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Warning: the specific details in this question might be upsetting to some. You might not want to read it it you're sensitive.





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OK. One of the horses at my barn was put to sleep. On Tuesday. On Thursday his body was still out there, under a tarp. I couldn't see his head, but I could tell where it was, and there was a lot of blood underneath it. My instructor said something about this not being unusual, but I know when my cat was put to sleep this year he didn't bleed at all. I'm asking because, you know, I have three horses that I'm planning to keep for life, so at some point I will have to deal with this myself.

My question is, should I expect that a horse put to sleep with drugs, by a vet, will bleed from its nose or mouth or somewhere in its head?
 

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I wouldn't expect to see it but Ive only had one horse euthanized by lethal injection and the body was removed almost immediately.

I wonder if animals have got under the tarp and created the situation you're seeing?
 

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Where they inject in is a hole, needles make holes and seepage can happen.
So, without getting graphic...or try not to...
You are in Texas...
You had a horse euthanized on Tuesday, still laying in the same location now 3 days later with a tarp over it..
Here temps have been in the 80's in the shade...add sun and a tarp keeping in heat and baking the corpse..
Do you see where I am heading..........
Yes, seepage of body fluids is expected...
In another day so is rancid smell and hordes of flies and if your horses have not started to act squirrely weird, they might.
They smell the dead and death of the animal and in a prey animal it is very upsetting to their senses..
If you tuned in your senses you too would smell that animal...
Yes, it is laying there rotting flesh happening already.
When flesh rots/decomposes it leaks fluids...
Urine and feces can also escape...vessels can enlarge, some constrict then rupture sometimes...

My question would be why the heck is the animal still laying in this location, not disposed of or buried?
There are renderers, actual companies who take away carcasses and there are other companies who will bury/inter the body to the ground, dig a deep hole, place the body and cover it over...
And if you make a phone call first, many landfills have a special location to bring a deceased large animal, or any animal to for immediate burial of it by the pay-loader driver...

Most people if they plan on a euthanasia have in place what they are doing with the remains...
In times of urgent need to be put down, you can get caught for a day...but not 3 days later and the animal is left in the heat, {in the sun?}, under a tarp decomposing...you just don't do that!
At a boarding barn...good grief what is wrong with your barn owner... :frown_color:
And if the animal was put down because of a colic or such...oh yes, there are many things that occur within hours of death on a twisted or impacted gut...
I will leave that alone and no description cause you don't want to know...

Please, do find out when the body is to be moved...
DON'T BE THEIR AT THAT TIME!!
There are some things no one should be around to see, witness or smell at this point.


To answer you specific...no euthanized animals do not seep large amounts of anything if quickly buried or dealt with the remain.
Even a horse being shot to euthanize is said to not bleed much...once the heart stops...

:runninghorse2:...
 

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I'm part of a vet group on Facebook. One common question is from people who found their horses dead and that they found blood and fluid in the mouth, ect. The vets all say its normal after death as things starts to decay and leak. As gasses build up in the body, stuff gets forced out the only available exits. If there's is a lot of blood, I might wonder if there might have been trauma that caused a nosebleed or cut tongue as the horse went down, tho I wouldn't expect those to bleed too long after death.

I imagine most people don't leave the horses laying around long enough to get to that stage, so it's not commonly seen.
 

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On the ranch in Texas we always dragged away dead cows and horses for 'sky burial' (vultures). Here, you have to hire a back hoe.
 

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When I put my mare to sleep, over five years ago now (June 7, 2015, RIP CG Shalimaars Flame), I covered her body with a wool cooler I had to attempt to keep scavengers from picking at her until we could get her buried (animals feasting on a horse that was euthanized can and will die from ingesting the tainted meat). I don't remember how long it took to have someone come out with a front end loader, but when I removed the wool cooler off of her, it was soaked with blood in two places from the injection site and her nose. I was surprised her mouth wasn't bleeding, as I figure she could've bit her tongue when she fell.

It happens.

Last year when my BO's horse was humanely shot, I was surprised to see no blood coming from the bullet hole, but a bit of blood coming from her nose and mouth. I figured she bit her tongue when she was shot. She was buried the next day, so I don't know if blood ever started coming from the bullet hole.
 

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My question would be why the heck is the animal still laying in this location, not disposed of or buried?
There are renderers, actual companies who take away carcasses and there are other companies who will bury/inter the body to the ground, dig a deep hole, place the body and cover it over...
And if you make a phone call first, many landfills have a special location to bring a deceased large animal, or any animal to for immediate burial of it by the pay-loader driver...

