Planned Euthanasia

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Planned Euthanasia

This is a discussion on Planned Euthanasia within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • Should i be present for my horse's euthanasia?
  • Euthanasia in a gelding

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    12-04-2011, 11:40 PM
Planned Euthanasia

Last winter, in the middle of a downpour, I had to put down my 38 yo TB gelding that I owned for nearly 30 years. My heart was broke, but I had always told myself that when the time came, I would do the right thing by Egore. 3 weeks ago I planned the euthanasia for a 36 yo QH mare whom was very arthritic, frail and failing. She had been vetted earlier, and the vet said it was all age related. It was cheaper, it was quieter and peaceful for her. It was a gray day and I swear the clouds opened up for her. Most people thought it was the right thing to do, I even had permission from her prior owner. Is this common? Of course I had time to get used to it, but I still cried. I just hope she's nicer to the TB up there - he loved her so.
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    12-05-2011, 12:16 AM
Green Broke
It is how all except one of my animals have gone. At advanced age, to me, it's just the way to do things.
    12-05-2011, 12:31 AM
Green Broke
I lost two older horses to colic. We tried to save them and then finally had to put them down. It was traumatic for everyone, especially me.

But then a little over a year ago I had my 30+ yr old Paint gelding put to sleep. He was pretty crippled up and had a back injury that he had been living with but it was getting worse over time. He would occasionally lay down and not be able to get up without our help.

So last fall we had him put to sleep because we were afraid if he laid down in the winter time and was unable to rise he would be freezing out there and we may not be able to get him up or get a vet out to put him to sleep and we didn't want him to die that way.

So we actually planned out his euthanasia ahead of time. It still tore me up emotionally but it went well. I still feel it was the right decision. It was a better option than putting my beautiful boy through a rough winter and hoping he didn't get stuck down in the mud.

PS. His former owner is also a neighbor and she was there too. We both cried but knew it was the right thing to do.
    12-05-2011, 12:56 AM
It is never easy and always difficult and if you didn't shed a tear it would be inhuman. It is an end but also (I believe) a new beginning for the animal who will find peace from physical suffering.
    12-05-2011, 07:12 AM
Green Broke
My old guy used to get bad in the winter, he had arthritis and it was painful watching him walk, but he seemed happy and came to dinner. His last summer he laid down more and more, tended to only get up at dinner time. I hired a back hoe to dig with the intent to fence the area off but he got to where he wouldnt even come to eat. I think they pretty much tell you when it's time. You just have to listen.
    12-05-2011, 12:19 PM
I let both of my oldsters go last winter. The oldest, Lucky, had been mine and my sisters since he was 2, he was 32 when I let him go. He'd been getting more and more crippled up with arthritis and when the weather turned really cold, he got to where he was just ....pitiful. We had a blizzard coming and I knew he'd be really painful and miserable so a day before when it was still sunny and warm and he was running with the herd and feeling good, I took him in late in the day. It killed me and year later I'm still crying when I talk about it, but it was the right thing.

The other mare was old but 'only' 26. She had laminitis and had foundered in the past and her right front sole was so thin you could feel the coffin bone and we pretty much expected it to drop any day. Then I went out in the pasture and saw she'd gotten kicked or ???, I don't know, never found what caused the injury. She had opened her left front cannon all the way to the bone and couldn't walk on it. The wound could have been stichted up and cleaned up and probably been ok. The problem was, with the stress on the right foot, sooner or later that coffin bone would have dropped and come through the sole. So.....kill her now or kill her later? Became the question. I shot her full of banamine so she felt no pain and could walk on both fores and took her to the vet. She trotted in like the park horse she was and held her head up high and proud. Again, the emotional pain was awful, but it was still the right thing to do.

Honestly, I hope to have all my horses to ripe old ages so that I have the time to decide when it's right for them to go, not lose them to disease or accidents too early.
    12-05-2011, 12:30 PM
We play God with these animals' lives regardless, so planning a euthing before it becomes an emergency and the animal is stressed and in pain is much kinder, in my opinion.

I have an oldster I'm going to have to start considering putting down. He's getting frail, and doesn't lie down as much since it's harder for him to get back up. I'm planning to get him through this winter, give him a great spring, summer and fall, then let him go before the weather gets too cold again.

It's tough, but it's what we sign on for when we take them into our lives. We know going in that we'll more than likely have to make a life and death decision for them, instead of them just going on their own.

Thank you for letting your old girl go before her days got to be too much of a misery.

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