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Emminim

Horse In Mourning

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Alright guys, need advice.

I have two horses, one a 17 y/o mare (bree), the other a 16 y/o gelding (raj), I got my boy a year ago.

On wednesday I had to put down my old girl (shasta) who was thirty. Wednesday was a very long and very hard day. She and bree had been pasture mates since since before I got them, and that was 10 years ago.

I knew to expect Bree to freak out and mourn for the loss of Shasta, I did not, however, expect to find bree having isolated herself from food, water, and raj, in a corner of my walk-in barn. I got Bree to eat some and drink some this morning/afternoon, but then she goes back and stands in the corner again. I know that bree will and needs to mourn for shasta, but is there anything I can do to keep her from starving and killing herself? She was very weak this morning when I got down to the barn, and was even uninterested at food at first.

Quite honestly I thought it was her feet at first because she was moving VERY slowly and stumbling a lot. Due to my class/school schedule and the farrier's schedule conflicting and no openings matching up, they have grown out and with the running around she did on wednesday she tore them up some, but I was able to pick each up and pick them out without her showing any kind of pain.

Raj is doing fine...quite honestly I think he's a little relieved she's no longer around to bully him.

So to sum it up. Bree is standing in the corner, depriving herself of food, water, and company, and in 95-100 degree heat, that's no good.

Technically bree is my younger sisters (I gave her to her last christmas) but due to age my sister is limited in internet activities so I'm taking the liberty of posting on here on her behalf.

anyways, advice is appreciated.

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You are in a tough situation.

Emmy, when she was a barn manager, had a colt die of a broken heart becaus his owmer wouldnt have anything to do with him after she bought a new horse. They tried food, treats, the vet came out, and such. In the end, he died from what the vet could only figure out was from a broken heart.

Emmy suggested to get her a mate or a companion such as a goat or mini horse. Since Raj is there, we are not sure what to do. You have to call the vet out to give her fluid and the ferier to treat her feet. She may never come out of this. So spend as much time with her as you can.

Our thought and prayers are with you and Bree.

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Good news, just went down to the barn for evening chores and Bree was out grazing with Raj! So it's good for two things: she's out of the barn and moving, and she was with Raj. I'm a little more at ease but I know I still have a long road ahead of me.

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She will get over it more quickly than you think, and certainly faster than you will. You can help her by giving her a job to do, and not "enabling" her depression by fussing over her when she is withdrawn. Instead, go out to the pasture and make much over her when you see the behavior you WANT her to exhibit.

Did she get to see the old mare after she had passed on? Many advocate allowing herd- and pack-mates to see the deceased one so they are not left with a sudden "disappearance."

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Agreed....if they have the opportunity to sniff, paw at, stand by the one that has passed away they will often do so for a couple hours and then just walk away...even mares that have lost foals will do this. If we keep them from seeing or smelling the one that has died they seem to take it harder and look for them. I think on some level they understand that they aren't coming back from being dead...maybe smell, temperature, lack of response..whatever but they don't get in as much of a funk (and some dont' seem upset at all once they've walked off). Put her out with the gelding and she will be fine within days. Herd animals can't afford to mourn for long periods....they need to eat and they need to move or they become lunch for a predator.

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