Hardest Day :( Advice needed!

xDundryx

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Hi all
Advice needed please! Approx 4 weeks my beloved ex racehorse was pts (euthanised by my vet by injection) it was, as anyone knows heartbreaking. He was mildly sedated first as he knew something was happening and was getting quite upset. We walked him round to where he would fall, myself, husband, yard owner (like a second Dad to all us at the yard) and the vet. My boy was calm and the vet put a canular/catheter? not sure of the name but looks like a butterfly in his neck. When he attached the syringe the (if i go with catheter?) didnt appear to be working so he trundled off to get another. When he had inserted this and attached the syringe with the 'stuff' he started to put it into my horse then stopped and said 'im not happy with that i'll have to get another' so stopped and trundled off again to get ANOTHER catherer. in the meantime my boy started to sway and stagger around and i shouted for someone to help as he fell down, this seemed to jerk him into sense and he started trying to get up, and almost running on the spot as he lay on his side, he was also screaming this awful sound that i will never forget. At this point one of the other girls at the yard had been watching and ran to get the vet as my husband and yard owner took his lead rope off me and pushed me away as I was in a state, this horrific scene went on for 6 minutes before the vet managed to inject the rest of the stuff into him, when all went quiet i sat with him until the end, but he was covered in sweat, his legs were cut and his eyes were bulging. The most awful thing I have ever had to go through and my horse suffered awfully. When he passed the vet (visibly shaking) apologised and said that didnt go well at all I wont charge you for this. I walked away. A couple of days later my yard owner (very experiennce and knowlegable man) rang the vet in question to voice his concerns/opinions on what happened and was told by the vet that I would not get a bill for anything that day. I received a card from this vet a week or so after explaining that it had gone wrong and they had now changed their procedures to prevent incidents like this. Yesterday I came home to a bill for £264 from the Vets for the removal etc of my horse. I have had horses all my life I know things happen beyond our control especially with animals and have lost horses before so I am as practical as you can be about theses things despite people trying to push me into making formal complaints about my horses treatment I just wanted to try and forget the whole awful incident (which is easier said than done). I was truly was astonished to get this bill, where do I stand on fighting not to pay it, I have 3 witness to what the vet said plus the television conversation with the yard owner. Any legal eagles please!
 

serenityjane

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Hi, I am so sorry that things did not go at all well for you. I hate to say this given the circumstances etc but it looks like the vets have not charged to euthanise (as they promised), but have charged for collection. Being in a very similar position to you (ie just got the bill for PTS my mare) my vets have itemised their bill and the collection charge is approx £200-they arranged this for me to coincide with time of euthanasia. So regardless of the awful way that your boy went, unfortunately you will still have to pay for the collection of the body as (like my vet) they arrange and pay the collection company and charge on the cost to you.
 

bounce

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What a truly horrific experience for you. I'm so sorry you had to go through that.
What does the bill detail? Obviously the vet should not be billing you for their time and injection and drug charges. To me it sounds like you are just getting the bill for disposal which unfortunately I would still expect to pay even with things going badly as when I have had to have mine PTS it was a seperate company that dealt with that side of things and they still need to be paid.
 

xDundryx

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I will ring the vets to get them to clarify what exactly I am being charged for :)
 

galaxy

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How truely awful for you. I'm so sorry.

I imagine that it's the cost that they paid whichever company to come and collect your horse and then cremate him. My vets use a local man who bills them and then they bill the owner. Saves the collection people having to get payment details at an awful time. The vets don't actually provide this service, it is a 3rd party.
 

noodle_

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How truely awful for you. I'm so sorry.

I imagine that it's the cost that they paid whichever company to come and collect your horse and then cremate him. My vets use a local man who bills them and then they bill the owner. Saves the collection people having to get payment details at an awful time. The vets don't actually provide this service, it is a 3rd party.
this ^

Im sorry for your loss that sounds horrific :(

Mine was pts by injection too and admitidly it was quite stressful as she completely freaked out as she knew something was up. My vet was good though and overdosed her completely - she went down quickly and calm

Never would i be paying that bill i would expect the vet's too.

awful :(
 

Lady Supreme

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I'm so appalled by this heart breaking thread. My heart goes out to you. Having witnessed a similar event, I would opt for a bullet any day over injection. Big hugs
 

WandaMare

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I can understand that its probably a different company etc. but really I think it would have been a lot more decent of the vet to have written off that cost.....considering what you and your horse went through. I'm so sorry for your loss and that you had to endure such a traumatic experience x
 

hnmisty

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I'm so sorry for you loss, and to hear what you had to go through. *massive hugs*

My dad put both mine to sleep and his friend collected them for free/mates rates, but I imagine you have been charged for disposal. Harry was awful to watch, although nothing compared to what you went through, but Misty was very peaceful, she was already lying down and I help her head until the end.
 

