Is it time to put my pony down?


mbandep@...
 

My 20 year old pony really has very little quality of life and is just existing.  If I cannot improve her condition I am thinking it is time to put her to sleep maybe the end of this summer.  So if anyone has any suggestions for me to try I will give it a go.

Babe is an 11 hand, 400 lb, 20 year old pony.  She is IR and has chronic laminitis.  Last test her insulin level was 40.  She is on a diet of soaked hay, beet pulp and small amount of alfalfa.  She is on AniMed Remission supplement;  Contains 6,000 mg magnesium and 14 mg chromium per ounce, along with antioxidants, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, and essential amino acids.

I have had her for 6 years and she was foundered on all 4 when I got her.  I took pictures of two front feet and she had 13 degree rotation.  She has gotten worse every year.  Having more bouts of laminitis and requiring more and more restrictions until now where she is basically on the emergency diet all the time.  She has not been over weight in the time I have had her.

I constructed a long narrow turn out just for her but she has never been sound enough to ever get her back into work as a driving pony.  Her activity level is low.

She also has a tumor on her vulva that we believe is squamous cell carcinoma.  The treatment of which is on hold until I can determine if there is any hope in giving her an improved quality of life.  Sometimes we just need help reading the writing on the wall. *I posted deleted and reposted, made a few edits!


Chanda
 

Really only you and your vet can determine if its her time to go; but I'm in the same boat, only I've made the decision and we are letting her go when the vet comes to geld the young boys, sometime this month.   My girl is 18 or so, has laminitis, arthritis and possibly Cushing's, I can't keep weight on her regardless of what I try.   I do believe her quality of life is lower than it should be.   She does eat, is alert and fairly bright; but that just isn't enough.

Chanda

MT 9/04


Nancy C
 

Hi msgem2003 and Chanda

It is up to the owner. Fortunately there's a lot both of you can do for these ponies to improve their quality of life.  It has happened time and again.  Horses who were given up for lost made great recovery and lived out their golden years in a much better state.

Suspected Cushing's needs to be positively diagnosed and treated. What other tests have you had done? Can you fill out a Case History for us?

The squamous cell will affected negatively by uncontrolled Cushing's. Getting them feeling better can be helped by diet and things like APF and jiaogulan. The emergency diet is not meant to used indefinitely.  Stop the alfalfa.

These horses can live out the balance of their lives in a much better place than unfortunately too many might realize.  It is up to the owner to make it happen.  Often that is just not possible for  a variety of reasons and then one needs to make the kindest decision possible. 

msgem, please let us know who and where you are.  You may have members nearby who can help you sort this out. Knowing where you are could help us help you figure out why she remains in this constant state of laminitis. 

Nancy C in NH
ECIR Moderator 2003
Learn the facts about IR, PPID, equine nutrition, exercise and the foot.
www.ECIRhorse.org
Check out the FACTS on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/ECIRGroup
Support the ECIR Group Inc., the nonprofit arm of the ECIR Group
http://ecirhorse.org/index.php/equine-cushing-s-and-insulin-resistance-group-inc





---In EquineCushings@..., <mbandep@...> wrote :


Babe is an 11 hand, 400 lb, 20 year old pony.  She is IR and has chronic laminitis.  Last test her insulin level was 40.  



She also has a tumor on her vulva that we believe is squamous cell carcinoma.  The treatment of which is on hold until I can determine if there is any hope in giving her an improved quality of life. 


mbandep@...
 

She doesn’t have PPID, I just had her tested.  The alfalfa(bagged Purina) is about 2 cups mixed with her beet pulp.  Unfortunately I have only two flakes of hay left and cannot find any more hay; I will be using bagged products only.  If I stop the alfalfa that just leaves her with a big bucket of beet pulp twice a day.  I had to special order the beet pulp but luckily it came in before the hay ran out.

I am in Brandon Mississippi.


Nancy C
 

I see.

Triple Crown has dealers in Missippi.  If you can get Triple Crown you can get Ontario Dehy Cubes which  can be fed as a complete feed with only a few things added.  TC has outlets in your state.

http://www.triplecrownfeed.com/articles/new-horse-feed-dealers-south-horsefeeddealers/

You don't need to feed the alfalfa. ODTB cubes can fill all her needs with Vit E, Salt, flax.

In your previous post you asked for suggestions to help this pony.  Would you be willing to fill out a case history to  get individualized help?

