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I posted on another thread a few minutes ago, and it got me thinking :shock:
I have had to shoot 6 in my lifetime, I got called when no one else would, or could from the time I was 16. I am thankful I haven't had a bad shot yet, but if at all possible I call the vet and euthanize and have for years.

Yes I still think back and feel sad about every single one of them. But, I think if I had it to do over, I'd still make each well placed shot, just like I did then.

I know it's been bashed to death as being horrific and cruel, but seriously isn't it a better alternative than suffering? Now mind you, I am not talking about (insert name) down the street that shot his poor crippled up horse 9 times because he couldn't shoot the broad side of a barn. I mean a well placed, planned out, one shot, and done deal. I know ill placed shots happen, and they aren't pretty. I just wonder how many would seriously choose a bullet over suffering if euthanasia was hours away and the injury or trauma of a terribly painful nature.
 

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I have seen one such case where the horse was kicked and broke his leg severly. The closest vet was about 3 hours away (we where on a camping trail ride) they could not stand to see the horse suffer that long. Someone with experience took the shot and it was as quick as he was able to make it for the poor horse.
 

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I've not myself but I could/would if it came down to it and my vet couldn't get here. If I wasn't a good shot, not a chance. It would be hard to do but I could do it.
 

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I came very close to having to shoot a horse. I was in the BO's house when we looked out in the pasture. We saw one of her two year olds standing in a very unnatural way. We immediately went out to see what was up. We found that his right front leg had two open fractures and was just hanging there.

We immediately called multiple vets looking for one to come euthanize right away. We were having a horrible time finding one not too busy to do it quickly.

I always carry a firearm (cop...remember?) and I went to get it. If there is one thing that surpasses my love for horses, it is my horror in seeing them suffer. I was about to shoot the horse when the owner told me that a vet was 10 minutes away. I decided to wait the 10 minutes.

It is a horrible decision for anyone to have to make. God bless you for being there for other people the way you did. There is nothing worse than needless suffering. As far as I am concerned, a bullet is FAR more humane than waiting a long time for a needle.
 

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Just in case anyone needs to do this, someday...


Details of Euthanasia Methods
Gunshot

The proper location of gunshot penetration is important in the destruction of the brain and minimizing suffering. The optimal site for penetration of the skull is one-half inch above the intersection of a diagonal line from the base of the ear to the in side corner of the opposite eye. The firearm should be aimed directly down the neck, perpendicular to the front of the skull, and held at least 2-6 inches away from the point of impact. When performed skillfully, gunshot induces instantaneous unconscio usness, is inexpensive, and does not require close contact with the horse.

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 avai lable firearm, the use of a rifled slug is preferred.

This method should only be attempted by individuals trained in the use of firearms and who understand the potential for ricochet. Care must be taken to minimize the danger to the operator, observers, and other animals. Personnel must comply with all la ws and regulations governing the posession and discharge of firearms; local ordinances may prohibit the discharge of firearms in certain areas.

 

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Why are we having this conversation?

:cry:
 

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I've never shot a gun so if this were to happen.. I don't know what I'd do.

But good on you for biting the bullet (no pun intended) and ending a painful experience for the horse(s,) OP.
 

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We've put down a pony this way before after she almost killed the farrier. It was completely out of the blue, with no provocation and it wasn't the first time she had gone after a person - she'd also double-barreled a nine-year-old child. The farrier had just finished with one of her back feet and was gently setting it down when she went after him. Honestly, if our farrier hadn't gotten his arm up when he did, he'd be in the ground right now, as it was his arm was broken and he had to be out of work until it healed. If the circumstances were different, we definitely would've tried to re-train her, but as things are, our horses are out on pasture board that isn't on our property, and we couldn't take the risk that someone would be stupid and bring their kid in to "pet teh purrty pony" and have her attack them, there literally was no rhyme or reason to her going after people - she had no history of abuse, and was well cared for all of her life, she wasn't in pain, and she wasn't provoked.

The person taking the shot was an experienced large-game hunter and he researched shot placement and actually drew the placement lines on the mare's head to best ensure accuracy. He ended up taking a total of three shots - he was pretty sure the first one did it, but he wanted to be 100% sure that she was dead as quickly as possible, so he immediately fired the other two. And then the carcass was moved into a pit that was already dug on a relative's property.

We chose to shoot her instead of having her PTS with an injection mostly due to cost and ease of disposal and accessibility of a shooter vs a vet, and it's a choice that we don't regret - she needed to go right then since she presented considerable danger to both other horses and people and a bullet was more accessible than a shot.
 

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I would always try to get a vet to euthanize but if the vet wasgoing to be ages then no I would use a gun. If I was In the horses situation I would prefer it.
Posted via Mobile Device
 

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I would imagine it is hardest on the person doing it. I would not be able to do it. But if a vet could not be reached, I would hope I could find someone who could do it. I pray I am never in that circumstance.
 