HelenPassfield

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I am so sorry that you went through this, it sounds truely awful. I can totally sympathise with you as I lost my first pony who I had for 30 years on Good Friday this year. As others in this thread I also had an itemised bill at the end of the month, but paid a different company for his collection and cremation. Although the latter was organised by the vet they were an entirely seperate company so I'm very sorry to say that I think you may need to pay for it. I guess (if it;s not too painful for you to address) the other option could be asking the vet to fund this due to the mess up?

Whatever the result I hope you are ok, it's an awful situation to be in x.
 

putasocinit

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The vets have not billed you for call out and euthanaesia costs, but at the end of the day removal of the body is to your expense, as you were going to have the horse pts anyway. Sorry it wasnt nice what happened.
 

applecart14

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Hi all
Advice needed please! Approx 4 weeks my beloved ex racehorse was pts (euthanised by my vet by injection) it was, as anyone knows heartbreaking. He was mildly sedated first as he knew something was happening and was getting quite upset. We walked him round to where he would fall, myself, husband, yard owner (like a second Dad to all us at the yard) and the vet. My boy was calm and the vet put a canular/catheter? not sure of the name but looks like a butterfly in his neck. When he attached the syringe the (if i go with catheter?) didnt appear to be working so he trundled off to get another. When he had inserted this and attached the syringe with the 'stuff' he started to put it into my horse then stopped and said 'im not happy with that i'll have to get another' so stopped and trundled off again to get ANOTHER catherer. in the meantime my boy started to sway and stagger around and i shouted for someone to help as he fell down, this seemed to jerk him into sense and he started trying to get up, and almost running on the spot as he lay on his side, he was also screaming this awful sound that i will never forget. At this point one of the other girls at the yard had been watching and ran to get the vet as my husband and yard owner took his lead rope off me and pushed me away as I was in a state, this horrific scene went on for 6 minutes before the vet managed to inject the rest of the stuff into him, when all went quiet i sat with him until the end, but he was covered in sweat, his legs were cut and his eyes were bulging. The most awful thing I have ever had to go through and my horse suffered awfully. When he passed the vet (visibly shaking) apologised and said that didnt go well at all I wont charge you for this. I walked away. A couple of days later my yard owner (very experiennce and knowlegable man) rang the vet in question to voice his concerns/opinions on what happened and was told by the vet that I would not get a bill for anything that day. I received a card from this vet a week or so after explaining that it had gone wrong and they had now changed their procedures to prevent incidents like this. Yesterday I came home to a bill for £264 from the Vets for the removal etc of my horse. I have had horses all my life I know things happen beyond our control especially with animals and have lost horses before so I am as practical as you can be about theses things despite people trying to push me into making formal complaints about my horses treatment I just wanted to try and forget the whole awful incident (which is easier said than done). I was truly was astonished to get this bill, where do I stand on fighting not to pay it, I have 3 witness to what the vet said plus the television conversation with the yard owner. Any legal eagles please!
I am so sorry to hear of your dreadful experience. That vet should get hammered from the BVA for that and go through appropriate training to ensure something like this never happens again. I strongly recommend that you raise this as a concern, refer the matter to them and ask them for advice. This cannot be allowed to happen ever again and you have the power to prevent another animal going through this.

I do believe your horse didn't suffer. Part of the process where the brain cell dies first, and then slows down the rest of the organs in the body involve the horse making a paddling motion. This can also involve the sweating you describe. The cuts on the legs were made by the paddling motion and the horse not being concious and therefore unaware of placement of his feet. If he were concious at the time he would nto have struck into himself deliberately. Horses often make noises when the body is shutting down due to injection. My horse did the same when I wanted to see him after euthanasia. It was distressing, but when it was explained to me it made perfect sense.

As an aside, I had a horse pts with gun/humane captive bolt and the horse had to be shot twice, a good fifteen seconds apart from teh first shot. It was horrific, and when questionned about what had happened (I was in hearing distance only) the vet lied to me and said that all big horses need shooting twice 'just to make sure'. It affected me greatly, and I knew it wasn't right, what had happened. It wasn't till years later speaking to someone who was there that day, and I heard the real story, something which I had always suspected to be true but had conveniently hidden from teh back of my mind.

Please, please find the strength to report this, one due to the bill, but two, more importantly, to prevent this from happening again by reporting to the BVA so an enquiry can be carried out. At the very least you owe your horse this much.

