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Freeze brands routinely just de-pigment new hair, without causing any scars you can feel - and that's the same with the allergic reactions to midges causing white spots over the back. I personally can totally envisage large depigmented areas from certain chemical burns, and the vet did say that this happens in susceptible horses - and does de-pigment. (The chemicals don't actually peel off the epidermis like acid, it's more like an inflammatory reaction in the skin etc - nothing ever scabs.)

But yeah, that's very much the kind of pattern I see in "blue" (dye) when I backline a cow - it's the right places and the applicator dropping over from the top makes those kinds of patterns - the large primary area as well as the splotchier ones as you continue to work along the backline. But to know for sure you'd have to know if she was born with it or not, and if not, if she was backlined with anything.

I liked your observations on free-hay feeding - and I remember someone on HF doing that because he was terrified of stomach ulcers, and ended up with an overweight horse with laminitis...

@bsms, have you ever come across DMSO? It's an old type of topical anti-inflammatory that's applied to a horse's skin, and horses always react to it with surprise, and some by running around for a few minutes. I tried it on my own skin - it's a similar feeling to Oil of Wintergreen - methyl salicylate - I wouldn't say that hurts, but it's certainly weird and I could see it spooking a horse. Which is not to say that some of these chemicals couldn't possibly hurt - I'm sure that's possible too - my own sensations aren't everyone's, or those of every species...

(...and if you accidentally get methyl salicylate on your, ahem, undercarriage because you didn't wash your hands after applying the sports ointment and then scratch yourself absent-mindedly in bed at night, on that kind of skin it does burn alarmingly and cause pain...and maybe horse skin is more sensitive than ours, who knows... and now you all get to laugh at me because when I was a teenager I had an irritating sweat rash on my undercarriage from horse-riding and was using Bepanthen to treat that area, and one night I did that with the light off and confused that tube with a similar-shaped tube in the drawer that had Deep Heat in it, with the methyl salicylate - that was just terrible, I was nearly crying and in the shower for ages after that...:devilish:)

@knightrider, that's a very pretty pattern I think! We don't see this kind of thing often in Western Australia - maybe you've got some bloodlines that carry the trait?

It's so interesting to think about how colour or the lack of it, and patterns, get made biologically. Tortoiseshell cats, for example - that's sex-linked switching on or off of certain colours in an early developmental phase in the embryo. Here's today's fun spot: Tortoiseshell cat - Wikipedia

Siamese cats are living thermal maps. Their ancestors were solid chocolate like the Burmese but they have a mutation which inactivates the pigmentation mechanism for the warmer areas of the body - so that the chocolate is reserved for the coolest extremities. If a Siamese needs a cast for long enough, the leg will de-pigment - and then re-pigment eventually later after the cast is removed and newly growing hair gets pigmented again. Likewise, clipping the belly for spaying etc can cause a temporary dark rectangle which eventually fades again. 😎
 

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I find my horses aren't FOND of regular fly spray. Bandit has figured out (as Mia did before him) that it makes the flies go away. He'll let me know if I've missed a spot. The other two are much less happy about it. I've had plenty on my hands and arms and feel nothing. It could be the spot fly repellant is like tiger balm or similar stuff - not pain, exactly, but a very different feel. And horses don't like "different". So it might be that, @SueC. Just different. But I'm not patient enough to work on getting them to accept it.
 

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I think Hero will end up being a solid type of horse. I was surprised at how quickly Cashman turned around. He was intimidating in the beginning, now I feel confident to put people on him in most situations. When he is worked up he is still intimidating, but it is rather rare anymore. In all actuality I think I could put anyone who could ride fairly well on him and they would be happy. He’s just so solid.

@SueC that made me laugh!! I have done the same thing before with deep blue. Are doterra oils a thing there? Around here they are super popular, but also super expensive, so mostly if I want oils I buy them somewhere else. They have one called deep blue. It’s like a mega intense version of icy hot. It’s pure oils. I got that on the… um… nether region, and it was not fun!
 

