Having your horse pts

Would you....


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catdragon

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Somewhere this side of madness...
I haven't yet had to have a horse pts myself, but was there for a friend a year ago when she tragically lost her 6 year old to lami,the pedal bones came through and he was failing to respong to all treatment, he was a diabetic
He was pts by injection in the menage to give him a soft landing, it made it easier for his body to be removed too through the side gate. All I can say, is that horse knew he was going and seemed ready to go, it is something that has stayed with me ever since..and I dread the day that I have the hardest decision to make.

I know when that sad time comes, I will make the right decision, its all part and parcel of horse ownership, in fact any animal ownership. How we each deal with it is a very private matter and jokes may well just be a way to hide immense pain.. So judge not, we are all very different, I personally never ever joke about such a subject as animals being PTS as I am a total softy and know I will be a gibbering wreck.... I hope it is a long long time away...
 

Enfys

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Hmm,

I'm sorry to hear about your loss and your current situation, pretty grim.

I don't think that people are hard and unfeeling at all, practical yes, and at times emotion has to be shelved in order to see clearly, having to make the decision to have a horse pts isn't always the easiest thing (eg, long illness versus broken leg) and people cope with this in different ways. Humour is one of them.

Have you ever met any Armed Forces Personnel? They have a hell of a job, they join up knowing that they might, one day, actually have to kill someone and are trained to do that. I have been around the military for 30 years, many of them have been to various conflicts and have seen dreadful things, some have killed people and seen their mates die too. They joke about it! To 99% of them it isn't because it is funny haha, it is because it helps them cope with a pretty awful situation.

It is exactly the same thing as far as I can see.

Totally agree with JM's sentiments.
 

nicnag

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I am farm born and bred, I accept the 'circle of life' without question and often find my self maybe becoming a bit too blase' about it all. I put animals down, making the decision to end their lifes, I often will be involved with postmortem exams and regularly spend time on the slaughter lines in abbattoirs - however I am a soft touch when it comes to my own animals. I have absolutely no problem in making the decision to put them down in the event that it is necessary. I do like the option I have to bury them, I send fallen stock away with the knackery every day without blinking but I like to have my girls buried on farm. I don't visit but I know where they are. Thats my choice, might not be for everyone but there you go. I respect whatever choice the owner makes, as long as they are making a responcible decision in the horses interest who are we to criticise.
 

majicmoment

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[ QUOTE ]
Hmm,

I'm sorry to hear about your loss and your current situation, pretty grim.

I don't think that people are hard and unfeeling at all, practical yes, and at times emotion has to be shelved in order to see clearly, having to make the decision to have a horse pts isn't always the easiest thing (eg, long illness versus broken leg) and people cope with this in different ways. Humour is one of them.

Have you ever met any Armed Forces Personnel? They have a hell of a job, they join up knowing that they might, one day, actually have to kill someone and are trained to do that. I have been around the military for 30 years, many of them have been to various conflicts and have seen dreadful things, some have killed people and seen their mates die too. They joke about it! To 99% of them it isn't because it is funny haha, it is because it helps them cope with a pretty awful situation.

It is exactly the same thing as far as I can see.

Totally agree with JM's sentiments.

[/ QUOTE ]

My very good friend was killed in Afghanistan in July, and my boyfriend is in the RAF and deploys to Iraq for the clear out next week, so I think you could say I have


They are taught (and do) respect the losses though, and sedom joke about those who have passed. I know of some Army boys who came unstuck when they spoke ill of some RAF colleagus who passed. They talk about them and remember them fondly, but are deeply affected if a colleague passes. So yes, I do get it
 

at work

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"It is not something which should be up for discussion "

So why start this thread?

People do joke about death - in the days following my fathers death (surely more important to us than a horse has ever been) there was almost as much laughter as tears. In part it is how we deal with and come to terms with things and in part the result of heightened emotion.

