PTS a feral pony - best way?

SEL

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I can't go into too much detail on a public forum on the pony's background, so please don't ask.....


I bought some land recently and it came with 2 sitting tenants. One is a very, very ancient cob and the other was a feral companion who had sort of been left there by a friend of the previous owners. I've had ownership passed over to me. Feral is 17, has been there since he was 2 and is barely handled. I actually thought he'd had more handling but it turns out a few times a year for the farrier and always in a chifney. Farrier would happily stand down.

Feral is fine in his field, but anything outside the field triggers the flight response and its a proper brain zones out and runs response rather than just naughty. I've tried doing a little bit of work with him purely to judge what he was like and have decided PTS is safest for humans and kindest thing for him. There's no rush while the weather is nice but the minute elderly cob's mum wants to bring him in for the night then I don't want her trying to handle feral.

I don't think I'll get a vet near him - or he'll bolt the minute a needle goes in - but I'm also not sure he'll let the man from the local hunt approach because he's very wary of men.

Any ideas? Is there something we could feed him via his food beforehand to take the edge off enough that the vet could try and inject? There is a local man who is apparently trained to dart for sedation but I was kind of hoping for a peaceful end of life rather than a pony running around with a needle stuck in it. I'm feeling very sad and out of my depth with the situation - whilst knowing this is the right thing for us and the pony - so any supportive comments gratefully appreciated!
 

paddy555

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put him in a cattle crush and shoot him or dart him. If the problem is getting him in (and out) does he have to be handled. Most ferals will run along where requested ie following the old mare. Leave the door open, food in stable and he will learn to go in each night as the mare is brought in, reverse in the morning.
Whatever method of PTS is going to be unpleasant for a stressed feral.
Even though you want to PTS wouldn't it just be easier to tame him which is pretty easy to do if you have a stable.

ETA what is going to be the effect on the ancient cob if her companion of presumably several years is pts. Is she going to go into a decline with grief and that will basically be the end of her and she will have to be `PTS. Is her owner happy with that
 

LEC

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I think if you can train him to take an injection then its your only route. I would use clicker training and it will take a few weeks but if you can train giraffes to have their feet trimmed then you can train a pony to accept someone close enough to inject.

Dermosedan has a huge weakness that if adrenaline is slightly up its effectively useless and adrenaline cracks through it very quickly.
 

SEL

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put him in a cattle crush and shoot him or dart him. If the problem is getting him in (and out) does he have to be handled. Most ferals will run along where requested ie following the old mare. Leave the door open, food in stable and he will learn to go in each night as the mare is brought in, reverse in the morning.
Whatever method of PTS is going to be unpleasant for a stressed feral.
Even though you want to PTS wouldn't it just be easier to tame him which is pretty easy to do if you have a stable.

ETA what is going to be the effect on the ancient cob if her companion of presumably several years is pts. Is she going to go into a decline with grief and that will basically be the end of her and she will have to be `PTS. Is her owner happy with that
Elderly cob couldn't give a damn about the feral pony fortunately - tolerates it but would happily mooch around with my lot if it went. They haven't always been in together, just for a few months. The feral was on its own for years which hasn't helped matters. No access to a cattle crush and no plans to buy one for a pony that needs to be euthanised. If we could get it safely onto the yard then I'm sure we could train it to go in a stable but it isn't safe and I don't want to put anyone at risk handling it - it won't follow the oldie because we've tried that. I need to put safety first with this pony and that sadly means calling it a day.
 

SEL

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I think if you can train him to take an injection then its your only route. I would use clicker training and it will take a few weeks but if you can train giraffes to have their feet trimmed then you can train a pony to accept someone close enough to inject.

Dermosedan has a huge weakness that if adrenaline is slightly up its effectively useless and adrenaline cracks through it very quickly.
I've seen that effect with sedalin too which is what was worrying me. I've been using the clicker to teach him to lead and its OK until his brain hits panic mode and then I might as well not be there. I'm wondering though if we prepare him in a specific spot in a field then he'll learn that a safe spot and we could do the deed there. Just need to think about access. Thank you.

If it’s had the chifney on before can you practise putting this on and then craftily give some domosedan? Or is that a ‘too handled’ approach?

I might be looking for a zoo vet otherwise I think?
Zoo vet is an interesting idea. I couldn't get a tube of wormer near him despite clicker training for days (went in his feed in the end - results were gross) so I'm not sure I wouldn't end up wearing the domosedan. Now thinking of having a chat with my equine vets to see whether they could recommend someone - my normal vet has moved so I'm talking to people who don't know me which makes it a bit difficult. Can't have been the first time they've had to deal with something unhandled though.
Its all very sad.
 

