A bit of a morbid one....

Annagain

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This is a bit morbid sorry and it's (hopefully) not imminent but as Archie is in his late 20s and has his various health issues, I wonder if, when the time comes, his body could be of interest / use to teaching hospitals. I've never been one for having ashes returned and I think I'd find it comforting knowing he was helping other horses by educating the next generation of vets.

Has anybody gone down this route or does anybody know what's involved? Is it something that needs to be lined up long in advance (like a sort of waiting list) or can it be arranged at short notice? Are there any costs involved and who is responsible for what?

There is no way he will be leaving this world anywhere but at home so it's a no go if it means he would have to travel before being PTS.
 

Regandal

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No idea how it works with horses, but I know that humans have to have everything organised if they want to leave their bodies to medical science, can’t just decide immediately before death. Might be an idea to contact some veterinary schools?
 

Rosietaz

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I don’t have any details of the place I’m afraid, however a friend of mine had her mare put down at home, and the body was then taken to a college of some sort for teaching purposes, so there are options out there.
 

Elf On A Shelf

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Firstly you need to decide if you could cope with your horse literally being cut into pieces. We are not just talking skinned and belly cut open we are talking limbs taken off at various joints and disected, the head removed, various internal organs removed and spliced up etc.

If you can safely answer yes then drop your local equine teaching hospital an email. They may say yes, they may say no. Some might say it depends on if they require the body when the time comes to say goodbye or if they have space in their cold storage.
 

Annagain

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Firstly you need to decide if you could cope with your horse literally being cut into pieces. We are not just talking skinned and belly cut open we are talking limbs taken off at various joints and disected, the head removed, various internal organs removed and spliced up etc.

If you can safely answer yes then drop your local equine teaching hospital an email. They may say yes, they may say no. Some might say it depends on if they require the body when the time comes to say goodbye or if they have space in their cold storage.
Thanks - yes I understand what it would mean (one of his many issues is melanoma so they would definitely need to go looking for them internally if that was the main reason they take him) and am pretty sure I'm ok with this. I do think that once they've gone, what's left isn't really them so that helps. Whether it's still the case when push comes to shove is another matter but I don't think I'd change my mind.
 

cowgirl16

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When I had my old boy PTS 4 years ago, I asked the Vet beforehand, if a veterinary college may be interested in having his body. (there's one not very far from me.) His response was that they probably would be interested, but that he would have to be PTS at their premises. That was the deal breaker for me, as he was a bad loader and nervous traveller and I would not entertain putting him through that kind of trauma. I think it's worth speaking to your vet, and find out the procedure with the vet college that would take him.
 

SEL

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The other option if you are up for it is to have him euthanised at home but then see if your farrier, trimmer, local college want the legs to look at his feet. A friend did this with her elderly cob who had on / off hoof problems without being a stereotypical laminitic. I do think retrospectively she found it hard thinking that he had been cut up for that purpose although she wanted him to be of benefit post death.
 

MrsMozart

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My first horse had horrendous suspensory ligament damage that really didn't compute with her being so young and in little work. It was diagnosed at the AHT. She was put to sleep there and they kept her for research.

My decision was both incredibly hard and a no-brainer. There was no hope at all that she could even be a field ornament, we tried but she just couldn't move well enough, even staling was painful for her, so if it meant another could be helped then it was the right thing for me to do. She'd already be gone and would know nothing of it. I've never doubted my decision.
 
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seamoth

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When I was at College some twenty years ago we had a horse come in for disection the lecturer/vet had arranged this with her local slaughter man. She said that the owners had not been told about this, and I'm not sure why she did it, it wasn't as though we were veterinary students or anything. It didn't sit very well with me.
 

Elf On A Shelf

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Thanks - yes I understand what it would mean (one of his many issues is melanoma so they would definitely need to go looking for them internally if that was the main reason they take him) and am pretty sure I'm ok with this. I do think that once they've gone, what's left isn't really them so that helps. Whether it's still the case when push comes to shove is another matter but I don't think I'd change my mind.
It sometimes helps to write down everything that will happen to decide what you want to do. Some people think it's a good idea but when they realise just what is involved they shy away from the idea.

I will probably donate my body to science when I die. My donor card says they can have everything except for my eyes (because that seems insanely weird!)
 

Gloi

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It sometimes helps to write down everything that will happen to decide what you want to do. Some people think it's a good idea but when they realise just what is involved they shy away from the idea.

I will probably donate my body to science when I die. My donor card says they can have everything except for my eyes (because that seems insanely weird!)
They wouldn't need all of the eyes , just the retina I think.
 

Birker2020

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This is a bit morbid sorry and it's (hopefully) not imminent but as Archie is in his late 20s and has his various health issues, I wonder if, when the time comes, his body could be of interest / use to teaching hospitals. I've never been one for having ashes returned and I think I'd find it comforting knowing he was helping other horses by educating the next generation of vets.

Has anybody gone down this route or does anybody know what's involved? Is it something that needs to be lined up long in advance (like a sort of waiting list) or can it be arranged at short notice? Are there any costs involved and who is responsible for what?

There is no way he will be leaving this world anywhere but at home so it's a no go if it means he would have to travel before being PTS.
I spoke to Philip Leverhulme after my horse was pts with wobblers in the hope they could use his neck bones to show their students, but I don't know if they ever did, I certainly didn't sign anything.
 

