needing some advice on horse euthanasia - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 05-04-2008, 10:27 AM Thread Starter
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needing some advice on horse euthanasia

Last thursday my mare had to be put down. To make a long and distressing story short, the vet made a mash-up of the injection. He didn't bring enough of the lethal injection, requested a bottle of washing up liquid and then told us to leave the stable for 5 minutes and leave him alone with her. In our distress, my mother and I just did as he said, but afterwards when my mum askd him what he'd done with the washing up liquid he said 'you don't want to know' and refusd to tell us. Naturally we were very distressed, and when her body was removed later that day, there was a lot of blood on the straw, although I had not been able to see a mark on her body when I'd checked her before she was taken away,

I have two questions, the first is, do any of you have any idea what he might have done with the washing up liquid? Please be honest, I would much rather know, even if it is gruesome, than always wonder what he did to her.

The second is, can anyone tell me if it's common for horses to show blood after they have been put down? I know it's normal for them to become incontinent, which she did, but I hadn't heard of them bleeding before, and if anyone can shed some light on the situation I would be grateful.

Thanks for any help.

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post #2 of 9 Old 05-04-2008, 10:45 AM
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First of all the vet was extremely insensitive to the situation, I can't believe he asked you to leave. I have no idea what he may of down with the liquid but I'm sorry he treated you that way.
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post #3 of 9 Old 05-04-2008, 10:52 AM Thread Starter
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it was very insensetive, we're trying to find out everything we can because we're trying to find out if we can take legal action. We've already discovered that the same vet has done the same thing with washing up liquid twice before, but still don't know what it was. Whatever it was, it put my horse through a lot of pain and stress. Before we left her she was just peaceful and in no pain, but when we went back in the stable she was sweating and twitching, and we could hear her struggling and kicking in the stable. He shouldn't be allowed to get away with putting horses thorugh that kind of stress.

She's the only horse we've had who's died, so we've got no experience with them dieing or being put down etc, which is why I've come on here to ask some advice.
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post #4 of 9 Old 05-04-2008, 01:13 PM
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My opinion only:

First off, the vet shouldn't have done ANYthing without enough of the lethal injection. He should have rescheduled for a time when he would have had enough of the injection to put your horse down without any issues.
Secondly, although it's not t
This makes me very mad. I would most definitely take legal action. This might require (and probably will require) an autopsy, and might not be very peaceful for you or your mom. The fact that he's done this before is also very distressing; and the fact that there are vets out there like that makes me mad - they should lose their licenses.
I'm so sorry to hear this - it's actually very upsetting. I hope you find out what happened, and are able to take this quack down.

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post #5 of 9 Old 05-04-2008, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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it looks like some of your message got deleted there, it seemd to cut off mid-sentence.

The problem is she has already been taken away, so an autopsey wouldn't be possible now.
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post #6 of 9 Old 05-04-2008, 01:45 PM
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I would report him to your local police authority, and make sure something is done; my thinking is - if you don't do something, how many other people is he going to do this to?
It doesn't sound like it was a peaceful death - I would want legal recourse.

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post #7 of 9 Old 05-05-2008, 10:33 AM
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The police won't be able to do anything about it. If you are concerned about something he did (and I would be) then you need to contact the veterinary licensing board as they are the ones who would investigate and reprimande or remove his license if his actions warranted it.

As for what he probably did with the washing up liquid, I would imagine that he injected it. But rest assured that the drug that he gave before hand was a huge dose of anesthesia so what your horse felt was minimized.

I would concur that a vet should never start a euthanasia if they don't have enough barbituate on hand to do the job correctly.

Cindy D.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
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post #8 of 9 Old 05-05-2008, 11:42 AM
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First, I am so sorry for your loss.

I would contact the vet and ask him EXACTLY what he did. If after he explained himself I felt his actions were inappropriate I would be doing as Ryle has suggested.
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post #9 of 9 Old 05-05-2008, 03:29 PM
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I too have had to go through euthanizing a horse. Its a tough enough situation without having the vet botch the job. I would definitly notify the veterinary licensing board. Plus I would never use him again and bad mouth him to everyone I knew
I'm so sorry you and your mom had to go through such a horrible thing
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