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beaminewbie

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I am having a very hard time trying to decide if we should put a mare down. We got this mare 2.5 yrs ago, from a breeding farm, I had gone to look at some riding horses with a neighbor, well they were telling me about some of their bloodlines and this mare is bred very well, I looked at her and she was laying down and a rack of bones. Long story short we ended up with her and got weight back on her, she has ringbone and arthritis, and is blind in one eye. We had the vet check her and when she came in heat he said to breed her.

We got exactly what we wanted, a black with chrome filly, the pregancy went great we had no problems at all, now the filly is three months old and mom is losing weight fast. we are going to wean the filly even though we usually don't wean until 5-6 months old, a couple of days ago another mare kicked blue and injured her back leg, she could barely walk. We decided it was time to put her down. Now she is healing and walking fine and I am having a hard time with still putting her down, I am just not sure she is ready yet.

Am I being selfish or should I give her a chance to put the weight back on and see how she does. Oh and she is 23 yrs old. Thanks for any input and suggestions!!!
 

ChrystalPaths

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Ok, I admire you coming to us for advice; be prepared for all sorts. Here's mine.

Give her a chance.

If you "cannot" see yourself being able to keep her please PLEASE go to our rescue board and offer her free to them and they will find a forever home for her. At 23 she deserves a great life of spoiled retirement.

IF you choose to keep her, put her on a good senior feed. I suggest Purina Equine Senior. It will be fine for the foal as well. Give her all the grassy hay she can eat, no alfalfa. Let her graze as long as is heallthy. Have her teeth checked. She needs to be away from the big horses. They'll kill her next time. You "could" wean the baby but it is early. I'll let others help you with that. Worm her well. CortaFlexHA is wonderful for the arthritis.

I hope you won't just put her down if she has a chance at a good life. Contact Ginny at Blue Ridge. She works with the rescue.

blueridgeminis@aol.com

She can at least offer some advice if you tell her the whole story and her current condition.
 
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Tabitha

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Well, if it were me, it would depend on a few things. Winters are harsh here, some years worse than others. For a horse with arthritis, or other health issues, winter can be very hard. If winter bothers this horse a lot, that would be a consideration for me. I have a mare here now that is doing great this summer, but every winter she gets really lame, and is quite miserable. No matter how she is doing now, I know that come this next winter she will almost certainly go downhill again. At this point I am planning to have her put down before freeze up, so that she can be buried here.

Now, if you have mild winters, or if this mare did well through last winter...if it were me, I would wean the colt & see if I could get this mare built up, so she's in good shape for winter. If she comes along well & is looking good, I'd probably keep her. If you can't get her built up, then I'd go with your original plan. I'm guessing that once she is no longer nursing her foal, she will pick up quite well again.

The other thing is, if it were me, I'd keep her separate from any horse that's likely to be nasty to her. If she has arthritis she may not be able to move quickly enough to get out of the way of a kick or a charge by another horse. Even if she isn't lame, she's older & arthritic, and quite likely just can't move quite as handily as she once could (tell me about it.....
)

Best of luck; I know how hard it is to make this decision!
 

ChrystalPaths

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Tabitha, couldn't you do the same thing? Offer your mare a new home in a warmer easier climate as opposed to putting her down because she's old and lame?

I'm pretty lame myself and will continue to deteriorate as the years go by. Winters for me are agony. If I were a horse I would hope someone would let me go to a warm climate like Arizona, New Mexico etc.

Not flaming or trying to cause trouble just my humble opinion. (JMHO)
 

beaminewbie

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Ok gotta clarify a couple of things, Blue is a Quarter horse, and our winters do get bad and she does have a hard time with the cold, she was kicked on accident, the other mare got one of those hugh horse flies on her butt and freaked out and kicked out and hit blue.

I don't have a problem having an older horse, we just put a 31 yr old rescue down late last year. My biggest dilema is because I know how hard winters are on her, we give our "retirees" every chance to live as long as possible, including supplements, and senior feeds. I feel guilty because she has given us a beautiful filly and now we are thinking about putting her down. It would be easier if she could just let me know it was time!! I won't take any offense for anything that is said!! Thanks
 

capall beag

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I agree with Dimimore.

I am curious, why the vet suggested breeding an old, arthritic mare?

