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BNW
07-04-14, 08:15 PM
What would you do if you have a 36 year old pony who looks fantastic but seems to be going blind?

He's been a bit night blind for a couple of years now but seems to be a lot worse now and has had a few 'episodes' during the day recently that make me think he might be going totally blind or perhaps a bit senile. I'm getting the vet out this week to assess him. Just wanted to know what you would do or if anyone has experience with a blind/hard of seeing, pony. Would he be better off in with another pony for guidance? Or kept on his own in a familiar paddock.

BNW

Littlelamb
07-04-14, 09:01 PM
Do you really want your old boy to keep having turns and possibly walking into something and hurting himself? He is quite an age. Such a difficult situation.

Red Dun
07-04-14, 09:07 PM
Naturally you will take the advice of your vet so what I suggest will depend on what the vet says :)

Personally, I would keep him on his own in the paddock he knows, providing it is safe (no rubbish, gullies, holes etc). That way he can eat what he likes, when he likes, without it being eaten on him by another pony. Some oldies tend to eat their feeds a bit at a time and go back regularly to have a bit more of a nibble. Another pony would also have to be very tolerant and not pushy or bossy as they do get a bit 'doddery ??'

Whatever you decide I wish you the best of luck. 36 years of age is just fabulous!

Dragoness
07-04-14, 09:15 PM
I agree with littlelamb. Imagine how scary it would be for a prey animal to be totally blind, even if he is in a safe environment. Wait and see what your vet says about his eyesight, but would you ever forgive yourself if he got a fright and seriously hurt himself.

acaciaalba
07-04-14, 09:43 PM
maybe Revelus could come in here with some feed back ? she hasnt been around for awhile, but she had a deaf mare who went blind . remember Tahya ?

teetee
07-04-14, 09:49 PM
Naturally you will take the advice of your vet so what I suggest will depend on what the vet says :)

Personally, I would keep him on his own in the paddock he knows, providing it is safe (no rubbish, gullies, holes etc). That way he can eat what he likes, when he likes, without it being eaten on him by another pony. Some oldies tend to eat their feeds a bit at a time and go back regularly to have a bit more of a nibble. Another pony would also have to be very tolerant and not pushy or bossy as they do get a bit 'doddery ??'

Whatever you decide I wish you the best of luck. 36 years of age is just fabulous!

I agree with all of this :)

OakyPoke
08-04-14, 01:26 PM
I was fortunate enough to have a pony that lost a lot of her sight, but had a best mate of many years in the paddock with her. She would just stick her nose onto his tail and follow him round. He'd take her grazing, to the water trough. She was PTS a couple of years ago with advanced cushings. But if your horse doesnt have a best pal of similar age (and speed) to hang out with, well I agree with what everyone else has said. Best of luck with your vet visit.

k8
08-04-14, 04:55 PM
Hard to know what's best... harder still to make the call when you know the horse, love the horse and want only the best for the horse... I am going through this right now with a 35 year old guy of my own... I can't offer any advice except to say.... sometimes being 'alive' doesn't actually mean they are living a life worth living!... BUT If your horse is looking fantastic then chances are he's not fretting or worried or suffering... so I'd be keeping that in mind... (for the moment).... but good luck... it's damned hard when you love your animals.... especially when you have shared a life with them for 20 - 30 years (as in my case! :( )

chas2
08-04-14, 09:18 PM
We have a 25yo pony who had a fit of some sort a year or two ago, and at a guess has only about 20% vision - sees things vaguely but that's it.
His senses are pretty good though as he can find carrots thrown near to him :)
He lives with two 31yo and 26yo horses. We feed them separately, as in well apart.
He is totally content with his paddock mates - doesn't need to be near them at all times, and knows his way around his paddock no problems, to water and feed.
I expect he will live for some years yet as he is healthy and content.
However, saying that, be guided by your vet if yours is in any ill health etc.

BNW
08-04-14, 09:21 PM
Thanks guys. He's a perky little chap, loves his food, comes trotting across the paddock for his dinner. He has no teeth, can't eat grass or hay, well he tries but he leaves it all over the paddock in chewed up clumps!! the dentist is always surprised to see him still going every year he comes here! He's doing very well on maxi soy, extruded barely and balance pellets with slippery elm bark powder all made up into old man mash, which he happily sucks down!!

Will wait and see what vet thinks about his sight.

Thanks again!

BNW

opensky
08-04-14, 09:34 PM
Such great stories in replies for consideration...the key seems to be familiarity of environment. Love Oaky's nose-to-tail story :) and Chas' consideration of feeding well apart...good luck BNW, senior years with our horses challenge us for sure.

sally
09-04-14, 05:01 AM
Do what you are doing and have the vet check him out. If you can, get him a paddock mate that will always be with him. Horses adapt to being blind much better than what most people think! A friend of mine didn't even know her old retired man was 100% blind until his older paddock companion passed away, he wouldn't come up for feeds the next day, got vet out who confirmed he had been blind for some time!

Good luck

LisaL
09-04-14, 07:13 AM
He's 36 and the quality of life is deteriorating. His system is still operating and he looks good. The green dream is painless, he literally will fall asleep and not wake up. That is far more kind than waiting for him to suffer the pain and stress of a colic, a heart attack or the stress of an injury.

36 is a bloody good innings, what is the point of waiting 'until it's time'? When will it be time?

Anubis
09-04-14, 07:18 AM
Have a chat to Reveleus who had a lovely deaf mare who started to lose her sight.

i think you are asking a question you know the ultimate answer to and are trying to pluck up the courage while looking for hope....like any of us would be in your place.

Hard choices ahead for you. My thoughts are with you

cyrus
09-04-14, 09:22 AM
MY thoughts are with you too, I had the same last year, left the decision to the vet, and that was it.
I know my vet always puts the horses welfare first, and always calls it a "human problem" so I knew when she said the time had come, I had to suck it up, and do the right thing.
Which I did. If it is that time, spoil them rotten, enjoy your last days etc... it never gets easier. But I do believe Shadow went down easily because he was also in good health, and I think that was much better than finding him down and out one day too.
Best of luck with it all.

mrsgg
11-04-14, 12:08 AM
Hard times :( So true to listen to the advice of your vet and all I can add is that having had my nearly 35 old man PTS due to colic, I just wish that maybe we'd done it earlier rather than him go through most likely a night of pain and then as it was Sunday rather a long wait for the vet that morning. I think its always a tough and emotional time. However another way of looking at it is that if not for human intervention he would long ago have starved to death, it sounds like you've kept him going for a long time already!