Would you put her through it?

Honey08

Waffled a lot!
Joined
7 June 2010
Messages
18,109
Location
north west
Horse got a nail in the frog, been at hospital two days, initially good, but now looking like may be infected and require operation.

Horse is my horse of a lifetime, done everything for me, but is 20 and recently been diagnosed with Cushing and arthritis. She's already on medication for both, generally doing ok. But is it fair to put her through box rest etc if her future is possibly restricted grazing etc. On the plus side I think she will be ok mentally on boxrest and we have a large hard standing turnout around her stable so I could manage it.

My heart is saying operate, my head is saying is it for me or her? What would you do?
 

ihatework

Well-Known Member
Joined
7 September 2004
Messages
19,063
Boarderline for me.
If the horse was retired and the cost of the op was to stretch me financially then I would PTS.
If the horse was happily ridden with a good prognosis to return to that, and if I could afford it, I’d be tempted to operate.

These grey area ones are tricky. Whatever you do, you’ll do it for the right reasons so be kind on yourself
 

Fiona

Well-Known Member
Joined
14 July 2001
Messages
10,150
Location
N. Ireland
Boarderline for me.
If the horse was retired and the cost of the op was to stretch me financially then I would PTS.
If the horse was happily ridden with a good prognosis to return to that, and if I could afford it, I’d be tempted to operate.

These grey area ones are tricky. Whatever you do, you’ll do it for the right reasons so be kind on yourself
I tend to agree with IHW.....

We have a 20yo ID who recently had an episode of colic (thankfully no surgery needed this time) so that has definitely made me think of what surgical procedures I would put an elderly horse (even an otherwise healthy one) through....

Good luck with your decision...

Fiona
 

Asha

Well-Known Member
Joined
25 February 2012
Messages
4,669
Location
Cheshire
Tough one, she sounds like my ole girl. I know when shes on restricted grazing she is very unhappy, and ends up with colic. So a life on restricted grazing wouldn't be any life for her. Does your girl cope ok on restricted ?
 

Pearlsasinger

Well-Known Member
Joined
20 February 2009
Messages
37,044
Location
W. Yorks
It's really difficult isn't it?


I must admit that one reason that we don't insure is so that the decision never to have a GA has been made in the cold light of day, rather than as an emergency is happening with the vet saying "We could....."

Knowing that your horses are at home, I am assuming that you will be able to accommodate box-rest/tiny paddock/hard-standing rest etc, with/without a companion. Will the arthritis be made worse by box-rest, or will you be able to manage that too? If your horse is on Prascend, she shouldn't need restricted grazing particularly. The Prascend should control any tendency towards laminitis. Unless of course, your grazing has been fertilised for dairy cattle in the relatively recent past.

I will say though, that my 23 yr old Westphalian mare was only on Prascend for 12 months before the Cushings galloped and she became ataxic. So if box-rest is likely to become prolonged for any reason, I would probably think that my quality of life rule meant that pts was the kindest way forward. The trouble is that you never know what the future holds.

I am so sorry that you are facing this decision. Whatever you decide, I am sure it will be for the horse, not for yourself. Can the vets give you more guidance about outcome?
 
Last edited:

LaurenBay

Well-Known Member
Joined
15 November 2010
Messages
5,433
Location
Essex
If the Horse can go back to work and would be happy on boxrest, I would operate if I had the money.

If the Horse could not work again and only have very limited turnout I think I would PTS.

20 is not that old in these days. I would be more concerned about her arthritis if she isn't able to be ridden or turned out for long amounts of time.
 

Nari

Well-Known Member
Joined
27 September 2005
Messages
2,675
Do you trust your vet and if so what do they think? From what you've put it is a borderline case so I don't think either choice would be wrong. When you say possibly restricted grazing in the future is that because she has bouts of laminitis with her PPID? Or just that you think it might come to that at some point in the future?

If I'm honest I'd probably try if she was mine, simply because I'd feel better having given it a try & maybe failing than not trying & always wondering. But I'd back you whichever decision you made.
 

ester

Not slacking-multitasking
Joined
31 December 2008
Messages
57,060
Location
Cambridge
Tricky, my main concern would be whether her immune system is compromise from the PPID, if that is relatively well controlled though I likely would operate.
 

Honey08

Waffled a lot!
Joined
7 June 2010
Messages
18,109
Location
north west
She is on prascend but not been retested yet. Again she's only had one course of cartrophen so I don't know really how bad the arthritis is. She has still had stiffness this winter but it's been particularly cold and almost constant driving rain or snow. So
Not a good test winter. We don't insure either, we have a fund. I don't even care if she can be ridden, just want her to have a future of being a horse..

I'm still waiting to hear from the vet - they've just doing tests. I'm sitting in a cafe on a mini break looking stupid with red eyes!
 

