A rather difficult question...

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A rather difficult question...

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  • A rather difficult question

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    11-05-2009, 06:01 PM
Unhappy A rather difficult question...

Hi all,

I am new to horseforums.com, and my name is Jill. I am sorry to have to make this one my first post, but I have a tough question to ask. Next week, we are having one of our geriatric horses put down :(. He is extremely close with one other horse here, and we have been struggling with how to handle the situation. We introduced another horse to the two that are buddies in an effort to get our geriatric's buddy accustomed to another horse. So far, everyone is getting along well, but I want to have your opinions on a theory I have heard.

I have heard from more than one person that if one horse is particularly close to another, it is best to have that horse's buddy present at the time of euthanasia. Some say this helps the buddy "come to terms" with the loss more easily. I have had to euthanize horses before and have never used this method. However, I have never had a situation with two horses as close as these two before either! What are your opinions on it? Do you believe it to be better for two horses that are very buddy sour rather than simply separating the two at the time? I want this to be as peaceful an experience for the two of them as possible, though it will be very hard on us all. :( Thank you for your input; it is greatly appreciated!

~Jill at SSHF
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    11-05-2009, 06:30 PM
Welcome to the forum!

So I have never heard of this having the buddy there at the time. Maybe call your vet or whoever is going to put the horse down and ask them. I am sorry for your impending loss :(
    11-05-2009, 06:39 PM
Thanks for the reply! I did actually ask my vet about this, and she said it was more a personal preference for the owner. My concern is due to the fact that these two are so buddy sour! I am afraid that taking one away from the other will only upset my Tulsa in his last moments and cause him to panic, yet I don't want to upset his buddy Smoke by having him there if it will affect him too badly. Ugh, this is the bad side of having animals :(.
    11-05-2009, 06:41 PM
First off, I'm so sorry :(

When we have a situation where one of the horses has to be put down, the vet, the horse and the owner (in my case that's my mother in law) take him/her to a quiet place away from the herd and take care of "things". After the fact, my mother in law will bring the others over to sniff, inspect and get their understanding of what's happened. This has worked well in the two occasions that I've been there for. One was a very old quarter horse and the other was our mule. The lead horse in our herd will spend a few hours at the location and when he's ready he'll lead the other horses back to the pasture. We don't rush them... they can have as much time as they need.
    11-05-2009, 06:42 PM
I've never heard of it, but I don't think it would hurt the other horse? Im really not sure exactly how much horses comprehend of that, but I imagine if they could comprehend death, it would be less unsettling than if his buddy just disappeared and he was anxious for him to come back.

You've already done what I would recommend by getting him another pasture buddy to cope with. Just keep an eye on him and make sure he continues to eat, etc.

Im sorry you have to go through losing your guy, but I think you're doing a good job setting your other horse up for the loss.
    11-05-2009, 06:48 PM
Does Tulsa get upset when he is separated from his buddy when he goes to get groomed or get some yummy treats or something?
    11-05-2009, 06:49 PM
So sad for you.
    11-05-2009, 07:41 PM
Super Moderator
I'm sorry you have to make this decision. I have heard that when a mother horse loses a foal you should leave the foal with her for an hour or so. That was she knows what happened and accepts it. I would assume it is probably that way with old friends. I personally would do that if I had the option. Either have him there with him when you put him down, or turn him out in the paddock with him afterwards for an hour or so. Give him time to figure it out.

I'm so sorry.
    11-05-2009, 09:14 PM
I'm really sorry for what you're facing. I hope it all goes as well as it can for you and the horses
    11-05-2009, 09:24 PM
First of all, I am very sorry for your loss. Secondly, I have heard of the buddy system for other types of animals, mainly ferrets, so that if you have two buddies they don't anticipate their buddies return or think something bad happened to them but they don't know what. I would say do the buddy way so they can both be peaceful when he goes.
Once again, sorry for your loss.

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