Group protocol requests you sign you posts with name, location and general date of joining the group.  While this is your first post you have been a member since 2006.

Let us know how you would like to proceed for this mare. There's help here.

Nancy C in NH
ECIR Moderator 2003
Learn the facts about IR, PPID, equine nutrition, exercise and the foot.
www.ECIRhorse.org
Check out the FACTS on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/ECIRGroup
Support the ECIR Group Inc., the nonprofit arm of the ECIR Group
http://ecirhorse.org/index.php/equine-cushing-s-and-insulin-resistance-group-inc


.
 




---In EquineCushings@..., <mbandep@...> wrote :

She doesn’t have PPID, I just had her tested.  The alfalfa(bagged Purina) is about 2 cups mixed with her beet pulp.  Unfortunately I have only two flakes of hay left and cannot find any more hay; I will be using bagged products only.  If I stop the alfalfa that just leaves her with a big bucket of beet pulp twice a day.  I had to special order the beet pulp but luckily it came in before the hay ran out.

I am in Brandon Mississippi.


Mandy Woods
 

Hey ~
Glad you wrote to the group.  We can give you lots of ideas on how to  help your pony Babe.  Her situation is not as critical as you have been led to believe.  In other words ~ she’s fixable!   20 is very  young in pony years.  There have been several cases of horses and ponies living into their 50’s.   You may have to rewrite your will to leave provisions for her!!! 
 
As you know,  DDT/E is the list philosophy.   This means DIAGNOSIS,  DIET,   TRIM  and EXERCISE.
 
You say she was tested and does not have PPID.  What was her value,  unit and name of the lab?   Did you also have Insulin,  Glucose and Leptin done to see how severely Insulin Resistant she is?   Pull blood on a NON fasting pony and send the plasma to Cornell. 
 
  IR is managed by DIET.   She  needs a low sugar/starch feed with minerals balanced.  The best thing you can feed her is Ontario Dehy Timothy Balance cubes.   Nancy mentioned these.  They are a complete horse feed in a bag.  The minerals have been added to the cubed hay so all you need to add is salt,  Vitamin E and freshly ground flax seed.  She can eat these exclusively. Break it up to 4 small meals a day.  If she weighs 400 pounds,  she should get 8 pounds of cubes a day.  Break this into 4 meals 8 hours apart or the closest you can get to that.  You need to remove the ‘’trigger’’ to her laminitis.  The trigger is sugar found in TC products,  grass,  untested hay, commercial feeds etc.  Give her loose iodized table salt,  start with half a tsp right in her bucket of cubes.   Get the Vitamin E at Walmart.  She needs 1000 iu’s of natural E in soy oil gel cap.  Since she’s under 500#,  she would probably prefer the 400iu  caps – give her 2 a day.   You can get magnesium pills in the pharmacy.  And there is ground flax in the cake decorating aisle.  This flax is not stabilized so it will only last a week in the frig.   TC does make a preground flax that is stable for a year.   See if your feed store can get it.   This DIET is critical.   NO pasture.  NO grains.  NO apples, carrots, treats etc. 
 
TRIM is a balanced foot.  Do you have photos of her feet?  Do you have a digital camera?  I’ll send a link on how to take good foot pictures.  Trim is very very important.  Infact,  you have to have all 4 points  in place to see positive results.   Do you have some pony boots you could put on her feet?  Or even duct tape some anti Fatigue matting.  Trace her foot on cardboard,  then transfer that to a mat and cut it to fit.  I get it at Lowes.  There are two styles,  one snaps together, 2 x 2 foot squares ~ or the one on a roll 36 inches long and about $5 a foot.  YOu can cut a ton of pads out of that!!    Just duct tape it on her foot. 
 
EXERCISE of hand walking if she’s able.   Never force a lamintic pony to move.
 
DO you have a muzzle?  You can tape the hole closed and let her out to mosey around.  Jeffers has the best pony muzzle price around.  $22.  
 
Please don’t give up on her yet.  She is YOUNG and under proper management can survive this.  Plan on one year for her hoof to grow completely out.  With the correct trim,  the coffin bone will be able to reattach itself to the laminae.   You could be driving her next summer! 
 
We will help you through this.  It can be done.  There are lots of people here who have had incredible success stories!  
 
Give this a try.  You will see good things in days.  
 