You may think me rude asking BUT I am wondering why so I asked!!

I am NOT a horse breeder and it does seem that many people breed horses even late in years BUT it must put huge strains on their bodies, like I said I don't know just curious??

It sounds like you have a real dilemma on your hands, sometimes it is hard to get retirement homes for the full sized horses, if she is in real ongoing pain perhaps that is not right to allow her to linger , either?

Hard to know?
 
K

kaykay

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Normally you can tell an animal is suffering. I can tell by the look in the eyes and the body language of the horse. If she was mine i would give her a chance. If you wean the filly now she has some time to gain weight before it gets cold.
 

mizbeth

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I would certainly give her a chance as well. Perhaps another worming or two and have her teeth checked. Most equine dentists don't do much on the older ones as far a floating as thier teeth are loose usually, but maybe she has some work that can be done. Up her feed as well, more Equine Sr. See if that does not put weight on her. Some mares, even the young ones need more than the usual amount of feed when nursing. She could be one of them

Wait and see of course, but with more weight she should winter better.

Good luck!

Beth
 

beaminewbie

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Blue is arthritic in her front leg but when we had the vet check her he said as long as we kept babying her and keep her on the joint supplement then she will let us know if her body can handle it. So we took the chance to try and get a daughter from her. After seeing her with her newborn I am comfortable with the decision that we made to breed her, she is so happy with a baby!! She has been with my minis since I got them and she is mom to all of them, they all just love her and she loves to be motherly with them.

That is the problem her eyes she is very happy and is not suffering!! I hate these kind of decisions!! Especislly when she has grown on me so much!!
 

Marion

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If you are having doubts then maybe it is not time to put her down. I think with your experience you will know when the time is right. As far as weaning the filly, if she is eating on her own and maintaining her weight then I would wean her from the mother.
 

Miniv

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Kay took the words out of my mouth......."look into her eyes".....and then you answered it.

If her eyes are telling you she's happy and healthy, then SHE is not ready to go yet. That means you have a job to do, my dear.

Worm her, check her teeth, get her on free choice grass hay and/or pasture, feed her plenty of senior grain. (The foal can share it without any problem.) And if the foal shares in her hay and grain, so much the better as it will nurse on her a little less that way.

Be prepared to set up a winter stall or shelter for her with a heat lamp if possible. But pounding on the calories now is the best thing at the moment.

She may be a big old quarterhorse, but she's still "your kid"......and she wants to stick around a little longer.


MA
 

capall beag

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YES, YES!!

I should have thought of that!

They always tell you with their eyes!!!!!

Oh those eyes tell you so much!!!!

I think you seem to be close enough to her that she will be clear with you!

Good Luck!!

This is always hard!
 

midnight star stables

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23 YEAR OLD QH!!!! I'm sure it all depends, But keep her warm in the winter, love her & groom her, my gosh I can't see why she won't live for another 10 years...

I live in canada...cold... let me tell you my storys of my frist horse, freind, riding teacher, love, & loss.

Julie, my QH, we saved her from the meat market at 23yrs old w/ papers! she came from a riding camp for the blind, she was safe & could have done theriputic(sp) riding..
she was blind in 1 eye & had a cripalyn(sp) bone & mucel deace(sp) & she lived in our feilds with other horses for years, then i came along & she was my first year b-day gift & i rode her by the time i was 5, I loved her
i trained her english & western, jumping on hand & on her back, barrels, reining, obsical, halter & the list goes on
but we didn't have a trailor, & she wasn't something nice to look at because of decease... so we didn't show.. from me being 5 to 12 yrs old I work with this horse daily, ever if only grooming! she was only put on seinor fed on her last year of life. I wen't down to the barn Dec. 22 2002 & went to bring her in from the arena, & found that she was down & she could not get up
i ran to the house & the man was to come get her & put her down is 4 hours, so i stayed down there in the cold, untill she was gone. She was born April 2nd... so she was 39 going on 40!!!! she had artrist too...

please don't kill your girl, you said her eyes say shes not ready to go... Jue lived to 40... your girl is only 23


please think about this

desiree
 

~Palomino~

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If you TRULEY think you girl is not enjoying life, then go with your gut, if it would be better for her just to go to the rainbow bridge, it might be sad, but think, in heaven, she will be able to see, she will be free of pain, she will run GREED feilds of grass, just think, would it be better to just put her out of her pain and sarrow? Go with your gut, and if you truley think she should pass on, dont let others talk you out of it, she is your horse and you know her best!

good luck!

