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Rather macabre question about Buzzards aka Vultures

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  • Rather macabre question about Buzzards aka Vultures

    My dad always told me that buzzards wouldn't touch the carcass of an animal that has been treated with anitbiotics. As y'all know, I have had two horses die in the past month. Because they died from natural causes, I didn't go to the expense of a burial, just dragged the bodies to the back 40 and let nature take its course. Buddy, my ancient gelding, I just found dead in the pasture when I went to feed so he had no treatment for anything. Sam, the young gelding, had injured himself and was treated by the vet with antibiotics and anti-inflammatories, banamine and bute. The day after I disposed of Buddy's body, there was an entire flock of buzzards at the site. Sam has been gone 5 days now and I have yet to see a single buzzard. So is it true that buzzards won't eat a carcass with antibiotics in it or have the antibiotics delayed the decomposition so the buzzards haven't found the body yet?

    I hope y'all don't think I'm heartless but I'm not sentimental about dead bodies and I do believe in nature taking its course, or the circle of life.
    I'm a second hand Vegan. Cows eat grass. I eat cows.

  • #2
    Our Buzzards don't mind what the buffet you serve is.
    Buzzards will eat any and all that doesn't eat them first.

    I know you know, but for those that may not, be very careful with any carcass euthanized with chemicals, that can kill any and all that eats on it, loose pets included, endangered wildlife too, that can get you put in jail.

    I don't know why your buzzards are not showing up.
    Any dead cattle that had antibiotics never stopped any predator.

    Comment


    • #3
      It may be nothing more than the local scavengers are focusing on just one carcass; and since it's large there's no significant pressure to keep scavenging. At least for now.

      I'm very sorry for your loss.
      Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
      Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
      -Rudyard Kipling

      Comment

      • Original Poster

        #4
        Yes, Bluey, anything euthanized by the vet with chemicals is buried. Large animals that die of natural, non infectious reasons are dragged off to the woods for scavengers to take care of . There has been a lone buzzard picking at a dead snake that someone ran over but I haven't seen any of his buds around the horse. He was sitting in one of the big trees next to my house this morning. I like buzzards, they are ugly as sin on the ground but I think they are beautiful in flight. I saw one sitting in a dead tree sunning itself one morning after a rainstorm with its wings outstretched. It was easy to see where the Native Americans got their Thunderbird legends.
        I'm a second hand Vegan. Cows eat grass. I eat cows.

        Comment


        • #5
          I am sorry for your loss but I do have to say that Sam hardly died a natural death. He was deathly ill and allowed to die overnight after being cast or fell and could not get up for unknown reasons. I am sorry that he suffered overnight but not exactly natural, and why are you allowed to let a horse corpse lie on your property for five days, don't you have health laws in your part of the country?
          "We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK

          Comment


          • #6
            Oh boy, here we go. Lets not start bashing WW about the way her horse died, shall we?
            What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!

            Comment


            • #7
              He totally died a natural death-he got injured on his own in the pasture and died. He could have done the same thing as a wild mustang only no antibiotics, human and vet attempting to comfort and save him. What a screwy thing to say.

              On the topic, our local vultures eat whatever is on the menu for the day. We've lived on ranches and near large amounts of private land where we were allowed to leave out carcasses and they didn't seem to avoid antibiotics or anything, actually. It's completely legal to leave a carcass out on any larger privately owned place here and nearly every ranch has a "bone yard".

              The scavengers make short work of a dirty job.
              “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

              Comment


              • #8
                Not exactly my idea of a natural death, here is what she says.

                "The vet came out again Thursday afternoon. He said Sam was very anemic, possibly from losing blood in his stool. He gave him a shot of antibiotic and an anti-inflammatory and told me to start him on Red Cell and Metamucil. Not too much longer after the vet left, Sam started to act worse, laying down and not wanting to get up."

                He got worse as soon as the vet left, he went down could not/would not get up and was left to die overnight. Yes, just like a mustang.
                Last edited by Calamber; Jun. 24, 2014, 04:10 PM.
                "We, too, will be remembered not for victories or defeats in battle or in politics, but for our contribution to the human spirit." JFK

