Having your horse pts

Would you....


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majicmoment

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Clearly oversensitive (!!!) but I have just read the posts on having your horse PTS and I am honestly shocked by how hard some people have been. I am currently faced with the prospect of loosing my second horse in 5 months so please forgive me for my oversensitivity.

The horse I had PTS in September was my special boy and it is still all a bit raw. When the time came the decision was easy, I made it, made the decision to have him shot by the knackerman then had some of his ashes back which are now in the field.

My three year old might have to be pts if he does not recover from his current injury.

To me, it is not the consideration of what you do, it is the upset and emotion surrounding it. To me it is the ultimate 'give' to something to end its pain and therefore having your horse PTS should be done with dignaty and be personal to you. It is not something which should be up for discussion - when the time is right you will know exactly what is right for you. I always said my horse would go to the hounds, but when it came to it I couldnt do it.

Ultimately, becasue of the nature of what you do, it should be done with the utmost respect - which does not include joking about it what so ever, whatever the circumstances.

So to all who replied
 

miss_c

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I was forced to have Mazzie put to sleep after an accident. The decision was an easy one to make, but I had always thought that if I had to make the decision it would be a nice quick goodbye from the knackerman. Because of the circumstances she went by injection and then was cremated. However I know that the decision made was the right one.

Big hugs to you, will be thinking of you and your 3 year old. I know you'll make the correct call if necessary, and I agree completely with your thoughts on the subject. ::::HUGS::::
 

majicmoment

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Sorry Amy - I am not going to give examples, just IMHO that discussing something so sensivie and joking about it (which IMHO some people may have done) could come accross as hard. As I said I was oversensitive (and still am)
 

Honeypots

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I had my mare PTS last Christmas. I'd had her 8 yrs and it was very sudden. I was mortified!
Because of the sudden onset of her illness and the difficult diagnosis she didn't go in the way I would have planned it in that I wasn't with her. I didn't even get some of her mane to keep but I trust my vets and she was so out of it anyway that she probably wouldn't have known whether I was there or not. She was injected and thats what I would have chosen for her so I was happy enough with that.

I still managed to 'enjoy' Christmas that year..

Everyone deals with things differenty and just because some seemed lighthearted or cold in the thread doesn't mean they are wrong. Its just not how you would do it!

I get the giggles and come out with stupid commenst when I'me nervous/upset. I giggle at funerals for instance. It doesn't make me unfeeling.
The night my brother died, the vicar popped by to see us and found us all laughing....we were actually mortified!
 

Amymay

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We deal with difficult situations by making light of them though - and I've been known to blithly say 'shoot it' in answer to a difficult horse post. It doesn't mean that anyone feels less upset or the weight of responsibility though.

But people 'should' become hardened to it I think - to a degree.

I made a very clinical (and if I'm honest financial) decision to have Amy pts. 18 months later I grieve her more than anything or anyone I've ever lost before. I'd do it again though........

But then, as you all know, I'm a very pragmatic, and reasonably practical person.

Life goes on - and we do recover from grief and hard decisions.

I think people are over sensative to this subject - in a non rational way, and quite often take posts of these subjects to heart - when we all have different views and ways of dealing with it.
 

majicmoment

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Sophie - I had my horse diagnosis and he was gone 4 days later, I could have been there but I wasnt!

I dont think anyone was wrong, I just purely wondered whether they had actually had to go through it - I was exactly the same - if my horse was naughty I would always tell him he was going to the hounds (in the end he didnt, and I dont make that joke anymore becasue I know it actually might come true!)
 

ladyt25

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Hav had two PTS but both due to illness/old age. Not sure how I'dfeel if I had to have a healthy horse PTS due to a traumatic, unrepairable injury though.

Am, dreading the day I have to make the decision to have my horse PTS.

I can see what you're saying about people being 'hard' about it for example if someone has a horse who say has a temperament problem - ie is unrideable they decide to have it PTS. It's all a personal decision and down to persoanl circumstances I guess but I couldn't do it. Then maybe I am lucky and we have plenty of land so a horse like that could just be 'retired'. I don't believe in having healthy animals PTSS but that's me. Others have different opinions on tha matter.