Polos Mum

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Domestin is great but needs to be given under the tongue (almost like a wormer) so might not be possible.

You could do sedaline in feed to get close enough to get domestin in then vet

I think you will have to accept a little bit of stress for him in the situation unfortunately

Personally I would look for the quickest solution and accept a bit of stress to do it quickly
 

paddy555

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Elderly cob couldn't give a damn about the feral pony fortunately - tolerates it but would happily mooch around with my lot if it went. They haven't always been in together, just for a few months. The feral was on its own for years which hasn't helped matters. No access to a cattle crush and no plans to buy one for a pony that needs to be euthanised. If we could get it safely onto the yard then I'm sure we could train it to go in a stable but it isn't safe and I don't want to put anyone at risk handling it - it won't follow the oldie because we've tried that. I need to put safety first with this pony and that sadly means calling it a day.
in that case if you cannot contain it in a crush to shoot all you can do is pay a vet trained in the use of a dart gun to shoot to sedate it.
 

SOS

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Slightly out the box idea but can you get him onto a lorry if he leads in a chifney? Lorry partitions work great as a temporary crush (where he could have IM sedation and then IV sedation once more down), led off and the deed done.

I would speak to your vets, I’m sure they could come up with some sort of a plan.
 

SEL

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Get your vet to engage with Liphook vets, they will be able to give very good advice on this.
Be v careful if going down oral meds route, ferals can and will often fight this running blind through things if startled at all.
Will be best done while a vehicle can get into field.
Getting the vehicle in is what has started to make me think oh s*** I need to get this sorted. The field he's in at the moment takes the run off from the yard and the gateway isn't great after rain.

I understand from previous post this pony is a NF maybe contact the breed society they maybe able to give some advice or know of a vet that is experienced in handling feral ponies, they must have to PTS ponies on the forest that are feral sometimes.
He is - came from the forest and nothing really done with him in the 15 years since. There is a sad human backstory but even so he really has been let down. I didn't think of asking the breed society, will drop them a line. I expect they have a decent guy on the end of a gun if necessary.

I think a zoo vet/ ranger type that can sedate from a distance would be the kindest, least stressful situation.

Even better if the pony can be given a bucket on the floor to keep it more likely still?
Head in a bucket he can definitely do!
 
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this is just so sad, confirms the throw away society that we live in, at least try and tame him and if successful let him live as a companion, rather than just kill him, makes me shudder and think of a slaughter house, condemn me if you like for my feelings, but at least i can sleep straight at night and have no arguments with God, poor pony
 

Hepsibah

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this is just so sad, confirms the throw away society that we live in, at least try and tame him and if successful let him live as a companion, rather than just kill him, makes me shudder and think of a slaughter house, condemn me if you like for my feelings, but at least i can sleep straight at night and have no arguments with God, poor pony
Good grief, the judgement on you! This pony is not being thrown away, it's owner is trying to do their best by it under very difficult circumstances. You're very unkind.
 

milliepops

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this is just so sad, confirms the throw away society that we live in, at least try and tame him and if successful let him live as a companion, rather than just kill him, makes me shudder and think of a slaughter house, condemn me if you like for my feelings, but at least i can sleep straight at night and have no arguments with God, poor pony
i think that's very unfair to the OP who already has gone above and beyond to make sure her own horses have good lives , it sounds like the feral pony's reactions are bordering on dangerous so PTS in a planned way minimising any stress is much preferable to it having an accident or illness down the line and it not being possible to manage its condition.
 

J&S

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We have an amazingly good local knackerperson (!) . Sadly Devon to you ,Dorset, may be too far but if you would like his name please ask. I would be certain that he could handle the job.
 

ruth83

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The female crematorium owner mentioned by Pearlsasinger does cover a very wide area (obviously with a cost implication) and is, in my experience, superb. I think she would be a very worthwhile having a conversation with. Google Yorkshire Equine Crematorium. If she cannot help you personally, she may well be able to recommend someone closer and will certainly give advice on the handling side of things.
 

stangs

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Posts above have covered all my ideas as far as PTS. But I will just add that I would make sure to leave body in field for long enough to let elderly cob process the death. Sounds like they've been together for a while, so the loss of that companion will be traumatic.
 
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