Horse is down and can't get back up?!?!!!!!

Discussion in 'Horse Health' started by WesternRider22, Jul 6, 2018.

  1. palogal

    palogal Senior Member

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    I agree it sounds fishy. I wouldn’t be on a horse forum if my horse was colicking either so... everybody’s different. Any vet will come to a colic too so maybe it was not communicated correctly. Or this is a troll.
     
  2. ginster

    ginster Senior Member

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    I really hope this story is made up. I really, really hope so.i
    Because the reality, that anyone would leave a horse lying around for 24 hours or more, especially an older, maybe colicky horse, is almost (sadly only almost) too cruel to believe....
     
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  3. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    I have a feeling the majority of vets are not as incompetent as represented online. I'm sure there are bad apples here and there.

    I'm also sure that many equine vets in the US are overwhelmed. The figure I've often seen is that 75% of equine and large animal vets are in 'private' practices. I take that to mean single-person practices.

    This is a good article to read for general info: Spotlight on Large Animal Veterinarians

    This article talks about large animal vets being in short supply: https://www.agweb.com/article/large-animal-vets-in-short-supply-naa-associated-press/

    That article says 21% of the US's vets are in equine-only(6%), large animal(7%), or mixed (equine and large animal - 8%) practice. There is a tendency for new grads to go to small animal practice because they pay better. This is more pressing today because students can owe $140,000 or much more(some up to $400,000) when they finish vet school. And in most cases they don't get a bunch of years to pay it back.

    This article talks about vets overall, and says that there are too many vets for too few jobs(talking all vets here): Too Many Veterinarians, or a Bubble Market? It says that vets have a similar education debt to physicians, but their starting salary is close to a third of a physician's.

    This article says the shortage is in large animal vets specifically. Veterinarians for large animals in short supply

    One point is that non-horse large animal owners now often do for themselves or call a neighbor, rather than call the vet. So if you survey how often these owners call the vet out, you don't get a really accurate picture of need for large animal vets.

    My feeling is that when mixed practice, one-person practice vets in very rural farming areas are stretched really thin in our rural areas, and are largely non-horse large animal vets, they're dealing with a very bad situation.

    They often have pet horse owners who can't afford care (like our OP, needing to know if she can afford a $350 euthanasia - these customers are unlikely to opt for surgery or medication for their animals. They don't want to pay a lot. In fact, I've known vets who ordered medication for customers who then refused to pay for it. The vet has to absorb the cost. The vet also has to absorb the cost of driving and his time, when he gets there, diagnoses the animal, and no treatment is given.

    (What they often don't understand is that their state laws may specify that they have a legal 'duty to treat' their animals, by law, in that state. In fact my guess is that the OP's situation is a 'duty to treat' situation).

    So what does this mean? It means that the problem of single practice large animal vets isn't going to suddenly get better.

    Before you blame a vet for the animal's condition, keep in mind this sort of case(trial by internet): The squeeze: What happens when owners can’t pay for veterinary care?

    And remember that vets have a suicide rate four times the rate for the general population. There is a pretty good reason for that.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2018
  4. doublelranch

    doublelranch Senior Member

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    Considering the original post was actually a question regarding cost of treatment, I would believe there may have been an outstanding balance owed to the vet who was in no hurry to rush anywhere. Or a fear that treatment wouldn't be affordable for as drastic as the symptoms were. Is the OP a minor depending on parents' funds for treatment? We can flame or accuse all we want, but it won't change anything after the fact. I'm just glad the horse has passed even though it wasn't peacefully.
     
  5. WildLittleWren

    WildLittleWren Full Member

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    If this is really true, then shame on you for allowing a horse to be down for 24 hours without getting another vet out, if yours truly refused to come out.

    This is another good reminder, if you are going to own horses, they are large animals, they are expensive to care for, and emergencies happen, which can be costly. You MUST have an emergency fund to cover at least basic emergencies, euthanasia, etc. If you have 3 horses and are finding it hard to pay for emergency services, perhaps think of cutting your herd a little and placing some in good homes.

