TSFkristin

Sudden Death Of A 6 Y/o

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Some of you will remember, a year ago yesterday I bought a 5y/o green broke grulla Gelding, Hatch Chile. He was a WONDERFUL horse, the perfect horse in fact.

Last Friday my sister got out to the paddock early in the morning to feed everyone and found him dead. He was already bloated and in full rigor.

History: Went to vet's with him Tues 14th for corneal scratch/ulcer. Was pretty deep (he did excellent! didn't even need sedation for eye staining etc).

Because of the severity of the scartch, our vet has us doing Neo Poly Bac opth oint 4-5 times a day, atropine oint as needed to keep it dialated, serum 3 times a day in his eye as well, IV banamine first 3 days, then oral paste tapering down to 250lb dose over two weeks, oral SMZ antibiotics twice daily for at least 3 weeks until his next follow up appointment. I emailed her progession pictures weekly, everything was going well.

We added a few handfuls of sweet feed with molasses for the oral meds. He gobbled it up! Really for a young horse, Hatch was amazing to medicate and treat. He actually got to where one person could medicate his eye with only a halter on.

Last weekend, we did a short round pen work out to stretch his legs, then my niece hand walked him around the property for several hours. I did notice that he had minor muscle twitching (over the rib area) while standing at rest that went away after working out. I emailed a short video of it to my vet and she didn't think it was anything major, like a medication reaction.

He was pooping and urinating. Eating well. Absolutely no signs of anything being wrong!

Last thursday I worked late, so i didn't go out to my sister to do the afternoon meds... She said he ate well, took his meds as normal. Friday morning he was dead.

There was absolutely NO signs of colic/rolling/pawing. Literally, it looked as if he simply laid down and died. First thing I did was call my vet, who called me back as soon as the clinic opened. We discussed the case... her initial thoughts were aortic aneurisym or heart attack. I emailed her a pic of his body (morbid, I know) and again she feels these would have been at the top of the list.

I opted out of doing a necropsy, one for financial reasons, two for actual mess factor, three because she admitted she wouldn't have a tech and I'd have to be hands on for it (I work for a small animal vet- so I'm usually ok with these things).

Just thought I'd share. I searched for year old posts about sudden death. I'm simply flabbergasted. Hatch should have lasted me 25 years as a wonderful trail horse. He died 3 days short of a year of owning him.

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I'm so sorry and I know you're going to wonder about the cause forever. But if it was that sudden, no one could have done anything to stop it.

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Oh, I am so sorry! :mecry: I know how in love with this horse you were, and remember when you were proudly bringing him home. I have absolutely no experience to offer you, just my sympathies.

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Thank you everyone!

Still shocked and we're adjusting to only seeing our original two in the paddock. Toulouse and Loki are taking the loss hard as well.

On a side note, I'll share a "in memorium" little story: Soooo, I know it's soon, but I had to get on Craigslist just to see what's on the market coming out of winter, cause eventually I will have to find a replacement for Hatch. One night I saw a post from a non-horse person desperately seeking help for "Two loose emaciated horses", pictures were included- one horse was a walking skeleton. The poster stated that local animal control was useless (they are, and don't go out of city limits anyway), livestock board would eventually get out there when they had time. The poster was pleading for help, would even pay for food.

I just couldn't let it go. Part of me said, "no, you don't want starving horses on the property- what if one of them up and dies" But I couldn't just leave horses to that fate. So Saturday morning I call a client from work who I know has rescue connections and left her a message.

By lunch, there was an "RE: Loose emaciated horses" post that help was on the way. A few hours later I got a call from the client, she had contacted Animal Protection Services, the mayor, the higher ups for livestock board, as well as one of the local horse rescues. I'll have to check with her today to see if they were found and hopefully they're at a rescue now and getting some food!

So thank you Hatch, cause I would have never seen that post and hopefully send help for these critters :angel3:

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I'm soo sorry for your loss! I enjoyed your posts about him. Losing one so suddenly and without definitively knowing the cause must be even harder. :huggies:

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So sorry for your loss. Hatch was gorgeous. I had a 5 year old cat (Sphynx neuter) that passed away in a very similar fashion. He was fine in the morning when I left for work, and was dead in his favorite chair when I got home. He did have an aneurysm, which was found on PM exam.

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So sorry for your loss. love your rescue story, what a silver lining! :smilie: but i wanted to tell you,horses rarely die from heart attacks. especially at 6. what were his bloodlines? it sounds to me like he may have had pssm. the ryr1 or i believe its called type two, will cause sudden death. and you said he had gotten some grain and exercise. dont know your horses bloodlines or history but that popped into my mind. it may also help others with similar sad cases.

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