Fransurrey

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Where are you, OP? I work at a vet school and we do indeed take donated horses which are pts at their home. I went down this option with my own, two years ago. I also had an unofficial PM report, which was a godsend in putting my mind to rest. Like you, I knew it was coming, so had everything in place, but in theory it can be arranged quite quickly or even after being pts if you were capable of dealing with the form. Many slaughter houses have facilities to store until the paperwork is in place. In our case it's one simple form and the only caveat is that the horse cannot have any high risk infectious disease (such as TB). Your vet signs the form to that effect before or after pts. If you're near Surrey, PM me and I can give you the contacts for the lady who arranges things at the University of Surrey. She's lovely and very understanding.

The process was as per normal pts. Vet arrived, did the deed, signed the form and transporter took the body directly to the vet school along with the form. He was used to teach post mortems. The body is then cremated and the ashes buried in a garden of remembrance next to the pathology building. They can't release the body afterwards because they perform Cat 3 post mortems regularly at Surrey, so it's all highly regulated.
 

babymare

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It sometimes helps to write down everything that will happen to decide what you want to do. Some people think it's a good idea but when they realise just what is involved they shy away from the idea.

I will probably donate my body to science when I die. My donor card says they can have everything except for my eyes (because that seems insanely weird!)
I’m the same. They can have everything but not my eyes. It is weird 😀
 

Birker2020

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He was used to teach post mortems. The body is then cremated and the ashes buried in a garden of remembrance next to the pathology building. They can't release the body afterwards because they perform Cat 3 post mortems regularly at Surrey, so it's all highly regulated.
That sounds really 'nice' if you know what I mean.
It feels like something good has come out of something bad. I don't think I'd mind that. It wasn't until i got the bill for Bails pts (general cremation with fallen livestock) that I found out the people who'd come to collect her were renderers which meant her body parts/organs were used for other things, I shudder to think what. As long as I don't come across anything, she had a very unusual marking on her nose, it would be awful to see that again made into an ash tray or purse or something.
 

Annagain

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Where are you, OP? I work at a vet school and we do indeed take donated horses which are pts at their home. I went down this option with my own, two years ago. I also had an unofficial PM report, which was a godsend in putting my mind to rest. Like you, I knew it was coming, so had everything in place, but in theory it can be arranged quite quickly or even after being pts if you were capable of dealing with the form. Many slaughter houses have facilities to store until the paperwork is in place. In our case it's one simple form and the only caveat is that the horse cannot have any high risk infectious disease (such as TB). Your vet signs the form to that effect before or after pts. If you're near Surrey, PM me and I can give you the contacts for the lady who arranges things at the University of Surrey. She's lovely and very understanding.

The process was as per normal pts. Vet arrived, did the deed, signed the form and transporter took the body directly to the vet school along with the form. He was used to teach post mortems. The body is then cremated and the ashes buried in a garden of remembrance next to the pathology building. They can't release the body afterwards because they perform Cat 3 post mortems regularly at Surrey, so it's all highly regulated.
Thanks I'm in South Wales so a bit far from Surrey. I think Bristol is my closest (or has it closed? I'm sure I heard something about them not being a teaching hospital any more but might have imagined that) so will get in touch with them.
 
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I was talking to my vet about this just the other day. When she does a full dissection for/with students , it takes 2 days, so they have to have the horse delivered live and begin by euthanising it (otherwise it would have started to really stink by the end of the second day)

I guess if you've got a "well enough to travel, but won't make it through another winter" scenario, then it wouldn't be too traumatic for the horse. But I'd always want mine pts at home if at all possible.
 

spotty_pony

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I had a look at doing this with my old mare before she was pts but they wanted her to travel there and be pts at the university. This would have stressed her out immensely so I decided against it as only wanted her to be pts at home (and she was in the end). They also said I would have to pay for any of the post mortem results if I wanted to know anything! I thought that was a bit cheeky considering I would be donating a horse for their study purposes.
 

Shysmum

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The same goes for donating your own body to science...you have TO PAY, and then die on the right day of the week or you're not acceptable. After going through all that, I wouldn't even consider the equine route, unless my own vet wanted to PM exam for his own knowledge.
 

Birker2020

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I had a look at doing this with my old mare before she was pts but they wanted her to travel there and be pts at the university. This would have stressed her out immensely so I decided against it as only wanted her to be pts at home (and she was in the end). They also said I would have to pay for any of the post mortem results if I wanted to know anything! I thought that was a bit cheeky considering I would be donating a horse for their study purposes.
That is unbelievable. You are helping them! My physio friend takes part in a lot of dissections, usually they are horses from racetracks that have broken down on the track.
 

Regandal

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The same goes for donating your own body to science...you have TO PAY, and then die on the right day of the week or you're not acceptable. After going through all that, I wouldn't even consider the equine route, unless my own vet wanted to PM exam for his own knowledge.
That’s not correct, well not in Scotland. I don’t know about payment, but anyone dying ‘out of hours’ is taken to the hospital mortuary to await collection.
 

spotty_pony

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That is unbelievable. You are helping them! My physio friend takes part in a lot of dissections, usually they are horses from racetracks that have broken down on the track.
Exactly! My mare had a Keratoma which is considered quite rare so it would have been very good experience for the students but the least they could do is tell me the findings for the trouble of providing them with a horse. I bet they don’t get many offers.
 
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