If a thread about euthanasia of a horse has helped some people understand it better and perhaps come to terms with the necessity, why does that show a lack of respect?
 

majicmoment

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Not up for discussion as in by all means discuss it, but when the time comes you should not be influenced by what everyone else thinkg, but it should be entirely your decision - only you know whats right for you.
 

at work

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"only you know whats right for you"

Except some people bury their heads in the sand and hope it will never happen - which is not any sign of knowing what is right for them. The decision should be influenced by understanding the options.
 

majicmoment

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well up untill September I had never dealt with having to have a horse PTS and knew all the optinos - by all means know them, but when the time comes go with your gut and do what you think is right...even if it goes against your original plan.
 

nicnag

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[ QUOTE ]
"only you know whats right for you"

Except some people bury their heads in the sand and hope it will never happen - which is not any sign of knowing what is right for them. The decision should be influenced by understanding the options.

[/ QUOTE ]

Understanding the options and being influenced by other peoples opinions can be two very different things. I know one person who will only ever choose to have his shot, that is HIS opinion, I understand his reason but I still prefer to choose according to the circumstances and that is MY opinion. Neither of us are wrong, we both do the best by our animals.
 

lottie940

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I think we should all just accept that we have very different views on this subject. I like to read these sorts of threads as I am open to other peoples views and I have also taken some very good advice from some of the posts. Some people however just come on here to post controversial things and stir up a hornets nest which is not nice.

Death is awful and we all deal with things different ways. Some people get attached to animals and count them as a memeber of the family and it is these people who believe in giving their animals a dignified death and pay for the best. Other people do not have emotive attachments to animals and are very systematic about death and do what ever is practical and economical. I do not have a problem with either method as it is a personal choice as long as the animal has a good life and no unnecessary suffering in death.

My personal views are that all my animals are part of my extended family, and whilst they may not know what dignity is in death, I do and I give the same dignity as any member of my family. We are not all like this and I appreciate that and I think some people on here should do the same.
 

Theresa_F

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I had my TB shot by the hunt - he was fantastic, stroked her got her totally relaxed and when her attention was focused on a horse trotting down the road, did the deed.

I immediately ran away - I had been standing with my back to her feeding her polos as my husband held her.

I did not see anything, just heard the bang and an immediate thump.

Cairo - was already lying down - he had liver failure and we had tried all night to see if he would get back up. Vet first sedated him heavily and then administered injection. He had a last meal of all the things he liked including 2 lbs of sugar and whilst being sedated went with a mouth full of mints.

It took a little longer as she had to refit the catheter due to his blood pressure being low. Being such a big horse (clydesdale) he took two lots of injection. At the very last he gasped for about 10 seconds which was distressing for us but he was out cold and unaware.

Good thing with this was that Andy could sit with him saying goodbye whilst waiting for the disposal people which he found a great comfort - Cairo was his best friend and he still grieves for him 6 months later terribly. When they came we went and sat in the field, we could hear the winch but not have to see anything.

I have always preferred shooting but for Cairo, injection was peaceful and the way to go. I would now consider injection, but only if horse was heavily sedated first and the type to lie down peacefully - Cairo was, but my TB would have fought all the way.
 

spottybotty

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I really don`t think there is a right and wrong way to have your horse pts.I personally have had 3 pts in the last eight years and one was found dead in the field, this was by far the worst!We did not have the option to say goodbye.
All three were pts using a humane gun at home after they had had a full bucket of food a good brush and fuss.I stayed with them all as the deed was done.I know many cannot do this but again can understand why.I choose not to have the injection as i have seen it go very badley wrong (work for a vet)even with heavy sedation it is not always peaceful, due to poor blood pressure etc and can take a long time imo.
They have all been cremated and they are all currently in my living room.I would have no problems with sending a horse to the hunt especially if they have hunted, a friend does this and they blow the horn so that the horse thinks it is going for a jolly!Again have no problems with them
going to potters, it is down to individual choice,
 
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*CAUTION GORY DETAILS*
We lost 2 horses, 6 weeks apart under freak circumstances. The grief nearly destroyed my OH yet i felt very little. I suppose its MY way of dealing with the loss.
The first horse, i found in the field, surrounded by firework debris, with a front leg so badly smashed it was nearly severed. He kept trying to get up and everytime he tried, the leg continued to tear through so i sat on his head and phoned vet and OH. Both took an hour to get to me. I can remember just sitting there, absolutely freezing as it was a frosty foggy morning and i had run over before putting on my coat. I think it was a combination of shock and borderline hypothermia that kept me dispassionate and distant from the horror. The vet used lethal injection and the poor old boy just wouldnt leave us. After 3 lethal doses he was still trying to sit up. The 4th had him lying quietly but still with us. The vet was in a real state too as he had never had to give more than 2 doses. Just as we were ringing round to find anyone with a rifle , he finally let go, it had taken 90 minutes from the first injection;but i couldnt leave him until the wagon came 3 hours later in case he rallied again.

