Monday, September 27, 2010

ROY - SEPTEMBER 27, 2010

Roy at Stone Mountain
Roy, our wonderful 28-year-old (or thereabouts) Carriage horse, who came here from Stone Mountain about 5 years ago, is likely dealing with a brain tumor. Recently he has had episodes of spinning in circles until he falls. Bloodwork was done, but revealed nothing to indicate why Roy is spinning. With normal bloodwork results, it is presumed that cancer is unlikely, leaving us with the distinct probability that a brain tumor is the cause of Roy's behavior and weight loss.

After spinning Sept 25, 2010
In Roy's fragile condition, it would not be easy for him to travel for an MRI. The motion would only make him more unstable. Besides, if an MRI showed a tumor, Roy would be a poor candidate for surgery in his current weakened state. Anesthesia would pose a serious danger to him. At his advanced age (and I'm told that 28 years is a long time for a horse of Roy's size), we would not wish to put him through any misery that could not hold out the promise of increasing his quality of life.

For now, we are watching and waiting to see how we can best support and help our beloved Roy. He still walks the barn and the yards when he is able and spends time in the covered ring, where he is least likely to hurt himself when he falls. I'm told that, lately, he seems to be learning to control his spinning by leaning against solid objects. That will be truly helpful in keeping him from falling and injuring himself. Most of the time he seems comfortable, and we've seen no signs of pain.

Roy in good health a few years ago
A sweet one-eyed mare, Sapphire, is often seen with him. When I was last there, Roy had fallen in the ring and Sapphire stood close by as if watching over him. We will watch her as well to see if her behavior may indicate a change in Roy's condition.

When Roy is ready to leave us, we will do everything we can to make his passing easy and gentle. While he is with us, we will revel in his presence and spend precious moments showering him with love and attention.

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