Wednesday, April 21, 2010

~ Update on King~No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle. ~Winston Churchill

~*~What a Ride...~*~
The last month and half feels like a lifetime journey of emotions. The ups and downs we have experienced with King have had my emotions on a roller coaster of sorts that I've become numb and melancholy lately. Feeling mixed emotions that can range from extreme happiness to extreme sadness all at once is such a weird feeling, yet thats how its been since last Friday when we notice that King's gut was bloated. It had happened in a matter of hours, yet he was eating and drinking. His hair had begun to fall out within the last 12 hours that day, in clumps down to bare skin. For the last month when he relieved himself his stance was more like of a female dog would pee rather than a horse. He would squat down low and his urine was a dark yellow, and he was peeing often. I discussed this all with the Vet, a horseman himself Friday when I called as soon as I saw his gut was bloated and how his hair was coming out like it was - he was afraid he was having organ failure, but since there was no outward signs of pain right now, it was after hours, and he was still eating and calling to the others and wanting to be with them, not listless, we made an appointment for him to come the following Wednesday (today) to assess him, more than likely to put him down, and say our good byes, letting him go peacefully. This did give me some time to prepare for what lay ahead. I was instructed to watch him closely and if I saw any changes at all to call them and they would come right out before if needed. By the next morning the swelling had gone down and King was more active....
Waiting until today has been miserable, and I've prepared myself to let him go. I dont know if you ever prepare yourself fully to say goodbye to one of your best friends, as those of you who have an animal you love know they become. Horses for some reason, for me, seem to touch my heart in a way that no other animal has before, maybe its just King that has done that....I've done really well waiting for today to come, slept great last night, until this morning, as soon as my eyes opened I thought I was going to have an anxiety attack. I couldnt was the first thought I had - today could be the last day with King! But I couldnt cry...and then I wondered why I havent cried all week and what was wrong with me, my heart has been broken and yet I havent shed a tear. But I realized tonight I havent LET myself cry. I think I'm afraid if I do...I'll have a hard time stopping. So I'll save it for now.
I did my feeding this morning....more like a robot going about their business...back into the house and sat down on the computer by 9am waiting for the clock to tick by to 1:00 for our apt. when Norm calls to tell me Chad (our Vet) will be here within 30 min!!!! Talk about NOT the way its supposed to go. I'm okay when its going as I prepared myself and already the apple cart is getting upset and turning over! Getting King out of the pasture was even robotic...I think I was so numb today and scared of what I would feel and what it would be like if I had to say good bye that I didnt let myself feel anything, in fact I didnt really even look at King as I led him into the fenced in area we made for surreal. So not like me...
Chad arrived and the first thing he wanted to do was to take blood. He wanted to watch him pee as well, so he gave him a shot to induce him. While he waited he cleaned his sheath, which in all honesty, I dont know when or if its every been cleaned. Yeah I'm a terrible horse owner, go on and tell me. I dont know how, and never have cleaned one before. But I did learn today and found it quite interesting and I think that I'll have someone else do that for me when its time to have that done for Jack or Buck. In fact, guess Buck needs a good cleaning since he hasnt had it done, but I dont care to get kicked. King however stood like a gentleman, as usual. My good boy! For a horse that has never had his cleaned he was surprisingly in great shape. He had 3 small little beans, but nothing that would cause any discomfort at all. And Chad said "He was proud of his new shiny penny" when he was all done right before he was ready to pee....gave us a good laugh. I think he was trying to lighten the mood. Luckily Chad got to see what I was talking about, and he said it definitely was NOT normal the way he stood and the color. He pointed out also something I'd missed...the dead areas of grass and asked if that was where King had peed maybe? Well it couldnt have been anything else! He said he had to have a high amount of nitrogen in his urine for it to do that....
He wanted to take blood and didnt feel comfortable doing anything until he got some test back on his blood and urine first and told me it would take about an hour to get the results back and hed call me right away. LONGEST HOUR AND HALF (drive time) I've had to wait in a long time.
SO -what he found: No organ failure! Good news....The kidneys and liver are functioning...what we feared are in the clear......Bad News....King is severely Anemic. His body is making enough blood but he is loosing it faster than he can make it. Its pooling into his stomach and his kidneys. The cause? Well...He most definitely has a large ulcer...for his gut to be swollen like it is...(blood pooling) would cause major stomach problems and cause an ulcer. More bad ulcer could just be symptomatic of something worse - cancer. Chad said he wasnt even going to send off for any tests, and I totally agree. Its as he put it "6 of 1 half dozen of the other". At his age, his health....the cost of the test for me to do what? To treat what and how? I cant cure him...There is no way of knowing if he does have cancer with out running any tests for sure, Chads suggestion for the next two weeks, is to treat him with some meds for the ulcer to see if it clears up his problems. IF he improves, and I should notice improvement right away, then I'll know that I should keep on that path. If there is no improvement, then in 7 - 10 days we will re-assess him again....and be back at ground zero.
I'm determined to not let My Boy suffer....I'm also Hell Bent on not giving up on him if he only has an I comfortable putting him down right now not knowing for sure? No....not yet. But what is my gut telling me? Today it is telling me its time to let him go, but I'm not sure if thats because of all the preparation I've made for this day or if its really because its time to let him go. I know when I look into his eyes he is so tired...he is so distant from himself this last month and seems gone already. Then I wonder, is that only because he feels bad, I know when I'm sick I only want to be left alone. Yesterday Mari, a special friend of ours (and Kings) and Douglas and I groomed King and they said they're goodbyes in case we let him go today. We took pictures and spent some time with him. He was distant at first, but then when we were nearing the end before I put him back with the others and I was laying on my back in the grass trying to get some funny pictures I saw the "old King" I just dont know....right now I dont know what to do as far as this decision to make. When you have a life in your hands you want to do whats best. You want them to have quality and happiness...I watched him today and he was what do I do? A question I just cant answer right now....So here are some pictures of yesterday......I hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed the time we spent with My Boy King....You will be able to see all the hair he is loosing (remind you he doesnt get woolly during the winter months and doesnt shed in the summer so its shocking to see the amount of hair in these pictures, even his mane is falling out, his skin is dry and flaky and you can see that in his brand) - Levi seemed to feel the somber mood too and he loves the horses anyway- and visa versa - and had to join in for some King-time....By the way...its been so crazy busy I've not had time to visit anyones blog, please dont think I dont want to catch up, and that I'm not grateful for your prayers for My assured I am!!!! I thank you deeply and I'll stop on over as soon as I can!


