pets, is a sacrifice I'm wiling to make. But its not always possible in some situations. Going skint a few months I can do. Living without luxuries I can do. Going without a holiday I can do. But getting behind in rent/mortgage, buying food for kids, supporting the rest... if I had to choose between the certainty of death for a loved one or the unknown and possibly a torturous end...

Sorry if I rambled on. I've put down several hundred animals in my lifetime (rescue, exotic animal trainer)... it never gets easier. But having a few rehomes gone awry with some specifically vulnerable animals makes me very wary.
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post #6 of 25 Old 02-04-2020, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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Our farrier is also recommending euthanasia. I am completely shell shocked. It's hard with horses and how stoic they are to truly know how much pain they are in when you aren't a professional. She says she suspects severe rotation given how sensitive his sole alone is. I have no words.
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post #7 of 25 Old 02-04-2020, 12:26 PM
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The horse is lame and needs expensive shoes to be "pasture sound"...
I don't know of anyone who is going to willingly take on a horse who needs expensive farrier work to live in a pasture besides feed and vet services daily, monthly and yearly.
Doing x-rays is not going to change anything unless you find what truly ails the horse and can fix it...
Still, sounds like the horse is hurting by your description of his life now.
If you want the definitive proof, do xrays.
Then make your decision...
Or, use your vets knowledge, wisdom and guidance and give the horse his release from earthly bonds to soar the heavens with no more pain.
You incur one last bill for euthanasia and disposal of his body and know your horse will never have unkind owners hurt him or not understand he can't do...
There are far worse things than death for a animal that hurts.

Your horse to me is a rescue status.
I don't pay for rescuing and will not take on one who I know going in is going to need shoes, special shoes to be a pasture pet if you refer to that as sound, besides all his normal expenses for care.
If this was my horse I would consult the vet and use his years of experience and wisdom...
If the vet sees no improving, a continual roller-coaster of sore, then not then sore...
Let him go...euthanize and be at peace with your decision that he no longer hurts.
No one can ever be cruel to him nor hurt him nor he fall into terrible circumstances because he hurts...let him go.


You are not a bad owner because you recognize a animal is hurting and not going to get better...
You are a conscientious, good owner for seeing a forever issue and making a hard decision in the interest of the animal first and foremost.
Hugs...
...
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post #8 of 25 Old 02-04-2020, 12:28 PM
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Being reds prognosis isn't good I honestly think PTS is the kindest option.

Rehoming red I just don't think will end well for him. And sinking more money into him for same results lame hurting horse.

I would do right by him ,and give him that last kind act of love an lay him to rest. At least you will know he's not being abused. People will lie saying they'll give horse a good home,then re sell horse within days. Kill buyers are always looking for cheap horses.
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post #9 of 25 Old 02-04-2020, 12:32 PM
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All the posters above me posted while I was typing:)

Knowing how severely Joker rotated in 2012, I don’t believe Red can’t be helped but it would take a therapeutic farrier, a lot of micromanaging of the hooves on your part, and yes, money.

*****
Here are my thoughts:) Geez this is a book - I am sorry :(

1. “Getting him shod like a laminitis horse”. Exactly what does that mean in your farrier’s and vet’s interpretations.

2. It sounds as if xrays have never been done? That should have been the very first thing when laminitis was suspected by the vet.

3. There IS a lot of hope for Red BUT I know very few people who would take on a horse with his issues. They will either start out with good intent and realizing how much money and labor is involved, he will go down the road to who knows where.

4. The video was taken last November. I have almost lost this horse twice since 2012. He foundered in 2012 (diagnosed insulin resistant). He severely rotated on the LF and moderate rotation on the RF.

In 2007 he fractured his sacrum. In March, 2019 he re-fractured his sacrum. It was touch and go. This video is after months of therapy.

He is also in therapeutic front shoes to deal with his on-going coffin bone issues, and custom bent therapeutic rear shoes to help relieve stress on his rear quarters.

His back shoes were pulled last Friday for awhile. I am most fortunate to have a therapeutic farrier. She wants the shoes off for awhile to see how he does. He GALLOPED to the far end of his pasture the next day.

5. Regarding his foundered front hooves. He wears Natural Balance PLR steel shoes. She hot shoes him which helps tremendously to cauterize the whiteline.

He has plastic wedges with a frog support under the shoe. I have to see what thickness they are. Then she has what I call silly putty under the frog part of the wedge.

Everything is working for now but it seems that a method will only work for awhile and we need to find something else. But this horse is injured from front to back. He is literally like keeping the nursery rhyme “Humpty Dumpty” together - everything from dealing with the ravages of old founder to a re-fractured sacrum is a delicate balance.

No, it’s not cheap but IMHO you do not have a vet or a farrier who know what they are doing. I think Red could be better served if you googled “therapeutic farriers” in your region. They do travel:)

Joker is 24. He is a Tennessee Walker so that head bob is a normal bob for him. He is short striding a bit, off the left shoulder and his backend but given the vet thought she would have to PTS him last March, this is nothing short of a miracle. It’s obvious he is happy and in no discomfort but he is not ridable.

I almost forgot. Joker was also diagnosed with Cushings on November 13, 2019 so he had already started Prascend in this video. He is one of the sweetest horses to ever walk this earth and a fighter. He does not deserve to have such a huge black cloud of health issues hanging over him.

To reiterate, Red likely has some serious issues that could be helped with the right professionals. The other option is to PTS him because I personally know two horses with health issues that were rehomed and the outcome was not good for the horses.

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post #10 of 25 Old 02-04-2020, 12:36 PM
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It sounds like the bad days and the pain are outweighing the good days now. As much as it hurts your heart, I think your vet and farrier are right.

"We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us."
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