I am so very sorry for your loss, which should have been a sad but peaceful experience for you both.
 
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xDundryx

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Thanks for the supportive comments and advice, just to clarify he had a massive syringe to od the horse as he was a 16 3hh big boned strong tb and the vet said only 5ml maximum had gone straight into a vein not enough to really effect him but with the sedative too made him unsteady so therefore went down he was aware of what was going on and sheer panic set in. (makes it so much worse) and thats why we had the reaction we did from him, when he had passed/was passing he did the usual 3 massive breaths, twitching,jerking,noises etc of all his systems shutting down. The vet himself admitted he had never seen anything like that happen. I can appreciate that things go wrong and nothing is failsafe and that each horse is different but you expect to get a professional service from experienced knowledgable people and for the vet to get in his car and race out of the yard straight after with no explanation just topped it off really. :(
 

xDundryx

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Applecart what an awful experience for you. I have been there for 2 horses who were shot by huntsmen,which was quick, professional and quite a surreal experience but the blood/mess has made me opt for injection (when the time comes) with my own horses..however in hindsight..
 

applecart14

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Applecart what an awful experience for you. I have been there for 2 horses who were shot by huntsmen,which was quick, professional and quite a surreal experience but the blood/mess has made me opt for injection (when the time comes) with my own horses..however in hindsight..
I've got to say I was always against gun after what happened to my boy, but I have heard of a lot of things that have gone wrong with injection on this site over the years, so I am really rather undecided. I know things go wrong with either way, but with all the advances in technology it rather sounds like these errors should not be happening.

I hate to say it, and I know you are reluctant to do so given how emotionally challenging this will be for you (and understandably so) but I do think you should refer your concerns to the BEVA.

When you say the vet raced off the yard in his car, I know how that feels. I always remember the yard owner saying "I'm going in the house for a large brandy" and wondering why he would need such a thing, and feeling a bit like 'something not quite right here', never really realising or wanting to acknowledge what had really happened.

My thoughts are with you x
 
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fatpiggy

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Thanks for the supportive comments and advice, just to clarify he had a massive syringe to od the horse as he was a 16 3hh big boned strong tb and the vet said only 5ml maximum had gone straight into a vein not enough to really effect him but with the sedative too made him unsteady so therefore went down he was aware of what was going on and sheer panic set in. (makes it so much worse) and thats why we had the reaction we did from him, when he had passed/was passing he did the usual 3 massive breaths, twitching,jerking,noises etc of all his systems shutting down. The vet himself admitted he had never seen anything like that happen. I can appreciate that things go wrong and nothing is failsafe and that each horse is different but you expect to get a professional service from experienced knowledgable people and for the vet to get in his car and race out of the yard straight after with no explanation just topped it off really. :(
I'm sorry that your experience was so upsetting but I think if there was enough sedative in your horse to make him go down then he probably knew very little about it all - their balance instinct is overwhelming. The actually sedative can make them twitch and jerk quite a bit. My old girl was sedated first and that was the only hard part of it really as she was so dopey it was an effort to get her walking through the field gate onto some nice soft grass. Once she eventually took the first step though she wobbled along for the required distance. I suppose I was very lucky as from the moment she went down she never moved again or made any noises. Just lay there as though she was asleep until the vet told me her heart had finally stopped and she was gone. I wouldn't hesitate to use the injection method again.
 

xDundryx

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Thanks it's nice to get some horsey feedback and other peoples experiences and it's the first time i've posted on here. I will have a think about what you said Applecart. You can't help but get sentimental and massivly attached to them, I spend more time at the yard than with my OH! ;) Luckily I still have my other lad who is enjoying being the centre of attention hopefully I won't have to go through this again for quite some time.
 

Tiffany

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It's always upsetting & emotional having an animal PTS and what happened with your horse made it even more traumatic for you.

The vet probably rushed off because he was embarrassed and upset at what happened.

I agree you could report him although, it won't change what happened and I would think it unlikely he'd make the same mistake again?

I agree the bill will be for disposal although as a goodwill gesture your vet might cancel the bill if you express your concern about the how the procedure went wrong.

My TB mare was PTS by injection and it was a quick and peaceful end for my beautiful girl. I was still an emotional wreck and for along time kept going over that day in my head. The picture in your head must be very upsetting for you.
 
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MochaDun

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I am so sorry to hear of your dreadful experience. That vet should get hammered from the BVA for that and go through appropriate training to ensure something like this never happens again. I strongly recommend that you raise this as a concern, refer the matter to them and ask them for advice. This cannot be allowed to happen ever again and you have the power to prevent another animal going through this.

