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OMG, the bill to remove euth'd horse!

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  • #21
    Chronicle had a great print issue earlier this year with an article about planning for the end of your horse's life, different options, pros/cons. I think I probably recycled it, but it's one I wish I had hung on to.

    Has anyone ever arranged to donate their horse to a vet school? A boarder at my barn has a horse severely affected by navicular, and she had spoken with our vet about donating the horse to our neighboring state's vet school (we don't have one in our state). The arrangement was the owner trailers the horse to the school and they would put the horse down and then use the body for research. There is still expense to the owner, but it would address the issue of body removal. Of course, vet schools can only handle so many donations, so it's probably not a solution that will address the large-scale issue of animal disposal.

    I've heard of some hunts accepting horses to be put down and using the meat to feed to hounds (horse is euthanized with a gunshot). Does anyone know if this actually is a practice in use? It's one I would be interested in.

    Sad topic, but one that is good to talk about and plan for. I've only put down one animal and it wasn't a horse, but having everything planned out (calling the pet crematory to make sure they were open on Saturday, reviewing individual vs. group cremation options on their website, selecting an urn, paying the vet at the beginning of the visit, etc. ) really helped. I had all the emotional decisions made, which made carrying them out easier.

    ETA: I just looked at the website of the pet crematory I used, and they will do private horse cremation for $2500, which includes pick up of the animal in our local area. That's a lot of money, but not as much as I thought it would be. I do live in a "low cost" part of the country, though.

    Edited again to add: I looked at the website of the horse crematory (Ashes to Ashes) I think the pet crematory I used sub-contracts with, and cremation with return of all remains is $300, for return of partial/keepsake remains it's $250. Mileage is $1/mile above 100 miles roundtrip. Luckily, I live just a few hours from their location (northwest Iowa), so the mileage fee plus the cremation fee with full return actually comes in under $600. I think this will be my plan "A" when the time comes.

    This sounds morbid, but I'm really glad I have this information and have part of my plan made.
    Last edited by TrakHack; Sep. 28, 2010, 12:19 PM.

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    • #22
      Wow, I thought $175 was steep when we had to bury our old Belgian mare. The cost to put her down was $150 because the vet had to come out after hours. The least we've had to pay was around $50 to my ex BIL. I had 2 colts die from sleeping sickness a year ago Labor Day. NEVER have a horse die on a holiday. It was hell trying to get somebody with a backhoe. BIL agreed and did it for cheap because Dad lets him hunt on our place.

      I am lucky because we are able to bury our animals on out place. I have at least 4 horse graves in our pastures and my own pet cemetary in the corner of my yard. Given the cost and problem of disposal in some areas, maybe some enterprising soul could start a horse cemetary.
      I'm a second hand Vegan. Cows eat grass. I eat cows.

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      • #23
        When I had to put my guy down 2.5 years ago my part of the bill was right around $800. The vet had to come on a weekend, and we buried him on the property. The equipment operator had a flat rate he charged. I think the total bill was $1300 but insurance covered part of the necropsy as it was their requirement.

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        • #24
          I have not had to put a horse to sleep, but in Ontario, until about two years ago, p/u was cheap ie $75 because rendering was subsidized by the provincial government. Then, the subsidy disappeared... and farmers were all up in arms. I don't know the exact cost now, but I know from a friend that after the subsidy was gone, it had doubled the cost. That was two years ago. Who knows what it is now?

          My BO has composted horses before and there is really nothing left but a few bones after a few months. But again, there are regulations and I know the Ontario farmers were NOT happy about the extra work it would create.

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          • Original Poster

            #25
            If you have a few days or weeks to plan, you can figure out your options. But with severe colic in an old horse, I was lucky the vet could put him down where a truck could pick him up.

            I still think the rendering company is taking advantage of horse owners, esp. since they use the by-products. Should be the same price for a cow as a horse.

            We have buried on the property before. Maybe I'll save a big compost pile for that emergency. In MD, the counties compost roadkill deer, and it works fast.
            ********
            There is no snooze button on a cat that wants breakfast.

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            • #26
              My total cost to euthanize and bury my old mare was about $750...I was lucky, the owner of the property where I board gave permission for me to bury her there...otherwise, having the body hauled away would have been more.