The 2nd was on box rest for PSD. We found him colicing badly,jammed in the corner of his stable. vet came, stitched the gash on his head, injected buscopan and he seemed better after an hour. 4 hours later he was even worse. Vet came back and he was taken to horsepital. 5 hours later he was collapsed on the floor, refusing to get up and was PTS using the injection. He went on the first dose.

Given the choice i wouldnt have the injection again.

RIP Boys
 

Erehwemos

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In the past, our horses have all gone to the hunt - taken there, live, and put down on site. My first pony was taken and held by my dad; my second went with me and Mum, although we did not hold her - our last memory of her was seeing her trot off round the corner, all 37 years of her, thinking she was off hunting again, and the lad who led her draped his arm over her neck. We heard the shots - and there were two of them in very quick succession - but neither of us have any regret about the way she went. Just the smell of the hunt made her think she was a 4yr old again! My aunt's old boy was collected live by the hunt and taken away in their lorry. He too would, I'm sure, have considered it the best way to go, as he had been a hunter all his life.

God forbid, if and when I ever have to make the decision for Ellie, she will be PTS at whatever yard she is at. She is such an inquisitive, spooky girl that to take her anywhere would mean she'd be constantly on her toes, staring around....and that would not make it easy for the deed to be done! I'd always favour the bullet - always. But, I do agree that there is no right or wrong method of humane euthanasia, and we should not judge anyone by our own opinions. Shooting to some is barbaric, to others is the quickest, most painless option. The injection for some is a lingering, risk-filled method, yet for others gives them the most clean and peaceful end they would hope for. Each to their own.

But.....whether joking or not, I DO think it is very important to bear everything in mind. God knows, people here have had enough experiences of sudden accidents to know that death is not something that happens only to elderly animals. We owe it to our horses to be prepared
 

Weezy

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Well I joke about it - hell, what doesn't break us makes us stronger, and I am a realist, not a fantasist. I have probably seen and handled more dead horses than 99% of this forum, I have watched immense suffering and I have seen clean deaths, I am hardened to it. However, these are MY views and MY experiences, and I don't go round telling people not to be so weak and fluffy about death, so really I don't appreciate being told that my attitude is wrong either
 

majicmoment

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Can I just clarify, that I did clarify at the start of this post that

a) I am oversensive about this
b) my question was not actually what you did, but whether what you did differed to your plan (the one we all have, soft or not)
 

YorksG

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That aspect was fine, it was the telling the rest of us that we were hard and should not joke. Others have posted their belief that because we do not behave in exactly the way they do that we do not feel the loss and do not give our horses dignity. I find being told how to behave offensive, I also find being told how I feel offensive.
 

Tankey

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I started the other thread, as one day I will have to have my horse PTS.
I asked the question because I wanted other peoples views on the subject and to gain some knowledge about it.

I joke about it...thats the way I deal with things.

If you are so sensitive to it, why read the thread?
. The title is a bit of a give away to the topic matter.
And why start another thread about it?


Same shite, different part of the forum.
 

majicmoment

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I am not oversensitive to the content. I was oversensitive to peoples reactions...and I want the only one.

My reason for starting this thread is becasue I beleive you can be as prepared as can be, but when faced with the decision things change, and I was wondering if others felt the same.
 

majicmoment

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[ QUOTE ]
OK, to answer your question, I never make plans, I simply know that they will be shot, end of story.

[/ QUOTE ]

Ditto. And if my blinking youngster has to go, he is going to the hounds.

TT, as for you, just to clarify what I consider to be insensitivity on your part (since you asked), some quotes taken from the 2 pages I have just clicked on of your post....

I was wondering about it being allowed to take pot shots as he is grazing but i didnt want to upset the delicate

Quote:
________________________________________

I feel sick after reading this post!!!!!!!!!
________________________________________
Why??? are your horses going to live forever too??