Please join the ECH8 group and start a File on Babe.  You can add your photos to it besides answering the questionnaire.    It takes a minute to join but a bit longer to answer the questions.  And do send  the foot photos.  That is a critical part of this!!
 
Mississippi ~ no hay anywhere?   Google hay aid in your state.  There has to be hay somewhere!  But don’t get Alfalfa.    Timothy or Orchard Grass works.
 
If you rinse/soak/rinse your beet pulp it is the safest cleanest feed you can give her.  You can start with one pound of dry BP,  the r/s/r it and offer her small portions of it.  Check out the Picky Eater file for seasonings if she doesn’t like it.  Refrigerate or freeze surplus BP. 
 
And keep in touch!  We will help you.

Mandy in VA
EC Primary Response
OCT 2003
 
 
 
 
 


Mandy Woods
 

What is  your name?  

I forgot to include these links:
 
http://www.softrideboots.com/1/
 
 
www.equi-analytical.com   When you get some hay,  core  the bales and send the sample and get the Trainer # 603 for $54.   See if you can test the hay before you buy.  Then if its good but a lot!
 
 
http://www.all-natural-horse-care.com/good-hoof-photos.html 
 
 
 
 
 
Babe should get 8 pounds of feed according to her weight a day.  BP can be fed up to 30% of her diet ~ however there is BP in the ODTB cubes so  that should be considered.  If she gets 8 #s of cubes x .30 =  2.40 pounds of dry BP.  That is a heck of a lot of BP!    I doubt she could eat it all. 
 
Mandy in VA
 


mbandep@...
 

I filled out the case history but I cannot create a folder and upload it.  Telling me I need to belong to the group.


I joined in 2006 when I first got this pony.  She was is a bad situation.


I will see if the Coop will order the Triple Crown Cubes.  I doubt they have them in stock, I had to special order the beet pulp. 


Babe is healing now and stable but feeding her is an issue I have been struggling with and her quality of life living in a small pen.  Then when the tumor became large I had to question what is best for her.  Another concern I have is having a repeat of last winter, she was dead lame for 4 months.



Melanie

Brandon, MS 2006


Mandy Woods
 

Melanie,
I sent you the link last night to ECH8.   You need to join that group as that is our ‘’medical file’’   You will be able to keep everything in there ~ photos,  lab work, hay analysis etc. all in one spot.  Then you’ll add your link to your signature.   So join ECH8.
 
Now I have to differ with you regarding ‘’quality of life’’.   Horses all over the world never touch grass!   What do you think the Arabian breed in Arabia lives on?  or the mountain ponies  or those in parts of China. Heck,  even in California USA horses live in sand lots under metal roofs and eat hay because  of lack of grass. Or city police horses or.........    We have become pretty savvy about developing hay pellets,  hay cubes and  chopped hay in bags.   Finding the RIGHT  bagged hay is key.    And living on a small lot.  Do you think they really care?   As long as they get a good meal at  least 4 times a day,  interaction with another horse is great but so is interaction with one owner.   Hand walking is a super bonding method...like grooming.   Your Babe is in a better situation.   Now that you have really found us we can help you with more ideas,  details on how to do things and make her more comfortable.   Winter is hard on IR ponies.   VA had its coldest winter in years so we had to be creative.   My 28 yo  Welsh pony 11 hands,  wore a blanket,  horse polos’ cut in half to wrap his short little legs,  and socks on his feet in his SoftRide Boots.   He also got hot water twice a day.  Spoiled?  Yes.  He  is a surviver  from chronic founder and sinking,  PPID/IR and abuse.  HE knows life is good!  So don’t worry about winter.  We’ve got that covered!   First thing is to tighten Babes’ DIET. 
 
Trimming the feet correctly is a BIG BIG issue.  Please send us photos of her feet.  Again,  look at the link on  HOW to get good photos.   She may be abscessing from changing an angle.  And actually ~ as hard as it is to watch,  abscessing is a good thing because it is her body getting rid of necrotic tissue. 
 
 
Mandy in VA
 
 


Maggie
 

Hi Melanie,
 
You do have to join the ECH8 group to fill out a case history.  I just sent you an invite--should make it a bit easier to join.  Just so that you will know for the future, and for any of the other "newbies" reading, you have to "join" all of our groups.  Once you ask to join, it shouldn't take long to get approved, especially the history groups.
 