              A couple of guys in CT were trying to get approvals to create a horse crematory, but last I knew, they'd not been successful.

              When my mare was getting up in years, I had considered calling the local zoos to see if they would take her and put her down (gunshot) to feed to the large animals. But I never made the calls, and then she colicked and had plenty of pain drugs in her, so she wouldn't have been suitable for feeding, even before the shot to euth her. And to tell the truth, I might have been a wimp and had a hard time hauling her to the zoo.

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              • #27
                VP would have charged any livestock owner that fee.

                Because it is based upon your location, and if your location is within their normal pickup route.

                In an area that is full of working farms, or near processors, VP has a route worked out and those farmers/processors know when and where VP is going to be on any given day.

                So if they want their livestock or offal picked up, they can have it ready for VP.

                Not so with the horse owner. Horses are livestock, yes of course. But horse farms are often a bit different in that they can be located within "equestrian subdivisions", which is almost a suburban neighborhood, or a small horse farm that doesn't have mortalities or offal the way a big working farm or processor has.

                Basically, VP often has to make a detour or special trip for an equine carcass - and yes, that's going to cost more.

                If you think VP is taking advantage of horse owners - just call and ask how they arrived at their price list. It costs money to dispatch a truck and driver to pick up ONE carcass and bring it back, and the company needs to operate at a profit.

                They ain't getting rich off spending hours to pick up one dead horse.

                Most farms and all processors work with VP on a pickup schedule - horse owner's usually don't fit into that mold.

                We should be thankful VP is still picking up dead horses. All over the US, disposal of livestock mortalities is becoming increasingly regulated or even banned.

                It won't be long before VP loses money on horse pickup - and just stops doing it. Then we'll really be in a pickle.
                Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                -Rudyard Kipling

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                • #28
                  Renderer pickup around here starts at $250 depending on location. There is a local crematory (an hour away) that starts at $1500.

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by Bank of Dad View Post
                    What othere choice is there, cost to rent and bury is just as much.
                    Don't own a horse: It's not compulsory!

                    No wonder there's so many give away older horses.
                    I hardly think that's because folks are looking to avoid the cost of disposal.

                    Much more likely is that they just don't want the responsibility and cost at all!

                    A bit like not wanting an old washing machine when there's something much flashier and shinier as a possibility.

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                    • #30
                      This month's Equus details the death of two dogs who got into a buried horse...a horse who'd been chemically euthanized. The pentobarbitol remains in residual amounts- these dogs died 2 yrs after the horse was put down- it's that powerful.

                      So it may be worth 350 to safely remove a carcass that otherwise poses risks to your animals and wildlife that may scavenge over the carcass. And, as you said, try renting a backhoe for less than half a day.

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                      • #31
                        On Vancouver Island where I live.....it costs about $350.00 to pick up and transport to the dump....which includes dump costs.

                        When our only creamatorium was running it had gone up to almost a $1000.00...it took two days of burning around the clock to get ashes.

                        Dalemma

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          Originally posted by Thomas_1 View Post
                          Don't own a horse: It's not compulsory!

                          I hardly think that's because folks are looking to avoid the cost of disposal.

                          Much more likely is that they just don't want the responsibility and cost at all!

                          A bit like not wanting an old washing machine when there's something much flashier and shinier as a possibility.
                          I agree. Our local renderer charges $175 and up depending on the size and animal type. (Pony, donkey, small horse, large horse). Back east the price was much higher if I couldn't find somewhere to bury. I actually found someone willing to let me bury on her farm if I needed for little money so I had options.

                          I think everyone should have a plan and know what to do. If you can't afford it BEFORE it happens then maybe you should reconsider your horse ownership status.

                          Over the past couple years- we've seen a few dumped horses and other large livestock on the side of roads. I've also known that someone once brought their horse down to the trails/riverbed and shot him. Luckily didn't come across that one- but the park rangers didn't seem all too thrilled about removing a horse from the trails.

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                          • #33
                            Considering most people have no plan for their own disposal....


                            OP I am sorry for your loss.
                            While 350 bucks is a good chunk of money, I think it's still somewhat in the acceptable range as far as horse expenses go.

