Should I take an injured horse?????

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by violetsky, May 16, 2011.

  1. violetsky

    violetsky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 14, 2011
    Huntsville, Alabama
    I went to a stud farm on business not too long ago and they had a colt there that had run full speed
    into a 3 strand barbed wire fence a few weeks prior to my visit. (neighbors fence) The poor thing
    had been stitched up but was cut to ribbons and had a couple areas of proud flesh. He could not walk
    normally but staggered about. His chest and all four legs had serious cuts, but I'm guessing the tendons
    were not completely severed or stitched up. The owner said he wasnt sure if he should put him down and
    hinted I could have him. Its an extremely well bred colt. The question is am I setting myself up for heart
    break or should I try and save him?
    Last edited: May 16, 2011
  2. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    A) what is your horse experience (if not very extensive, I'd strongly suggest giving it a pass unless you have VERY deep pockets and even in that circumstance at least have a vet give you an opinion first)

    B) how much money can you afford to put into this horse for how long, because depending on the nature of his injuries you could easily be looking at $500+/month ON TOP OF normal boarding etc expenses, or even a lot more;


    C) what would your purpose be for this horse. Well bred does not mean anything whatsoever, you wouldn't be breeding him presumably so he is just a horse.

    If he would be a pasture pet, and you can afford to keep a pasture pet for the rest of his life, and the vet indicates he has a reasonable chance of recovering enough to be happily-sound-and-comfortable as a pasture pet, then sure.

    Good luck,

  3. suzettex5

    suzettex5 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 26, 2009
    Ooooooooooh, thats a toughie. I would not personally take on such an animal. I mean, if the owner is willing to put it down, it doesnt look good for its future chances. If the owner is just giving it to you, I would think its only because he doesnt want to pay anymore vet bills, even to euthenize. If the horse is suffereing, it may be best to put it down.

    There are sooo many homeless horses and healthy, well trained, almost free horses out there, why get yourself into a heartbreak situation? Sounds like ALOT of work for little satisfaction considering you can never show it or ride it (injuries sound too bad for those things) and it may never be able to breed either if its front half ends up disabled. Do you want 30+ years of caring for this animal, possibly giving pain meds every day and having to watch out for infections and future lameness?

    I know how hard it is to see an animal suffering and the desire to 'save' it, but sometimes it isnt fair to the animal, or to you.
  4. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2010
    If the horse cannot even walk normally and is lurching around, and has unrepaired tendon injuries with extensive proud flesh, Animal Control should be called in and the horse seized, and a judge should review the case and determine if the person should be allowed to have any horses - ever again.

    If your description is accurate, the animal needs to be put to sleep and if you took it, you would just be prolonging and adding to the cruelty.

    If there are unrepaired tendon injuries then the animal should have either gotten appropriate care starting right when the injury occured (surgery, casting, with months of complicated and expensive followup care), or euthenized immediately.

    Horrific. Absolutely horrific. Some people should never be allowed to own horses. Either care for injuries properly immediately, or euthenize the poor animal....with the favor being on the side of proper immediate care when that even makes sense - often it does not. To say nothing of what sort of crowding, overstocking or inadequate, poorly made fencing or stable led to such horrific injuries in the first place.

    No, you should not take the horse. I don't mean to be unkind but it really doesn't sound like you fully understand what's involved or are equipped to deal with it - if any rehabilitation of these injuries is even possible at this point, it will require months and months of very complicated and costly care. Surgery and casting of one leg alone can run into the thousands.

    And even at that the horse may NEVER be rideable, usable or even comfortable. It would require shipping the animal to a veterinary college or advanced clinic like Rood JUST to get the injuries evaluated properly(which would probably require tests for infection, multiple xrays and ultrasounds to determine the extent of the damage and what tissues are involved), and even then, the trade off between all the pain and confinement the animal would undergo during the treatments itself vs what sort of chance he has of surviving and being even relatively pain free at the end of the treatment.