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Discussion Starter · #404 ·
DH hadn't been to the barn for a while. He was surprised to see how Aria was. Not just the belly.

I said, "Watch," and walked up, then put her halter right on while she stood waiting.

After the horses had been turned out for a while, I said "Guess who will come first?"
Aria started running from the other side of the field the moment she saw us walking up.
We joked that she is the most hungry for treats. She's been missing out for a long time.

DH was amazed at how I can pick out her hooves, and how he can touch her all over now and she stands without flinching. Actually, she pushes into rubs and scratches now instead. She is starting to get very fond of attention.

If she is pregnant, I suppose she might not be as cuddly and sweet afterwards, but she is pretty adorable right now, pushing up into your space with big eyes for attention and treats.

Like DH says, animals seem to get over this threshold sometimes where they decide they trust you and like you, and then everything changes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #406 ·
A very sad day today. Amore colicked and it was the bad kind, so we had to put her down tonight.

I have to think it is good for a horse to live happy and healthy until their very last day. I have to say it's just as difficult either way; to have a lingering slow decision, or to have it all happen suddenly.

We played with Amore yesterday, and she was happy and healthy, so it was only today that was a bad one for her.
The barn owner tried calling in the morning, but I was asleep after my night shift. Amore didn't eat her morning hay, so she was worried about her. Then Amore started rolling and acting colicky throughout the morning, At about 12:30 pm, DH got the messages and woke me up so we could rush to the barn. The vet arrived about a half hour after we did.

Amore was lying down and we could see she was having pain spasms along her belly. The vet gave her Banamine, and then sedated her to tube her. He left me some more Banamine paste and Dormosedan just in case things got very bad.

It was difficult to tube her, and a lot of air came out, with some food. She had no gut sounds on one side. After the vet left, at least half of the mineral oil he put through the tube came shooting out of her nose. I believe horses can't normally regurgitate, so I suspected this meant extreme pressure and bad things happening inside. The pain seemed to get worse over the next couple of hours, and by 4 pm I gave more Banamine, even though I knew it was too early.

By 6 she had only passed a couple small pebbles of manure and was breaking out in a sweat, and kept lying down. Sometimes spasms would go over her belly or her legs would go rigid. Her pulse stayed over 60 and I couldn't hear gut sounds. I called the vet to come back. Meanwhile, I gave the Dormosedan, which seemed to help her relax and stop spasming, although she kept pacing around with her head down.

The vet thought everything was looking bad. Amore's belly was more distended and hard, she was having a lot of pain despite medications, and worsening as time went on.

We decided this was a deadly colic, and put Amore to sleep. She went fast and peacefully.

We put her down in a corner of the field near a gate so whoever picks up her body could have access. We let Hero and Aria out to go see her body. Aria looked, but then went to stay by Hero. Hero did something strange. He sniffed Amore all over for a long time. Then I guess he understood she was dead. He walked a few feet away from her, stopped, and then kicked out high and hard toward her body with his hind leg. Then he galloped away across the field. We wondered what that meant.

Amore was 30 and we had her almost 20 years. We'll miss her a lot, but I feel extremely blessed to have had her for so long, and to be able to keep her in great health even with Cushing's for the last few years. I rode her hundreds and hundreds of miles, and she was the silliest horse I've ever met.

I'll miss her beautiful face. Both DH and I said that Aria was sent to us because her little face and expression look so much like Amore's. So we don't have to miss Amore so much. I'm very glad Hero has a pal too.

An aside...the vet charged me $1,500 for the first visit on a Sunday. Not sure how much for the follow up and euthanasia. Hope I don't have to use him again...
 

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I'm also very sorry to hear it. Amore had an uncommonly good life and longer than most horses around here. She had a wonderful life. Far better than most of the horses I know around here. I've got three who, if they had Internet in the corral, would have been glad to trade places with her. I seriously doubt many horses have had better!
 

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I am so sorry to hear this…my heart breaks for you. No matter what a great life they’ve had, it’s always hard to make that decision. Thank you for sparing her any more pain and doing what was right for her.