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              When I lost my two geldings earlier this year I was lucky that we can bury them on our property since our well is 324 feet deep and it is allowed by the county. My hay guy also has an backhoe and came and buried them both for free. I think that I paid about $150 each for the euthanasia and that was it.

                              If I had not been able to bury them I would have paid the $1000 each to have them cremated.

                              In our area it is $150 for the livestock truck to come and get them.

                              I am sorry for your loss! It is tough to get the bills after they pass. I ended up with a $7k vet bill after I put one of my geldings down..............like someone else said, it is like having salt poured into the wound but it is all part of horse ownership.
                              RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
                              May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
                              RIP San Lena Peppy
                              May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010

                              Comment


                              • #35
                                Gee. My vet doesn't charge to put a client's horse down. It costs about $150 to bury one here. I didn't realize how lucky I was. What a hardship some people have on top of losing the horse.
                                www.ncsporthorse.com

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                                • #36
                                  I had to put a horse down in June. The livestock hauler charged $250 to take to the rendering plant and they come within an hour (very nice compassionate animal owners). His costs have gone up in the last year. Vet charged about $150 for euthanizing.

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    I'm sorry about your loss Bank Of Dad.

                                    Yeah.. it does sting, especially if you've used up all your reserves trying to fix the horse and get him all better and he still dies. Then it's like.. extra chafing because you didn't get the result wanted for those big vet bills and yeah. I know what you mean. I am glad there is a company who does it. but dang it's annoying to have that bill at the end too.

                                    Comment


                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by TrakHack View Post
                                      I've heard of some hunts accepting horses to be put down and using the meat to feed to hounds (horse is euthanized with a gunshot). Does anyone know if this actually is a practice in use? It's one I would be interested in.
                                      The hunt I used to be a member of did this last season or the season before, but I don't think that the horse was "accepted" for this purpose. It was simply because the horse was not going to recover and was abandoned by its owners at the vet's (a master) clinic.

                                      Originally posted by TrakHack View Post
                                      ETA: I just looked at the website of the pet crematory I used, and they will do private horse cremation for $2500, which includes pick up of the animal in our local area. That's a lot of money, but not as much as I thought it would be. I do live in a "low cost" part of the country, though.

                                      Edited again to add: I looked at the website of the horse crematory (Ashes to Ashes) I think the pet crematory I used sub-contracts with, and cremation with return of all remains is $300, for return of partial/keepsake remains it's $250. Mileage is $1/mile above 100 miles roundtrip. Luckily, I live just a few hours from their location (northwest Iowa), so the mileage fee plus the cremation fee with full return actually comes in under $600. I think this will be my plan "A" when the time comes.
                                      There is also a pet cemetery/crematory called Loving Rest in Indianola (just SSE of Des Moines) http://www.lovingrest.com/ I've not used them before, but they will likely be my first choice. This thread has given me the idea that I should call and talk to them now, rather than later.

                                      Comment


                                      • #39
                                        Back in Colorado, DH was given an old trail horse that could no longer be used for lessons due to seizures. We gave him a good winter and spring but
                                        come early summer, so came his time. The vet was a huntmaster and we
                                        took him to the hunt facilities, loaded him up with alfalfa which he couldn't
                                        usually have and left him happily munching away.

                                        When my old guy's time came five years ago, the local vet euthanized and I think the bill was around $150 to $200. There is a horse/pet cemetary about
                                        70 miles away who picked him up a couple of hours later. Cost for pickup and
                                        private burial with wood marker at the time was $250--think it is now $300.

                                        We're on a thick layer of limestone that starts about a foot down so burial here was out of the question. We don't even try to bury the small animals
                                        here.

                                        Comment


                                        • #40
                                          Hay

                                          Katherine said: "This month's Equus details the death of two dogs who got into a buried horse...a horse who'd been chemically euthanized. The pentobarbitol remains in residual amounts- these dogs died 2 yrs after the horse was put down- it's that powerful. "

                                          Not to mention what it might do to ground water?!?!?!?!
                                          Sorry! But that barn smell is my aromatherapy!
                                          One of our horsey bumper stickers! www.horsehollowpress.com
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