Sunday, March 28, 2010

Update On King Sunday 03/28/10

"Courage is being scared to death - and saddling up anyway." - John Wayne
That is where I stand today. Scared to death. Things once again have declined even more. The abscess has seemed to drain out, but we don't know if the infection had entered his blood stream or his bone. Really I don't know anything at this point. King improved greatly for a few days, the ulcer medicine helped him a lot and he ate so much better. Moving him to soft ground and fresh grass was heaven. And daily wrap changes and soaking of his hoof (tho' sore right after) really got the abscess to drain and helped it quickly - along with the antibiotic. The pain med appeared to begin to help his poor sore body as well. His tense body began to relax. But Friday and Saturday he began to lay around a lot and I became concerned. But he would get up when he saw me, so I was hoping that he was just able to get up and down and that that was a good sign rather than one of dread. But when I went to give him his medical care last night and feed his condition had become worse from what it was just that morning. His walking was labored and I could tell he was in great pain again. Though not from the abscess. We were expected to get heavy rain and high winds so I brought him in the barn where he would stay dry. My poor boy could hardly walk around the corner the few hundred yards it takes. He usually fights me taking any oral medication and last night there was no fight at all. And something was "different". There was a sense of "don't leave me". I got a clingy feeling from him. He wanted attention, so I stayed and rubbed on him and talked to him until he finally turned to eat some hay that I had laid out. But his eyes never left me, as I turned to look back at him he was still watching me.
I really dreaded going to the barn this morning. The Vet told me a few days ago that when the time came, if it did and I couldn't pull him through this, when I had that sense of dread - I would "just know" something was different and that the time was here for him to leave. I think I know what he meant. I think that's what I felt last night and today when I walked to the barn. I was so scared to turn the corner and look in. But he was standing...I really did breathe a loud sigh of relief. But he didn't greet me like usual. I gave him his pain med and again, no fight about it, even less resignation than the night before. The same "don't leave me" feeling. I gave King about 2 hours for the pain medication to kick in good and went back down to walk him out of the barn into his grassy lot, but when I went in the barn he hadn't moved one step from where I left him. In order to get the gate open I had to get him to step aside and when I lightly pushed on his shoulder his ears went back and his eyes widened and the whites of his eyes showed big. Every muscle tensed, so I knew the pain was terrible. So rather than chance him biting me out of extreme pain I tried to use the gate to move him. He was standing at an angle with his hip closest to the gate and I gently and lightly pushed the gate into him, barely giving any pressure, which normally he would side step or walk forward, and it almost knocked him off his feet. I was overwhelmed with dread and sadness. Of course I closed the gate back and let him be, just gave him a treat and rubbed on him and talked to him again, gave him some hay which he totally ignored, and I had to leave the barn. I was not prepared for this today. I'm going back down in a couple hours and giving him another dose of his pain med, its not anything to overdose him...but hopefully it can relieve his discomfort. I've come to realize suddenly that its not the arthritis that's gotten him down. I believe that I'm sharing Kings last days. The sadness I felt a short while ago with him made me leave the barn, I cant be there like that...its not what he needs to feel from me, not when he is projecting that and I feel it from him. I figure I need to be feeling love and support right now. He feels what I'm feeling. And he doesn't need to feel my grief right now. That time will come, soon I'm afraid. I'm not throwing in the towel and I'm praying I'm so completely wrong and tomorrow I'll write a post that tells you what an idiot I am for thinking all these thoughts. But if you could see him, you would just shake your head too at this point. My Boy is 30+ years old, half dead when I rescued much can I really expect at this point besides a miracle. I take pride that we have given him such happy healthy years! I just wish I could make him comfortable right now. So at this point I'm kinda waiting - hour to hour - to see what my next move is...if he lays down on me, Chad or Jeremy,2 of my Vet's - the one's who are the most knowledgeable about horses and quite good with them and know their stuff will come out and promised me they would be here right away.
So right now....looks like I'M the one you need to be praying for - don't know if I can hold it emotions are a wreck today. So I'm off here, and off to the barn with a book and gonna sit and be with King for a bit. Don't know if I'll have that chance again.
Love your horses an extra bit today.
Picture above was taken last year - King in his prime since he has been here - no more pictures of him except in good times.


  1. Oh dear...I am praying still and you may be right, I am afraid. I dread the thought too...but I hate this thought of really having them in pain and the drugs being hard on kidneys and such..maybe causing more damage in other directions.
    Gosh darn...I am going to the barn now, and hugging my mare, thinking of the joy and grace God has shared with these lovely Equine loves of ours!
    Hang in Rae...though your heart breaks~

  2. I defiantly know how you are feeling! I have too say though that its so very hard to have to watch and then make that final decision but when I lost my first horse when he was only 10 and it was very sudden, I had 15 minutes with him and that was it, I felt so helpless because I had no idea what happened and what to do, to this day all we can think of is he had an air bubble that burst and he bled to death internally. He was fine on minute then all of sudden he was gone. With my older equine, she was over 22 and she had a bad leg for years and it was finally the time to make the decision to put her down so she didn't suffer any longer and that of course was not easy either. One of the bad thing about owning any animal is that of having to lose them before we really have too. Will be thinking of you!

  3. A tough day for you . In what I read from you though I know as hard as it is you are giving your all. Hugs to you and hopes that the choice you are prepareing to make will give you and King the peace you both need and deserve

  4. I am so sorry your King is not any better. I feel your pain. Keeping you both in my prayers. HUGS.

  5. Oh Rae, I'm so very sorry that you and your beautiful boy, King are having to deal with this right now. Wish I could be there to help you through this painful time...I know how very much your heart hurts at seeing him in such pain. Don't be afraid of using pain meds at this point in time. It can take months, even years of steady use in a lot of horses before (or, if at all)pain meds cause internal organ or stomach damage. Give him his pain meds at mealtimes. If I were you, I'd have the vet take an x-ray of his foot and fetlock to see if the infection travelled up from the hoof abscess. That's the only way to know what you're really dealing with here and to distinguish where the pain is coming from. I know he's older, but you'll feel better when you know exactly what's going on. Then, between what King is telling you and you knowing the facts about the can make your best decision. So hard, I know. But you love him, and he obviously loves and trusts you, so you will make the right decision about his life. I promise that you and King will be in my prayers. Blessings and love to you both, Lorie

  6. I did an update today...funny each time I do a post he does a turn around either for the better or for the worse, so it makes me scared to even write about him! I think this is how it will be from here on out...good days and then he'll have his bad days. I just wish his bad days wern't SUCH bad days! So I guess for now until those bad days are all bad days, I know now is not the time to do anything (THANK GOD) and I have the answer I needed. (AGAIN THANK GOD!!!!!) Thank you all for your love!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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