My Poor, Pretty Pony

Well, some very sad news.

Today my mom had the vet out to take a look at our 28 year old POA pony, Tumbin’ Dice, or more affectionately, Buddy. Buddy hasn’t been too well off, drinking mass amounts of water, violently teary eyes, and rapid weight loss. Well, he was diagnosed with Cushing’s Disease. There really isn’t anything we can do, and we are going to have to put him down really soon.

Buddy is actually my little sister’s pony, she got him for her 5th birthday, and we’ve had him for 4 years. He’s been shown for many many years as a western pleasure pony. He’s such a sweet old boy, when we were feeding tonight, I just about burst into tears a few times. She’s 9, and she doesn’t know about any of this yet, but we are going to tell her tonight after religion class.

Has anyone else have any experience with this disease? This is just so devastating to me, but I guess it was almost a long time coming. I’ve been so lucky to only have a mild case of colic and 2 fairly unsevere injuries in 7 years of having horses.

I’ll update you all when we figure out when we are going to put him down. We are burying him here, at home, so that makes me feel better. My dad was always like “when those old nags drop over, they are going in the dead shed (we have a large hog operation) and the rendering truck will take them away…”. My dad really doesn’t care about our horses, though.

On a lighter note, the vet said my 28 year old pleasure horse looks great, so I was very thankful for that.

Sorry to hear about Buddy. :frowning: On the plus side, at least his suffering will be limited. And burying him on your property sounds wonderful…I donated my mare to the vet school for research because I had nowhere to intern her (and no money to buy a plot somewhere, being a starving student at the time).

I don’t have any experience with Cushing’s, but the place I volunteer at had to have their 30-something horse put down. He was buried there and it’s both sad and nice knowing he’s close by. I’m sure it’ll be hard on your sister, but it sounds like he had a long satisfying life. Good luck telling her.

I’ve never had a horse but I have lost several dogs-my best friends.It’s never easy but at least you know you gave them a great home and made their life a good one.Other animals should be as fortunate.God Bless.

Actually one of my current horses has the first stages of Cushings: Hypothyroidism… He’s only 17 too… From an owners standpoint, it’s a really depressing disease… He’s an American Warmblood; and unfortunately because the breed is so ‘new’, he technically is only 3 crosses… the draft horses in his grandparent’s generation contributed the Cushing’s gene… Cresty, plucky horses that are easy keepers are generally the ones afflicted… My horse is on medication to increase his thyroid levels, and it seems to work very little: He’s still not the horse he used to be. Truthfully I wish I could put him down, because he’s not happy at all; but my parents are convinced he’ll make a full recovery (which he won’t, ever… they don’t understand horses very well). He mopes, and barely moves throughout the day… His coat is disgusting; it’s un-even and patchy… and hooves are starting to show ridges: I can’t help but think he’s rotating. And he’s SO prone to abcessing… Actually one that we all missed, the farrier included, just popped the other day: and it was so painful for him, he wouldn’t move at all. So, hang in there… It sucks, I know… Just know that he probably thinks of his years with you as the happiest in his life…

Thanks for all the support, everyone, we’re probably going to have to let him go tomorrow.

I’m so sorry about your horse, KindleHope. Maybe he will recover to the point where he’s at least not in any serious pain… I also know what its like when your parents don’t understand horses- my mom tries, but she’s fairly worthless as anything but a “horse show mom” and holding them for the vet and farrier, and my dad doesn’t really like them- I think of 7 years of showing, he’s been to 10 shows? Maybe?

And actually, his hooves are in really perfect condition- this was remarked on by out farrier about 2 months ago when he got his last trimming. He’s never abscessed on us, and even though his hooves are light colored, they are solid and tough as anything.

Yeah, it is really nice to know that he’s being buried on the farm. I would hate to see him go any other way.


Im so sorry to hear about your horse. Losing a loved one is never easy. I’m sure he was well taken care of and much loved, and there’s not much more he can ask for than that. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family through this tough time.

A 30 year old pony at our barn developed cushing’s about 5 years ago. She was in the mid-stage of it, losing weight, poor coat, and drinking and peeing excessively. The vet put her on some sort of medication, I think it was Prednisone, but I can’t remember.

She left our barn about 2 years ago, but she made a nice recovery, she wasn’t drinking excessively anymore, had gained back all her weight and her coat had come back very nicely. She felt good to, everyday she was turned out she ran around the field like a lunatic.

Talk to your vet about any medication, and other options if it might be worth it to try and save him. Every horse is different, who knew that a 30 year old pony could make a full recovery. She has to stay on the pills for the rest of her life, but it is a good life.

The only draw-back is that the medication is quite expensive but if there is a good chance, I would try it. But as I said before, every horse is different, some can be in the very beginning stages and never recover fully. It’s worth a try though, finding out.

Either way, I’m sure you will make the right decision for him.