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Calamber, I had the vet out twice. The second time the vet was out, he did say he might get worse before he got better. Shortly after the vet left, I went to get some Red Cell and Metamucil per the vet's orders. When I came back, Sam was still standing and was drinking and picking at the hay I gave him. Later that evening I went to spray him for mosquitoes and he was laying down and didn't want to get up. I checked on him later that evening (he was in the back yard) and he was up and drinking, checked on him again and he was laying down, this was around 11pm. I went out to check him again around 6:00 am and he was dead. At no time was he cast or down and couldn't get up, he just wasn't feeling good and didn't want to move much. He didn't feel good, but he wasn't thrashing in pain suffering. If he was I would have euthanized. The vet mentioned exploratory surgery but I couldn't justify spending thousands of dollars for surgery that may or may not help for a grade colt. The vet agreed. I opted to treat the symptoms conservatively as recommended by my vet. We also discussed euthanasia, if he didn't improve or got down and couldn't get up. However, at the time I went to bed, there was still hope that he would recover. I did everything I could to save him but stuff happens. I live in a very rural area. Across the road is a 600 acre hunting lease, behind me is a 2000 acre ranch. Its not a suburban stable where a carcass has to be disposed of immediately. As I said, unless its a chemical euthanasia or infectious disease, carcasses are dragged off and the scavengers do their thing.
                  I'm a second hand Vegan. Cows eat grass. I eat cows.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Wow. The whole situation. Wow.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      So what did the Perfect People want her to do? Don't be so obtuse about the mustang thing; she tried to save him, it's not like she left him out in the pasture all messed up and he died two days later. She had a vet out. So they missed the call that he was crashing instead of fixable.

                      I don't get what's so "wow" about it...
                      “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Having gone through a similar situation a month ago, with a boarder's horse...vet out twice too, but I checked on him every two hours for two nights until his last morning when I found him down and in distress at 6 am and called the vet to have him PTS. And he wasn't even my horse.

                        I'm sorry, with those symptoms, how can someone go to sleep and sleep all night without checking? I just can't do it, I guess some of you can.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by cowboymom View Post
                          So what did the Perfect People want her to do? Don't be so obtuse about the mustang thing; she tried to save him, it's not like she left him out in the pasture all messed up and he died two days later. She had a vet out. So they missed the call that he was crashing instead of fixable.

                          I don't get what's so "wow" about it...
                          If a horse of mine was down and didn't want to get up, I'd get the vet back out or at the very least, motioner them more closely.
                          Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I can see where some of you would check every two hours.

                            But you don't decide the exact way things have to be done in order to be Right. The horse was going between up and down, and she didn't specify how fervently she tried to get him up.

                            Where I come from, what she did was reasonable especially since there was a vet involved.
                            “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by kookicat View Post
                              If a horse of mine was down and didn't want to get up, I'd get the vet back out or at the very least, motioner them more closely.
                              Yes, vet would be out for another visit. Exactly. And I wouldn't have gone to bed. I'm no vet but bloody manure, anemic and lethargic? Poor horse was probably bleeding internally.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Anyone watch the Dr. Pol episode where the horse slipped and fell on concrete and wouldnt get up?
                                Laying on his side, but back upper leg out stiff in front of him. Vet examined him, left.
                                Owner comforted horse's head in her lap all day and some of the night.
                                Vet came back next day. Horse dead
                                Horse had bled out internally.
                                Point: even some vets miss it. [ And I don't mean to start a Dr. Poll argument, I am only saying sometimes a vet visit doesn't help or resolve the issue].

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by Chall View Post
                                  Anyone watch the Dr. Pol episode where the horse slipped and fell on concrete and wouldnt get up?
                                  Laying on his side, but back upper leg out stiff in front of him. Vet examined him, left.
                                  Owner comforted horse's head in her lap all day and some of the night.
                                  Vet came back next day. Horse dead
                                  Horse had bled out internally.
                                  Point: even some vets miss it. [ And I don't mean to start a Dr. Poll argument, I am only saying sometimes a vet visit doesn't help or resolve the issue].
                                  The vet left with a horse unable to get up? I have no words.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    But plenty of judgement and opinion.
                                    “Most people do not listen with the intent to understand; they listen with the intent to reply.” Stephen R. Covey

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Really? The vet missed the call, and the OP is being flamed for it.. What was OP supposed to do, sit by horse all night and not do other things she is responsible for? Things die whether we want them to or not, and it's real sad -- but at some point you have to chalk your losses and slug on.

                                      Obviously, vets are human and miss calls, clues, etc - it is easy now to judge what went wrong where, but in the moment things are not so black/white. OP clearly cared about her horse - the vet was out multiple times, and OP was in contact with vet. OP does not have extensive vet knowledge and it's not like she knew horse was bleeding out/dying in some way and deliberately prolonged his suffering.... She did so much more than most people are willing to do for their animals - at least she had the vet involved with the entire situation!
                                      AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        OP, to your original question: buzzards and vultures will eat carcasses with all sorts of bad and toxic things. This is a huge problem in India, where diclofenac use has killed off a gigantic portion of their vulture population.

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