I also couldn't have my horse shot - I know peopel will say it makes no difference to the horse but it's my personal choice. have had 2 PTS by injection and it was very peaceful.

What i don't quite get is those who say they won't have their horse PTS by injection but i bet some of these would/have put their horses through ops under GA and that is no different to have a horse PTS by injection. It's the same prionciple, once the horse is 'out' the lethal dose is administered, the horse doesn't know anything.
 

annaellie

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QR:
I have had 2 horses pts the 1st one was 9 years ago and still I have her tail and upsets me. The vet made a major cock up and I had no choice how to have pts or what happened to her afterwards. My 2nd horse who was pts was a big bolshy horse and we were told on the fri he would be pts and it happened on monday. Due to his temp the vet advised to go for injection but it was our choice we went off vets advice, as the vet was trying to do it my horse was going nuts which was horrid to see, the vet then talked my friend through how to do it as me and freind he was fine with. Lucky enough on his final try he got the sedation in to him. I understand how you mean about its not something to be joked about, but everybody deals with things in there own way and the op of that thread was looking at having there old horse pts cause it will happen maybe for her to joke about that it might have been easier for her to deal with.
Hope your 3 yr old makes a good recovery for you. Good luck
 

appylass

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I think everyone deals with death in different ways. I was brought up on a farm and had plenty of exposure to animals dying and being euthanased. It doesn't hold any great fear for me, but that is not to say I am insensitive or hard. I had my old horse shot, it was what I wanted for him, because IME it is instantaneous and he would know nothing about it. I had a plan in place from the time I bought him (he was 16 then )and fortunately it was possible for it all to happen as I had planned. I was devastated but was also able to deal with the events of the day in a calm way - some may have interpreted that as being 'hard' but it's just how I am. I think threads such as Dame_Twankeys are really good for sharing experiences - whatever those experiences are, the vast majority of those of us who own/care for horses will have to face this at some point. I don't think anyone was being deliberately offensive or insensitive, just everyone is different.

I hope everything works out with your three year old and you don't have to go through this again so soon.
 

majicmoment

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QR: I know. What I am saying is I used to joke, however now I dont, becasue it isnt funny what so ever.

Amy, I am entirely like you, if it needs to be done it needs to be done. Nothing, however, could have prepared me for the emotions of actually having to do it, I still cry four months on and wish him back
 

Amymay

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C, I think of Amy May every day - and could break my heart every time I think of her. And if anything it's worse now than 18 months ago. So I symapthise 110% with you. (((((((((((((( )))))))))))))))
 

Worried1

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Horses, just like us, are not immortal.

Over the years we have have had to have several PTS, some due to old age, othere like Hils - due to an accident.

It is a horrible situation to be faced with but often humour is used to make light of the situation. It doesn't mean I miss Hils any less, in fact it is coming up to a year since we lost him and there isn't a day that passes that I don't wish he was still with us. We often joke about the old grey goat but it is with true affection - he was a very special boy.

I personally prefer either a gun or captive bolt, having seen a horse try and sit up after a lethal injection. Both results are ultimately the same but it is personal preferance for me. Having said that when one of the youngsters broke their leg we had no option but to use a lethal injection and it was fine. But given the choice I know what I would use.

With regards to the carcass I am a sentimental fool - but I have the luxury of being able to do as I choose. Hils was cremated and his ashes buried under the oak tree of his field where he was happiest. Again my personal choice I don't have a problem with using somewhere like Potters, the zoo or the hunt kennels - it's their choice. But again the dark humour emerged when I sobbed to my OH: "Please don't let the hunt take him! He hated dogs"
 

TGM

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I'm quite a sentimental person and treat my horses as pets. However, that doesn't stop me being realistic about facing up to their inevitable deaths. People deal with these matters in different ways, and for a lot of people, making jokes releases the tension of dealing with horrible circumstances.

