Advice needed :-( warning this is long....

Joined
21 January 2011
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I have an 18 year old Mare who has bone Spavin and is on 1 bute per day and has been for 18 months, I retired her last year as she does not hack out in traffic and won't load and travel anymore, she has always been stressy in the horsebox but the refusal to load started about 3 years ago (the vet thinks that could have been the start of the arthritic changes) so decided to turn her away to enjoy just being a horse, I went everyday to give her a feed with bute and realised that she wasn't settling and started to lose a lot of weight so moved her back to the yard with my youngster and vet checked her re weightloss and put it down to stress as nothing in her blood results etc that could be a medical reason. Vet suggested bringing her back into light work after we got her back upto weight as she said a change in their routine etc can affect them and once they stop working they can go downhill however her bone Spavin is in both back legs and she is quite lame so persevered but knowing she was in pain I stopped riding her in October last year. My financial situation has now changed and I can not afford to keep then both stabled so I am viewing a retirement home about half an hour away from me to look at trying to turn her away again (vet said that 24 hour turnout is best to help keep her mobile) however I am worried that she doesn't settle again and it will be difficult to get her there as she will need sedating to travel and will only be able to visit her on weekends due to working full time and looking after my other horse.My parents think think that I should consider the option of keeping her at the yard we are at over the summer and then pts before the winter and then the stress of moving her and trying to get her to settle etc will be unnecessary. I mentioned it to the vet and she said that it is an option as she is a difficult horse to handle. I do not want to sell her or put her out on loan, I have had her 13 years and she hadn't had a very nice life prior and I feel I owe it to her to keep her safe and free from fear or suffering. This is a difficult decision and any advice/similar experiences would be greatly appreciated :)
 

L&M

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Can the yard you are on now offer 24/7 turnout over the summer mnths? If this was so I would consider keeping her at pasture at the current yard over the better weather but keeping a close eye on her pain levels, then pts come autumn. However if she would still have to be stabled, even part of the time, if I was in your shoes I would be considering pts now.

I don't think it would be fair to move her regardless.

A horrible decision and thoughts with you.
 
Joined
21 January 2011
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Thanks for the reply, yes they can live out 24 hours in the summer and will be due to start living out around may time. I think that my parents are right and my head agrees with them but my heart doesn't :-( I just can't imagine going through with it when the day comes but I suppose it's something we all have to do when we take on the commitment of buying them. I just never thought I'd faced with the decision when she is only 18 years old.
 

unbalanced

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Hi
I just went through this with my beautiful mare. Is she sound when turned out? I think the bottom line is that if she's lame, she's in pain, and that's what helped me to make the decision. Keeping mine in work helped her to be less stiff but once she was too lame to exercise I knew we were only going to go downhill from there.
I said goodbye a month ago tomorrow which was the worst thing I have ever done, but at least she doesn't have to suffer a long slow degeneration and went still looking good. My great fear was her being afraid to lie down or unable to get back up.
Whenever you say goodbye, whether now, the autumn or later, it will be utterly horrible and heartbreaking for you, but all your mare will know is she gets spoilt with lots of treats. It's a great gift you give to an animal you love.
I don't know you or your horse so I can't possibly tell you when is right. The only thing that did help me was that an old friend kept asking me 'are you doing this for you or for her?'
Hugs whatever you decide xxxx
 
Joined
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Sorry to hear about your mare :-( yeah she is sound in the field and loves putting the younger ones in their place, but she just isn't sound enough to be ridden other than just wandering around the land at my yard in walk. I think I know the decision I need to make and the vet said she's happy that one bute a day keeps her comfortable so I'm going to make the most of the summer with her and take plenty of photos and videos of her and then go from there xx
 

paulineh

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Is she Bare Foot if not maybe worth looking at that. Have you tried Turmeric as an anti inflammatory .

Look at Turmeric Users Group on FB . There is a lot of good happy results.
 

Pearlsasinger

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I agree with your parents. She doesn't travel well, she didn't settle last time she changed yards. Why would you even consider moving her again?
 
Joined
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She just has front shoes on as she has flat feet and they are terrible if she loses a shoe she acts like she's lost a leg lol, my farrier doesn't think she will manage without her fronts on either but will definately give the turmeric a go, I'll go on their Facebook page now. I agree with my parents too but it's just hard going through with it I just feel ike I should look into the option of the retirement home as the grazing sounds like it will be better than where she went last time and there is a possibility that she would be able to go with my friends horse as she is retiring her mare and they are friends so I hoped that if that was the case she may settle better, I just can't face making the decision until I've looked at every option available and I thought that other people on here may have had similar situations and may me able to suggest something that me or my vet haven't thought of.
 

Adopter

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I agree with your parents. She doesn't travel well, she didn't settle last time she changed yards. Why would you even consider moving her again?
I agree with this as well. Enjoy your summer with her and then give her the hardest gift of love, that is to be free of pain, and let her go before she gets worse in the autumn.
 

unbalanced

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The thing is there are lots of options, which makes it harder and more rubbish. Ten minutes before I made the decision I was debating cartofen injections with the vet and wondering if she would be better when the mud cleared up. In the end though, I knew I would only be doing those things so I could tick them off and say to myself that I'd tried them, without any hope of an actual cure.
You know your horse and I don't so please don't think I am judging because I know exactly how rubbish this feels. You just have to decide what you are hoping for, who it's for and be really honest with yourself. Xxxxxx
 

Auslander

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It's a rotten decision to have to make, but I'm afraid I'm with the PTS brigade. I'd also probably look at doing it sooner, rather than later. Although we as humans like summer, it's not so great for horses. Flies, heat, dead grass, hard ground etc etc. If I am at a stage with any of mine where PTS on soundness/quality of life grounds is on the cards - I would give them a lovely few weeks on dryish ground with a bit of spring grass, then let them go before it gets too hot and dry.
 

flirtygerty

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It's a rotten decision to have to make, but I'm afraid I'm with the PTS brigade. I'd also probably look at doing it sooner, rather than later. Although we as humans like summer, it's not so great for horses. Flies, heat, dead grass, hard ground etc etc. If I am at a stage with any of mine where PTS on soundness/quality of life grounds is on the cards - I would give them a lovely few weeks on dryish ground with a bit of spring grass, then let them go before it gets too hot and dry.
I had this last summer with my 20yr old mare, she really struggled with the hard ground (arthritis) and it was painful to watch her struggle on the slope to the barn, so the decision was made to give her treats and fuss then let her go, cue putting all of them on a BF diet, gave micronised linseed daily in a token feed and in a very short time, my mare got a new lease of life, she is now back in light work and loving it, back to BF diet and perfectly sound, it's almost as if she knew what was planned, she now also has tumeric in her feed, as I have had great success myself with it, now being comfortable with my arthritis, so I can ride without pain again.
Either get your horse comfy where she knows or PTS, please don't put her through another stressful move, solutions are out there, I've been in agony with arthritis for the last five years, now thanks to tumeric, I have working hands again and few aches and pains. Good luck in what you decide
 
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