    If the description is accurate the window for those repairs is long past and the only future is pain, disability, bone infections and eventually a slow and agonizing death.
    Last edited: May 16, 2011
  5. llrumsey

    llrumsey Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 12, 2011
    Rolling Dog Ranch takes in animals that are crippled, I would suggest looking up their web site and contacing them.
  6. violetsky

    violetsky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 14, 2011
    Huntsville, Alabama
    If the horse looks like Frankenstein that's ok with me,
    if the staggering indicates permanent impairment than I just assume not get myself in a position where
    I have to make some hard decisions. There are deep cuts across his chest and all over all four legs. The proud
    flesh is high up where one front leg connects to the torso. That seems be why he is lurching as he does not want to
    put weight on his front legs but they don't buckle or flop like the tendon would be if it was completely severed.

    The owner has the colt under vet care and has a nice facility. The yearling got loose and galloped with another colt
    into the neighbors barbed wire fencing. Both look a mess but the other colt doesnt limp or lurch when he moves.
    Time is not a problem or profit. I wouldnt mind keeping him for a year or two and doing basic ground training. The reason
    I mentioned his good breeding was I think if he healed up sound I could find him a good home. He could be an over bred
    trail horse if nothing else. I'm pretty sure even if there is not permanent damage it's going to be at least 6 months of continuous
    cleaning and disinfecting to get everything healed up and longer for the scars to shrink, that I don't mind doing. Is everybody
    convinced he will be unsound the rest of his life? I need to make a decision soon. Any success stories?
  7. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2010
    If the animal is staggering/won't put weight on forelegs, there is something more severe than superficial proudflesh causing that.

    Horses very often heal up surprisingly well from horrific body wounds, if they are cared for properly from the start. It is injuries on the legs which are the more difficult to get healed up.

    You feel you'll keep this animal for a year or two and then 'find him a home'? So you plan to sell him and make some money?

    Sell him to whom? Someone who does not notice he can't put weight on forelegs?

    This kind of horse you keep, you don't get him planning to sell. If it is even ethical to keep him and not euthenize him, which based on your description I very very much doubt.

    I don't care how nice a facility it is, something is very very not right. No one should ever try to sell or even give away such an animal, ie, pass along the hard decisions to someone else and/or avoid the expense of long term care.

    If the animal IS getting appropriate care, and still isn't putting weight on both forelegs long after this injury, still, something is very, very wrong - and it isn't something you can fix and then sell the animal.

    No, you can't 'find him a good home in a year' as in give him away - he can't even walk!!!! So many people are trying to give away horses and hey can't even GIVE AWAY sound, trained horses with show experience!!! People are turning them loose to fend for themselves!!

    There is a big difference between this situation and a horse that is a little stove up/a little stiff, and can be maintained and have a decent quality of life.

    I am going to have to bow out of this one before I say something that gets me banned. I am first and always for the horse and the horse's welfare. Again, a situation where I feel the potential buyer is planning on getting a horse for resale that involves a very, very serious situation has ethical issues that are being ignored.

    A horse is not like a dog, that can hop around on 3 legs or two legs (even dogs put incredible strain on their other legs in that situation and the other legs don't always hold up for long).

    A horse is a heavy, large animal. Even what it can hobble around on painfully as a weanling or yearling, will NOT support it as it grows more.

    And the psychological misery that a horse, because of its unique thought processes and method of survival, suffers horribly when it cannot but lurch around.
    Last edited: May 17, 2011
  8. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 20, 2009
    Orange County, NY
    Quote:IMO - do what you think is best for the colt
  9. dutchhollow

    dutchhollow Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2008
    SW IA
    Have your vet come out and do a check and go from there. If nothing else you will feel better that you tried something.
  10. duckluck

    duckluck Dulcimyrh Ducks

    Oct 22, 2009
    I agree with Welsummerchicks, but if you feel you HAVE to do something, I think Dutchhollow has a good alternative solution.

    I personally think it is wrong that any stud farm is waffling on such a decision and thinking about giving away such an animal, especially in an economy where people are giving away or throwing away horses. They might be hoping someone else can do all the work and spend the money and maybe they can buy him back cheap later if he turns out to be something they'd want to breed. People are losing money hand over fist on horses right now.

    In any case, I hope this works out for you, but if I were you I'd give your money and time to a deserving animal that has earned its keep, maybe a much-loved family pet that someone has to give up because they have lost their job, and leave this farm to have to make their hard decisons on their own.

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