Most people if they plan on a euthanasia have in place what they are doing with the remains...
In times of urgent need to be put down, you can get caught for a day...but not 3 days later and the animal is left in the heat, {in the sun?}, under a tarp decomposing...you just don't do that!
At a boarding barn...good grief what is wrong with your barn owner... :frown_color:
And if the animal was put down because of a colic or such...oh yes, there are many things that occur within hours of death on a twisted or impacted gut...
I will leave that alone and no description cause you don't want to know...
This part caused some anger deep inside of me, HLG. It can be incredibly hard to find someone with proper equipment to bury something as large as a horse. My stepdad is in construction and knows several excavators, and even then it took a few days. In fact, he had to trade a partial roofing job in order to get someone to come out and lay my dear Flame to rest.

When my friend's horse, Will, colicked and died overnight without anyone knowing until his body was found, it took a few days to find someone as well.

You have to cover a euthanized horse to keep scavengers from eating the tainted meat and subsequently dying from the euthanasia drug - it's actually a pretty big threat to birds of prey, especially those that are endangered.

I've been considering what I will do with the passing of my horse, if it happens at a boarding facility...Will I have my stepdad bring his trailer with a wench and have him bring my horse home to be laid to rest next to Flame? Will I have to have him brought to the local landfill and disposed of, among peoples trash? Will I max out my credit card to have him cremated at one of the crematoriums that can handle that large of an animal?

I will tell you one thing for certain, in no circumstance will he be thrown away like a bag of trash.

If my BO called me up and said I had to have him disposed of in the landfill instead of organizing another way to have him buried or cremated, she would no longer be my BO and she would hear many, MANY choice words.

No one gets to determine how another person grieves, NO ONE.

It's been three days since the horse was euthanized - this is how long it took for our family to find someone to bury my horse, when we knew MANY excavators with the right equipment. How dare you.

Nothing is wrong with me, OP's barn owner, or the owner of the horse (if it isn't BO's). Nothing at all.
 

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I'm sorry...
I did not mean to upset anyone nor point a finger...

But the fact is 3 days have gone by and a animal is laying obviously where it is seen at a boarding stable where children ride, people have their horses and life goes on.
You have now stepped into the threshold of health issues and concerns, whether you want to acknowledge that or not it is a fact.
This barn owner to my thinking has a farm tractor of some sort, a truck or something...and if she doesn't others do.
Why was the body not moved to another location, why was the animal not put down where it would not be in easy sight?
A hurting horse is a hurting horse...unless it broke its leg and could not be walked alive...it could still be moved once deceased by using some thought and a bit of effort is all I was saying.
Having a horse go down or be put down at home is a very different thing.

I worked in many barns, some fancy snobbish and many just happy in your backyard places...
We had death from colic, from injury occur.
We had children always about...
We planned as the animal was to be euthanized where to lay the body if arrangements were not premade and sometimes they can't be...
We walked if possible the animal away, I dragged bodies with farm tractors and my truck hitch when nothing else was available, we did not leave a animal in plain site of boarders/lesson patrons cause it is just to upsetting.
And when a animal was removed by whatever means, if it was sitting for more than a day, yes we tarped too, we also made sure no one was on premise but workers who might be needed their assistance if brute force positioning of the body had to take place..
I get it, I do.

My apologies if my words were a sting...it was not my intention.
Your anger and lashing out at me was not needed...till you did that you had me feeling bad....:|

No one has told you how to grieve.. I certainly did not.
There are laws though concerning remains and what to do with them in a timely manner concerning livestock many not know exist.
Leaving the animal for 3 days so you can grieve over it...not sure you would want to uncover that body and see your beloved pet after 3 days of heat and humidity, what decomposing flesh resembles, the smell and rigor-mortis set in has done that you would be witnessing is pretty gruesome.
Then again, you lost your flame at home so maybe you did see........

I would far rather get the animal taken care of, removed, whatever, save the mane & tail for treasured mementos and keep my memories in tact of the beautiful creature that I spent much of my time with than sit Shiva like with it...

Death and grieving are a personal thing...
Might be a conversation to have with your barn owner current for if the horrors ever happen you know where the barn stands.
Like I said, my apologies for upsetting you and I do get sometimes it takes time...

AC, my apologies for the side-track to your thread.
I hope you can forgive my answers in detail and response to a angry comment sent my way.
I'm bowing out of your discussion as seems my words struck some nerves and that is not helping you gather information you sought of how come and why...

:runninghorse2:...
 

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Personally I prefer the use of a humane killer to an injection.

I have always been lucky in that the local Hunt will both euthanise any casualty animal and remove the body.

You can get a lot of blood from a bullet, mostly from the nostrils and mouth not the bullet hole. TBs and Arabs will bleed and twitch for longer than any other breed.