  1. Wow, tough going . I will not tell you what to do , as I am not there and he is not my horse . The "hard to breath stuff" I get that ! 2 years ago I made the decision to put my beautiful old mare Catana down, she like King was a treasure beyond price. In her case it was debilitating arthritis and I was so afraid that she would go down in winter and be unable to get up. I picked the day and had her and my old dog put to sleep. Got through it all went back to the house and I swear my breath just left me . not a good scene for a while. I think you need to trust your gut and King ,when it is the right time he will tell you I hope. And remember that even though they feel like they have taken a peice of your heart when the go ,they leave you forever enriched and bettered for the time they gave you and the hole in your heart is filled with wonderful memories. Hugs and prayers

  2. Awwwww, I'm so sorry you're going through this rough time with King. The photos are all so beautiful and King is so handsome. Follow your heart and listen to King and you will know when the time is right.


  3. Thanks guys, I'm feeling your love! Yes you hit the nail on the head! "a treasure beyond price"! The words I've been lacking! And I just stated to someone that I've got so many opinions on what to do...that my head is spinning...some are making light of his condition telling me to give him time, others want to dig his grave for me and I want to bash their heads in...its to the point I cant hear my own heart right now and what its saying or what he is telling me anymore! So I'm just stopping and turning it all off and tuning it all out and taking a deep breath and listening to what KING has to say to me...No one else matters in this decision...they may think I'm heartless...I can only hope they look at this as a loving gesture when the time comes, because that is what it is...I know the people who love King understand that....the ones that truly love him...but he is the one I care about and he knows I love him and has placed his life in my hands all this time trusting me fully. His blindness, all the walls we tore down together when he refused to let humans touch his heart - he let me in and trusted me..he'll trust me this last time to make the right choice...I've just got to take a deep breath like I said and turn it all off and get everyone out of my head and keep my emotions off like I have been until whatever I decide is made....thanks guys! I feel yours hugs! Keep the prayers going!