I’m appalled at that bill to be honest. The expense involved sometimes makes it even more difficult to make that decision.

On a side note, I’m curious as to Hero’s actions too. I wonder if it had some sort of meaning between the two?

Again, my condolences.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Gosh, I couldn't believe it, Amore looked so wonderful and well muscled and glossy in her photo from last week and not at all 30, or Cushings. I'm so sorry. 😢 Whichever way this happens, it's never easy - expected, unexpected, long illness, short illness. Dying peacefully in their sleep is a bit better, but I've only seen that happen once in all the horses I've personally had anything to do with. The horse just looked asleep propped up on her chest with her lower jaw on the ground, her normal sleeping position - this was one of my fathers' - so she died in a stable and they had a bit of a job getting her body out what with rigor mortis and everything.

That colic sounds very bad indeed and very like one colic I baby-sat and let go too long. This was one of my favourite mares at my parents' - she was a real sweetheart and only about 22 when this happened to her, very like you described. By morning when I was walking her around, up into a paddock she'd been in as a young horse, she looked at me and lay down under a big tree there, and she looked like she was just going to give up, and to my lasting regret I called her back, instead of letting her go. I think if I'd not have done that she'd have died on the spot - you know how some horses seem to be able to just say, "Enough!" and pull the plug? I'd seen that happen before, and at that time it scared me - but now I hope I'd be able to just let it be.

She lived another day or so after that - by the afternoon the spasms had stopped and she was eating hay, but we know now that the reason her pain had largely stopped is because her gut had ruptured around the impaction and therefore the pressure had released, and of course then it was only a few hours before peritonitis set in and things got painful again because of that, and also because she had ruptured she was slowly losing blood internally. Then she was put down. You can imagine how much I regretted that I didn't leave her alone when she was ready to give up under that tree. 😪

I've nursed way too many colic deaths, because of how my parents kept horses, too sedentary and locked up too long and hand-fed hay in sand runs. It's an awful thing; and it even sometimes happens when you keep them more naturally, especially when older. Apparently they have a bigger risk of twisted bowel when the liver shrinks with age and makes space for the bowel to turn. That happens more often when they're full of sand as well, which is what happened to Sunsmart's sire at age 24 and like your mare, he looked wonderful right up to the day he died. (But he didn't have a social life on pasture and so much attention on a regular basis.)

My Arab mare was 32 when she got intermittently colicky for a minute or two and then fine again, rinse and repeat at shortening intervals over a week or so. In her case, pedunculated lipoma acting as a ball-and-chain around the guts and we put her down when it became clear what it was and that it wouldn't go away.

Many many years before I remember this blue-sky, sunny day when a tiny and lovely mare I really liked broke her leg in a trial. It took an hour to get a vet there and my father refused all offers of local people with gun licenses to put her down on the spot "in case she had a chance" - what chance does a horse have whose hind cannon is shattered and the lower leg hanging just by a tendon and some skin? I was only in my early 20s and the thing that really stayed with me is how something like this could happen on a perfect blue-sky day. It's logical, of course, but it's different if you live it.

I've got three horses 20 and over and I have to be careful not to let myself count down somewhere in the back of my mind. In some ways it was easier in the days before I'd ever witnessed a horse dying; it's just abstract then. But I was 13 when I first held a horse's head in my lap as she died, and that was Sunsmart's great-grandmother haemorrhaging out after giving birth to the sixth foal she was never supposed to have because her previous birth had damaged her internally. For two years she'd been my riding horse before she was taken off me for breeding - and we were so close.

I know death happens etc but it doesn't mean it's easy, especially when you had a close bond with the creature that's dying - but even just in general; we eat our own beef but that doesn't mean I'm all detached and neutral about it the day we kill the animal. It's still sad, even when it's necessary for whatever reason - at least to me it is. Others may feel nothing. Some people even enjoy it, but that's a long way from my own personal universe.

