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- - Serious Question (http://www.horseforum.com/horse-health/serious-question-39196/)
I was reading a post on here about a badly injured horse and many people replied that a gunshot if in the correct place is a quick and painless death... I was wondering if someone could tell me or give me a diagram of where the correct place is? I am not being sick minded and im not wanting to go kill a horse or anything, but i do alot of trail riding and if it all came down(horse breaks leg or something way out on a trail) to it i want to be able to give my horse a painless death if i have to... Ive been told if you do it wrong in the wrong place it just causes excruciating pain and wont kill the horse right away and if ever faced with the situation i want to be able prevent that form happening.
Sorry if this is a wierd thing to post.... even if someone could pm me so everyone doesnt have to read about it( im squeamisha nd would hate to just randomly run apon a thread describing how to kil an animal) though i think it might be benificial for everyone in case they are ever in a situation where theyd need to know.... Thank You
it is a wonderful question, and good for you for wanting to be prepared. I am assuming you are comfortable with a handgun and so will skip the logistics of that part. Basically you draw an X from the ears to the inner corner of the eye. X marks the spot. You aim the gun directly perpendicular with the skull. It would be best if you could get a hold of a horse skull because that way you can see how it lines up with the brain case. If you don't have access, stop in at your local vet's and they should be able to show you (provided it is a large animal vet!). We show hunters and trail riders this every year and more than once it has been beneficial both to horse and rider (a pack team went off a cliff and there were broken legs out in the back country, not much else you can do at that point and they were grateful not to have to leave the horse suffering).
Good on you for asking, I can't ride alone (and am to young to play with guns) but when I am old enough dad has promised to tech me how to shoot.
I think this is a perfectly valid question, but only someone competent with firearms should do this. There are other safety considerations as well, such as the nature of the gun, obstacles in the area (rocks, concrete, glass), what else is behind the target, and so on. So without going into a long lesson on safe firearms handling, the only place to shoot a horse with immediate fatality is in the brain. Unfortunately, the brain isn't actually all that large so if you miss, you can cause suffering.
From the front of the horse, the best place to aim for in in the centre of the head about 2/3rds of the way up between the eyes and the ears. Not straight in either, but at a slight angle -- so slightly less than 90% with the smaller angle being on the down side (larger angle toward the ears). Sounds confusing... sorry.
Another option is from behind. Imagine the horse grazing, the location is just behind the ears and aim slightly forward.
Either way is so quick you don't have time to even think of anything. You just decide it needs to be done, squeeze and it's over.
Use a gun with a magazine so that if something does go wrong, you can resolve the issue immediately. I've heard that a .22 will do the job, but I won't use less than a 7.62 for a large animal. I've used a .22 on a goat and other smaller creatures, but not a horse. Reason: a bigger hole does a better job. Plus if you are in an emergency situation and need to resort to a less humane shot (lungs), you can still get it done. Sad, but true. Always use soft point ammunition; again, bigger hole.
I don't use shotguns much, but I would imagine anything with a slug over 16 gauge would work. Though I'd probably go 12 g. I prefer the rifles for the magazine option. And I just like rifles better overall. I guess the wussie girlie part of me shines through on that. Plus rifles allow me to shoot bears from much longer (read "safer") distances!
There are other emergency ways to kill an animal if needed also. Some are pretty graphic, but still effective. My husband once got in a tangle with a dying deer (he thought it was dead -- ALWAYS CHECK!). Anyway, he had his axe with him, so he severed the jugular vein and the deer bled out quickly. This takes some muscle power and no hesitation. Don't underestimate how hard it is to cut through fur-covered skin, sinew (or whatever it is) and the vein itself.
There are very few animals you can kill by hitting them on the head. Don't try it. You are more likely to end up with the wrath of the animal on you instead.
That's my sad and sober input for today. Necessary information when you live away from immediate help though. I've known how to kill an animal since I was about 12.
Tealamutt -- just read your response. Perpendicular works if you are EXACTLY on the right spot. I recommend a slight angle so the line travels through as much brain as possible. I'm going to see if I can find a picture.
Sorry, posted before I found the pic. Here is one from an Emergency Euthanasia of Livestock site:
I wouldn't shoot from the side, btw. This pic seems to imply that it's ok, but your angle of impact is somewhat limited.
Emergency Euthanasia of Horses; UC Davis Veterinary Medicine Extension
This site covers it all and is quite reputable.
I've had to do this before....a handgun will work fine and is generally easier to handle than a rifle for most folks. This method is quick and relatively bloodless. You do want a slight angle up towards the top of the head, not exactly perpendicular.
Thank you guys very much. I cringe at the thought of having to kill an animal, but if my friend were suffering id rather be the one to end it out of love and respect for the life itself. Thanks for the diagram, i was wondering on the angle until i saw it but now i am pretty sure i could do it properly. I was raised around guns but have never killed anything except a few trees and some gallon jugs, but i am sure i could do it, would a 22 really work? id rather not carry anything bigger if i didnt have to but if i am taking the gun for such emergencys id rather not be underpowered... Again thank you all very good info!!
And btw what kind of gun would you reccomend me to carry(got a big family of hunters and gun collectors so gettin one is no prob) for trail riding? Dont know if it matters but i am a fairly small person 5'4'' with little hands and poor upper body strenght(pushups... PFFT! lol) thanks
"A .22-caliber long rifle is recommended, but a 9mm or .38-caliber handgun will be sufficient for most horses. The use of hollow-point or soft nose bullets will increase brain destruction and reduce the chance of ricochet. If a shotgun is the only available firearm, the use of a rifled slug is preferred. " from the UCDavis website
lol i just read that after i posted*slapped hand to forehead*, should have read before asking
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