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Mourning the Loss of Oliver

Oliver came to us a broken soul, starved and abandoned, on Christmas morning of 2014. (Read his story when he arrived.) He started gaining weight quickly and was fed many small meals around the clock. He ate with gusto and really liked all the attention he was getting.

After a year he had gained back 300 lbs (above) and looked magnificent. He was friendly in nature and loved when the school kids came to visit. He would nicker to them and stand by the fence so he could be petted. Oliver was in his late 20’s to early 30’s as per the horse dentist. As his age started to catch up with him he developed Cushing’s disease and his eyesight started to go. His behavior changed as his eyesight diminished and he became more food aggressive, worried about protecting his food. We worked around him and tried very hard to alleviate his concerns. It was not easy.

It came to a point where we had to make a very difficult decision regarding Oliver’s quality of life. He had developed a brain tumor from the Cushing’s disease and was losing his eyesight, causing the increase in food aggression. He also had ulcers which we had been treating for this past year.

Oliver got agitated easily and couldn’t always differentiate between other horses and humans. Oliver had always liked kids and we had a tour one week where he aggressively lunged though the fencing at the children. I reached out to several equine professionals for answers including a behaviorist at New Bolton. She was the one who suggested we treat him for ulcers. She also said that his brain could be damaged from being starved twice so badly. With Oliver so close to our house, Bruce and I were able to observe his behavior on a daily basis. We noticed that he had recently developed narcolepsy and fallen down on occasion.

Now his eyesight was such that he saw things as though he were looking through a piece of lace. The vet told us that he would only continue to get worse as the tumor grew and his eyesight failed. For these reasons we decided to make the very hard decision with the vet -- to put him down because he had become a danger to himself and others.

Oliver truly flourished here, so handsome after he'd gained back all his weight. He left us with a full tummy and knowing he was loved. We miss him greatly.

See more photos of Oliver.

5/24/2017