Monday, August 16, 2010

Is it really such a terrible thought?

Someone out there posts for help. They know someone else with a very old (over 30), very skinny (VERY skinny) mare who doesn't seem to be improving condition, though this person has been trying to help her out of a bad situation and is "doing everything right" according to what we're told the vet says. They now are hoping someone else out there has the time and resources to take on this mare and rehab her.

It's already difficult to give away a pasture pet.
It's even more difficult if they're very old and aren't an easy keeper.
Who do you really think will take this mare on and fatten her up?

Can it be done?

Well, maybe. I won't say it can't be. Maybe the person just hasn't figured out what's keeping her from gaining weight. Maybe she has a parasite load or bad teeth or ulcers or some combination thereof.

Then again. Maybe she has cancer. Maybe she's simply in pain all the time (horses don't sit around complaining about it the way humans do, after all).

Maybe it isn't such a bad thought to consider the possibility that instead of passing her on to someone else who may or may not be able to help her, you can give her a happy several days of lots of love and treats and then have the vet come euthanize her.

I expressed this opinion and, more or less, the response I got from most people was that I think she should be put down just because she's old or something. With an implication that the mere thought of euthanasia for a horse with no diagnosed actual health issue (beyond, you know, being ancient in horse years and not gaining weight when fed what is presumably a good diet) is something terrible to contemplate.

You know what I think is terrible?

Keeping that poor mare around, just existing. Passing her on to someone else when it turns out to be a problem you can't deal with. Forcing her to somehow manage through the upcoming winter.

Hell, if I were ancient (in human years) and were borderline emaciated and couldn't put on weight and had the prospect of having several days of happiness and then just going to sleep and not waking up or the prospect of months or more of just existing with no end in sight and no hope for improvement in my lot in life? I know which one sounds more appealing.

Euthanasia is NOT a bad word in animal rescue, people!

No comments: