Goodbye, Marrakesh

On Friday, I made the decision to have Marrakesh euthanized.

Last Thursday, his vet called me to give me an update on how he was responding to the treatment for his joint infection. It wasn’t a good update- he didn’t appear to be responding to treatment at all. He refused to bear weight on the leg. Clinic staff would help him up to nurse, he would do so, and then he’d immediately lay back down. The vet told me I didn’t need to make any decisions immediately, but he did advise me that the chances of Marrakesh recovering were dwindling.

On Friday, I spoke with the vet about further diagnostics. I told him I wasn’t particularly concerned with cost- I was more concerned with long-term prognosis for soundness. He understood, and said that another set of radiographs would be useful. Radiographs would show if the joint was continuing to degrade or not. I gave the vet the okay for another set of radiographs and held out hope for a minor miracle. A few hours later, his vet called me with the results. The joint was degrading. If he lived through the infection, he would never be sound and would likely live in chronic pain.

After that, the decision to euthanize him wasn’t really a decision at all.

Johnny and I met up at the clinic on Friday night, where the staff met us after-hours and let us spend as much time with him as we wanted. I petted his soft face and fluffy ears and assured him that he was the very best boy who’d done the very best he could. I petted Gina and told her she was a good girl and a good mama. The clinic staff assured me that I was making the right decision; I knew that, but it was comforting to hear veterinary professionals say it.

And so Marrakesh’s brief life came to a peaceful end on Friday evening.

Being right doesn’t make this situation less awful. I’m sad. Johnny’s sad. I imagine many of you who have been invested in the little guy’s life since he was a small black dot on an ultrasound screen are sad. Gina seemed sad over the weekend. I derive some amount of comfort from knowing that since the beginning, I did everything I could to give him a chance at a normal life. The veterinary staff at Pine Ridge Equine Hospital are outstanding, and I know they worked hard on his behalf. But that’s the way it goes sometimes- everyone does their best, and sometimes, it’s just not enough.

I cannot thank all of you enough for your encouraging words, your prayers, your positive thoughts, and your support. Having such a big network of supporters and cheerleaders and friends has helped me stay positive through what’s been a very trying time.

33 Replies to “Goodbye, Marrakesh”

  1. Stephanie, I’m so so sorry. You did everything you could and are an amazing horsewoman. Hugs to you, your family and Gina.

  2. I am so sorry. I was rooting for him and it’s heartbreaking how much he went through in such a short time. But he had a wonderful team around him and you all did everything you could for him.

  3. So very sorry. You made all the right decisions and did everything you could. Horses just break your heart sometimes. Hugs.

  4. Tears. I’m so sorry for your loss. You did everything right and made the best decision for Marrakesh. Hugs to you.

  5. I am so sorry to hear this. You did everything you could for him and he was so loved. Sending a million hugs. <3

  6. Oh, Stephanie. I am so so sorry to read this and my heart is shattered for you. I don’t even feel as though I have the proper words to express here, but know you are in my thoughts. Sending you hugs. <3 <3 <3

  7. It’s always so hard when everything isn’t enough.

    Run free, little guy.

  8. Karen & Hampton says: Reply

    I’m so very sorry. Please accept my heartfelt condolences. Hugs.

  9. My heart breaks over this Stephanie. I am so sorry. I want to squeeze you so hard right now πŸ™

  10. Oh No!!! I saw the title of your post and my heart dropped. I was so wishing for a different outcome for you and Marrakesh. My sincerest condolences to you, Johnny and your equine family.

  11. I’m so sorry. There aren’t good enough words to describe how much it sucks when everything possible isn’t enough. I hope your heart rests a little easier knowing you did the right thing for him. <3

  12. We bear the pain so they don’t have to. He was lucky to have you. Sending you ❀️

  13. I hope you take some comfort in knowing you gave him the absolute best. So many hugs to you, Johnny, and Gina.

  14. Doing the right thing isn’t easy, but it really shows how awesome a person you are. You did everything possible and gave him the best shot at life. Take your time to grieve and know that we are here for you.

  15. I’m so sorry for your loss
    Sometimes the right decisions are the hardest.

  16. Stephanie, I’m so sorry. I can’t imagine the roller coaster you guys have been on, but your posts and updates have conveyed how much you cared for the little guy. He was a special one.

  17. Oh Stephanie and Gina. I am so very sorry. So so so so sorry. Hugs to you and thank you for letting us readers into his life. I’m so sorry.

  18. i am so so sorry, there are no words πŸ™ i’m heartbroken for you – please know you are in my thoughts

  19. Oh no πŸ™ I’m so sorry. I was really rooting for the little guy. He was very lucky to have such a good owner to make the best decisions for him. Thinking of all of you.

  20. I just wanted to add my condolences and hugs to you. After having spent so long in a vet school ICU last year with many uncertain outcomes and mysterious bacteria for weeks, I know how difficult and draining it is. I’m so sorry you had to say goodbye to your beautiful boy. Give his mama a hug from us too. <3

  21. Betsy in WI says: Reply

    Aww, no. I have been worried ever since you wrote about the joint infection. I am so sorry this happened. You gave him all the help possible, that was supposed to be enough. Thanks for sparing him a life of pain.

    Dang bacteria. So tiny, yet so dangerous.

  22. Never commented before, but I am SO sorry… doing the right/hard thing hurts so much.. You are an amazing person & you & Gina are in my thoughts. </3

  23. I’m so heartbroken for you. You, Johnny, and Gina are all in my thoughts. <3

  24. My heart is aching for you. It’s so hard to reconcile what the brain knows with what the heart feels. Take care of yourself.

  25. This is just heartbreaking, I’m so sorry. Thinking of all of you <3

  26. I’m so sorry to hear this. It absolutely sounds like you did everything possible for him. I’m sorry this breeding adventure has had such a sad ending for you. (((hugs)))

  27. Oh, I’m just heartbroken to hear this: everyone was rooting for the little guy! It takes courage to make the hard decisions, so many hugs to you and Gina too!!

  28. So, so, sorry to hear this. I’ve been rooting for the little guy. Can’t imagine how you are feeling – so heartbreaking.

  29. I am gut-wrenchingly sad for you, Johnny and Gina! Sending you a ginormous virtual hug and thinking of you all.

  30. Oh no… I am so sorry to hear this. Keeping you all in my thoughts <3

  31. I’m so sorry. He was such a cute little guy.

  32. I’m so sorry for all of you. You absolutely did everything you could for him. Even at the end. Sending lots of <3 to you all.

  33. I’m so, so sorry Stephanie <3 For what it's worth, I think you made the right choice. Sending you all my love

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