Ironically, I spent the afternoon today with a friend from the donkey society who had a bit of a bad month last month: Her mother died, and then her horse died of snakebite in the middle of winter. The mother actually had a good death - went to sleep in the armchair one evening after dinner while visiting my friend for a week, after a lovely day out in the sun with the family at one of our icing-sugar beaches down here. Didn't wake up. Bit of a shock for my friend but has got to be one of the best ways you could possibly go. And her horse was 28, not that it made it any easier. Snakebite in winter is not that common - since the snakes aren't very active when it's cold. Also, mares don't usually go around interfering with snakes (stallions are most likely to), so this was a freak thing.

My friend has a donkey called Sam, an ornery huge thing bred of feral donkeys from central Australia. His head is enormous and he's very anti-social with humans! But he needed a new companion, so my friend adopted an Arab/Percheron mare who'd been a broodmare all her life. I met her today - pretty thing, bay, Arab face, solid wide chest and strong legs. She's never had that much to do with humans but three weeks after arriving at her new home she nickers when she sees people and comes up to hobnob and get scratchies. She'd never seen a donkey before but apparently was totally unfazed. I joked that Sam must look like a teenage special-needs horse to the broodmare - gangly thing with an enormous head and long ears, not quite a standard model! The mare was the underdog in the breeding herd and now isn't - now she can eat her food without getting beaten up.

It's a good thing you had Aria already. Instant companionship for Hero in this case. Very interesting to read how the horses responded to being let to see the dead body of their friend. Because we shoot our horses, I don't let them near the body - I kind of imagine the blood would upset them. Maybe I'm overthinking it, I don't know. They can look from over the fence and do. And they've seen it all before and seem to understand what happens, so long as they see the dead horse. It's when they don't see it that they can end up searching far and wide.

Sorry again - that one just came out of the blue, just like that, so unexpected. I'm happy you had her for so long though, and that she had a good life with you. Take care. 🐙

PS: Rather oversized vet bill! o_O 🤬
 

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Discussion Starter · #414 ·
Thank you for all the condolences. @SueC, it was very helpful for me to read your stories and experiences. That is cute about the donkey and the horse, it sounds like they will be good companions.

A concern this morning was getting someone to come and pick up the body. I'm pretty good at thinking of the life and spirit of a person or animal as separate from the body. I've seen a lot of dead bodies I guess. Actually, animals seem less "body" like than humans since they have hair and color that makes them still look more beautiful in death. Humans seem very unlike themselves when they are dead, in my opinion. More like a shell. (Hopefully that's not TMI for people, nurses can be very stark about these things). So to me, what happens to the body is not so distressing. DH was more worried, not wanting to see any damage from animals or birds, and we have it covered with a tarp held down by cement blocks.

But today will be hot, so thankfully there is a professional horse burial service that will come pick her up this morning in an hour or so. It's about 60 miles away, and they have 300 acres where they have buried hundreds of horses as a business and service to people who lose their horses. Some people give their horses to the Wildlife Safari for meat, but that can only work if the horse was shot and not on medications.

We actually talked about if it would be more humane to use a gun (based on discussions here on the forum), but decided if all things seemed even, it was worth a lot of money to us to not have to put a hole in her star, which was sentimental to us thinking of her little heart that gave her the name Amore. We decided that either of us could shoot a horse in an emergency, but since we had a vet available we would use the euthanasia drugs. As far as I can tell, the sedation needle was the only thing she felt in a minor way, and the euthanasia that followed seemed to work almost immediately.
 

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I am so sorry for your loss. What a wonderful tribute. I agree with the manner in which you chose to lay her to rest. It is unfortunate that something so necessary in my opinion - a quick and painless end - has to cost so. That should be a right for every living creature. Sometimes the only consolation is the quick relief the needle brings, the only way I've found to be able to live with myself at times for also regretting letting things go too far at times. She was so beautiful, I was only just yesterday browsing and determined to make sure I do everything I can to let my two girls age so gracefully.
 

