Thursday, May 1, 2008

Pepper and Chubs and lardbutt himself...

It dawned on me that I haven't mentioned any of them in quite some time. I've been a little distracted with the recovery horse, but there have been developments over the past month or so.

First, I am, thrilled, that Pepper has a new home! Could not have chosen a better person, actually. This kindhearted, wonderful lady has opened her heart to what was once a scraggly, starving, scurfy little App gelding ;) I have to say he really turned out to be very cute, once he was healthy. Make sure you take a good look around at Bluegrass Equestrian Center the next time you manage to visit-look for the smallish mostly roaned out buckskin Appaloosa with the beautiful deep gold eyes-that's him.

Second, I have stepped up to the proverbial plate and decided the most humane thing I can do for old Chubs, is to give him a last summer on pasture and then put him down this coming fall. It's a painful one, but I know in my heart it is the right thing to do for him. Here it is the first of May, and he is carrying nearly all his winter coat still. His sheath is enlarged as well, and both of those are fairly solid indicators of Cushings. Yes, I could spend the money on the test for it, but why? The truth is, he can barely hobble around when it gets cold. The vet already aged him at somewhere between 25 and 35. He obviously has some severe arthritis going on, in addition to how his physique has modeled over time to cope with the two blown knees. The best thing I can think for him to experience, is a glorious Alaskan summer on real pasture, with other horses for companionship.....with a painless end along about September or so. Is he still personable? Yes. Is he still getting around somewhat? Yes. Is he in pain? Probably. Can I turn back the clock? No. When he develops full blown Cushing's, he will shortly start spiraling into frequent laminitis episodes, which can only be managed by anti-inflammatories and rather complicated interventions and treatments. It will only stave off the inevitable true founder, which is excruciatingly painful. I cannot in good conscience subject any horse to that fate. So, I will take the responsibility and spare him that. It's hard, and my spouse is going to be upset-but above all, we must be humane, not just human.

Lardbutt. Well, lardbutt himself is, plump. Fluffy? Tub 'o jello? Paddock potato? He's been put into a much smaller area than he is accustomed to since about December. This has not helped his attitude one bit, alas. Since he is now at the front of the barn instead of the rear, he gets to greet all visitors. This means, everyone thinks its okay to hand out treats, handfuls of more hay, whatever. He's come to expect special attention and boy howdy does he let you know when he wants more! What he needs, really, is exercise. Which will commence as soon as it dries up around the barn! My my, won't he be surprised at having to, you know, work? I fully expect a rip snorting display of testosterone and a throughly pissy overweight and out of shape leopard Appaloosa, lol

So whats going on with your horses this spring? Anything?


Lori said...

I have put my girls on a diet, they are very unhappy! It wasn't much of change, just 3 to 5 pounds less of hay (they rarely get grain).
The vet said they were to fat, which I kind of knew.
As for myself, I need to do the same.

CTG Ponies said...

Glad to hear that Pepper is off to a new and great home! Chubs is very lucky to have you. You will give him a wonderful last summer and do the humane and compassionate thing for him before his life deteriorates. It's a hard decision to make but it's the same conclusion that I have come to with my QH gelding who is around 28 - he will enjoy his life with us and when he tells me it's time, he will have a dignified end surrounded by those of us who love him, before he loses any quality of life.