While reading Mandy's welcome to you, I had a thought that I wanted to share.  When my regular hay man retired last year, I spent quite a bit of time looking for a new source of hay and went through 4 or 5 growers before I found a good source. Here is a site that I have used in the past when searching for low sugar/starch grass hay.   http://www.hayexchange.com/ms.php  If you register on that site you can view more information, like the grower's contact info.  And here's another site:  http://www.haycountry.com/hay-for-sale  Lots of hay available in MS--just need to do some leg work to find some either near you, or that the grower will delivery to you.  That said, the ODTB's that Mandy suggested to you are easy and already balanced.  I use a small amount as a carrier for my balancing minerals and also as safe low s/s treats.  My boys love them!  They get their ODTB's in NoseIt's which really slows down their consumption rate.  If you are going to use them as a total feed, you might consider the NoseIt to make each one of your pony's feedings last as long as possible.  http://www.nose-it.com/
 
Also, one thing that we recommend for the winter foot pain that some horses experience after laminitis/founder is a product called  ALcar.   Another thing that can help is Jiaogulan.  It's really inexpensive, and the taste is generally well accepted by horses.  Here's a place that sells both.  http://mybesthorse.com/   Check our file here for more information on these products:  https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/EquineCushings/files/Jiaogulan%2C%20Nitric%20Oxide%20Support%2C%20AAKG%20%26%20Supps/  Also tons of information on the topic in the old messages if you "search" for "neuropathic pain" , or just search the individual names. Jherb", "jiaogulan", "ALcar".
 

Maggie, Chancey and Spiral in VA
March 2011
EC Primary Response
http://pets.groups.yahoo.com/group/ECHistory4/files/maggie%20in%20virginia/


 


mbandep@...
 

My file is uploaded:


https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/echistory8/files/MsGem2003%20and%20Babe/


Not sure it says any more than what I have already put in emails.


Mandy, her feet are fine right now.  She is not lame at all and I have a very good natural trimmer who is also a trained farrier.  She is trimmed every 6 weeks and if she needs a trim at 4 weeks I give her one.


I admire everyone's dedication to their equines but I do not have the time for that much devotion.  I can only feed twice a day and I generally buy my hay at one of the two local Coops.  I buy 10 bales at a time because that is all I can handle.  I would love to get away from hay with Babe as that would mean I would not have to soak it.  Any thing to make daily life easier would be great.  I have a few health issues of my own and if I am not careful I will disable myself then all my horses will have a problem.


The cubes are a great idea and I can't wait to discuss getting them on order with the coop.  Does anyone use Remission?  I had great results with it with my old gelding who had PPID.  He lived to be 38 and died in 2011.


msgem2003

Brandon, ms

Babe


PapBallou@...
 




---In EquineCushings@..., <mbandep@...> wrote :

My file is uploaded:


https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/echistory8/files/MsGem2003%20and%20Babe/


Not sure it says any more than what I have already put in emails.


>>Actually it does.  Tomorrow, or next week or even later when someone is answering a question for you, the history will be in one place, as opposed to trying to look up emails that may be many days old, and "lost" in the sea of all the other 100* emails per week that hit this list.


Thanks!


Linda

EC Primary Response

West Coast

May 2004


mbandep@...
 

Neither of those hay links has any good leads for hay.  My husband is stopping by one farm that we have been told produces square bales to see if he has any.  I am trying to track down bagged products.  The Coop is going to get back with me on whether or not they can order the Triple Crown ODT.  They had never heard of it and they take forever. 

 

Mean while my pony is on 100% beet pulp.  And to add to my stress my husband mowed a strip of lawn I was saving to graze my horse on.  I am using a portable fence to graze her on this nice 6 inch long grass and clover mix.  I left to pick up my daughter and when I got home he had it all mowed down. 

 

Tractor Supply may carry a Timothy grass pellet made by Standlee.  If you soak a hay pellet will it reduce the NSC level?


 

Hi ???
If you have a Tractor Supply nearby you can order Stabul 1

Jean and Amber
In South Carolina
August 2004


mbandep@...
 

The Tractor Supply stores have just recently sprung up here and they are a new source of possibilities. 

 

Good news, husband's hay source came through.  He picked up a bale as a sample to make sure it is OK.  If so I will need to go get a load with the trailer.  I will need to get more than I usually do but I think husbands guilt will help with the un-loading and stacking.  I am afraid I have two other friends looking for hay and they will put a big dent in what remains.

