Should I have fought for my horse?
My horse El Cid was over 30 yrs old and just started having problems. First it started with him not losing his coat after winter, and then he started having breathing problems. Then he started losing weight and getting infections in his feet. I did everything I felt I could do for him, but he wasn't improving. I had to put him down at the vets and I just keep wondering if I did the right thing. Should I have fought for him harder. Maybe I didn't do enough for him. I miss him so much and I just don't know if I did the right thing. I just feel so guilty, like maybe there was more I should have tried. How do you know it's the right thing to do? Even though the vet said it was it doesn't feel right now.
- OcimomLv 75 months ago
That is pretty old for a horse, when they get old, lots of medical things go wrong and the horse starts to suffer. You did what you needed to do.
- JohnLv 47 months ago
Now my fine richboy friend learn from this. Was your pony free range?
Did it have a full range to roam on or did it spent thirty years standing in cow manure soil?
My dog doesn't want me to send this you people better watch it!
- purplesometimesLv 47 months ago
El Cid wasn't shedding very likely because he was developing a disease caused by a tiny little tumor on his pituitary gland, called Cushings Disease. It's not uncommon in older horses. It causes weight "redistrubution" where their fat pads move around, and it makes them look different, sort of rectangular. Their hair coat doesn't shed off. They become very difficult to feed and keep happy and healthy. If he was having hoof abscesses, something else was happening. His hoof growth had probably been changing over time, like an older person's fingernails may change. They may not have been as strong, and it might have predisposed him to bruising and other things that can happen internally in the hoof as he moved, that ultimately led to the extremely painful abscesses he was dealing with. Painful feet are a dreadful thing for a horse that was once a healthy, shiny, fast running and perhaps a snorty creature when he was turned out, or who could be trusted to carefully walk a trail and never stumble.
If you had all the money in the world, and 24-hour help and a huge barn with unlimited resources to deal with him at home, how would that have made him happier, and for how long?It would have made you feel better, because to say goodbye to a longtime friend is very hard.
El Cid was going into a decline. He was in pain, in one of the very worst places any horse can experience pain, which is his feet. The lack of shedding was a very bad sign that big changes were coming to his whole body. Ultimately either you would find him deceased of his own accord or you would have to make the call for euthanasia when he'd gotten "really bad," one day. How awful would that be?
You did the brave thing for your friend. You let El Cid go. He left with his dignity intact, and depending upon your personal beliefs, he's in a place far better now than he may have been for a short time had you elected to "fight for him." El Cid lived a long life. Rest well in the knowledge that you gave the old gentleman the best gift a true friend could.
- Anonymous8 months ago
You did nothing wrong. Please don't blame yourself for anything and know it's important to grieve.
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- Anonymous8 months ago
First of all, my condolences on the loss of your beloved horse. Saying goodbye is the hardest part about being a horse owner, and it's something which people who don't own horses usually don't understand very well. They aren't able to grasp that for some of us, a horse is so much more than just an animal- they're our friends, our family, our partners, and our soulmates.
I know you hurt now. But your feelings are normal after a loss like this. You did the right thing by your beloved El Cid. He was suffering and in pain, and rather than let him continue on that way, you gave him a peaceful, painless, dignified end. Cushing's Disease isn't curable, and while you could have theoretically treated the hoof infections, it would have cost you a lot of money and time to do so- and in the end, the outcome wouldn't have been any different.
Something else that may give you some comfort is knowing that El Cid did not have the same awareness of death that you do. No animal does. Human beings are the only species on Earth that are born with the knowledge of their own mortality. El Cid would not have been aware that he was dying slowly- he would only have known that he was hurting. From his perspective, death would have been a relief, because the pain would have been gone.
You're not wrong for feeling guilty or for second guessing yourself. We all do that after a loss like this one. It's part of the grief process. There may be times when you'll actually be mad at El Cid, too- for getting sick, for costing you money that you would probably rather not have spent, and finally for dying and leaving you alone with nothing but your memories. The reason this is the case is because no matter how old we are, or how mature and grown up we THINK we are, NONE of us take rejection well. It makes little difference if you're two, twenty, or two hundred years old- rejection is STILL rejection- and death is the ultimate in rejection because it's also the ultimate abandonment. It's final and can't be reversed, and it also HURTS like Hell. That's what makes people who are grieving a loss mad- they often go through a period where they are mad at everyone and everything, including themselves and the person or animal who died.I think you may be experiencing a little bit of this right now- it's the reason you feel so guilty and are asking questions that start with "If ONLY I'd......" In time, this will pass, as you start to accept the loss, and recognize that there truly was nothing further that you could have done.
I'd wait a while before you consider getting another horse. You need to give yourself time to heal. When you can think of El Cid and remember him without tears, and without feeling guilty, then it will be time to think about a new relationship with another horse. Nothing will ever replace El Cid, however. The relationship you have with a new horse will be different, but it won't take away your memories. Rather, those will be part of who you are, and you'll be able to take the lessons that El Cid taught you during his lifetime and apply them elsewhere.
I read somewhere once that there was a philosopher who said "Grief is the price of Love. To truly love someone, one must be open, always, to the possibility of Grief."
I don't know who said that, but it sure is a powerful statement about who we are as human beings.
- BOBBERLv 78 months ago
If that was a person with all those troubles they would thank you. It is hard when you love like you did,but you were strong and did the right thing.Source(s): Horseman 60+yrs
- JoeLv 78 months ago
Thirty years, old, probably Cushing's Disease, breathing problems on top of that, weight loss, hoof infections... You did the right thing. We can't stop the end; with horses, we can't even slow it down much.
It hurts now. It's supposed to hurt. Accept the pain.Source(s): Been there myself, just a few months ago, also with a 30 year old horse. It still hurts. I miss my buddy. :-(
- PearlLv 78 months ago
i think you did the right thing, theres no point in having your horse suffer
- Anonymous8 months ago
If the Vet advised euthanizing him for his own health, then that was the right decision.
If that was not what the Vet advised, then it was the wrong decision. I've never heard a Vet say "put him down."
- EvaLv 78 months ago
You did the right thing. There comes a point when there is nothing more you can do for them. 30 is quite old for a horse.