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Thank you for all the condolences. @SueC, it was very helpful for me to read your stories and experiences.
Well, I'm glad it had that effect. 🌻 For me personally, reading about other people handling similar difficult experiences to my own is always A1 helpful when I'm confronted with something like this - whether it's the death of a person or (other) animal I have loved, or whether it's recovery from childhood trauma and PTSD, or any other difficult situation. It's usually informative and makes me feel less isolated in a situation like this, and it's kind of comforting to feel a connection to others going through similar stuff as yourself. So in turn I now write when it's someone else dealing with difficult things.

I think this forum is super-excellent at supporting people through things like this. It really doesn't feel like a "message board" but like an actual community (which it is, because people let themselves be human here).


A concern this morning was getting someone to come and pick up the body. I'm pretty good at thinking of the life and spirit of a person or animal as separate from the body. I've seen a lot of dead bodies I guess. Actually, animals seem less "body" like than humans since they have hair and color that makes them still look more beautiful in death. Humans seem very unlike themselves when they are dead, in my opinion. More like a shell. (Hopefully that's not TMI for people, nurses can be very stark about these things). So to me, what happens to the body is not so distressing. DH was more worried, not wanting to see any damage from animals or birds, and we have it covered with a tarp held down by cement blocks.
That is so interesting. Like yourself, I've dealt with dead bodies a fair bit, both growing up on a farm and professionally because I taught anatomy etc. So there's this professional detachment I can switch on pretty easily in most cases, because a dead body is just architecture, the life and spirit are gone - and there's actually beauty in that architecture too. Even when we were cutting up our beef carcass, when I moved the rumen to a hole for planting a fruit tree I was mesmerised by the beauty of its internal lining. Bodies are so clever too, and when you're teaching anatomy and physiology you really appreciate this.

I think it's true that dead furry four-legs are much more beautiful than dead people, but then I think that's true about them in life as well. 😛 I guess too that because of the fur covering you don't see the sickly colouring you see in sick and dead people, that makes them look ill. So that's where, with people, if you're having an open-casket send-off, a sympathetic make-up / presentation job can be really helpful to grieving relatives - one of the themes of the Japanese movie Departures was that when the undertaker could make the dead person look beautiful in the way they had looked beautiful when alive (and not fake like Ken or Barbie), the family really appreciated this (and partly the movie was about breaking down the "untouchable" type prejudices of people working these roles and recognising their compassion and skill and the importance of what they were doing).

I think that's important for family because of how we are about emotional bonds. That's also why it's much more difficult for me if I'm dealing with the dead body of a person or (other) animal I have loved, than with a "stranger" - and why the states of Australia "swap" human bodies donated to anatomy labs with each other, after a medical student had a bit of a traumatic experience finding her uncle on the dissection table.

It's interesting about the concern for damage to a dead animal body. We can still feel protective if it's an animal we have loved. I have had to teach myself to let that go. We steward a 50-hectare nature reserve - a big chunk of natural ecosystem - and run a sustainable farm on the other 12 hectares. It's changed the way I view and do things. In this part of the world, people who have large amounts of bushland reserve on their own properties will take large animals that have died and put them in a good spot in the bushland, on the surface. So there was already a "cattle cemetery" on our place when we bought it - lots of big bones in one particular spot on the place.

The first horse we put down here, we paid our neighbour to bury - but after seeing the time and effort and the impact that had on the bushland, we swore never to do that again here - and more importantly - and this has become a big thing for me - I now feel that the number one priority for me as an ecosystem steward is to facilitate natural recycling, which I don't do when I bury a large animal deep below the humus layer where things are effectively and quickly broken down in nature.

I think part of our human inclination with dead bodies is to make beautiful and then sink them out of sight, out of mind where we're not confronted with decomposition etc - and then extend that idea to companion animals as well. I don't mind if someone wants to make me look beautiful after I've died for the sake of others, but I very much object for my own self to the idea of being buried six feet under where my components can't be quickly and effectively recycled to other, actually living things who need them - or to be cremated, which uses a lot of fossil fuels and leaves nothing but mineral fertiliser, and no proper lunch for any other animal. Nature is so generous to me; why should I be mean and grasping about the matter in my own body after death? I want that to benefit other living things in the best way possible - to give back, after taking so much all my life. Most of all I'd like a surface burial in the same place we put our animals, but that's not legal for humans, so a shroud-only, shallow earth burial with something useful planted on me is the next best legal thing for my own self - or to donate my body to an anatomy lab, if that's not possible for some reason. (Deep burials with trees planted on top aren't nearly as effective for recycling as you'd think, because most of the "feeder roots" of trees are in the topsoil - the lower roots are more about anchorage and getting to water.)

