PTS or keep going

eahotson

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Just like everyone else I think you need to consider your personal safety and your own life too.You have needs of your own and sadly they can't be met by this mare.Discuss the situation with your vet but myself I would be heading towards the PTS option. Yes you will be distressed maybe for a time after but probably you will feel a deep sense of relief as well once everything is all over.
 

IrishMilo

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Mine was 6 too.

In terms of practicalities:

I opted for a local fallen stock couple to come and do it as I wanted it to be instantaneous. He also didn't like vets going near him and was needle phobic so I don't even think a vet job would have been possible. All in it cost about £750 as I wanted all of his ashes back.

You can choose to be there or not - it's entirely your choice and don't listen to anyone who insists you do it one particular way. I wanted to be there but I didn't want to be holding him for the actual euthanasia bit. I sat in the car and wrapped my arms around my head. I heard a pop but the whole thing was no where near as bad as the build up. Afterwards I went to lay with him for a while to say good bye. I left before they loaded him up to take him for cremation.

I miss him so much but I've never regretted the decision which was my biggest fear. My vet was very supportive of my decision to PTS.
 

Melody Grey

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I’ve been in a very similar situation with a 7yr old OTTB.
I tried my best, ran out of money and emotional energy. She still wasn’t right, was aggressive and we had no idea where to look next.
I PTS and have never regretted it. I couldn’t have afforded to retire her (for what could have been a very long time) and couldn’t have passed her on.
I can’t understate the relief you’ll feel once it’s over.
 

eahotson

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Thank you for all of the replies, it’s such a tough position to be in :-( How do you find someone to PTS? Is it better to get the vet to do this or get a number for the local hunt? Also my horse panics when leaving her field so would they put her to sleep in the field or would the noise upset nearby horses (and what about other liveries). Does the vet or person dealing with this hold the horse for you? I’m not sure I’d want to be involved at all
BHS friends at the end are brilliant at all of this. The how and where and also the emotional support.They will not judge you.
 

splashgirl45

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Agree PTS sounds like the sensible option. However if I was in your shoes as you say she is so lovely to ride I would get someone like Richard maxwell to come and assess her before making that final decision. If he felt her behaviour on the ground wasn’t fixable then I would feel I had covered all options and could feel I had no other choice.good luck
 

Merry Equimas

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You sound miserable and that’s understandable. So does your horse to be fair. I’m not against pts for dangerous and unhappy horses, but if you had any niggling doubt and are not looking to rush into a new horse I’d be in favor of chucking her out for 6 months to unwind. It’s stressful for a young horse to have been broken, be in pain, have surgery then immediately rehab. She’s probably fairly pissed off at the world. But if pts is what you really want to do, then that’s okay too.
 

Lurfy

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If the horse is still toe dragging and stumbling behind after a year of rehab, it isn't looking great for a full recovery. I've got a 21 year old horse retired due to sacral problems, he is field sound and doing well considering. He has been retired for 7 years now, which has been expensive. Luckily he is very manageable and I enjoy hand walking and fussing over him. If I was looking at retiring a 6 year old who isn't easy to manage, I would really think very seriously about PTS. Sorry you are in this position OP, you and your mare sound like you have been through a lot. You have done a great job of rehabbing for a really long time with a challenging horse, I really feel for you. Good luck whatever you decide xx
 

LaurenBay

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I am not sure I would want to throw more money at a Horse that could really injure you.

I would PTS, however it is easy for me to say as I have no emotional attachment to his Horse, if I had the funds then I would look at someone like Richard Maxwell to come out if you really are struggling with the PTS.

Regarding PTS, it sounds morbid, but you do need to consider the ease of removing her body. If she is happy in the field then this can be done, but do you have easy access to the field for a vehicle to collect her? I had mine PTS by a vet in the field, I had her sedated first and then injected. It was very peaceful and I stayed with her, however once the Horse is sedated they are so out of it I am not sure they would notice if you walked off at that point. The others should not be affected by this, but I would warn other owners in case they choose to keep theirs in. Same if you decide to have the gun, the initial noise might make them jump, but I can't see it causing chaos.

