Donating a horse to science

spotty_pony

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A bit of a grim one but had anybody ever donated their horse to sciencs? If yes how did they go about sorting it out? Or did the Vet do it?

Just putting plans in place for my old mare, and a Vet suggested not long ago she would be an interesting one to study as she has an advanced Keratoma which is quite rare.
 

Equi

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I would think the vet would take the part they required after pts at home rather than the entire body but I’m not sure. Would she be able to travel to the vets practice? If so then you could say goodbye there and they will do the rest. Horrible thing to have to think and talk about, but also a very brave thing to do to help others.
 
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I think you would need to clarify what they mean and what you wish. Donating a body after death to science (human or animal) can mean anything from tests to training for surgery etc.. All are worthwhile but it depends on what you are comfortable with

I would agree personably but it depends on what you feel comfortable with, so sorry you are even having to think about this
 

skint1

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When my mare died from EAM the hospital asked if I’d be willing to donate tissue samples to a research project run by a Belgian university. They arranged it all for me. I reckon if you spoke to your vets they would arrange it for you in advance of the sad day when you might not be in the right frame of mind for paperwork
 

spotty_pony

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thank you for all of the replies, she definitely won't be travelling anywhere to be pts, she will be pts here at home regardless of what happens. I have emailed the Vets so will see what they say.

yes it is a grim thought but they have said it's very rare for a horse to be able to have a keratoma for 5 years (it doesn't bother her at all) and they really don't have the information as to what they are like at that stage so it would he helping others hopefully. It is a horrible thought but I am trying to get it all right in my head. Having lost one of my boys in Feb it is still very raw and way to soon for me to lose another but I will do what is right by her once the tine comes.
 

Midlifecrisis

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I offered my mares body to Weipers so they could work out stomach emptying issues but they said it would cost too much for them to take on….but perhaps that was because it was March 2016..the dept may have run out of money or it didnt fit in with teaching modules left in the year.
 

MissTyc

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Sorry that you're losing her. In this case, they will cut off the required body part and send it to the vet school or research lab. I've worked with many donated ponies; all were PTS at home by the method of choice of the owner, then taken to the usual cremation place where the vet met the body to take what was needed before it was processed. I've worked with a range of parts including whole head, legs, or entire gastric system. It was always respectful and with huge gratitude to the owner for making a decision that will allow others to live better lives in the future.

When a live horse is donated, that's a bit different but obviously not the case here.
 

Rosietaz

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I can’t remember the full ins and outs, but a friend of mine did this with her elderly mare. She contacted equine universities and vet colleges etc and found somebody who was interested, and then had the horse put down at home by the knackerman who then transported the body to the research facility. They basically did a full biopsy and gave my friend the option of knowing any issues the mare had.
 

dorsetladette

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Years ago we bred a part bred welsh who developed a strange lump on his face. Was put down to teething by the vet, but it never went away although it didn't bother him. (we're talking in the 90's - I know things have changed a lot since then) At 3 we started to break him and noticed he held his head oddly when wearing his bridle. Vet came back and after inconclusive xray's off he went to liverpool univeristy. They expected to find a deformed tooth or a tooth that was stuck behind another. But, when they opened him up they found the inside of his skull was like honeycomb. He was put to sleep on the operating table as his skull started to crumble. We were so lucky he didn't bash himself in the stable or out playing in the field with the other colts.

Anyway, his body was kept by the university for training purposes as his case was so unusual. So, it might be worth contacting the training colleges/uni's to see if they would be interested in the your old girl when the time comes.
 

Annagain

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I know a vet with connections to Liverpool Vet school and have discussed Archie going there when his time comes as although his issue is melanoma and they're pretty common, each cohort of students will need to see them in the flesh. Unfortunately I think we're too far away as there's no way he's leaving this world anywhere but at home.
 

cowgirl16

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It may differ from area to area, (I'm in NE Somerset/Bristol area), but when I had my old boy PTS 3 years ago, I asked the vet if I could donate his body to a vet school. Upshot was - I could, but I would have to transport him to the facility, and he would be PTS there. I couldn't bear that thought, so had him PTS at home.
 

Meredith

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My mare lived had EGS and after R and R was used as a ridden horse for another 16 years. She was PTS for different reasons 2 years later. Edinburgh were interested but the practicalities were insuperable as I live near the mid Wales border.
 

Fransurrey

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Hi OP,
I work at a vet school and they do indeed take donated cadavers. As you're East Midlands, Nottingham is your closest, so I'd start there. You will need to sign a form (or rather your vet will) and the body is transported exactly as if for cremation, so cost is slightly less, as the vet school will incinerate for you. Can't speak for every school, but as we deal with Containment Level 3 and above, what goes in has to go for incineration and the ashes are sprinkled in a garden of remembrance outside our pathology building. I had an unofficial PM report for my boy, but I'm not sure if that's because I work there and was able to contact the pathology techs direct.
 

Fransurrey

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Sorry that you're losing her. In this case, they will cut off the required body part and send it to the vet school or research lab. I've worked with many donated ponies; all were PTS at home by the method of choice of the owner, then taken to the usual cremation place where the vet met the body to take what was needed before it was processed. I've worked with a range of parts including whole head, legs, or entire gastric system. It was always respectful and with huge gratitude to the owner for making a decision that will allow others to live better lives in the future.

When a live horse is donated, that's a bit different but obviously not the case here.
Here we take the entire horse. It's used for teaching PM practicals. For parts, we go to a fallen stock facility which also deals with horses.
 
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