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I think I will have to have my beautiful chestnut mare "put to sleep". Am so sad...

(7 Posts)
broguemum Sat 23-Aug-08 17:04:53

I have a 24 year old chestnut mare. She is lovely but I think that the time has come when I have to have her put to sleep.

She has navicular in both front hooves and has had for at least the past six years but we've managed to get through it with a super vet and black smith. Last spring however she injured her stifle joint and damaged the ligaments. She's had all sorts of treatments and has been off work for over a year. I just started trying to bring her back but she is still really really lame and I think her days as a riding horse are over.

I don't think I should turn her away to a field to be part of a herd as her stifle joint is too unstable due to the ligament damage. So, what do I do? I've never had to have any animal destroyed but I think that one of the main responsibilities of owners is to make the right decision when the time comes. Easy for me to say but I've been delaying taking this decision for four weeks now. So has the time come for my lovely mare?

piratecat Sat 23-Aug-08 17:12:47

oh i am so sorry.

We had horse when i was akid. My mum had to have our lovely 32 yr old gelding put down. It was very upsetting for her, but it was really the kindest thing.

I have had to have pets put down too, and it's the pain we have to bear for having been good owners i am afriad.

take care.

falcon Sat 23-Aug-08 17:14:02

I'd speak to your vet again and ask what he suggests.

If she isn't suffering, I'd turn her loose, perhaps just with one horse, or even a goat, she will need company, but if pain is an issue then euthanasia may be the kindest thing.

broguemum Sat 23-Aug-08 20:22:37

Thanks for your responses - much appreciated.

Surely if a horse is pig lame then they must be in pain? She is totally lame in trot, she sort of bunny hops if she canters and looks v. uneven in walk. She's got to be in pain hasn't she?

You're right, I need to speak to my vet but he has moved miles away now and I don't know if I can get him to come this far. I don't want to call in another vet as I don't want to go through another load of x-rays and nerve blocks etc etc to tell me what I already know.

I really don't want to do this but I suppose if you have an animal you have to do this at some point. Poor old girl. She is such a lovely mare.

Pixel Sat 23-Aug-08 21:18:25

Broguemum, what a shame sad. You are right though, it comes to us all if we are responsible and loving owners. I've had to do it and it was a day I dreaded for a long time but it is a comfort to know that You did your best for your horse right up until the end. You know your horse best after all these years and if you feel it is time, then it probably is.
Just a thought though. If you did feel the need for another opinion it might not be necessary to start from scratch with another vet. Would it be possible for your old vet to pass on all your horse's old notes and test results to another vet, to give him some history?

broguemum Mon 25-Aug-08 11:37:59

Pixel, thanks for your post. Unfortunately my vet has left this area partly since he had a bit of a bust up with the most powerful horsey practitioners here so I don't think that him briefing the other vet is going to happen He has actually moved back to Austria (!) so I have nearly no chance of him coming back to have a look at the old girl.

The thing is even though my girl is pig lame she is still herself. She doesn't seem to be overly tetchy or grumpy which are her signs of pain. I think I will get in another vet just to speak to them and for them to do an assessment of her lameness to see if it is as bad as I think it is.

Poor old girl. I'd love to put her in field with a companion horse / goat but I just don't have the land and can't afford the ruinous rates for grass liveries here long term. <<sighs>>

IAteDavinaForDinner Mon 25-Aug-08 22:56:23

Unless your previous vet's practice has closed there will still be records of the treatment somewhere which should be made available to any other vets who deal with your horse. Vets are obliged to share details of cases they see for one another in order to avoid inappropriate combinations of treatment or drugs etc. HTH

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