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Euthanasia -- W/ or W/O Anesthesia

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  • #41
    1. NCSue, I am so sorry, but thank you for doing right by your horse.

    2. I vote "with." I've been present for several euth's (even one is too many to witness in life, but a responsibility of horsemanship, I say ), but have never seen it done without any sort of sedation prior to.... And after reading some of our fellow COTHer's experiences "without," I will definitely never consider that option if I am in a situation where I have a choice.

    3. It would be nice if the mods could save this thread to the "favorites" or "references" section of the forum, I think it would serve very beneficial for all of us (and whoever else may need it) in the future.

    Many jingles and prayers today for you and your Oldster... Godspeed to him; peace and hugs to you. You're in my thoughts.
    Originally posted by Martha Drum
    ...But I don't want to sit helmetless on my horse while he lies on the ground kicking a ball around without a bridle while Leatherface does an interpretive dance with his chainsaw around us.

    Comment


    • #42
      When we put our old pony down in July she was PTS without a tranq. I was there for the entire time and it was very peaceful. No struggling, thrashing, etc. she laid down quietly and then was gone. The vet had a tranq(valium?) on hand, but he said it would only delay the process by slowing down her heart. She was already in considerable pain and discomfort, I wanted her passing to be as quick as possible so I told him not to. The vet stayed till the end, till he was certain she was gone.

      But it seems according to some I am a barbaric heathen of an owner.
      Each horse is different and if I thought I had one who would fight it I'd probably opt for the tranq.

      Comment


      • #43
        Years ago, when I lost Goosie, she was colicy so was already sedated when we made the decision to give up--she was not coming out of it, and not a surgery candidate. She went down easily when the euth solution was administered.

        Last spring, when I let Monstr go, we had walked him up to the back pasture, and as we headed up there, everyone else started whinnying, and just then the backhoe arrived, so I told the vet to go ahead and sedate him. She said he would be quite deep, did I want to do it yet, and I said yes, as I had to walk back down to meet the backhoe man and I didn't want Monstr to be up in the pasture worrying where I and his buddies were; I had long since said my goodbyes to him, what mattered at that point was making it as easy as possible for him. When the euth solution was given, he stood ... and stood ... and finally the vet gently rocked him down. He was a 1700 lb horse, and he still went down *gently* this way. We sat with him until he was gone (no heart sounds, no eye reflex). It was remarkably peaceful.

        I would do it no other way.
        "One person's cowboy is another person's blooming idiot" -- katarine

        Spay and neuter. Please.

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        • #44
          The thing is, you don't know which ones will fight. It's not a matter of personality; it's a matter of how the horse's system takes the barbiturate.

          Honestly, if it takes a minute instead of ten seconds for the heart to stop, I don't see how that's an issue, as long as it happens calmly and quietly - which, with sedation, it does.

          I don't think anyone is horrible who chooses not to use sedation when they don't know the risks. I think it's a poor choice, though, to not use sedation once you've been told the risks.
          Proud member of the EDRF

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          • #45
            OP, sorry you are going through this, and thank you for making the kind decision to let your guy go

            Really interesting discussion though...Actually, based on what I'd read on COTH re: sedation before euth, I asked my vet to do this when I had to put one down. He told me that he never tranqs before euthanizing as it slows down the process and in his experience can be *more* traumatic for the horse. I went with my vet's recommendation, and all went smoothly. Actually, he has euthanized three of my barn's horses without tranquilizing first, and all have been peaceful and easy.

            However, after reading the horror stories here, I'm going to have another conversation with my vet - it's not a topic I am looking forward to discussing, but I am interested to know why my vet has such strong feelings about NOT tranquilizing first. From the comments on this topic, it seems like a no-brainer, but I believe there has to be a good reason why my kind, compassionate vet does not follow this protocol.
            Please don't sabotash my conchess.

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            • #46
              Always with. My first job, we had to have one shot and he through his head round that much the vet had real trouble getting the killer in the right spot. He went down with the first shot, but it wasn't pretty to watch. I wish the vet would have sedated him to make it easier on everyone.
              Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!

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              • #47
                Kementari, I agree.. and it's not as a judgement to anyone, just a reality.

                You cannot predict who will fight. Who will be scared. Once it starts, it's too late to turn back, you just have to keep going, and with a struggling horse that can be dangerous and difficult for everyone, as well as emotionally disturbing.

                When I euthanized my working students eq horse, he was not psychologically ready to go. His body had failed him and we did not want to wait until something horrible happened ie: finding him in the field down with something broken. If we had not sedated him heavily he may have fought it; he did not seem to know that his body had given out. As it was, his passing was quiet and without fear. If I remember correctly, we sedated him *twice* because my vet wanted him to be absolutely calm and relaxed before he started.
                "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                ---
                The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

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                • #48
                  I am confused. Is it legal for owners or whomever else to euth 'DIY' in the US? When I started reading your post I thought you were a vet but then you went on about your vet wanting him to be absolutely calm. I would think there restrictions especially with narcotics being used
                  Froh zu sein bedarf es wenig...
                  http://www.germanhorseconnection.com
                  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Germa...m/237648984580

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                  • #49
                    Originally posted by Kareen View Post
                    I am confused. Is it legal for owners or whomever else to euth 'DIY' in the US? When I started reading your post I thought you were a vet but then you went on about your vet wanting him to be absolutely calm. I would think there restrictions especially with narcotics being used
                    I can only *sedate* them first, I have no access to the blue stuff think Xylazine, Ace, Dormosedan, which as a barn manager/horse owner is sold to me by my vet.

