Normally this time of year I would be thinking of writing an article on how much water our horses need or if we're guarding the nutrients in our supplements and feed from the heat.
But a discussion on deciding how much care and effort is appropriate for a foundered horse - especially when there is conflicting advice from veterinarians and friends - had me looking again for this article - WHEN IS THE RIGHT TIME TO SAY GOODBYE? These are always difficult decisions and there is seldom a clear cut "right" or "wrong". Many of us have experienced guilt wondering if we did enough or we realized we have waited too long and "goodbye" has become an emergency trip to the vet.
Written by Susan Garlinghouse, DVM, highly regarded Endurance veterinarian and rider, "WHEN IS THE RIGHT TIME..." is a guide to help owners objectively determine if it's "too soon" or if it is time for this final act of kindness.
"Just as with anything data-point related, the longer the list, probably the more accurate it will be in defining the animal's life. Start crossing off the list items as the animal no longer can or will do them, or only does so with great difficulty. Don't cheat."
Every pet and animal owner will face these decisions at some time. Having a copy of these guidelines might not make it any easier but will give us the confidence and comfort that we are acting wisely.
You can download a copy of Dr. Garlinghouse's article at http://allcreaturesanimalhealth.com/site/view/212700_PetcareInformationPamphlets.pml
(bottom article in the list)
Dr. Garlinghouse has long been considered the "equine nutrition guru" of endurance riders. See her endurance-related nutrition articles and, of course, "The Famous Squirrel Story" at the clinic website.