I am really sorry you are in this position, but please remember that she has no concept of tomorrow, only of the now.
 

Orangehorse

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I wouldn't judge you what ever you decide. After all, it is making you unhappy and you have spent a great deal of time and money and still don't have a horse you can ride easily and relate to, nor could sell.

I have re-read your first post where you describe her handling behaviour. She isn't attacking you, trying to pin you in the corner and kicking, or crush you, or coming at you with an open mouth, wanting to bite. I had a little pony that would get her head down and bog off quite regularly when being led if I wasn't fully alert. So the rearing and then escaping sounds as though that is a good way of getting her way.

Have you tried any massage/tellinton-touch type things where you just spend time with the horse feeling gently over their body?

I don't think you have to go as far as Richard Maxwell, maybe an Intelligent Horsemanship person instead who could come out and asses the handling troubles.

But in the end, as others have said, PTS is awful leading up to it, but once over can be a huge relief.
 

LaurenBay

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What is the ‘kindest’ method of euthanasia? if it didn’t make any difference to the logistics?

It really is down to personal choice.

I had mine done by injection, she had sedation first and then the injection and it was very peaceful and quick. She then was cremated as a group with no ashes returned. If I had to choose again I would pick this option. Unless I had a vet/needle phobic Horse, then I would pick a gun.

I have also been present for someone else's Horse PTS by gun, it was very quick but messy.
 
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It really is down to personal choice.

I had mine done by injection, she had sedation first and then the injection and it was very peaceful and quick. She then was cremated as a group with no ashes returned. If I had to choose again I would pick this option. Unless I had a vet/needle phobic Horse, then I would pick a gun.

I have also been present for someone else's Horse PTS by gun, it was very quick but messy.
Thank you Lauren
 

Errin Paddywack

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Most of ours have been put down by gun. My mare was put down by vet but only because she was already being treated for colic. We have a wonderful knacker who makes it as easy as possible for us. Cost when we last needed him was £240 in 2017. Personally I prefer the gun but so much depends on the horse and how they will react to a vet and a needle.
 

PeterNatt

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This horse clearly is unhappy as a result of physical and/or mental issues. You have done your very best for your horse and very sadly this has not resolved the majority of issues. This horse is dangerous to handle and someone is likely to become seriously injured. I would definately have her put to sleep knowing that you have gone over and above in trying to resolve her issues.
 

Annagain

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There is no "best" method. It's such a personal choice. My old boy was given the injection and this would be my choice again but my reason for it is not one most people would expect - hence what I mean about it being a personal choice. My boy is grey and the thought of his beautiful cheeky little face being bloodstained is just too much for me to bear. I've been with a few who went with the injection and found it to be very peaceful and controlled every time.
 

lucy_108

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Firstly, huge hug to you. I know this feeling first hand and it's soul destroying. There are a lot of people whose sympathy will lay soley with the horse, but mine is split between you both.

Ultimately, when you reach the point of considering PTS, you're almost there. There are far, far, far worse fates for a horse than being laid to rest around people they know in a familiar setting with a fully belly. It sounds like you've tried and you're tired. It sounds like she isn't a naturally happy horse, possibly pain related, possibly pain memory related. Yes, you could retire her to a field. Yes, you could keep trying. Yes, you could spend a fortune on more training and schooling. But really, it doesn't sound like she is ever going to be a truly happy horse.

I had a very similar situation with a cracking little horse who was so, so talented but his brain was so far gone. He also had a multitude of veterinary issues that I just couldn't keep at bay. When I put one fire out, a new, bigger, hotter one was lit. I gave him 6 months in the field to see if he'd take to retired life and he just didn't - he was 'ok' but he wasn't a happy horse. So I made the decision, I called the vet, I took a couple days with him and then I held him as he left. He was just 13 years old and it broke me, but it was the right decision for him, I dread to think where he or I would be now if I'd tried to carry on.

