Thursday, July 15, 2010


How do you know when its time to put a lame horse down. Statement not a question, or both.
I am watching Mickey slowly deteriorate, she is uncomfortable, constantly shifting her weight side to side on her front legs. I trimmed her feet the other day, and every time I go out I swear she has a new lump or bump from her knees and or hocks down. She is deteriorating from arthritis I believe. Its time to get the Vet out and do an evaluation. I dont want to put a lot of expensive drugs into her, she is my $300 wonder horse. Who has taught me a lot over the last 19 years. I dont want her to suffer. I walked out tonight and she was stretched out standing in pain, it makes me so sad. I was going to catch her this morning and bring her into her stall, but she wouldnt have anything to do with it, didnt want to be caught. I could have caught her if I had persisted, but I didnt. She is 21 years old this year, we brought her home on the 4th of July, 19 years ago. Just need to find the strength to make that call to the vet....
She has been a good little mare and I owe her that much.


  1. So sorry to read that she is going down hill.It is a tough call , but one that I am sure you are strong enough to make if need be.Hugs

  2. Maybe the vet will surprise you and tell you that it is totally treatable. Twenty one isn't that old for a horse -- there are quite a few horses in their 20s at my barn that are still ridden regularly. I guess I'm just saying not to assume you know the answer before you call the vet -- it might not be as bad as you think. ;o)

  3. Thanks Fv, I know you have been there.

    Thanks for the positive attitude Katharine, but this has been coming, she has a joint problem, and in this old of a horse, I am afraid it isnt fixable. There isnt a magic pill for this one.

    My heart is heavy, she is such a kind mare. But like I said, I do not want her to suffer.

  4. I am so sorry you are going through this. It must be so hard to watch a horse that you dearly love and have had for so long, hurting like that.
    My thoughts will be with you!

  5. Thanks PG, it is really hard, knowing there isnt much that can be done to make her more comfortable, except pump her full of drugs. I dont believe they understand that, and it isnt fair to them. But oh so hard for us.

  6. I`m so sorry, I know how hard it is because some years ago I had to do the same decition myself. That horse was my best friend and I still miss her, but I did what I decided was best for her...
    Only you know your horse best - and you will know when the time is there....

  7. If you put her on some Aspirease, it may reduce the pain somewhat - I use it for several of our older horses and it seems to help them a lot, and because it's buffered, no stomach upset. Perhaps the vet will have ideas on how to make her comfortable.

  8. Oh no, I'm so sorry. I guess in situations like this, words don't offer much comfort, but just the same, I truly wish you the best in this awful, difficult decision. It sounds like she's had a wonderful home and life with you the past 19 years.

  9. You'll find the strength, and allow her to keep her dignity. You've given her as much and more, as she has given you over the years. I wish ALL horses could belong to folks like you RDA. She's a grand old girl. Please give her a rub from me, too. I've got a mega soft spot for seasoned citizens.

    Hugs to you all there. I know it isn't easy by any means.

  10. i'm so sorry you are going thru this. i see it ahead of me too, as my horse also has arthritis.

    how do you know when they are in pain? i mean, i don't think he's in pain - he compensates, but still trots/canters in his field when he's happy. but i worry - will i know if he is hurting?

    what signals does your horse give you?


  11. Kate, thanks for the suggestion, I have done the research on pain relief for horses, asirease isnt really that affective. Reason being, horses do not metabolise asirin very well, only maybe up to 30% of it, it just does not work very well with their physiology.I worked in and sold animal health products for 8 years, talked to reps and did my own research. I really dont want to put her on a bute regimen, its so hard on the stomach.

    Thank you JJ.

    Thank you to Mrs Mom, its so hard to decide when the time is here, for these wonderful animals that have been with us so long. She hasnt been able to be ridden for a couple years, I noticed this morning a good hard swelling on the outside of her right front tendon, Emma is pretty hard on her, dont know if she was kicked or bowed it a little. It is sore.

    Lytha, yeah it is hard sometimes to tell how they are feeling, they cant talk to us with words.
    To answer your question, she is always shifting the weight on her front end back and forth and lifting the leg up to rest it, constantly. Horses as a rule dont normally "rest" their front legs, like they do the back. Also she has many lumps and bumps where the fluid is leaking out of the joints, in her knees, front back and side, she has little round fluid pockets, that are soft when you push on them. Her hocks she has bog spavins and fluid leak bumps there too, she hasnt been lame on the hind, yet.

    Sigh, she really is a mess, but she is fat and happy, just sore, I worry that I will go out there some morning and she wont be able to get up.

    I may no do it right away, most likely before winter. And when I can get the courage to say goodbye.

    Thank you everyone.

  12. I am so sorry to hear about your girl.
    It's hard when I see my young horse lame and wonder if there was something more I could do, and yet for her it is sometimes a gamble.

    Big hugs for you and your pony

  13. uuughhhhh - a very difficult decision. I've seen other people make it, but I haven't had to make it myself yet. hugs to you.
    - The Equestrian Vagabond

  14. Tough decision. The vet will help, and then just listen to your gut and heart. You'll know what to do and when the time is right. She's lucky to have such a great home with you.



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