.
This ^^^ what Applecart said, I think it's important you register how distressing it was for you with the veterinary practice in return, senior partner or whoever. They've only heard his side of the story so far, however mortifying it was for him to have gone through it too and messed up.
 

YasandCrystal

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So sorry OP your experience sounds horrific.
My mare was pts last summer by injection and my vet did warn me that whilst 90% of horses go quietly the odd one does leap or thrash on the ground which is distressing for the owner, but is just a relflex response by the nerves and muscles. I do believe that it was you and not your horse that suffered, however clearly your vet sadly made some errors there. He should never have walked away and left you alone with your horse like that - he should have had an assistant imo as my vet did who could have fetched further drugs etc as necessary.
 

Amymay

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What an awful situation. Which is why it's always the bullet for me.

Did you get an explanation of what the bill was for?
 

putasocinit

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The lethal injection from start of plunge to end, has to be done within 10 seconds for it to work properly otherwise it causes other reactions to take place when the shutting down starts and things can go ugly.
 
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Just saw this thread.
I am so sad for you, it sounds like it was a nightmare experience. It's a situation I'll probably be facing with one of my old ponies soon and to be honest it's something that just scares the daylights out of me, I've been with a dog and 2 cats who were pts but thankfully haven't had to face it just yet with my horses.
One of my vets recently went back to his car twice when taking a blood sample, annoyed the heck out of me at the time, couldn't he make sure he had spare equipment immediately on hand?
Your vet was the same imo, wouldn't it be wise to carry spares, why risk having to walk back to get more, just have them on hand for goodness sake.
We can never be sure how our animals will react, some will be more vocal and alert than others, but leaving you in that situation was not on, really they ought to have been better prepared.
Where you stand on the collection fee I'm not sure, that may be out of the vet's practice hands, but just terribly sorry you went through this.
 
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springtime13

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My highland pony died after a vets mistake and they didn't charge me for the vets bill or euthanasia. I did pay for the disposal, but that was arranged separately. I wrote a long letter to the vets stressing how upset I was, the vet in question was given some extra training. He was a pretty new vet.
 

Spook

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There is no doubt that most of us who own animals, will. in the long run, have to face having some pts. Having used/seen the vet (by injection), hunt and the knackery do the job...... my choice would be that either a bullet or captive bolt followed by "pithing" is used. Here we pay less than £200 for the knackery to euthanase and remove the body. This is not an easy job for the slaughterman, we should remember that he may not only have to deal with the job in-hand but us too...... Remember the BHS have a friend/buddy scheme set up to support/help, so contact them.

My advice would be to stay for the death (with support of a friend etc.) but not for the removal of the body..... it is not pretty and can be distressing.

OP please do not feel you have made a wrong decision......... At last your horse is in peace....... I sincerely hope that my passing is so swift, when the time comes......I'd far rather minutes than weeks, months or years of suffering.
 

xDundryx

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Sorry I never did update this. I got a final bill for everything from the practice, then around 5 weeks later I received a revised bill with only the disposal of the boy on it with a footnote stating that 'euthenasia no charge on veterinary surgeons request' I also received a card and a handwritten letter from the vet (who is a very experienced senior partner and very quiet and unassuming man) apologising for the events of that day and stating that they had altered their procedures in order to prevent anything like this happening in the future and assured me that I had done all I could for my boy.

Alot of people scoffed at this but you know, they could have said/done nothing and just demanded I pay the bill but I was quite touched and grateful they admitted that things had gone wrong (as they do with horses) I miss him every day despite the fact he was a cantankerous git and a money pit :(
 

xDundryx

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Sorry I never did update this. I got a final bill for everything from the practice, then around 5 weeks later I received a revised bill with only the disposal of the boy on it with a footnote stating that 'euthenasia no charge on veterinary surgeons request' I also received a card and a handwritten letter from the vet (who is a very experienced senior partner and very quiet and unassuming man) apologising for the events of that day and stating that they had altered their procedures in order to prevent anything like this happening in the future and assured me that I had done all I could for my boy.

Alot of people scoffed at this but you know, they could have said/done nothing and just demanded I pay the bill but I was quite touched and grateful they admitted that things had gone wrong (as they do with horses) I miss him every day despite the fact he was a cantankerous git and a money pit :(
The bill was for the disposal as was altered on the final bill that came through paid it when that had been clarified, looking at it now the bill or money was massively insignifigant as opposed to the experience but since he went my other 'oldie' has blossomed revelling in being the centre of attention, so I guess some good comes out of everything x
 
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