Re: when to euthanize

Abby Nemec

kapleacres wrote:

Please be kind on my decision not to medicate, and I know I could shut him in a stall and let him live longer. but let me know if there is someone else that has been in my shoes. thanks
Hi there, and welcome, though I'm so sorry that you have to be here. You will find that in the huge membership of this list, there are many, many who have been where you are. Each of us has our own story, some have chosen to euthanize and some have chosen to treat either with diet or medication, or both. The choice is as individual and valid for each of us.

If you're looking for words to tell you when, I can only say "he will tell you". It sounds really trite for me to say that, but it is absolutely true. Of course there are times when we as human caregivers must know that the time is at hand even if the animal is happy and comfortable as is - those are hardest.

If you're looking for words of hope, support, encouragement to pursue making life easier and more comfortable for your old fellow, you will find more than you could possible ever need here. There is always hope for those who want things to be better. You have options with diet, management, and medication for even the most devastating effects of Cushing's, most of which are truly uncomplicated and affordable. The medication that you're holding off on (pergolide) is VERY effective when used in a complete treatment plan, and also now REALLY inexpensive. Starting dose for most horses is well under $30 a month. It used to be that treating Cushing's was a hit-or-miss proposition, but with current diet & management techniques list members have brought the success rate up to a surprisingly high level. Don't want to throw out numbers for something like this because we really don't have "success" statistics, but the volume of mail on the list speaks for itself, and it's overwhelmingly positive.

I myself have a pony that I knew had Cushing's for 4 years before I was sort of dragged into treating him. He was at death's door in the deepest of winter, and I needed "to keep him alive til the ground thawed". I began with the most meager efforts recommended by this list at the time - truly "to keep him alive" - and he bounced back to the point that he is still an absolute character in our barn and greets us every day with a very cute chipper face, now 4 years after I joined this list. Every time I have questioned whether he had reached his end, I have pulled yet another trick out of the EC List bag, and brought him right around again.

In any case, the decision to medicate or not is yours and yours alone. None of us will judge or criticize you for your choice, but I wanted to be sure that you received a positive view to counter your vet's concerns about cost and prognosis. When you post again, could I ask you to sign your post, and give your horse's name? We're a pretty friendly group, and like to "know" each other by name.

Again, thanks for stopping in. I hope we can be of help to you on your journey, wherever it takes you.

-Abby B
list "hoof guru" and
Mom to Tony the Pony (EC) and Elba (IR) and friends

Abby Bloxsom

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