Sending hugs. How sad for you, but please don't feel guilty; you were able to bring him in and make him comfortable because of your late check and search for him. You acted entirely appropriately in the circumstances and have been spared the difficult decision faced by many. Your description of events seems to suggest a heart or neurological condition may have been the cause and could not have been predicted. He was a lovely lad, and was so lucky to spend a short but much loved retirement with you, RIP special boy x
Only just caught up on this thread.
So sorry for your loss. At least you found him and got him into his stable, warm and cosy, munching on his hay-net. A lovely way to go. I know plenty of people who don't do late night checks, your boy was lucky you do, otherwise the alternative ending would have been more traumatising for you I'm sure. I'm another who prob wouldn't have called the vet, please don't torture yourself with the 'what if's', don't blame yourself.
Try and think of the happy times, your last day togeather sounded so lovely. Maybe you could get some of your pics blown up and framed, he was a very handsome boy.
Oh my god you poor thing. My mare was PTS on Friday so I understand a little of your loss, though her death was planned so I was somewhat prepared. Take comfort that he went peacefully at home and knowing he was loved. Sending you so many hugs and good wishes xx
So sorry to read of your loss. Reading your first post, I was thinking, hmm, maybe I'd have called the vet, would never have posted it though. Then I read your later post where you said he'd just seemed tired. So no, I quite probably wouldn't have phoned the vet, and if I had, I'm pretty sure they would have just told me to keep an eye on him, and phone back in the morning if still worried. It sounds like he went very peacefully, and knew he was loved. If he'd been one of mine, they are last checked at about 6 in the evening, and I am not back again until 4am the following morning.
Hindsight is such a wonderful thing. We lost our beloved cat a couple of weeks ago. He was hospitalised at the vets for 4 days, before we made the decision to have him PTS. I can't help thinking, should we have spotted he was ill sooner, could we have let the vets open him up to see what was wrong, even though the vet told us he wasn't strong enough for the anaesthetic. All we can all do is our best. Please don't feel guilty about anything.
We get Salem's ashes on Tuesday. I was thinking about getting something made from them, but at £3000, we will scatter them over the forest behind our house where he used to hunt and sleep during the day.
How sad, but I echo the posters who have said that he died in a nice warm stable, well fed and loved.
I have a mare at my yard who was diagnosed with a heart condition a few years ago, which has recently degenerated, and the vet warned me that she could well drop dead imminently. She's happy and sprightly at the moment, so we're happy to let her be, but she will be PTS when the time is right, and certainly before next winter, if she makes it that far. I sort of hope that I do find her dead in the stable or field one morning - she'll have gone with her beloved Alf near her, and her last months will have been spent in a lovely place where she's very happy. I think your boy had a similar happy ending - and you can take comfort in that
So sorry to hear this xxxxx The only sure thing about horses is that one day they will break your heart.
FWIW (and I'm not a vet) it does sound like his heart packed up. To be honest, if you'd rung the vet at gone midnight and said 'he's been down in the field, he was a bit out of sorts but we've brought him in and he's perked up now, eating, drinking and pooing fine', I can pretty much guarantee that the vet would have said to see how he was in the morning, and they wouldn't have thought it warranted a 2am emergency appointment. If you want to put your mind at rest, have a chat with your vet anyway.
Thanks everyone I spoke to my vet and the vet agrees that it is likely a heart attack. The first time I hacked him out he didn't cope well with hills (we are seriously hilly) - we went out for an hour hack in walk only and I had to get off for the last 15 minutes because he was breathing heavily.. At the time I just thought that it was because he was used to flat hacking and just a bit of schooling and had had 4 weeks off. The vet thinks that could have been an indication that there was something going on...
I am taking comfort from the fact that he died after a really good day having had sun on his coat, a play outside with his friends, and a minty treat before bed in a warm stable... We gave him lots of love before we left him for the night and he nuzzled us back so he knew he was loved.
When the chap came to take him away I helped manoever him in the stable to remove his rugs and took some tail and gave him a last hug. His breath still smelled of mint. Polos now will always remind me of Nicky Lord. RIP and run free mr superstar!
His old owner told me a story about him how he used to jump out of his field and take himself to the pub on their Friday pub lunch! He was such a character....
We lost a very young mare to heart failure 4 months ago and we are still haunted that she died out in her field, I turned up to ride and she was dead, my mare standing with her.
It was a horrible shock that still reduces me to tears, she was 4. Post Mortem showed an enlarged heart which led to failure, the what ifs still come back, she was fine at last check 8 pm the night before , I called my sister to ask if I needed to go and check them and she said no, all done, I never normally ask I just go, now what if I had, would she gave shown signs of distress, would I have called a vet, what ifs are a waste of our emotions. She died in her beloved paddock with her best friend, no sign of any struggle she just went to sleep, as yours did, let's take comfort from that, Hugs xxx