I have had two horses PTS. The first one was a old pony who colicked, vet said there was nothing she could do without surgery, and that wasn't an option bearing in mind her age and the fact that she had arthritis, Cushings and was a laminitic. The vet only had the injection with her, so I had no choice about what method was used. We walked her out into the paddock, the vet injected her, she fell and it was all very quick and peaceful. Once the deed was done I then sobbed all over the vet! Because she had had the injection the only disposal option was cremation, and thankfully the crematorium truck could come out within a couple of hours. Had to cover the pony up with rugs because she was in full view of the gateway and I didn't want to upset passers-by. When the crem truck arrived, he told me to go indoors whilst he put the pony on the lorry. We didn't choose to have the ashes back as it cost a fortune and to me, when they are gone they are gone - we have loads of photos and memories, so ashes are nothing to me.

Other horse was totally different scenario - he went to have an operation at an equine hospital and broke his leg whilst in recovery. He was in a lot of pain so no way was I going to make him wait for an hour whilst I drove all the way over there to be with him. I understand he was shot and his body given to the zoo.
 

*hic*

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Discussion on how to deal with the death of any animal or human is difficult but can make life so much easier for those who actually have to deal with it. If you don't know what is likely to happen you can't make the right decision for you or your loved one - human or animal. At the end of the day the actual decision made is personal to the decision maker and should be considered by outsiders to be the correct one for those involved and in those particular circumstances. Information gathering can be done in many ways, for those of us who do treat the shock and horror that death brings with a stiff upper lip or by black humour it is useful to know that others feel or react in a similar fashion. There is no "correct" way to react to death, but there is the way that makes each of us feel that we can cope the best.

I am the hard-faced bitch that didn't cry at her mother's death or on the run up to her funeral - according to my family. I felt that if I started I'd never stop, so I dealt with it by getting on with things in a manic fashion including black humour where necessary [i[for me[/i]. That I've cried every day since for hours escapes them as they are getting back on with their lives and I, who as the non-tearful one supported them when they needed a hug, a tissue, a shoulder to cry on, am left to deal with my grief on my own.

And no, I haven't had a horse pts yet. My beloved cats yes, and dealt with the aftermath of road injuries and death for them. I do however have a general plan for the deaths of most of my horses and specific plans for two of them who have special problems. The intention is to give them all the most peaceful path to death.

With regard to human death, having an idea of what the person wants to happen to them makes it very much easier to deal with and I can't recommend Living Wills highly enough. Her Living Will made my decisions during the last days of my mother's life really only a rubber-stamping of her wishes. With my horses I can only go on my understanding of each one's foibles as to what will be the best experience they could have on their way out of this world.
 

Dirtymare

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No, not oversensitive at all. You deal with this awful situation on your own unique way.
As several people have said, everyone deals with their grief in very different ways. What is concidered the "normal" way to grieve??
I must say, I have NEVER seen anyone make a joke of somebody's horse being pts. I have seen lots of love and support to the person who is going through an awful time.
I feel for you in this particularly difficult time. Please remember, there are lots of us here sending you lots of hugs and support.
 

YorksG

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As someone who keeps all her horses to the end of their days, I do not consider that you have the right to tell me how I should react to their death. I am sad when they go, but we still have 'funny' stories about the end of their lives, as we do about the rest of their time with us. How I deal with my emotions is not for you to decree. I do not think any less of my horses than anyone else on this forum, but am possibly slightly more realistic than some!
 

lochpearl

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I lost one of mine at the vets, he again was so out of it and it was the kindest decision for him, they told me to leave and I do actually regret leaving. He had kidney failure a year after having a kidney operation taling his right kidney out - due again to failure. I believe that he was injected as he was already so doped from the final tests. They were great and organised everything for me - This was about 8 years ago.

I decided to have my next boy pts about 2 and half years ago, this was due to chronic arthritis and a non healing ligament problem from a fall in the field, he was a one in a million horse and it was a very hard decision for me, I know I couldn't deal with the blood for shooting so arranged for the injection and a vet I trusted. Problem was that she was a small animal vet but the only one that dealt with horses (i always had her for 20+ years).

The injections that she gave were very large and there was a lot of them. He didn't go quickly and he did fall nastily. It will be the worst memory I will ever have but I have seen others pts by injection (by horse only vets) and from arrival of the vet to covering up the burial hole it is done peacefully in 20 mins! So I would use the injection again.