Mind you ... I'd probably not send my two jack russells to the zoo, but they are pure muscle and gristle, and would get stuck in the lions teeth!!
________________________________________
It would keep them busy though


I dont think I want to see my horse being dragged about by chains with his tongue hanging out....i will go and make everyone a cup of tea


Best you stop reading then and carry on with your Enid Blyton books then


And then finally

I have never been there when a horse is PTS so dont know what to expect, but I know one day it will happen


Which to me, regardless of who you are and what ‘past’ we have had, says it all really. This post was created as I have genuine interest in how people have dealt with the decision - and whether, like me, what they thought would happen changed when they were faced with the reality.

As I said, you may joke and feel that you are hardened to the situation till faced with the reality of it– and think you are hardened to it, have discussed it, and can cope.

Actually being faced with making the decision is tough, and nothing can prepare you for what you feel after. You may be brimming with confidence about tackling your horses death and sending him to the zoo, however in reality you may want his ashes at home to be scattered in the garden,

It is easy to be courageous in ignorance.
 

pepperandoran

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I have had 2 of my horses put to sleep - both by lethal injection.
The first one was peaceful andhe dropped immediately to the ground.

I chose the same method for my elderly pony, however, it wasnt so smooth - she took a long time to go and the vet had to give her a second dose and couldnt find the vein! However, it didnt appear to be distressing to her - as far as I am concerned the fact that she seemed undisturbed was enough to stop me getting upset about it (although it was not the most pleasant experience).

I am unsure what method I would prefer to use given that I have no experience in the bullet method for horses. However, I would consider both. I have personally shot a sheep that was suffering - I feel that my farming background helps me in dealing with the death of animals, so the decisions about my horses have been easier to make, and stay present for.

Everyone has their own opinions about the subject of PTS - and everyone will know what is right or wrong for them and more importantly for the horse.

It is an important subject to discuss openly - I have learnt a lot of information from this forum and indeed it helped me with my decisions regarding my elderly pony just recently.
 

Tia

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Yes I've had lots of horses killed. Every one is different, so I go along with whatever is best for that particular horse and what is available at the time. For example; I had only ever had horses shot whilst I lived in England and it was a bit of a surprise to me when I had my first one over here put to sleep, that my vet didn't have a gun so was planning to give lethal injection. Well I'd never seen any killed with lethal injection up to that point in my life, so I was open-minded as to how it would go. All have been fine so no worries.

Having had so many horses killed over the years (nowhere near on a par with Weezy mind you) the one comment I always find awfully bizarre is so many people saying they want their animal to die with dignity, as in the killing part of it. I've got to say, I certainly wouldn't describe ANY horse death as dignified; regardless of which method you choose. A great 1,200lb lump dropping on the ground and ending up with its teeth and tongue hanging out of its mouth is not my view of "dignified". Dignified, in my opinion, is only of value before the animal is killed, ie. you try to make sure you have the horse killed before it gets beyond the point of tolerable pain, hardship, etc.

I am sorry you did not find the previous post of interest, sad really as it sounds like you may well have to go through it at some point in the future. I thought it was a wonderful thread, particularly for those who have never had a horse put to sleep. It will have opened their eyes and providing they are not too "over-sensitive" hopefully gave them a far greater insight as to what goes on.

I hardly think anyone joked about the death of their horse on that thread however there were, for sure, some funny stories associated with some of the deaths; just as there are some harrowing stories associated - that's life I'm afraid, well actually that's death I should probably say - there really is no textbook death, each is unique.

I do think that for those who are of a sensitive nature, perhaps they shouldn't have opened the thread? It was very clearly marked and easy to avoid, so no excuse really for whining about it after the event.
 

majicmoment

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I wasnt whining tia and agree fully that the stories were helpful.

My point, as you have just demonstrating, is it is OK to have a plan - but wondered how close to the plan you stick to in the reality?

I always wanted the horse to go to the hounds but in reality it helped me to have his ashes back (or some ashes back, I am well aware they were probably not his)

That was my point - just wondering how peoples confidence differed when hit with the reality.

I also think, that much like farmers, those who have lots of horses are far more businesslike about the event – unlike us sentimental having horses as pets types.

I have held horses on behalf of friends when they have been shot etc but could not bring myself to be there for Bruce – though if Buster goes I will drive him to the kennels and hand him over, as the emotional connection is in no way as strong (I hate the bugger at the moment)
 

Tankey

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[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
OK, to answer your question, I never make plans, I simply know that they will be shot, end of story.