I fully understand how your DH feels about "animal damage" - did you ever read John Steinbeck's The Red Pony when you were growing up? I nearly threw up when the vulture was dripping eyeball fluid, but I was only 12 when I read this and Steinbeck was positioning us to feel this way. I feel very sorry for the vulture now, who was, if I remember correctly, brutalised by the young pony owner for daring to break the carcass of his beloved pony, but it was only doing the role it performs in an ecosystem, and it's an important role - without the scavengers and decomposers, our planet would be metres high in dead plant matter and animal bodies, and none of their building blocks could go back to other things who are trying to have a turn at life. We all only live because the building blocks of things that lived before us were recycled to us.

So to deal with that very human reaction about the body of a loved animal being broken down, what we do is place the body into a good spot in our nature reserve, and then resolutely I don't go looking for three weeks, by which time, if it's not winter, the local scavengers and insects have got the carcass down to mostly skeleton. Then I'm OK to go look, and I've retrieved a few skulls and hooves for reasons of anatomical interest. (It's very Hamlet actually, you know, with the character picking up the skull and saying, "I knew him well!")

In our part of Australia we don't have vultures; ravens and foxes will gnaw at a carcass and welcome to them. But the most important recycler is the blowfly - not in itself a species most people do cartwheels over, but they are in turn a major food source for songbirds here in our ecosystem, and in the weeks following the death of a loved animal I become conscious that it is coming back to me in the form of birdsong, and I'm happy for the birds to be powered by the remains of an animal I've loved. Nothing is wasted - except if we make it so by locking it away, as we humans are wont to do.

Most people, of course, aren't in the position we're in to recycle animal bodies naturally in a natural ecosystem, and need to find other ways to deal with it. I fully respect the people who donate the carcasses of their large animals to zoos and hunt clubs or friends with dogs - carnivores too have to eat. In Germany, it's pretty common for horses to go to small abattoirs at the end of their lives, and for their owners to take them there and stay through the death - and I've had firsthand accounts that this can be a respectful and humane thing - and then of course, the body is recycled, not just as pet food either - at any Oktoberfest you can get traditional horse sausage with your beer, because of this, and I don't think it's horrible, I think it's a good thing to recycle like this, so long as the death of the animal is humane and respectful and it doesn't have to be afraid.

I'd have no objections if a friend with dogs wanted to take some pieces of carcass, or all of it, after we've put down a horse. I'd just not want to be there at the cutting up, because of my emotional connection to the animal. But the animal itself is gone and when we're dead we don't care about what's going on with our body.

My friend whose horse died of snakebite last month is on a very small property near town and only has the options of deep burial on her own place, or having it carted to the special lime pit at the local landfill, and considering her animal was full of drugs even before it was put down with more drugs which are toxic to wildlife, dogs etc, deep burial was pretty much her only option - so she'll be planting a tree; it's the best she can do with her situation.

Another person I talked to in the local horse community knew her old mare wouldn't be happy in the incipient winter, and arranged for a pet meat man to come put the horse down in its home environment and then take the whole animal away. She says it was very professionally and humanely done, with nothing to worry her mare, and that's the important thing.


Some people give their horses to the Wildlife Safari for meat, but that can only work if the horse was shot and not on medications.
Yeah, that's exactly right, and that's not always possible even if you'd like to do it that way.


