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#1 2017-04-02 18:29:25

uno
I Love A.C.E.
From: Enderby, BC
Registered: 2009-02-22
Posts: 5521
Website

Broken coffin bone

Horse Daughter's fancy warmblood - her dream horse - has just been x-rayed after a month of EXTREME lameness and the verdict is broken coffin bone.  Looks like the break (fracture?) has travelled up into the joint. Hind hoof.

The horse is losing weight and will not eat. Its pain must be off the scale ! Will not put any weight on that hoof. Walks on three legs.

Horse has been seen several times by vets over the last month and the verdict was an abscess readying to rupture. But no rupture ever came.  Joint and ligaments flexion fine and showed no pain reaction. But HD finally has a bad feeling so had the vet arrive ON A WEEKEND!! with his x-ray equipment and the news is bad. Very, very bad.

THe horse is young, well bred and beautiful. Sweet disposition ( a bit of a stink to ride!). Since it arrived this horse has done nothing but cost money.  It's been one problem or issue after another. And now this. Horse Daughter is completely demoralized.

THe horse might make a recovery with a special shoe and 9 months of box stall confinement.  Might. There is practically no chance that she will ever be the eventer HD was aiming for. We locked her in the stall last night and she almost lost her mind. She is young and full of energy. But at the same time she has been in so much pain that she isn't eating and she is starting to look like an SPCA case, despite beet pulp, alfalfa pellets, molasses and other goodies. She is not tempted. I think she's in agony.

The vet said he would not feel right putting the horse down. But HD is torn over putting the horse through a horrible and lengthy recovery to have a horse that may never be more than a pasture ornament.  At what point does she cut her losses, which are in the 5 figures at this point.

Wisdom? Anyone?

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#2 2017-04-02 18:47:48

lornem
Growing Member
From: Drayton, ON.
Registered: 2016-02-21
Posts: 120

Re: Broken coffin bone

Sometimes you have to know when to walk away. Sounds like you have already done more than most would. Feel good about that and find another vet to put it down that won't fill your heart with guilt.
Ask yourself if she wasn't as attached to it would your decision have already been made. If so then it's the right thing to do.


Better to be dumb as a stump and learn as you go,...than to be a know it all and get stumped:

Live and learn while thinking outside the box.

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#3 2017-04-02 19:56:40

susanr
Moderator
From: Grenfell, Saskatchewan
Registered: 2010-03-11
Posts: 4817

Re: Broken coffin bone

When an equine won't eat, that's a good indicator that it is in extreme pain.  So sad to hear :crying:  My thoughts:  if horse probably won't be able to be used for what it was intended for, and the injury can heal, find it another home.  If not, best to put it down.  It sounds harsh but, if HD won't be able to use it, at least she did as best as she could for it and can search for another horse that would fulfill what she wants.  Sending :hugz: to both you and HD.


Friend to 2 house cats, 3 long-haired mini dachshunds, one outside cat, one guard dog, a few Dorking chickens, several  Isa Brown laying hens, some mutt chickens and 3 mules.  Jobs include gardener and assistant bee keeper.

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#4 2017-04-02 21:51:21

lady leghorn
I Love A.C.E.
From: Okanagan Falls B.C.
Registered: 2011-10-26
Posts: 3319

Re: Broken coffin bone

:iagree:  Except with the re-homing part.  If she is young, and stressed, being stuck in a stall, she's never going to make it for 9 months.   She'll end up 

starving herself, or getting ulcers.  Another expense.   Sounds like it's time to bite the bullet for her sake and have her humanely put down.   You just can't

win them all sadly.     Next time go check the horse out in person, do a ride on it, with a vet in attendance.  Once they have passed the vet check, then if she 

likes it, buy the horse.

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#5 2017-04-02 23:55:17

killerbunny
I Love A.C.E.
From: Brockville, Ontario
Registered: 2012-07-30
Posts: 3168

Re: Broken coffin bone

Sorry to say that I think it is cruel to put the horse through all that to maybe be all right. Also IMO only the vet is wrong to put that sort of pressure and guilt on HD.
I think I know what I would do - Good Luck to you all.


Mixed collection of chickens, trio of Blue Columbian Wyandottes,BSW turkeys.
RIP Stephen, my BSW Tom and coffee companion. He left a great genetic legacy.
RIP Lucky the Very Brave splash Wyandotte rooster.
RIP little Muppet the rescue cat.

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#6 2017-04-03 10:09:08

Martin Grove Farm
Administrator
From: Waterloo/St. Jacobs, Ontario
Registered: 2009-11-02
Posts: 19559

Re: Broken coffin bone

That's such a tough call.  Should decisions made with the heart, or with the head?
I know some would say "life is life" and they would pay anything to save her life. 
Others would say "put her down" to end all suffering.

It's obvious to say that the decision lays square in the lap of HD.  I don't think the vet has done a good service to your daughter.  Yes, she has found the cause of the problem and has an idea about the treatment and recovery but then again, she has stated a very poor prognosis all while saying she's not comfortable putting the horse down. 

These animals are in our care and we have to do what's best for them.  Sometimes it will be treatment, other times it will be to end their suffering. Finances play a big role in the decision making but to me, quality of life has the biggest role.   What quality of life will this horse have in it's future. 

