Is this humane? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 33 Old 10-30-2013, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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I really love my horses and I don't want to make them suffer.
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post #12 of 33 Old 10-30-2013, 08:47 PM
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As someone who worked in an animal shelter, I can say with complete confidence that a well aimed physical force bolt is much more humane than using chemicals. I've been in a room with a dog who is still suffering and WILL NOT DIE after three syringes full of blue juice. When my chinchilla's time came and it needed to be put down, I did it myself with a hammer. It was instant, the chinchilla was under no stress, it was just snuggled in a towel with mommy. If I had taken it to a vet, it would have been confused and scared because of the strange surroundings, and they would have physically held its head in a cone while it suffocated to death.

Of course I'm not saying that using chemicals to end an animal's life is inhumane, I've seen it work thousands of time in a peaceful and instant manner, I'm just saying that when you aim it right it is going to work, no question, as opposed to the chemicals maybe not being just right and causing a delay.
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post #13 of 33 Old 10-30-2013, 11:16 PM
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OP, the euthanasia injection wasn't invented as a 'solution' to the bolt in the head. Lethal chemicals have been around for many years, and veterinary science has developed ways to use them.

My guess as to why more animals are euth'd with the injection rather than the bolt gun is that owners are generally way more squeamish and think - as you do - that because they can't 'see the death happening' then maybe it doesn't hurt.

I have had one horse put down using lethal injection. My vet was kind as kind could be, he did his best but the truth is this.

My horse was scared of vets and scared of needles. His adrenaline was through the roof and so he had to be sedated before the vet could get the lethal shot in. It was not a calm and peaceful last 15 minutes of his life.

Next time, I will without hesitation have my horse put down with the bolt in the head. There will be a next time - owning animals includes that responsibility - and I want fast, fear-free, and painless. If I have the ability and knowledge to do it myself, as your trainer does - all the better. I want my horses seeing the face that they trust and feel comfortable with, not an unknown face.

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post #14 of 33 Old 10-30-2013, 11:47 PM
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This is the age old question it seems. I've seen numerous euthanasia of both types and am not at all squeamish of either method. Anyway can be cruel if it's preformed incorrectly or if something happens accidentally (like a horse moving when a gun discharges, that was unpleasant; or a vein missed in injection). So far I've been lucky that in most of the animals the lethal injection went smoothly and at my home (my vets will not do euthanasia's in their office but come to your house). Personally I don't find injections to be any more pleasant than shooting. You still see the death (I would even go as far to say sometimes even more so than in shooting), the final moments and if things go wrong they go wrong fast.

We did have one old horse that was put to sleep with by injection and he fought it. He walked down the passage way to where we had his 'girlfriend' loose and he lay down next to her. It was sad but at the same time he seemed to go more peacefully by waiting it out, and dying by her side.

In the end we really can't say which is humane or inhumane because let's face it - no one has personally experienced the different ways to be put to sleep and survived to talk, right? For me, either way it comes down to 'was I there with the animal' and was it as painless/stress free as I could possibly make it? I've had a couple who were dying that I've brought home and let them spend their last few hours with the family and go peacefully in their sleep while I hold them, I've had some done by injection, and some that were shot. The main thing I think is that it's as painless as it can possibly be.

Last edited by Incitatus32; 10-30-2013 at 11:50 PM.
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post #15 of 33 Old 10-30-2013, 11:50 PM
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post #16 of 33 Old 10-31-2013, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by horsecrazy8 View Post
Really. Than how come they invented euthanasia fluid if shooting was so humane?
Nobody 'invented' euthanasia drugs. They're the same drugs used for sedation, just given as a massive overdose to kill the animal instead of knocking it out temporarily.

As has already been told to you numerous times by different people, shooting IS humane when done correctly. It just looks barbaric, which is why squeamish owners prefer the animal be given a drug overdose instead of being shot.
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post #17 of 33 Old 10-31-2013, 12:24 PM
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I think that euthanasia via chemicals became the more popular option simply because it is cleaner/is less harsh to witness and administer.

I have never euthanized a horse. When the time comes for my boy... I don't know what route I will take. That said, shooting is most certainly not inhumane.

EDIT-If done properly!

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post #18 of 33 Old 11-03-2013, 04:36 PM
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Do you use a chemical that makes the horse suffocate in the US?
I'm asking because in Germany, there are two ways to euthanize a horse with chemicals. Option 1 used to be the norm and involves a shot that would paralyze the muscles, making the horse suffocate. They are given a narcotic first to make them sleep (doesn't always work from what I read).
Option 2 is what I would use. It's basically an overdose of a narcotic, so they go to sleep just like for a surgery and then they just don't wake up any more. I think it's more expensive to do it this way, but as humane as it can get. I'd prefer to have a horse shot rather than use Option 1, it must be horrible trying to breathe but not being able to, and who knows how aware they are of what's happening even when the narcotic works and they do sleep through it.
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post #19 of 33 Old 11-03-2013, 05:22 PM
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CheyRider here in the US we use a shot of morphine first which is given in excess, then they use phenobarbital or other such chemicals in lethal dosages. For large animals it's mostly the same process but with different chemicals. My understanding and how my vets/professors described it was that the sedative is given in a lethal amount to relax the muscles and put the animal to sleep or near sleep, and then the more lethal chemical is given to cause cardiac arrest. I've heard of your option 1 being used but I think it's grown out of favor over here.
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post #20 of 33 Old 11-04-2013, 06:38 AM
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Originally Posted by horsecrazy8 View Post
Really. Than how come they invented euthanasia fluid if shooting was so humane?
Many people don't have a gun, or know where to shoot one. And I know of no one that has a captive bolt gun for that matter.

Your trainer is doing the right thing.

Also the current push to make it illegal for a vet to carry the meds to put an animal down, may well make it to where owners and handlers HAVE to learn how to shoot one to kill it.

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