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Vet would rather not use a tranquilizer...

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  • Vet would rather not use a tranquilizer...

    I was just reading in the Off Course forum where a CL mare is going to be bought and euthanized because of her condition. I have no problem with that.

    One of the vets contacted said she prefers not to use a tranquilizer.

    Any ideas why a vet would not want to do this? Does it prolong the death process?
    The virtual "woodshed" seems the only remedy for willful fools .

  • #2
    As I understand it, the tranquilizer can slow the heart rate and drop the blood pressure. This can cause the barbiturate to be less effective or slower acting. Some Vet's will use the tranq and some don't. I think it also depends on the chemical form of euthanasia used. I hope that helps.
    Certified Spiritual Medium/ Animal Communicator


    • #3
      Yes and no. I do like to use a little sedative, especially if a horse is painful (ie the unfortunate colic scenario). However, especially in systemically sick horses or older horses, I don't really like to use a tranquilizer. Most tranqs lower cardiac output, blood pressure, etc which makes the euthanasia solution take longer to work.

      That said, I use tranq on a case by case basis, but it can delay the action.


      • #4
        My vet doesn't always use one with older horses that are quiet and good about injections. It hasn't been an issue that I've seen.


        • #5
          We always sedate when the owner is present. We won't sedate if the owner isn't there (unless already sedated for their condition). The modern euthanasia do not need sedation to make it a pleasant ending for the horse, but it seems easier on the people to go in stages and reduce reflex movements.


          • #6
            I have had 2 of my own horses euthed, one using a tranquilizer and one without using a tranquilizer. I did not really see too much of a difference between either way to be honest.

            I have also held horses for at least 3 friends or boarders, who have had to put horses down, none using tranquilizers and have seen no bad reactions. The whole process is usually very quick and relatively easy on both horse and handler. Only twice did we have the luxury of planning it out in advance, which I also believe makes it go better. With one boarder, we were able to have the vet and renderer there at the same time and set it up so it was as easy on the horse as possible.

            I think as long as the vet is experienced and everyone involved in the process is calm, it does not get the horse unnecessarily upset. I am usually good at holding things in until after it's done and then fall apart for awhile.
            "You can't fix stupid"- Ron White


            • #7
              I've seen one done without the tranquilizer and lets just say it didn't go well, though it was quick
              I wasn't always a Smurf
              Penmerryl Sophie RIDSH
              "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
              The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.


              • #8
                At the doses used clinically, none of the drugs we use in equine medicine as tranquilizers reduce cardiac output enough to affect the effect of the euthanasia solution (which are all concentrated barbiturates).

                Having euthanized enough critically ill critters--horses and others--that just by virtue of their disease have rather dramaticly reduced cardiac outputs, it takes ALOT of reduction to see a difference in effect. A bit of ace or xylazine or dormesedsan won't do it.

                Personally, I would rather put the horse on the ground "nicely" with something like xylazine and ketamine, like I would if I was doing a field castration. Then once they are down, then euthanize them. Just what works for me. Every vet is different.