Friday, February 17, 2012


I've been thinking alot about writing something fun and witty about the City Barn...  perhaps my love of notes posted on the white board or the integration of new barn mates (human not horse) or even the shred of hope that my GRRRRRR is coming back.  Yeah, that's really the kind of writing I want to do... 

Quiet Beauty
Truth is...  I can not shake the image of the what happened in that Hyperbolic Chamber in Ocala FL last week -  one young woman and the horse being treated died in a horrific explosion.  There was one survivor, lucky because she ran to dial 911 and made it just that little bit far enough away that the blast did not kill her. 

God bless the families of those two girls... one for their loss and the other for the enduring the physical and emotional pain of survival.  And I will pray for a recovery that is quick and complete...  sending her the jingles that we horse peeps hold so sacred... 

I've been following the Bulletin Boards - COTH primarily - and I've been shocked at some of the comments.  Oh, for the most part everyone feels awful about what happened and have expressed sympathy for the loss of lives.   What was most unexpected?  Well, let me list a couple of comments that floored me:
  • "It's used for treating everything from infection to founder to giving racehorses a little extra edge. I've seen it work a minor miracle for a horse with a bone infection."
  • "For the folks who keep talking about taking the shoes off, it just is not practical in many cases. These are not all horses that are there with major issues - many of them get this treatment therapeutically while they are still in training so they need shoes on."
  • "One thing I thought of in regards to sedation-since many times the horses getting this therapy are actively competing, they may hesitate to involve sedation for drug testing purposes since that kind of drug a lot of times does stay in their system long after it has worn off."
  • "I personally don't think there is anything wrong with getting a competitive advantage such as this. Way different than tapping and blocking and such. The vet I used said it was most effective 4-5 days out from the race as sometimes it makes them feel a little worn out the next day."
  • "Life isn't fair. As long as it isn't detrimental to the horse I see no problem with it. Horses aren't for the poor."
For the record?  These posts are out of context and do not necessarily reflect the attitudes of the greater group/thread, but it did leave me thinking... well overthinking again.

There must be a point when we just say no.  Animal care has to have some level of reasonableness.  More than one poster on this thread talked about the financial drive that facilities have to use specialized (and potentially dangerous) devices for more and more off label uses.  True research towards determining accurate outcomes is not financially viable if you can treat conditions prior to the release of proof that such treatment works.  It's about money.

I bet that if someone tracked the incidences of colic surgery, you would find that the increase in surgical procedures is directly proportional with the rise in Major Medical insurance policies.  And I do wonder, is all that colic surgery necessary?  Or are we convinced that without it our horse will die an agonized death?  And because of that fear, it becomes impossible to wait.  It's about money.

Used with permission
Care for our animals should treat illness and injury.  And that care should be reasonable and appropriate for the age, activity level and health of the animal.  It also should be proven safe, effective with a proven outcome (yes, we have that in human care, we should have that in animal care).  And, most importantly, it should be medically necessary.

Right this minute, I have two beautiful, sometimes naughty and almost always lovable dogs snoring nearby.  Somewhere, just three miles away, Sugar is eating hay in the big City Barn.  I thank God for their health and hope that I do what is right by them, even if it means saying no.

Hug your family...  all of them... now!


Amanda said...

I can't get the image of the young lady looking at the monitor in tears just before she was killed out of my head. I can't imagine the trauma that the surviving lady experienced and is still experiencing. It is infuriating how often it takes a tragedy of this magnitude for changes in safety procedures and precautions to be changed. This seems to just be plain old human nature and not just restricted to all things equine.

I really pray for the families and folks involved that they can find some peace.

BeBe said...

Agreed...there is a line to be drawn. Like the horses who have insane bone marrow surgeries so they can compete it really worth it? There are so many horses out there that are sound and healthy that could use a chance. Some horses just deserve retirement.