One of my horses I have at the moment has multiple things wrong with him and the latest problem he has had is stifle surgery on both legs. He is sound in walk at the moment but may never come right in trot or even be field sound, he also isn't good at not having exercise as he paces in the field and cribs. It could be that I face the next dilema of pts later in the year when we know what we are being faced with. My yard uses the local hunt but I don't think I could do that - he is also headshy and I must be with him when the time comes. So it will probably be injection again - but I will check out the facts before and make sure it is the small injection!!

First that was pts I got some mane and his shoes, second as I was there and had more input, I had his shoes and a huge amount of his tail given to me.

Good luck with your youngster - it is an awful position to be in but we do owe it to them to do the right thing. I was always told 'if yo are prepared to have livestock, then you must be prepared to have deadstock' I have always found this heartbreaking but it is so true.
 

soph21

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Ive lived quite a sheltrered life lol, Ive never really had to deal with death except my Grandad who died when I was 6 (he had a heart attack at the kitchen table in front of me)
I helped take my sister in law's horse to the hunt last year, which was awful but he was an old boy and had a bloody good life.
I think its good if you can harden yourself to it. Death is part of life.
I would have all of mine sent to the hounds, i have memories and photos of them to remind me of them.
My gran is poorly in a nursing home, my Dad and Auntie have arranged her funeral already! My Dad was making a little joke about what we will have at the wake, I was mortified
, But thats life :sad:

He was joking! He's emotionally constipated.
 

BeckyD

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I always knew that if Cass went and in such a way that I had to make that decision, then I would have her shot and given to the hounds. I never got to take her hunting (and bearing in mind her response the one time we met the hunt out and about, I'd have been crazy to even try), but it was clearly something she found very exciting. When I made that decision, that was the route we chose.

My only regret is that I wasn't emotionally capable of being there when it happened - my choice, and if I'm honest, I still don't think I could be there.

Mum and I went shopping in order to take our minds off it (or try). I got a bit upset at the appointed time, but bought a top with a horse on it, which I still have and will never get rid of as it's a link to my lovely Cass. Going shopping may seem to be mean and hard hearted, but I was utterly distraught, as was my whole family. I knew I couldn't break down sobbing when shopping in central MK, so it forced me to get a grip, which I had been struggling to do in advance.

People do deal with things differently. We should not knock a person's coping mechanism, it might be the only thread that they are hanging on by.
 

majicmoment

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[ QUOTE ]
As someone who keeps all her horses to the end of their days, I do not consider that you have the right to tell me how I should react to their death. I am sad when they go, but we still have 'funny' stories about the end of their lives, as we do about the rest of their time with us. How I deal with my emotions is not for you to decree. I do not think any less of my horses than anyone else on this forum, but am possibly slightly more realistic than some!

[/ QUOTE ]

I think having gone through it I am being entirely realistic? I also wrote TO ME meaning IMO, and am in no way dictating to anyone how they should behave?
 

YorksG

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Quote Ultimately, becasue of the nature of what you do, it should be done with the utmost respect - which does not include joking about it what so ever, whatever the circumstances. end quote

In the above quote you are telling other people what they should do, otherwise surely you would have put this in the first person?

As I said in Twanky's post, all ours have been and will be shot, as the most humane method IMO.
 

Ruth_Cymru

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I agree that having your horse put to sleep is very personal to each individual, and as we all have different personalities we are all going to deal with it differently.
I personally am glad that there is varied discussion on the subject, as I am fast approaching the time when my dear old man will be PTS, and I wanted to get as rounded a view on the whole process/subject to help me with when the 'right time' is and how I really want him to be PTS.
Majicmoment- I really hope your horse recovers x x
 

LankyDoodle

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My mare was PTS last July and it was horrendous. However, when the time came and she had the injection, at home, looking out of a barn towards her field she went very peacefully after a bucket of her favourite grub.

I don't know whether I'd have a horse shot, but I've considered it, and have nothing against those who do.