JillA

Well-Known Member
Joined
1 May 2007
Messages
8,163
Location
Shropshire
Would depend on the prognosis for me - if the vets said she would make a full recovery in a matter of weeks, I would operate. 20 isn't that old and presumably the Cushings is well managed with Prascend? And box rest is doable for her - my horse actually enjoys it, they don't all get stressed out by it.
If the vets say she is unlikely to ever be sound again, that would be different.
 

Honey08

Waffled a lot!
Joined
7 June 2010
Messages
18,109
Location
north west
Do you trust your vet and if so what do they think? From what you've put it is a borderline case so I don't think either choice would be wrong. When you say possibly restricted grazing in the future is that because she has bouts of laminitis with her PPID? Or just that you think it might come to that at some point in the future?

If I'm honest I'd probably try if she was mine, simply because I'd feel better having given it a try & maybe failing than not trying & always wondering. But I'd back you whichever decision you made.
No laminitis so far, Cushing levels weren't ridiculous either, I'm just thinking of the future.

I am veering towards trying. Just trying to get my head round whether I'm right.
 

SpringArising

Well-Known Member
Joined
3 May 2014
Messages
5,255
If I could afford the op, she would have a good quality of life afterwards and the prognosis was good I would.

If the op was going to leave me struggling financially, and things were going to be 50/50 after, I would PTS.
 

WandaMare

Well-Known Member
Joined
3 August 2009
Messages
3,557
If the prognosis is good, and she's a good patient and can cope with a period of confinement, then for me it would definitely be a yes.
 

meleeka

Well-Known Member
Joined
14 September 2001
Messages
6,862
Location
Hants, England
I think for me it would depend on the prognosis. If she’s going to recover fully and can manage boxrest and you can afford it why not? I’d try It were my Cushings pony because if I didn’t I know I’d always wonder, what if?
 

soloequestrian

Well-Known Member
Joined
14 January 2009
Messages
2,660
I wouldn't. I did put my 21 year old through an operation for septic pedal osteitis which presumably is what your one has. She had been healthy all her life so it seemed reasonable to do. She got laminitis as a result of the anaesthetic (I think) and although she had one good year once she had recovered from the operation, she then went down hill quickly with various conditions including return of the laminitis and I eventually had her PTS. With hindsight I would have PTS before the operation.
 

PapaverFollis

Well-Known Member
Joined
13 November 2012
Messages
8,361
If it was my 22 year old arthritic girl I wouldn't. Because I know she would stress herself silly on box rest. She coped with 24/7 stabling when all the other horses are in but if everyone is going out she wants out too so box rest would be horrid for her. Plus I'd have to be pragmatic about cost viewed against possible future life expectancy and quality of life. Part of me would want to go ahead and give her every chance but the vet would have to be very convincing that a good outcome was likely and the cost would have to not be prohibitive. It is ok, when making such decisions, for financial and practical factors to be considered.

I don't think you can make a wrong decision here, either would be fine and justifiable.
 

Honey08

Waffled a lot!
Joined
7 June 2010
Messages
18,109
Location
north west
Just spoke to the vet and they think she'd have a good prognosis so we're going to give it a go. If they think it doesn't look so good while she's under they will ring back. Cross your fingers for her.
 

Apercrumbie

Well-Known Member
Joined
3 November 2008
Messages
4,695
Location
South-West
Fingers crossed! Given what you've said I would also have been tempted to have a go, and I'm cautious when it comes to GA with older horses. Hope everything goes well today and for the next few weeks.
 

Honey08

Waffled a lot!
Joined
7 June 2010
Messages
18,109
Location
north west
Thanks all. I will let you know. I spoke to my own vet as well as the operating vet and he said definitely give it a go, so that's three vets said it now.
 

Honey08

Waffled a lot!
Joined
7 June 2010
Messages
18,109
Location
north west
She's back on her feet. They didn't find any infection but removed a tiny tiny bit of bone and tendon that the nail had touched. Her levels, that previously averaged at 9 are now back to 0.5. They're optimistic at the moment.

Thank you all for your support, I was a wobbly mess.
 

Pearlsasinger

Well-Known Member
Joined
20 February 2009
Messages
37,044
Location
W. Yorks
She's back on her feet. They didn't find any infection but removed a tiny tiny bit of bone and tendon that the nail had touched. Her levels, that previously averaged at 9 are now back to 0.5. They're optimistic at the moment.

Thank you all for your support, I was a wobbly mess.

That is good news!
 

ester

Not slacking-multitasking
Joined
31 December 2008
Messages
57,060
Location
Cambridge
Aww fingers crossed for the pair of you :). I'm glad you got a fairly solid recommendation from the vets at least and I hope she goes from strength to strength.
 
Top