We actually talked about if it would be more humane to use a gun (based on discussions here on the forum), but decided if all things seemed even, it was worth a lot of money to us to not have to put a hole in her star, which was sentimental to us thinking of her little heart that gave her the name Amore. We decided that either of us could shoot a horse in an emergency, but since we had a vet available we would use the euthanasia drugs. As far as I can tell, the sedation needle was the only thing she felt in a minor way, and the euthanasia that followed seemed to work almost immediately.
While I personally prefer properly aimed gunshot for large animal euthanasia, without a doubt both methods are way more humane to the animal than leaving it to suffer. And when your horse has already had multiple needles stuck into it to manage its health emergency before death, another needle becomes less of an issue than, for example, when you've got a horse with cancer or with something you already know is untreatable and causing suffering who's not already been stuck with needles, and then I recoil at the idea of going up to an animal in that situation and sticking a needle into its neck as part of its death, if I have another way. All three of the horses we've put down here were either napping and oblivious when we shot them, or had their face deep in a feed bucket at the time (as did the steer we are eating) - so I was super-happy with the instant oblivion they got, and I got over myself about the blood etc. Financially, also, for us, the living things left behind benefit more from the cost saving of gunshot euthanasia over chemical (which is not the main reason we do it, just another advantage). But it's a very personal thing how we want to handle this stuff, and the most important thing is that the animal has a humane end. Also though that we humans think about death and the natural processes around it a bit more and come out of our comfort zones and cultural boxes about it a bit, I think, for the sake of life on earth in general.

It's funny how a lot of the boxes we've put around ourselves can end up exploding - once upon a time I couldn't face the idea of eating raw fish. Then a trusted colleague went fishing before work and brought in sashimi. I gave myself a push, and then found I really enjoyed the sashimi... 🙂

Right now, I have a bit of trouble with the concept of eating Witchetty grubs...


...but if you placed me in an Indigenous community for a week and I developed relationships with the people, I'm pretty sure I'd do it...

After all, we all eat honey! 🤪
 

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Discussion Starter · #420 ·
Thanks again to everyone for the kind wishes. This forum is so healing for me. When I was going through the situation with Amore yesterday, it was comforting to realize that afterward I would be able to talk about it and explain the details of what we went through with understanding people. It's very therapeutic for grieving, for me personally. Family and friends are usually sympathetic, but they don't really want to hear the story of how the vet came and what was done, but it can be part of processing what happened for me.

@SueC, I read the Red Pony when I was quite young too, and now I think it was a mistake to have that book in the children's section at the library. It was too adult for me at the time, and rather traumatizing. Steinbeck was a realist and his books are full of the harsh truth. But I was a sheltered child, and I believe although everyone needs to know the realities of life, children should be allowed a time where they believe life is mostly beautiful and good. My mom was a Swedish stoic and read us books like Old Yeller, The Fawn, and Where the Red Fern Grows. She thought they were good stories, but for me they were too difficult to process until I was older. They gave me terrible nightmares. I don't think it was such a bad thing in the long run, but still I remember most of my childhood as a carefree time, and I believe that helped me develop more resilience for adulthood much more than hearing about bad things happening to pets.

I agree with your thoughts about death. We do have vultures, coyotes and bears, all of which are good scavangers. Of course I am pleased Amore was buried deep due to the fact she was on Prascend and also given euthanasia drugs, so I wouldn't want any animals exposed to those chemicals.

The horse removal man was extremely kind and compassionate. He's been doing this service for eighteen years as a horse person trying to help others through a tough time. He had a big dump truck with a boom, and was able to put straps around the pasterns and lift the body easily through the air, and lay it gently down in the truck. Back at his acreage, he would put her into a deep hole. We talked about the things he's seen, in particular he says it is terrible to see horses where people have waited far too long. It makes him feel good to see a horse as old as Amore with well trimmed hooves, in healthy condition and obviously cared for until the day she died.

The people who own the stable are some of the nicest I've ever met, and they told me not to pay board next month because they heard how much it cost to have the vet come out and also remove the body.

Also therapeutic today was caring for Hero and Aria. They seem to be doing well with everything, but Aria seemed to forget that I wasn't bringing Amore down to the turnout, so after the horses were turned out she kept returning to the gate and pacing there, waiting for Amore to come.
 
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