[/ QUOTE ]

Ditto. And if my blinking youngster has to go, he is going to the hounds.

TT, as for you, just to clarify what I consider to be insensitivity on your part (since you asked), some quotes taken from the 2 pages I have just clicked on of your post....

I was wondering about it being allowed to take pot shots as he is grazing but i didnt want to upset the delicate

Quote:
________________________________________

I feel sick after reading this post!!!!!!!!!
________________________________________
Why??? are your horses going to live forever too??



Mind you ... I'd probably not send my two jack russells to the zoo, but they are pure muscle and gristle, and would get stuck in the lions teeth!!
________________________________________
It would keep them busy though


I dont think I want to see my horse being dragged about by chains with his tongue hanging out....i will go and make everyone a cup of tea


Best you stop reading then and carry on with your Enid Blyton books then


And then finally

I have never been there when a horse is PTS so dont know what to expect, but I know one day it will happen


Which to me, regardless of who you are and what ‘past’ we have had, says it all really. This post was created as I have genuine interest in how people have dealt with the decision - and whether, like me, what they thought would happen changed when they were faced with the reality.

As I said, you may joke and feel that you are hardened to the situation till faced with the reality of it– and think you are hardened to it, have discussed it, and can cope.

Actually being faced with making the decision is tough, and nothing can prepare you for what you feel after. You may be brimming with confidence about tackling your horses death and sending him to the zoo, however in reality you may want his ashes at home to be scattered in the garden,

It is easy to be courageous in ignorance.

[/ QUOTE ]I didnt ask

My questions about pot shots was fine...it seems some people have had their horses shot from a distance....

Couragous in ignorance??...no...level headed and without the emotion that I am sure will be there when the time comes.
 

Weezy

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I think the fact is I have never, and will never, consider horses as pets or children, and therein lies the difference between me and a lot of people over here
I don't *get* having a horse in a field that does nothing, if a horse doesn't have a job then, to me, it is redundant and costly
The other thing is I have never owned a single horse and handled the same single horse day in - day out for years and years, so that makes me different too. I had a yard full of horses that were at my disposal, and I left Cercs behind at his prime and even though he is my horse of a lifetime I only owned him for 2 years, before that he belonged to someone else even though I had him on loan. Em and Lucera died when I was over here, and I had already disassociated myself with them. Stan I owned for months before he died, the others have come and gone. The horses that died in Spain during AHS I wept and wept for, but for their suffering, I embraced their deaths as, at last, they were free from pain.

So, there we go, maybe this is why I am different!
 

Tia

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I don't have a plan for the death of the horse, as I say, I was momentarily thrown off my stride in finding out that the usual method here is LI, rather than the bullet, so I just went with it, not a lot else I could do.

Prior to a horse being killed, yes I do certainly plan on how to dispose of the carcass. I generally phone the knackers before the horse is put down and arrange for them to come about an hour after the vet has been. I can't have dead horses lying around the place for too long as people come to my farm regularly and I realise that some people are rather sensitive about seeing dead things, however my main reason for disposing of the body quickly is that I don't want to encourage any large animals to come close to my living stock. However as you may have read on Tankeys thread, 1 time this was not possible as it was a Bank Holiday and I couldn't get the knackers to come out, hence I had to make other arrangements and due to the time of death (11pm) the horse had to spend the night 16ft in the air in my tractors bucket.

I'm not sure that death comes any easier to those who have many horses, however as Weezy says, yes you do become rather more accustomed to it and know what to expect, when you have more experience with death. You do sort of jump into Autopilot and make all the arrangements concisely, whereas those who may not have experienced it before, they may find it a bit of a minefield about what to do.
 

Happy Horse

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I am posting the following link for those who have never witnessed Euthanasia by injection. This shows two horse being PTS by injection together. THESE ARE THE CLIPS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE. THE TOP LINKS ARE VERY DISTRESSING IMAGES OF A SLAUGHTERHOUSE INTENDED TO SHOCK. You have been warned. There are six very short clips.

http://vetsforequinewelfare.org/video.php

The Potters video is the best representation of euthanasia by gun I have ever come across.
 
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