When I found one of our mares dead in the field she had a small amount of blood from her nostrils.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
@horselovinguy it was the barn owner's horse. I think what happened was that she wanted to bury him, but she couldn't find someone to do it, and now she's just scrambling to find ANYONE to take the body away. That's what I've gathered from talking to other people.

Yes, my horses were really not happy about it. I have tarp desensitized all of them, of course, but a tarp over a large thing that smells like death really worried them. The body is currently right off the gravel drive that connects their gate to my barn. I didn't make them walk past it. I let them find a detour they were comfortable with. IDK, I'm all for desensitizing, but it was really bothering me, too. Yes, it definitely already has a smell and there are many flies, and then the blood also. I think they put it where it was because I'm the only person that uses the back barn, so it would bother the least amount of people. I was still pretty shocked when I saw it.

The blood seemed pretty fresh yesterday, but today it looks kind of clotted, so maybe it was due to things expanding after he died. It's been quite warm for November (highs in the 80s), so his body is definitely already on its way.

I told my daughter, when we get onto our land, the first thing I'm doing is digging a hole, just in case. Now I'm not sure -- I mean, I don't want anyone falling in it, either, and I know it has to be a big hole. But just seeing this guy's stiff bloated body under that tarp (the tarp does not completely cover it), I COULD NOT deal with this if it were one of mine. I know they will pass away, but I don't want to go through watching their corpse start to decompose.
 

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I wonder if animals have got under the tarp and created the situation you're seeing?
I would suspect this^^^^[

I have had to lay five horses to sleep in my lifetime:frown_color:

Four to old age, a young one to a freak pasture accident.

There was never any bleeding.

Having to wait for the truck to pick them up is beyond horrible, which is likely what’s going on with the subject horse:frown_color:

Two of my horses sadly had to leave that way but they were taken that same day.

My other three are buried on this farm. We only had the back hoe arrangements ahead of time for one, the other two were unexpected but thankfully we were able to get someone out before sunset for each horse.

It pays to have these awful kinds of phone numbers in ones hip pocket, if at all possible, so the horse doesn’t have to lay there for an extended period - that is hard on everyone, including its pasture mates..

We have terrible render service in my county and this is a big Ag/cattle county. I have seen cattle lay by the road until the Turkey Buzzards just about wiped the bones clean before the truck finally showed up:evil:
 

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I told my daughter, when we get onto our land, the first thing I'm doing is digging a hole, just in case. Now I'm not sure -- I mean, I don't want anyone falling in it, either, and I know it has to be a big hole. But just seeing this guy's stiff bloated body under that tarp (the tarp does not completely cover it), I COULD NOT deal with this if it were one of mine. I know they will pass away, but I don't want to go through watching their corpse start to decompose.
I've never thought of this...frozen ground probably isn't much of a concern in your area, but in mine, I was always worried if one of mine died after the ground was too frozen to easily dig a hole. Last winter, one of the horses (over 30 years old) at the barn I boarded at got cast in the snow, with it's legs stuck through the fence panels (there was probably 3ft+ of snow in some places), and nearly died. Her legs were nearly frozen, and if my BO and others hadn't gotten her unstuck any sooner than she did, I have no doubt that she would have died.

I have no idea what how they would have disposed of her body then, if she had died. With 3ft+ of snow everywhere, even having a professional come in to get her, there would be no way to get a truck and wench close enough to get her body out of the pasture. Snow removal would have to happen first, which is hard when the snow is already piled above your head in most places. And in the UP of Michigan, there isn't the typical business whose job it is to haul away dead livestock, because livestock raising isn't really a business in the UP, so they would to have to know someone that had a trailer with a wench to bring the horse to the landfill, if the landfill even accepted livestock.

A pre-dug hole in the back of the property, fenced off (maybe with chickenwire or something over the hole), would solve at least part of this problem. I'll have to write this down whenever we get our own property, in case something ever happens in winter, or even just in case we can't find someone to dig the hole at a moments notice.
 

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No one has told you how to grieve.. I certainly did not.
There are laws though concerning remains and what to do with them in a timely manner concerning livestock many not know exist.
Leaving the animal for 3 days so you can grieve over it...not sure you would want to uncover that body and see your beloved pet after 3 days of heat and humidity, what decomposing flesh resembles, the smell and rigor-mortis set in has done that you would be witnessing is pretty gruesome.
Then again, you lost your flame at home so maybe you did see........

I would far rather get the animal taken care of, removed, whatever, save the mane & tail for treasured mementos and keep my memories in tact of the beautiful creature that I spent much of my time with than sit Shiva like with it...
IMO, how you choose to "dispose" of a loved ones falls under the grieving territory.