 

So if I have a choice of the Triple Crown  ODT vs soaking local hay which would be recommended for the pony?  To me it sounds like the cubes might give her a more stable diet.

 

Once I get the feed settled then I need to be sure I can get her through next winter.  I can not watch her suffer for 4 months again.  I did try to wrap her feet up but it didn't seem to help.  The herbs that increase circulation, are they intended for year round use or just in the winter?

 

Sorry I am not used to signing the message.  Is there a way to set the signature?  I will see if I have her pictures on this computer and upload them.

msgem2003 and Babe

Brandon, Ms 2006

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/echistory8/files/MsGem2003%20and%20Babe/


mbandep@...
 

The Coop said they could not get the  Triple Crown ODT.  Apparently I am not the only one to ask but who ever they order from said it was not available in this area.   I am very lucky I was able to get hay.

 

I had to special order another bag of BP and hope they order me a bag every month with out fail.

 

 

 

msgem2003 and Babe

Brandon, Ms 2006

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/echistory8/files/MsGem2003%20and%20Babe/

 



---In EquineCushings@..., <mbandep@...> wrote :

The Tractor Supply stores have just recently sprung up here and they are a new source of possibilities. 

 

Good news, husband's hay source came through.  He picked up a bale as a sample to make sure it is OK.  If so I will need to go get a load with the trailer.  I will need to get more than I usually do but I think husbands guilt will help with the un-loading and stacking.  I am afraid I have two other friends looking for hay and they will put a big dent in what remains.

 

So if I have a choice of the Triple Crown  ODT vs soaking local hay which would be recommended for the pony?  To me it sounds like the cubes might give her a more stable diet.

 

Once I get the feed settled then I need to be sure I can get her through next winter.  I can not watch her suffer for 4 months again.  I did try to wrap her feet up but it didn't seem to help.  The herbs that increase circulation, are they intended for year round use or just in the winter?

 

Sorry I am not used to signing the message.  Is there a way to set the signature?  I will see if I have her pictures on this computer and upload them.

msgem2003 and Babe

Brandon, Ms 2006

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/echistory8/files/MsGem2003%20and%20Babe/


Lavinia Fiscaletti
 

Hi Melanie,

Contact Aurelio at Ontario Dehy directly:

Aurelio Henriques: 1-877-289-3349

http://www.ontariodehy.com/tab01.htm

They are the actual manufacturer and have been extremely helpful in getting the cubes to areas where people are having a hard time finding them.

Lavinia, Dante, George Too and Peanut
Jan 05, RI
EC Support Team



Nancy C
 

Sorry Melodie but based on past experience, I would contact teh company rep at numbers previously sent for the best answer.  Have found over many years folks behind the counter don't always have the most complete info. Sometimes they are worried you will leave them stuck with this product so don't try too hard.

Thanks for your signature!  It Really helps.  If I could pretty please  ask you to trim the replies of the duplicate material from the original post, you will make all your erstwhile volunteers happy.  See post below my signature for what I mean.

Don't give up on those Cubes.  It's worth it.

thanks

Nancy C in NH
ECIR Moderator 2003
Learn the facts about IR, PPID, equine nutrition, exercise and the foot.
www.ECIRhorse.org
Check out the FACTS on Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/ECIRGroup
Support the ECIR Group Inc., the nonprofit arm of the ECIR Group
http://ecirhorse.org/index.php/equine-cushing-s-and-insulin-resistance-group-inc







---In EquineCushings@..., <mbandep@...> wrote :

The Coop said they could not get the  Triple Crown ODT.



mbandep@...
 

Update on my pony Babe…

My vet just came by for shots and to check on Babe’s tumor.  I was entertaining the idea of removing the tumor and seeing how she did with one more winter. 

The cancer is more aggressive then he first thought.  The tumor has grown and has involved tissue that would make it difficult to remove.  It is also spreading so my vet is recommending we euthanize Babe and he feels it would not be kind to try to get through another winter.

I will wait until the pasture is green and lush and my mud is dried up.  Her last few weeks will be on pasture.

msgem2003 and Babe

Brandon, Ms 2006

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/echistory8/files/MsGem2003%20and%20Babe/

 


Lisa M. Koch
 

So Sorry to hear this about Babe.  Have you done any research on herbal remedies for tumors ?  There are some out there that specifically slow the tumors down. Someone on another site is treating her horse with them successfully.

Good luck to you.

Lisa M. Koch & Ginger
Member 2003
Long Island, NY