                    I think I said "I" because even tho' the vet actually did it, it was still myself who made the decision, who had the hole dug, who chose the time, who fed him his last breakfast, who led him to the hole (after his first dose of xylazine, he was a reactive, hot, sensitive horse who was suspicious of most things) and who held his head as he went down.. and I was also the person who covered his body with his blankets and then later helped his body get into the hole.

                    It sure always feels like *I* did it
                    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
                    ---
                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.

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                    • #50
                      Originally posted by Kementari View Post
                      The thing is, you don't know which ones will fight. It's not a matter of personality; it's a matter of how the horse's system takes the barbiturate.

                      Honestly, if it takes a minute instead of ten seconds for the heart to stop, I don't see how that's an issue, as long as it happens calmly and quietly - which, with sedation, it does.

                      I don't think anyone is horrible who chooses not to use sedation when they don't know the risks. I think it's a poor choice, though, to not use sedation once you've been told the risks.
                      Very, very well said.

                      Nicker, I don't think anyone is insinuating that anyone is a bad owner if they choose not to tranq, as Kementari's post I quoted above so succinctly explains. And really, at the end of the day, you know your horse best; and you make the best decisions for them that you possibly can as their owner, caretaker and friend... and no living creature could ask for more than that- person or horse.

                      As long as the technique or chemistry (or lack of the latter) one chooses with which to aid the passing of a friend it done out of careful consideration and with respects to the relationship that only the horse and their person understand; there's never a wrong answer or decision.

                      It's just that I think many people have seen (or heard of) these not-so-peaceful passings and would at least like to try to ensure one for their horse; hence their choice of using tranq/anesthesia.... but of course, whether it works the way it was intended is never guaranteed because as we all know, with horses, "it depends."

                      Hugs to all of you today who have endured these losses.
                      Originally posted by Martha Drum
                      ...But I don't want to sit helmetless on my horse while he lies on the ground kicking a ball around without a bridle while Leatherface does an interpretive dance with his chainsaw around us.

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        To call it malpractice not to tranq is pretty much the same to me. I trust my vet, if I had to do it again I wouldn't change a thing.

                        To each his own, I know I did right by my pony. My only regret is assuming I would have more time to say goodbye.

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                        • #52
                          Always with. I've put three down, always with, thank goodness.

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                          • #53
                            Originally posted by Nicker View Post
                            To call it malpractice not to tranq is pretty much the same to me. I trust my vet, if I had to do it again I wouldn't change a thing.

                            To each his own, I know I did right by my pony. My only regret is assuming I would have more time to say goodbye.
                            The only person who called it malpractice is from Germany, where, if I am reading her right, it IS malpractice. That's not (necessarily) a value judgment; it's a statement of fact. Different countries have different laws.

                            I don't think (in the US) euthanasia without sedation should be considered malpractice. I just think that there are better ways of doing things. And, working for vet practices off and on for years, I've seen enough animals euthanized to have a pretty sound basis for that opinion.
                            Proud member of the EDRF

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                            • #54
                              With here too, no question about it. I am very sorry you are facing such a difficult decision

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                              • #55
                                Very interesting discussion. My equine clinic is apparently among the "no tranq" believers, because it lengthens the process and can actually be more traumatic to the horse. I had expected sedation and they explained that they thought it was not the right choice in our cases. It wasn't an issue of money for me.

                                We had two horses put down on my farm this year and both went very smoothly. (Both elderly and going downhill; not as a result of a trauma.) That said, I can't say for sure what combination of drugs is used. It is two syringes, in rapid succession.

                                The first horse was *out* before the second injection was complete; she sat down backwards and laid on her side. The second was similar, just took slightly longer, but both were very peaceful, no struggling.

                                I am curious about the process, now, and will talk to the vet about this the next time he is here (although hoping I don't need to know this information anytime soon!)

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  Definitely with.

                                  I am so very sorry that you are facing this, but euthanasia is a blessing for a horse in pain.
                                  Mary Lou
                                  http://www.homeagainfarm.com

                                  https://www.facebook.com/HomeAgainFarmHanoverians

                                  Member OMGiH I loff my mares clique

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                                  • #57
                                    don't they have new drugs like Somulose that don't cause the traumatic reactions?

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      Originally posted by NCSue View Post
                                      I've got an oldster who's coffin bones are rotating. He's closer to 30 than 20 so am probably looking at humanely euthanizing. Vet office quotes two different prices. One with anesthesia and one without. Wasn't thinking very clearly and didn't question. Someone want to educate me as to what is the kindest course?

                                      The kindess course would be to look into "croc" shoes with casts for your horse. They are wooden shoes covered by casts. This is thee lifesaver to our 40 - yep 40 year old horse!

                                      I am big on doing every single thing possible before euthenizing

                                      Comment


                                      • #59
                                        If I had to use drugs then I would be in the "with" crowd.

                                        Ive always put my own animals down. I am not a vet, I use gunshot....it eliminates all the confusion about how much of which drugs to use and when/how exactly brain death occurs. Brain death is immediate with gunshot, which is what were trying to achieve, and IMO is the 'most' (not only) humane way to put an animal down.


                                        Good luck with your choice.
                                        Disclaimer;
                                        Nearly all of what I post will be controversial to someone. Believe nothing you read on a chat room, research for yourself and LEARN.
                                        Not in the 42% or the 96%

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                                        • #60
                                          NCSue I am so sorry you are having to make this tough decision. Your horse is very blessed to have an owner like you.


                                          I have watched the euthanasia of several horses, none with a sedative prior. Last time I talked with the vet practice I use they are of the mindset that it goes better with out the sedative.

                                          I most certainly do not fault anyone for their decision one way or the other though.

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