Tuesday, July 27, 2010


One of my friends has been having some trouble with one of her horses.  This past winter, her horse foundered.  A bit surprised that it foundered she took care of it using her extensive knowledge, with the assistance of her vet and farrier.  A couple of weeks ago the same horse foundered again.  This time the outlook wasn't very bright.  Immediately calling the vet for professional advice she once again took steps to try and bring the horse out of it.

For the past two weeks she's been trying to see if they could stabilize the horse.  With some investigation it was discovered the horse also has a metabolic disorder, causing it to be prone to founder.  With it's coffin bones dropped, and it's high needs this horse will never be rideable again.  It's life, once stable, will consist of sitting in a dirt pen with a highly monitored diet and drugs to help with the disorder.  

My friend has agonized over what is the right thing to do.  She has vehemently said she'll never put an animal down because she doesn't want to be bothered with the care.  Her plan was to give the horse away as a companion horse once it was stable.  But she's been tormented with the thought of what if...  What if the new owner doesn't do everything the horse needs?  What if the horse founders again?  What if they think they can ride the creature?  What if the horse gets sold to the packing plant?  What if??  
We've talked a lot about her options.  We've talked about how sometimes the right thing to do is the hard thing to do.  We've talked about what this horse's quality of life will be like.  What the possibly things that could happen to it down the road.  Finally, with the vet's consultation, the decision has been made to put the horse to sleep.  My heart bleeds for my friend.  No one wants to have to put one of their animals down.  But sometimes doing the right thing for the animal is the hard thing for the human to do.  My thoughts are with her.  Sometimes being responsible just stinks.

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