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I often go riding by my lonesome and have wondered what might happen if my mare stepped in a hole and broke her leg, or even fell of the canyon rim. I walk her on the more dangerous parts of the cliff and I'm very careful because we are alone, but all it takes is for one thing to go wrong. And then what? I'm stuck 6 miles from the nearest road with a suffering horse? As Allison said, "If there is one thing that surpasses my love for horses, it is my horror in seeing them suffer."
I do carry a gun riding and would shoot my mare if I absolutely had too. I love her too much to even think about it, but if there was no hope, I would end her pain. I've looked for diagrams before, but could never find any. I'm glad that this topic came up, because In would rather be educated should the event arise than having to let her suffer at the end.
 

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Its being discussed because as horse owners, or animal owners, sometimes decisions have to be made on the spur of the moment to end an animals suffering..
Also, if a horse needs to be put down, no vet is available and nobody will shoot it, you can euthanize a horse by injecting penicillian into the vein. We have had to euthanize them that way when the owner can't bury the horse for one reason or another, they can take them to the dump and leave them there in a pit that is burned regularly. We meet them there and perform it with penicillan because if other animals eat the carcass before they burn, they will not die from the penicillan where they would die from the euthanasia formula. We try to lightly sedate them first, which will not harm other living animals, then inject the penicillan. That is why you always pull back a syringe once the needle is in the muscle, if you hit a vein, your horse will drop dead.
 

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Why are we having this conversation?

:cry:
As gruesome as it sounds, it is good for this to be discussed so that people are prepared and can make a quick informed decision should they find themselves in such a situation.

I believe a gunshot is a humane and practical form of euthanasia - when done properly. I'm sure the same goes for lethal injection, I've yet to see a vet screw that up (knock on wood) but I've heard some horror stories. If I lived in a remote area where it was not 100% guaranteed that there would always be a vet around who could come out quickly, I would learn how to do the deed myself. Ahead of time, of course. You just never know, and when it comes to something like a broken leg I don't want to see the horse suffer even one minute longer than it has to.

It's also worth noting that if I wanted to bury the body on my property, I would prefer a bullet to a large amount of barbituates. Again, gruesome for some people, but the thought of having a substance that was able to take down a 1000lb animal seeping into my soil is worrysome to me. This is why it's all kinds of illegal in many areas.
 

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I often go riding by my lonesome and have wondered what might happen if my mare stepped in a hole and broke her leg, or even fell of the canyon rim.
My aunt is starting to do a lot of overnight camping trips with her Arabians, and she actually called my dad (the gun expert...lol) to ask what type of gun she should buy to shoot a horse with. She keeps that gun with her on every overnight now for the "in case" factor. As sick as it sounds, it's definitely something that needs to be considered, especially if you're doing a lot of riding in remote places where access to a vet is limited.
 

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thanks allison for posting the pics, I dont agree with the firearm recommendations, small may be enough but anything bigger is always better. The last thing you wanna mess up. I used a 44 magnum and soft points. I might add for extra insurance not only follow the X marks the spot diagram, but angle the shot so the bullet travels down into the neck as close an angle or directly into and along the spinal column.
If you want to prepare for this make sure you study the charts and have acess to a big gun, you really dont want to mess up. DOnt think, "Oh I'll get ready when the time comes." I researched this a lot as I had a 30 plus year old and I knew the time would eventually come.
My horse my problem, nothing in my research convinces me giving a horse a shot is any better, and much I have read says vet killing is far worse.
Our squeamish society likes to use terms like put to sleep, its not you are killing it.
For some illogical reason pumping a horse full of drugs and watching it convulse is ok, but instantly destroying the entire central nervous system is somehow mean and violent. I dont agree, although putting a horse down is probably the most horrendous thing I have ever had to do, it was my job to do. In th ebest way I knew how.
 

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Does the euthanasia solution have a half-life or something? Or does it just stay in the soil forever?

I have no doubts a bullet does a good job, but I could not be there for it. I would think it would leave a mental scar on the person that does it too. Of course, euthanasia is not pretty no matter how it is done.

I have heard horror stories about horses shot and assumed dead and then they got up later after the owner left and were wandering around out in the woods with a head wound. Not good!

I worked at a vet's office when I was younger and held many dogs and cats in my arms while they were euthanized. It took an emotional toll on me having things die all the time. That's why I quit working there.
 

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thats why I mentioned using enough gun, and studying the anatomy charts ahead of time. The horse deserves this.
yes it hurts but in my case at least my horse told me it was time,
I have heard issues of the drugs poisoning other animals that ate some of the carcass. No idea of the validity or risk. I imagine if its properly buried like it should be it wouldnt be an issue.
 

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Laws in my province, a large animal must be buried 6 feet under.
 
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