الإثنين 22 يوليو 2024

Saying Goodbye to a Beloved Horse

موقع أيام نيوز

She stood quietly gazing beyond her band to the line of trees. A moving shadow caught her attention as a coyote froze and then pounced on the unsuspecting mouse. Maisie watched the simple cycle of predator and prey life and death. She shook her head then moved to a grazing patch. Her characteristic limp the result of a broken knee during her racing days defined the awkwardness of her walk.
Since her knee injury as a threeyearold Maisie had never been ridden but she had proved to be a wonderful broodmare. She had passed on her motherly skills when her daughter Daisy had given birth to a colt Sham. Having raised six foals in her life Maisies mothering and babysitting instincts were strong and she would happily stand over her grandson as he dozed in the sun while Daisy grazed. 

But now at 23 years of age her limp was more pronounced. She had come through a cellulitis infection in her hind leg that had put greater strain on her forelegs and it was getting harder to put weight on her. It was early winter. Could she cope with the cold more storms and ice on the ground? I faced an agonizing decision one that I had been putting off. Was it time to say goodbye to our dear Maisie?
One of the hardest decisions of owning a horse is when and how to say goodbye to an old friend says Dr. John Twidale a veterinarian in Langley BC. While veterinary medicine has made great advances in the diagnosis and treatment of lameness and colic we do not have the elixir of youth to cure old age and the chronic conditions that come with it.
Sadly many older horses and ponies are sold when chronic health problems related to their advanced years prohibit their continued use as riding horses. 
Giving an older horse away to a good home is really passing off your problem to someone else cautions Twidale. Some wellschooled older horses do find a second home as school teacher to a novice rider in dressage barrelpoles Pony Club therapeutic riding. But many do not.
Dedicated owners who loyally refuse to part with their senior equines should be prepared to face at some point one or more of the chronic conditions that commonly affect older horses. These include arthritis and other chronic lamenesses metabolic disorders such as equine metabolic syndrome insulin resistance and