Degenerative Joint Disease.. info?

Discussion in 'Horse Health' started by shaiarabs, Jan 7, 2018.

  1. mooselady

    mooselady Senior Member

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    This, let go of all the reasoning, questioning, rationalizing, look into her eyes, and her soul.

    I have only had to make the decision for one horse, and she ‘told’ me clear as a conversation. All through the time we were lifting her several times a day, she was trying, she was fighting. I went out one morning, and she was done with fighting, with trying, she was ready to go.
     
  2. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    Veterinarians can offer a lot of insight as to when the time is right.

    Vets are put in a difficult situation when a horse is ailing and 'the question' is being considered. They have to speak in a totally non-judgmental manner with all their customers, yet each customer probably has a very different point at which they'd consider euthanasia.

    Someone who's 'come on, I'm running a business here, not a charity' might have to put a lesson horse down the moment it couldn't be used for lessons and be bringing in some money.

    Someone like me with their own place, on the other hand, can keep an elderly or disabled horse around for years, giving it lots of TLC, having the vet out when needed, paying for necessary medications to keep the animal comfortable, setting things up around the farm to accommodate its needs.

    But even a someone like me can get laid off, have a human health emergency, a $15,000 septic field failure, or just get to where he can't afford to keep the old horse going.

    So the vet has to 'read' his customer and try desperately to say what that person is comfortable hearing....it's not easy for them. It's a very emotional subject. If it was simply about communicating - 'data', it's be a lot easier. But I still strongly recommend bringing the veterinarian into the decision-making process, just understand that they can't always tell what you want to hear.
     
  3. mooselady

    mooselady Senior Member

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    BUT, they cannot always make the call, as you say so many variables. Being a vet is a high stress occupation, so many take their own lives, it is scary. It's not fair to add pressure on them to make a call, they can for sure say when an animal is beyond help, but they can't factor in all a persons circumstances.

    I don't know, take their advice, just don't ask them to make the call.
     
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  4. Rhythm 'n Blues

    Rhythm 'n Blues Senior Member

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    Most vets will not make the call. That is not their job or purpose. If the owner wants to continue, they will do so.

    I have seen multiple vets out for 1 horse who should have been put down years ago (it was horrific to watch). But each time the owner wasn't ready, and so the vets didn't make the call. It was to the point the BO was ready to have another vet out who was going to report animal cruelty it had gone on for so long & the horse was in such horrific condition & falling down often having seizures (which isn't a thing horses are known for doing).

    For me it's no different than any other animal. If the owner is fine with the horse not serving a purpose & just being a pasture ornament, then one makes the call when the animal no longer wants to fight, is in too much pain or unable to get around properly, or is against (fights) the treatment regime. If there isn't the option for the bet to not serve a purpose and it would not be in it's best interest to be placed with another person (for what ever reason), then again that would be the time when it is best.
     
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  5. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    I didn't say to have them make the call. I said to listen to what they have to say.

    However, there are times when the owner is too emotionally involved to make a decision that is fair to the horse. Maybe no one reading the bb ever would do that but I have seen it happen at barns where I've been.

    I have, in fact, heard not one - but quite a few people - say to a vet, tell me what to do, I'm too churned up to decide. What I usually ask is, 'what would you do if it was your horse', since most equine vets have family/pet horses at home too. They may compete, but their livelihood usually comes mainly not from their horses at home, so they may be in a similar boat to me. I generally want to hear exactly how they feel about it, but I still might not make the same decision they would.

    End of life decisions are very hard on some people. The best a person can do is take all the information they can get and try to make a decision that is in the best interests of the horse.

    Example, an older gal, very lonely, divorced, it seemed her horse was all she had in her life. He got very severe laminitis and was really suffering, but she would not put him down....it went on for some years, actually. She was so emotionally involved with the horse that she was in denial. The barn owner/manager wouldn't say anything to her, in fact no one would say anything to her, she was just in really bad shape and no one wanted to speak up. We talked about it a lot, it bothered a lot of people at the barn....no one said anything, but also, no one thought she'd listen.

    Sometimes the vet really has to say come on dear, this isn't fair to the horse. I've seen that happen a couple times in my life. Sometimes even as friends we have to speak up. I dread having to do that. I think it usually doesn't do much good either. People have to kind of get ready to do things at their own pace....sometimes it's the horse that suffers due to that.....
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2018
  6. mooselady

    mooselady Senior Member

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    Well LOL, when I am paying good money for a vet, I tend to listen to what they say, or I could get my own opinion for nothing...
     
  7. shaiarabs

    shaiarabs Senior Member

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    thanks ladies.. its comforting to get some first hand experience, I'm a before rather than later person, so the moment I think she isn't holding her own, it will happen. Vet or not. Last horse I put down had cancer, I knew, still got my $65 together for the vet and got a diagnosis of what I already knew. Then had a local farmer come in and do the job for me.

    SLC, I know you are being a responsible person by stating get a vet diagnosis etc. But I don't need one. I have 40 years of professional experience with horses (not that I should have to explain it too you) I know what it is, I know that the time will come and I will deal with it. But after speaking here, I think the laminitis that I have been dealing with for the last 5 years will take her before this does. (never seen a vet for the laminitis either :tiphat:)
     
  8. shaiarabs

    shaiarabs Senior Member

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    Well, its not going the way we would have hoped, vet is being called next week to arrange a visit and discuss pain relief, if there is no long term option that will work for her, I will be putting her to sleep as soon as it can be arranged.

    She had already blown out in one hock, the second has gone quicker than I expected and she is in pain. She is moving from one back leg to the other and resting on the ground, way to much for it to be normal. With the pasterns dropping so far for such a long period of time, its take a toll on the joints higher up and I refuse to let her be in any pain for any extended periods of time.
     

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  9. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    I'm out.

     
  10. Faster Horses

    Faster Horses Senior Member

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    Poor dude. I agree, having her euthanized is probably the best plan at this point.
     

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