I have been doing this for a few years now. Since Roy had his spinning problem in late September of 2010, it has been even more important. Roy walked out of the barn late that night, walked about 20 feet from the barn door and started spinning to the left. He couldn't stop. I eased him into the covered ring since it has a sand base, I thought if he falls hard, at least he would land on soft sand. I stayed with him. I was happy he slowly eased himself down. He laid there for about an hour and he looked very comfortable. He then got up walked away and several times a day for the next few weeks, he would start to spin again. I have a vet come out who said she believes he injured his hip. We gave him anti inflammatory medications for a few days but no change. I asked another vet who thought it was heart syncope causing it. As it slowed down a little, Roy learned to lean against a pole to not spin and keep his balance. Another vet came out and thought it may be a brain tumor. He said Roy is not a good candidate to go for an MRI and sedating him could kill him. I felt like this diagnosis may be the closest to the problem because he only spun to the left and he developed a small spot on his left eye. They vet said the spot didn't have any thing to do with it but I truly believed it did. So now if he does have a brain tumor, what to do? How can we fix it? The vet gave me some antibiotics and little hope.
|Roy laying in the sun napping next to his old girlfriend, Sapphire.|
So many people knew Roy, he had been here 8 years. A big, golden Belgium draft horse stands out in everyone's mind. People came from everywhere to say good bye to him. We were facing a decision so hard to make. Picking a date and time to die, to end a life. We all work so hard rescuing horses is to save their life. This part was the saddest thing anyone could do, a decision not taken easily. It weights heavy on your heart.
A volunteer, Libby, told me she was giving a dog the spice, turmeric, which has been known to shrink tumors, and suggested I try it on Roy. How could it hurt? What was there to lose? It was actually hope, hope it could help Roy live longer. We started with a tablespoon and eventually increased it to 6 tablespoons a day. It worked like miracle. Roy's spinning slowly stopped for nearly two years. Turmeric gave us more time to love Roy. About a month, ago, Roy started to walk and turn around a little more often. I did increase the turmeric and prayed it wasn't happening and getting worse.
|You can see where Roy was circling.|
I saw a few more signs of Roy spinning. It not have been noticed by anyone else but I saw places in the gravel where Roy was spinning. I pointed it out to some of the volunteers, I think in my heart, I was preparing everyone, including myself, that this was close to the end.
Early this morning, I walked into the barn to make sure Sweetie was OK. I saw Roy laying in the shaving pile, his favorite place to rest. He looked comfortable. I did notice his eyes were opened. I walked over to him, waved my hand in from of his eye. no reaction. Then I called him, he couldn't hear well anymore so I was louder and louder. I patted his leg and moved it, still no reaction. Was Roy gone? I was not grasping this at all. I walked all the way back into the house and I kept thinking, he is just sleeping. My mind was recalling Roy's almost 10 years at the rescue and all the people who love him. I had to go back in the barn to confirm my crazy thoughts. I was mistaken, yes, I surely hoped I was.
Sadly, I was right. Roy had died peacefully in the place I have seen him lay down for many years. He was gone.
|Albert being comforted as he lays on tarp covering Roy's body.|
This is a blog from when Roy started spinning.
Our banner with our lovely Roy.
Rest In Peace Sweet Roy.