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? asked in PetsHorses · 10 years ago

How to tell her the horse is sick?

guys one of my horses - I've raised him from a foal and we've had some amazing times together with many rosettes to his name - he developed a melenoma on his tail - long story short theres no point in removing he'd prob have to loose his tail - it's oozing and the vet says enjoy him until Christmas I got many second opnions my husband and father agree that theres little that can be done.

My daughter (she's only 4) adores the ground he walks on she brushs him and he's the only horse other than her ponies on the stud she shows any intrest in - I'll be honest I'm totally and utterly gutted that theres nothing we can do or try - and I can't watch him deteriorate and go to skin and bone over the next few months - I think it's kinder to put him to sleep - I'm so upset and so is everyone else. How do I explain to her that he's not going to make it ?

We have not told my teenage sister either who has been competing oscar while I've been away.

she's going to be totally and utterly devastated - he's her idol she loves him more than she does her own horses.

guys how am I going to explain this without them both hating me I only want whats best for my boy and I can't watch him waste away infront of me - I rather him go peacefully before he gets painful.


Buche -thats my other sister - the youngest is 12 and she's the one who competes him - she's almost qualified him for the rds ( royal dublin horse show) and now to have to tell her this is going to break her heart.

7 Answers

  • Anonymous
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Sorry to hear that.

    I might be confusing you for someone else in which case disregard this part but isn't your sister on yahoo answers? If she is I'd recommend taking this town.

    As for your daughter, children take things like this much better then adults do. I remember when our dog died years ago and my mum spent ages trying to decide how to tell my brother. When she eventually came out and said "Dillon's dead" my brother simply said "Oh right......Can I have my monster munch now". While I doubt she'll take it quite that well the point is that children are far more resilient then we give them credit for.

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  • gallop
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    At four years old, your daughter is old enough to explain this in simple terms. Just explain that the horse will not get better here, and that he is going to go to a place that people can't go to, but where the sore will heal and he won't be in any pain and he will be happy with other horses. Children benefit from looking at things from an unselfish perspective. You can teach her that this is not about her loss, but about the horse's happiness. There will probably be many more situations that arise as she is growing up where you'll have to gently handle losses. They are a certainty that we all have to deal with, even at an early age. Children look for signs from adults as to how to react. If you don't act like it's the end of the world, then she won't feel like it's the end of the world. Share in a good cry over the personal loss you will all feel, and say your goodbyes before the horse is euthanized. I would not have a child this age present during euthanasia, but the 12 year old might be mature enough to want to be there with the horse. Some are and some aren't.

    Source(s): 57 years with horses Have dealt with this situation many times with 3 daughters and 2 grandsons
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  • 10 years ago

    horrible situation to be in, im so sorry. honestly i would worry more about your sister then your daughter. younger kids honestly take things alot better then adults. just explain he's going to a better place, when my cousin was about this age he cherished his cat in every way that i cherish my horse but something happened to the cat (i was still younger so i don't rember what happened) and he had to be put down, they told him he was sick and going to the vet to see if anything could be done with the full intention of having him put to sleep that day. they came home and said there wasn't anything they could do for him but there was a big farm for him to go to so he could heal and live on. i would just say something like that or just come out say he was very sick and you didn't want to make him hurt. your sister on the other hand is older, she's not gonna buy the magic farm obvisouly. she would likley be more hurt if you didn't tell her or anything just said he's being put down. you said she's been riding/showing him so she should know he has this already. i would say the vet said this ____ but we don't think it's nice to make him wait we're thinking about putting him down. key word there is thinking she will think you're still informing her and involving her, then you can say a bit later well we decided this way it's no shock to her

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Oh wow that's really awful, I'm so sorry for you all :(

    I think the best way is just to tell them both straight- especially the little girl. Beating around the bush will only confuse her, making it harder to take in. I remember my grandma spending ages trying to find the nicest way to explain to my sister about the mouse 'going to live with jesus and the angels'- about half an hour in she interrupted with 'nana do you just mean that he's dead?' children are suprisingly good at accepting bad news. They will be sad, of course they will but there's no reason why they'll hate you- it's not your fault. Encourage them to greive and tell them you're sad too but try not to get too emotional infront of them. If I were you I'd leave out the detail of putting him to sleep being technically your decision- just to completely elliminate any misguided feelings of anger being displaced onto you.

    I'm so sorry about your horse, I hope you are able to make his remaining time happy for you and him.

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  • 10 years ago

    I am keeping you, your horse and the rest of your family in my prayers. I cannot tell you what to say, mainly because I don't know. But say what your horse wants you to say, horses are never wrong. You probably think I am crazy but horses are the only ones that really know whats going on in there bodies. I know the vet already knows it is melanoma and it is easy to spot, but try talking to your horse. Just spend time observing his body language and I'm sure it will come to you, he knows whats best for him. Your family will understand. have faith, you can do this. good luck and again your all in my prayers.

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago

    Please accept my heartfelt sympathy, this is an awful situation for anyone to be in.

    The best way in my opinion, is to tell the truth, hard as this may be for you.

    I agree with you, the best way is to let him go, not only before it gets too painful for him, but also before it gets too much for you to see him in a very bad way.

    Explain that because both you and they love him, this is the kindest (and hardest), thing to do.

    They won't hate you for this, they will hate the cruel disease that has caused this painful time for all of you.

    There is no answer to this really, as this is something very personal to you all.

    How about releasing balloons when he has gone, in order to help your little one,

    Celebrate his life and what he means to all of you.

    Give them the chance to say 'goodbye'. including you, that's massively important.

    Take care,

    You are in my thoughts,


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  • 10 years ago

    I would tell my daughter thaat hes going to a wonderful place that hell really enjoy.

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