Vets can sort all of this out for you and you don't have to hold them. If you aren't going to be there, captive bolt is cheaper. However, I personally (despite working for an animal welfare charity and seeing it done 100s of times) couldn't do it with my own, even thought it is arguably faster and kinder. Either way, you don't have to be there and your vets can organise everything start to finish.

This is an impossible decision and I'm really sorry to say that if you choose to say goodbye, it is going to get harder for a while. It is one of the worst decision you'll ever have to make - I personally think a broken leg or incurable colic is easier to handle as the decision is taken from you. But always know you did right by this horse and she knew nothing but an owner that cared, and that is why this is so hard and hurts so much.

Sending love.
 

teddy_eq

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As others have said, I would 100% sympathise and support if you opted to PTS. Sadly, some horses just seem to be too fragile for this world, in many ways.

With regards to methods of euthanasia, I had to have a seven year old PTS in August and my vet advised against chemical euthanasia as the horse in question was (apart from his fatal injury) the picture of health and fitness so, chemical euthanasia might not be so peaceful. So, the condition of the horse should be considered.

The hunt despatched him and according to my friend who stayed with him, if all horses could leave the world knowing as little as he did, it would be a blessing.
 

Velcrobum

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I have had one PTS by injection which was peaceful I had owned him for over 20 years and I have his ashes. I had one PTS by knackerman using a bullet. I did not hold him my OH did but I watched from a bedroom window and he went with his ears pricked but it was instant, I did not see him on the ground. It is a tough decision to make when they are young but the second one had damaged me too many times and damaged himself too many times. He was heading slowly but surely towards dangerous.
 

windand rain

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A bullet every time for me The knackerman is very good have seen a few go this way and they were gone before you hear the shot. The injection ones have taken much more faffing about with canula and sedation etc However it is a sound you don't forget in a hurry so its who it is better for the owner or horse both equally important and both should be properly considered. I am sorry it has come to this but at least you will always know she is safe
 

Hormonal Filly

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A bullet every time for me The knackerman is very good have seen a few go this way and they were gone before you hear the shot. The injection ones have taken much more faffing about with canula and sedation etc However it is a sound you don't forget in a hurry so its who it is better for the owner or horse both equally important and both should be properly considered. I am sorry it has come to this but at least you will always know she is safe
Both of my horses I’ve had to lay to rest have been shot, both under the age of 10. Heart breaking, and even now 2 years on from loosing the last it hurts but it was the right decision. I know he’s safe and free from pain.

One was quite nervy and not the easiest with the vets. It was extremely quick (both horses were having a handful of treats, ears forward, happy as larry) and they hit the ground before I heard the shot. The only thing I will say is there was a LOT of blood on one, and for this reason I’m not sure if I’d have another done the same way.
 
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Is it normal to have feelings of guilt leading up to the event, feeling like you should have done more (and maybe things wouldn’t have got to this point if you have done things differently) and feeling like this is an awful thing to do? Does that pass?
 

Hormonal Filly

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Is it normal to have feelings of guilt leading up to the event, feeling like you should have done more (and maybe things wouldn’t have got to this point if you have done things differently) and feeling like this is an awful thing to do? Does that pass?
I’d say it’s completely normal. I felt exact the same with both of mine, I blamed myself. I knew I couldn’t let them both continue to suffer and after the initial pain of their loss, I almost felt a relief they were free.
 

ILuvCowparsely

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We had one done here by the gun, was horrid experience as the owner never thought of the other horses or the fact the owner changed her mind without telling me so I had no time to move the box rest horses further away, she also left blood in the indoor school and left it for others to see and clear up till I told her she had to come back and clear it. Also it was an open top truck so I hate to think what children in buses and other peoplr thought if their bus pulled along side it.
Manny many other things I seen with the gun and still hear the gun shots. So I always opt for the injection peaceful quiet respectable, then had the ashes returned. That is my choice.

I won't watch them be dragged in the truck or trailer, but I was with all but one (royal veterinary). My boys mum i held her and has she went down i did too still clutching her neck and cuddled her till the end, my first mare and pony were already down before the injection to sedate was in and they went peacefully
 
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