-Gage-
 

midnight star stables

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Just to add on to gages, julie was not in pain, she was boss & every one loved her, she was happy to "play" & she lived life to its fullest, she was happy. the Only time she said no I'm ready was when she was down, she was calm & she new it was time, it was her time... each of our horses came over to her & said thier good byes... I never regret keeping her alive

she was running & bucking 2 days before & happy as a pig in mud... she was not in pain
 

Tabitha

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Dimimore, I just knew you would say that!

The fact is, I count as a rescue home as much as anyone. I won't send a horse (in most cases, never say never because there could be a horse that could be better cared for by someone else with a different situation, depending on the issue with the horse) to a "rescue home" because in all my years I've just seen too many people that keep an old crippled horse around for far too long.

Yes, you can tell when "it's time" and the horse is ready to go. At least many people can tell; there are those people who chose to not see the signs, and when a horse is ready to go IMO it's cruel to not let go. By letting my girl go late in the fall, before freeze up, she can be buried here. If I wait until she's all crippled up in December or January....if I have to do the thing at that time of year she will have to be hauled away to the renderers...which isn't my choice for her.
 

midnight star stables

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Tabitha said:
Dimimore, I just knew you would say that!
The fact is, I count as a rescue home as much as anyone.  I won't send a horse (in most cases, never say never because there could be a horse that could be better cared for by someone else with a different situation, depending on the issue with the horse) to a "rescue home" because in all my years I've just seen too many people that keep an old crippled horse around for far too long.

Yes, you can tell when "it's time" and the horse is ready to go.  At least many people can tell; there are those people who chose to not see the signs, and when a horse is ready to go IMO it's cruel to not let go.  By letting my girl go late in the fall, before freeze up, she can be buried here.  If I wait until she's all crippled up in December or January....if I have to do the thing at that time of year she will have to be hauled away to the renderers...which isn't my choice for her.

446274[/snapback]

if you wish to keep your horse on your land, dig the whole tomorrow(..on sooner rather than later), then have it there till she goes...or when you chose

Eddited to say I'm not trying to be rude.. its just worded badly
 
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rabbitsfizz

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I have a twenty one year old I am edging up to a decision on, too. I was there when she was born, held her through her first steps..... She was born here, and here she will die, still in my arms. She had a foal two years ago (she has never exactly got "frequent flyer" points for breeding, but always made up in quality) and I am sure, now, she is finished. Right up till three weeks ago, she was fine, now she is old, and she is tired. Bringing her in is not an option, she head butts the walls and flies around screaming- she is not an "in" horse. Rugging her is a possibility. She is Rabbits daughter, and her daughter is now in foal to Rabbit- this mare owes me nothing. If love and money is all it took, she would live forever. The only person, the ONLY one, who can make this decision, is YOU. When I had Clary's Dam put down three years ago she was 23, this is not a long lived line, and she was ready to go, but I still miss her. You will feel guilty if you do it- that is part of horse owning, as you know. You will never really be sure if it was the right thing to do. That also is part of horse owning. The guilt and the responsibility. All I can say is, right or wrong, a horse was never injured or hurt by being quietly PTS in the arms of someone who loves it. Another thing I can say id- when you have made your decision, come back here. We will support and commiserate you in your time of need. It's one of the reasons this Forum is so strong.
 

Sunseri Farms

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I am happy you ask for advice for it is always hard,

I would make sure the baby is eating and if so pull it. I just had to pull one and he is doing great. If you have other babies for him to be around that will help to.

As for as the mare, build her up for the winter, and I wouldn't breed her again let her rest. Think of her as a grandma!

The other members had excellant advice on feeding, worming, teeth ect..

I think she will be just great and will live a little longer. You will know for sure in your heart what to do, she will tell you. Just don't let her suffer.

I save one and she is as happy now as ever. A example for our other horse.

Joyce

Ps. Thank you for taking her away from the other place and saving her maybe that is why she gave you on last beautiful baby!!:aktion033:
 

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