    If this is true, I feel absolutely horrible for this horse. As a prey animal, the most frightening situation is to be unable to get up.
     
  6. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    I know how horse crazy I was as a teen, but I was also terrified of getting a horse and having my parents say, 'No, we are not going to pay for the horse's emergency vet care today because you got a 'B' in math last term'(what I call 'pop up justice' - stuff you're never told before you get the pet, but you find out later) or 'We never agreed to pay for that high a vet bill, you have to have the horse put to sleep.' And my parents had plenty of money to pay for such things. They just wouldn't. Other parents don't even have the money. Very often, teens should be advised, don't get a horse. Take lessons at a barn or catch ride other peoples' horses. Don't take the risk that a horse will die unnecessarily because your parents refuse to pay a vet bill.
     
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  7. doublelranch

    doublelranch Senior Member

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    ^^^.....or they didn't want to pay the emergency fee for after hours so waited until the next day when it was too late to do any good.

    ETA A lot of people surprisingly have the attitude that if a horse is old then it's just its time. Like my neighbors that didn't realize their horse was laying dead out in its pasture for 4 days. The poor thing had diarrhea for 2 weeks prior. I could see its hind legs caked from the road. Even when I called County, their excuse was the 'horse was old'.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2018
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  8. StraightandTrue

    StraightandTrue Senior Member

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    This thread right here is the reason why people should have their older horses PTS as soon as they start struggling to do the basics. If it's over 22yrs old and having difficulty moving around, laying down/getting up, maintaining weight etc for goodness sakes just have the horse PTS rather than wait for it to deteriorate to this point. It's better to do it a month too soon than an hour too late.

    I've unfortunately been there on two separate occasions where an older horse went down and was unable to get back up. It is incredibly distressing for all involved - especially the horse! One had a tumour pressing on its spinal cord which had been interfering with its movement for months beforehand. The other was in its thirties and had been struggling to maintain weight for years. Both were extremely loved and well cared for by their owners, but it was obvious they were on their way out. Their bad days were equal with their good days and the call should've been made weeks earlier.

    Both horses went down and couldn't get up. Both ended up thrashing around and falling repeatedly while attempting to get up. Both were unable to be euthed for over an hour for various reasons. All I could do was put shavings and blankets around the horses and try to keep them calm while their owners sobbed hysterically.

    It's not worth keeping a horse alive for another month or so if it means it will end up suffering horribly at the end. It's traumatic enough saying goodbye to a beloved horse, let alone having to deal with the guilt of knowing they died frightened and in pain because you didn't act sooner. If it's obvious a horse is on it's way out you owe it to them to make sure they exit peacefully and with as little suffering as possible.
     
  9. foxtrot

    foxtrot Senior Member

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    This thread is so messed up. The only POSSIBLE thing I can think of is if the situation wasn't represented clearly on the phone, like:
    "My horse is laying down and doesn't want to get up."
    "Is he eating/drinking?"
    "Yes"
    "He's probably feeling colicky, if he's still laying down tomorrow I'll come out."

    Because, there's a big difference between a horse laying down and being lethargic and a horse that is down and can't get up. And I can totally see a busy vet blowing off the former, even though I'd fire a vet for that.

    Otherwise the only other likely explanation is an outstanding bill. So sad...

    I relate to this so much... as a teen, my parents didn't believe in wasting money on stuff like routine vet/farrier. If I wanted the horses to get "needless" services like that it meant I gave up any allowance or other hobbies for the month. You might say that's fair but... they were my parents' horses as much as mine, and they could afford it, it was just an unreasonable request to them, so I got penalized. They'd also threaten to have my cats taken to the humane society if I did bad in school. Baggage ahoy!
     
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  10. slc

    slc Senior Member

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    I got my own horse and paid for it with money I earned at a part tme job. Back in those days vet care was much cheaper, but also much more limited. Board was much cheaper than it is now.



     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018

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