  4. I don't think there is anything that anyone can say to ease how you are feeling, but I am sorry for what is happening! Only you can make that kind of decision and of course you will be able to know when and if that time ever comes. No matter what, we all know that you will make the right choice and you will know in your heart what that is when the time comes.

  5. Thanks Rae for giving me a sorry that my earpeice was loud and you did not hear me well. I was crying..cause I feel your distraught heart and also I was feeling my own pain of seeing my lovely kitten suffer, all over again...that will alway haunt me. I fear.

    Maybe you did not hear me but, I think someone mentioned, to ask King..and I add...ask God to let you know by making it obviously plain as the loving heart that can already feel the rather large hole in the heart is clouded and sometimes does need discernment from above, to help out.
    I love your heart and all you beautiful photos and sentiments written upon them...are so perfect.
    LOVE...I send prayers and my love...Your King is and always will be grateful for the provisions of the heart and truly good care of him you took. The was the best for him and the best you could offer. He does feel that sweetie...I could see it in his eyes!
    as always,

  6. Your King has a place in your heart forever, no matter what the outcome of this present trial. I won't presume to advise you. Prayer is what gets me through tough times, trusting in God to know what is best and asking Him to give me the grace I need to do His Will.

  7. I'm stopping in today to let you know I have finally made my way back to my blog. . . hopefully.

    I'm sorry about the things you're going through with King right now. These are the tougher decisions in life but I know you're strong enough to follow your heart on this one and make it all the way through.

    Missed you!

  8. Oh boy, sweet one how I feel your pain...I am so sorry that it hurts so much. Death was never supposed to be part of the deal was it? I wish I could be with you and share your burden because I understand your pain and your heartbreak. King is so beautiful...what a kind and beautiful soul he is. He does trust you, you know that. Please pray about this decision...ask God to help you, and guide your steps. Working in an equine vet clinic, I know exactly what you're describing medically. It's not a death sentence, but most likely is cancer and is not something you're going to cure. King's comfort is what matters now...and you. Horses are not like us - they don't think about tomorrow, or make plans for the summer. They only live in the present - the right now is what they know. Gastroguard should help if he has an ulcer, hopefully you have some Banamine for any pain he might have. Eating and drinking are always good signs. When he doesn't want to eat, that's bad news. Trust your gut, try to put your personal feelings aside and do what you would want someone to do for you if you were in King's place. Pain and suffering are not something anybody wants to go through. His eyes will tell you what you need to know, and God through your prayers will guide and comfort you. Your pictures and your memories will live in your heart forever. Losing a horse we love hurts like hell and it totally sucks when we have to make that decision. However, going to sleep peacefully with someone you love and trust by your side holding onto you, is much better than dying alone and in pain. Put King's welfare first no matter what. Know that my love and prayers are with you, and know that I am crying right there beside you. Blessings to you sweet friend. Lorie

  9. Hi Rae,

    How is your handsome King doing today?
    I was just thinking of him...and you.

    I hope you are all well.


  10. Guys, thanks is not a big enough word! Lori, the meds you mentioned are what I'm using. He has been doing good, until a few days ago then started back down that hill...I dont keep him on pain medication unless I see he needs it. What bothers me at this point is that all 4 hooves are bruised and I cant figure out why. No rhyme or reason??? He is sore it seems everywhere these days, so back to pain meds the last few days again which will upset his already teetering out of balance belly. Yep you guys have mentioned to ask King, which was my gut thought at the beginning, which was also why it was so hard to hear people around me wanting me to put him down or the opposite to keep him alive. I couldnt read what he was telling me with my own emotions thrown in the whole mix. He was doing sooooo good and his eyes are getting pained again the last few days, a roller coaster I fear we could be riding for another day - or another year, only time will tell. Love you guys for encouragement and this blog has been such a blessing! Sorry it took me so long to respond!


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