Suzanne called from Colorado last Thursday to tell us Quilla was walking like he was drunk. All of his vitals were good he was eating and drinking, so my first thought was he had a stroke. She said they had already thought that too. They sent a video of him walking and another one the following morning which showed no change in walking ability.
With equine the first 24-48 hours give you a good idea of whether they will survive and have quality of life with a stroke. Doc Howard came out to give Quilla a dignified death, rather than living in a situation that would have the same ending, after days, weeks or months of deterioration. We have faced this decision many times and have thought more than once we probably should have made the decision sooner. There comes a time when I think you hold on for your sake, not the animal that relies on you to make the best decision for them.
The earliest pictures I have of Quilla were in February 2008, I assume that is about when he came here. He had been in the same home for 9 years and the woman was proud of the fact that she had never had a vet or had his teeth done, and judging from the way his feet looked when he came in, a farrier wasn't used either. She had gotten him as a companion for her horse and had no use for him when horse died. He had been overfed, was obese and his feet was so long the walls had collapsed and he was walking on them.
|This is Quilla after he got here, with his savior Georgette. Georgette had been after us for a couple of years to "save" him from a woman she knew because of his lack of care, before we finally agreed to take him.|
|He got to see the Rio Grande this summer, was quite a surprise for a little desert donkey that had probably spent his whole life in the dry desert of Arizona.|
|Suzanne took this picture the day before Doc Howard came out.|