I wish I had known that my horse was suddenly going to have a neurological event, so I could of had a hole prepped and ready for her, but that's not life. I envy those that have the resources to have a hole dug the same day their horse dies, because I would have done anything to not have her body sit out and stiffen in the summer heat while we searched and searched for someone to dig a hole deep enough to keep anything from trying to dig her up. To this day, I can still hear her body dropping into the hole. I wasn't even yet an adult, not that being an adult prevents trauma, but I was alone watching the tractor drop my beloved Flame into her final resting place.

Why hadn't I accepted it would be better to dispose of her body at the local landfill, among the piles and piles of cows, sheep, pigs..? Sure, my stepdad probably could've gotten her up into his trailer, heck, I bet we could've gotten her to hop on and have her euthanized in there...but I've seen those piles of disposed animals firsthand and that is no place anyone wants their loved one dumped. I understand this is the reality in large cities that don't have spare land to bury their dead horses, but if someone has the dedicated space and the means to find someone to dig a hole, I will never understand why someone would opt to throw their beloved friend away.

I respect many of your opinions, HLG, but this is not one of them. As long as the owner has tried her best to conceal the body of the horse and keep the other horses away from it, I see no harm or foul in taking the time to find someone to dig a hole to bury their beloved horse, no matter if it is at a boarding facility. Death is a cruel reminder of the responsibilities of caring for pets and livestock, including post-death "disposal".

I'm sorry if I offended you at all, it was not my intention.
 

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On the ranch in Texas we always dragged away dead cows and horses for 'sky burial' (vultures).
I really hope for the vultures' sake that these animals have not been chemically euthanized! Euthanasia solution remaining in a dead animal will readily kill anything that eats it. I know ClearDonkey already mentioned it but it's worth saying as many times over as needed to prevent people from unintentionally feeding poison to wildlife.
 

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A month or so ago boarding barn I work at had a colicky horse. That horse was pts later that day. This was by no means planned but carcass was taken care of that day, within hours. Of horse being put down.

My horse I put down in 2018 was planned so hole was dug day before. Horse was put down by gunshot. No blood came out of nose or mouth,hubby was there and also buried horse after shot.

I know of someone who chemically put horses down. Horses were dragged out to back 40 and left to nature. A lot of wild life died from eating on the tanted meat. Someone turned them in appearently someone ,saw the carcasses from the dirt road.

I've put down my old horse 2018. spring 2019 my dog ,and just a week ago put down my other dog. Dogs were chemically pts no blood from nose or mouth. Both were buried same day within hours of being pts.

We have a bobcat so can dig a hole if something happened to one of our horses. That needed to be put down unplanned.

We prefer to use gunshot to put horses down fast swift death. I hope it's a long long time before I have to pts anymore of my animals. Three years in a row is just a bit to much.
 

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To put your mind at ease, I've seen a few horses injected to be put to sleep and never seen any blood.
There are two difficult parts for many people, so you may want to prepare yourself.
My DH was traumatized a bit.

First, after the inital sedative the horse goes down. Sometimes they drop very heavily. The vet may try to direct the fall, which is what DH didn't like because she wrenched my horse's neck. I am very objective. The horse is completely unconscious so cannot feel.

Second, some horses run their legs and twitch as the euthenasia takes effect. This can be dramatic. The horse is still completely unconscious and this is from reflexes, but it can be hard to watch.

It seems the closer a horse is to death, the less these happen. For example, a 33 year old very thin horse I saw put down was already on the ground, and his body didn't move or twitch much.
Another horse suffering from years of laminitis just folded onto the ground and didn't move after, not even a twitch. I thought wow, it was such a relief to her to go off away from the pain. I know it is just a physical reaction but that is what it seemed like.
 

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I have always rented or borrowed a back hoe to bury ours. Three died without being put down. The other was shot in a pasture and we never caught the one who shot her. I helped the vet do an autopsy on her trying to find the bullet so if we found the shooter we had evidence tying them to the crime. We never found the bullet. Even in the best cases decomposition starts the moment the heart stops beating so in hot weather things happen faster. For cattle we have what we call the dead ditch which is a deep cut and I place them in it and cover with no less than 3 feet of soil. This seems to work fairly well, to leave any animal lay for any length of time is unacceptable.
 

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My experiences are similar to @gottatrot 's. The only exception being my old guy I found already down and when the vet came and euthanized it took a little longer than normal because his heart had already slowed down so much it took a while for the drugs to get through his system. Sitting with him while waiting for the vet to arrive taught me that horses twitch, paddle their feet etc.. when they are dying, it's not the meds causing it.
 
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