If you know me at all you have probably heard that tomorrow I have to put down my "new" OTTB, Northern Blue. Blue came into my life this past December, and throughout the miserable winter I sat inside and planned for my spring with Blue. I'll admit it doesn't take much for me to fall in love with a horse, and Blue was no exception, but I couldn't help but really fall for him. Sweet, sane, handsome and unflappable... an all around great guy. If he was human, he would be the one you would bring home to your parents.
About 10 days ago I pulled off his blanket and was shocked by how much weight he lost practically overnight, and not just weight on his ribs, serious muscle loss. Then I started noticing other things, almost unnoticeable ventral edema, mild swelling in his sheath, and his chest and neck had developed lumps that I was sure were not just muscle I had overlooked. Later that night he had a fever, an hour later it had resolved on its own. I gave him Banimine anyway, but I had a bad feeling... our best diagnosis is Lymphoscaroma, most likely of the GI tract. I did not have the aspirate sent off to the lab. The diagnosis is inconsequential anyway, his downhill progression has been rapid and painful to watch. His laundry list of ailments continues to grow and his stall has slowly become an equine hospice with round the clock drugs and care.
10 days from when I pulled off his blanket, we are here, on our last evening together, the vet will be here tomorrow morning to put him down, to relieve him from his suffering. So this evening as he slowly found his way to the top part of the paddock to watch his last sunset, I found my way up there as well and stood with him. I told him how much I loved him and how sorry I was for this injustice. He stood very still and quiet, shifting from one back leg to the other. I took some photos of him as well, some nice head shots in the lingering sunshine, and some body shots, mostly to document his symptoms and the rapid progression of this disease. We stood together for an hour or so and then I made my way down the hill alone. He came in after the sun went down to have his dinner, be wrapped and medicated. We will be with him through the evening, and of course tomorrow morning, when he will need us the most...
Goodbye Northern Blue... travel well my friend, I wish our time together had been longer.