Let's say that it's locked up in a stall for the next 9 months, and it survives, possibly by being force fed.  Will this horse be able to run and play, or will it simply exist? Standing in a pasture waiting for the sun to go down, just so the sun can come up the next day to stand in the pasture again.    Is having this horse as only a "pasture ornament" reason enough to keep it?  Quality of life.  Then, who are we to decided quality of life on another being?   Well, we are the caretaker, the one that has taken the responsibility to look after this being. 
It would be easy if there was a farm that has horse retirement and they could live their life roaming in a pasture somewhere.  I think those days are gone.  It's sad because this is such a young horse. 
I'm sorry that this is happening and very sorry that HD has this decision to make.   Sometimes the right decision is the hard decision. 
In this case, I think the horse has made it's decision by refusing to eat.  Maybe we have to learn to listen to our animals and see what they want.    I know that I could not stand by and watch an animal suffer.


"I never learned from a man who agreed with me".~~Robert A. Heinlein.
“Whatever you do in life, surround yourself with smart people who'll argue with you.” - John Wooden
May every word that we speak, and every word that we type, be words that lift up and never words that tear down

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#7 2017-04-03 12:29:40

Schipperkesue
Administrator
From: Carnwood, Alberta
Registered: 2010-04-08
Posts: 15557

Re: Broken coffin bone

Sometimes you have to make a call that is for the best for the horse and not the human.  It sounds like HD already knows what has to be done.  So sorry a decision like this one has to be made.


Embrace your mistakes....they are life's most meaningful education.

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#8 2017-04-03 13:16:55

toybarons
I Love A.C.E.
From: Parkland County, AB
Registered: 2008-08-05
Posts: 3165

Re: Broken coffin bone

I think this is where the right decision is also the saddest and hardest one.

As for that vet who doesn't feel right about having to put the horse down. You should have asked him then to waive his vet fees. Bet he wouldn't have.
Find a vet who isn't so high on his moral horse. You are facing a hard enough decision without someone trying to lay a guilt trip on you.

All the best.


Taking things a day at a time.

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#9 2017-04-03 20:00:36

Sunfeathers
A.C.E. Addicted
From: Vancouver Island, North
Registered: 2014-05-15
Posts: 1192

Re: Broken coffin bone

:iagree:

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#10 2017-04-04 03:27:32

jiggs
Active Member
From: Manitoba
Registered: 2011-06-16
Posts: 263
Website

Re: Broken coffin bone

Put the horse on Buteazone for the pain.
get it from the Vet. it works. I've used it for years.


1 man,1dog,1cat and some geese

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#11 2017-04-04 12:54:03

uno
I Love A.C.E.
From: Enderby, BC
Registered: 2009-02-22
Posts: 5521
Website

Re: Broken coffin bone

Horse Daughter got copies of the x-rays yesterday and is having 2 more vets look at them. Also her farrier has asked to see the x-rays.

Jiggs, we do have bute but HD thinks Banamine will be the better choice as it's supposed to be easier on the stomach and with this horse being in confinement and NOT happy about it, stomach ulcers will be an increased issue.

This whole thing is so awful!

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#12 2017-04-04 15:31:44

susanr
Moderator
From: Grenfell, Saskatchewan
Registered: 2010-03-11
Posts: 4817

Re: Broken coffin bone

Praying that one of the other vets has some better news!


Friend to 2 house cats, 3 long-haired mini dachshunds, one outside cat, one guard dog, a few Dorking chickens, several  Isa Brown laying hens, some mutt chickens and 3 mules.  Jobs include gardener and assistant bee keeper.

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#13 2017-04-05 10:48:17

AuntieEvil
Moderator
From: New Brunswick
Registered: 2009-03-07
Posts: 2964
Website

Re: Broken coffin bone

Poor HD. She has a big decision to make. She sounds like she will do it with all the information possible, and right or wrong, that is all we can do.
:sorry:


∞♥
∞☮
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#14 2017-04-05 23:06:38

uno
I Love A.C.E.
From: Enderby, BC
Registered: 2009-02-22
Posts: 5521
Website

Re: Broken coffin bone

Well.

She had the xrays looked at by three vets and a farrier. The three vets, all from separate clinics, put their heads together and came up with the consensus that this was not a hopeless case. That with protective shoeing to keep the hoof from flexing, giving the coffin bone support, and confining the horse, there might be hope.

THe shoe is now in place and what happens next requires a dump truck load of fill, heavy equipment to move fill into the shelter, rebuilding gates, buying big rubber mats and hauling in bedding. We NEVER set this property up as a horse property, let alone a rehabilitation centre! We have Mickey Moused our way through as best we could with what we had. But the stall is at the lowest point in the horse pen, thus fills with water which gets churned into mud with the addition of horse waste and uneaten hay and is NOT the base the horse should be standing in for several months. So we have lots of work to do to get her confinement up to snuff.

I thought HD was going to pull the trigger. But she's into this horse for 5 figures at this point. Things are looking up since the shoe was placed. The horse is eating and I hope that means with the hoof not flexing anymore the pain has eased off a bit.

The HD is rolling the dice, hoping the horse might have some sort of career. We shall see. Fingers crossed.

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#15 2017-04-06 01:49:30

susanr
Moderator
From: Grenfell, Saskatchewan
Registered: 2010-03-11
Posts: 4817

Re: Broken coffin bone

Good to hear that the three vets came to a consensus and - it has some positive to it!  Sounds like you will all be very busy preparing space for the horse.  I can sure relate to the Mickey Mouse way of muddling through - happens here all the time.  On the upside of all that "down", there is hope the horse will recover to the point HD can use it :)

I do recall that you missed Stony when he went away.  You may make a new horse friend while it recovers.


Friend to 2 house cats, 3 long-haired mini dachshunds, one outside cat, one guard dog, a few Dorking chickens, several  Isa Brown laying hens, some mutt chickens and 3 mules.  Jobs include gardener and assistant bee keeper.

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