I also do not consider those that are sure what they will do and are matter of fact about what will happen to the horse once it's gone, to be hard or lacking in any feeling. They are sensible and want to ensure the best end for their own animals. Lacking sentimentality about a horse does not mean you are any less of a caring person. It usually just means you have come to accept life's great cycle. I am 25 and I've experienced very few deaths (my gran when I was 5, my friend when I was 16, my grandad when I was 20, a few dogs and cats along the way and my horse last year), but over the last, say, 6 months, I've started working out what it's all about; so maybe those you consider to be 'hard' actually just speak with years of experience of dealing with death, even equine deaths.
 

JM07

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sorry, but a horse has no idea whatsoever if it's to die "with dignity".

horses/ponies in my care go 1 of 2 ways...

shot and disposed of at the yard, used by the kennels if not on meds..

or taken to Potters....

i can't abide waste.

i do come across as flippant about this subject because it's the only certain thing about life, you die!!

it neither effects or bothers me.


But then i don't "love" my horses..or obsess over them and they certainly aren't pets.

they are all treated well, see the vet/dentist/farrier as and when required

that is how it is with me personally.

if that makes me "hard" then so be it.
 

soph21

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I want to have your view on it JM!
The only one out of my 3 that I KNOW I will have till he dies is Buddie, I've been thinking of selling Bear recently
!

Gimley is doing grand!
 

FinnishLapphund

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I saw my dead great grandmother when I was 7 years old (she was 94), I have since then seen other old relatives dead and my BiL works as a undertaker and he does occasionally talk about his job (in a respectful but open way).

I have euthanized, seen and handled the dead bodies of Hamsters, Guinea Pigs, Budgerigars, Cats, Dogs and a few wild animals. With the cats and dogs, I carry their dead bodies out from the vet, from the car and into the house and I lie them down so the rest of the cats and dogs can find out what has happened.
I make them look as nice as possible and usually my sister comes with her children to say Goodbye, they lay for a few hours, a night, maybe one or a few days in a reasonably cold room, before we can go out to our summer-home and bury them. To only mention a few things, their bodies have sometimes "farted" and sometimes there has been blood coming out of them. Yet my sister and her children this far, always have said that I make them look just as beautiful as they did while they lived.


To that I also read a lot including about how you slaughter cows, pigs et cetera. So though I haven't owned a horse of my own and only have several times seen on TV (documentary, real life veterinary series and similar) and read about horses being euthanized in different ways, I do think that put together, my experiences should make it possible for me to understand a thing or two just from what I've read and seen about euthanizing horses.
 

Halfpass

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I had my old lad PTS 4 years ago. He was heavily sedated and then PTS by injection. At this time I chose this method as the vet was someone that I had worked for in my teenage years and had looked after this horse for me and to me the vet was important to me. I wasn't there but my Dad was and he said it was all very dignified.

4 years later pretty much to the day (Dec 11 2008) I had to have Aleeta my 4 year old PTS after an accident in the field. It was so sudden it really affected me and I had to leave her at the vets as I just couldn't bare to bring her home with me. She was shot and went to the hunt and IMHO at the time this was the best option.

Both were traumatic but for different reasons and both ways right at that particular point in time.

Both still upset me and the most recent is still very raw and upsetting.

I found DT's post very informative and sometimes just to keep sane I think one needs to make light of these types of situations. However I don't think any reply on the post was insensitive or unnecessary.
 

Angua2

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As most of you know I had Sidney PTS before christmas. IT wasn't planned, and it wasn't how I had ever imagined.

He colic'ed, recovered, relapsed and when everything was taken into account ( and that did include financial) he was Euthanased. I was there, I watched, I said my goodbyes.

It was a month yesterday and I sometimes wonder if I did the right thing, although in my heart of hearts I know I did but it still doesn't ease the greif.


I am fortunae that I have others to deal with. I have copious amounts of his shoes left and I have some of his tail, along with photos and memories.
 

251libby

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I'm terrified of having my horse pts, I've never done it before and hopefully it will be a long way off. When the time comes I think I will opt for the injection, I think I would be much nicer for me and her, and I will give her bute before she goes so she cannot enter the food chain.
I would love to have the same thoughts of JM07 and I think if i had lots of horses and a high turnover then i might, but atm my horse is as close to me as my family!!! sad
 
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