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"Convenience euthanasia" question

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  • #21
    Not to slightly derail...but how many folks can find any vet who will do a euth for a non-terminal horse?

    I know around here it can be hard as heck...even if the situation isn't anywhere near being for convenience. As in a horse with a serious illness that will only get worse in the future and owner wanting to put it down before it gets bad/painful. Or an older than the earth horse with all sorts of health issues but still acting fine. (eating, eliminating, not hobbling badly, etc)

    There are even a few vets around here that will not euthanize serious colic cases...insisting the owner send it for surgery even if it isn't a good surgery candidate or owner can in no way afford the surgery, etc.

    I've known quite a few owners who've gone through Hades and back trying to euthanize a horse in situations like these and not being able to. And if you can't get your regular vet to do it, good luck hiring a new one just to euthanize.

    So I get confused over the convenience euthasia because sometimes it's next to impossible to get it done even on a horse that 99% of folks would consider it a kindness.
    You jump in the saddle,
    Hold onto the bridle!
    Jump in the line!
    ...Belefonte

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    • #22
      Originally posted by fernie fox View Post
      I am looking at putting down a beautiful arabian,

      He is only 15. 14 HH,.

      Superbly trained,western,I have foxhunted him,and super trail horse,nothing spooks him.But he will kick at other horses on the trail,if you dont keep an eye on him. Goes first or last.

      I can no longer ride him,he kills my back,I now ride a little spotted saddle horse.

      He has to be kept separate from other horses,he was not cut until he was 10 or 11,he needs to be handled as a stallion.

      When turned out he is VERY territorial,but is easy to catch,comes straight to the gate.

      Quiet to clip,trim groom wash .....

      Loves attention,could be ridden by a kid[with professional trainer] or old person like me.

      He will nip.

      I have tried to find him a home but have given up.

      people think I am crazy when I tell them his problems and think they know better,till their horses get hurt by him.

      He has just come back home again,I cant go through that again.

      It is very sad,but I am too old to break up horsey fights.

      I will not allow him to end up in a slaughter lot.
      You are exhausting options for him so I wouldn't consider that a convenience euthanasia by any means.

      If there can be no home found for the horse, the best option *is* to put them down.

      Comment


      • #23
        Originally posted by MistyBlue View Post
        Not to slightly derail...but how many folks can find any vet who will do a euth for a non-terminal horse?

        I know around here it can be hard as heck...even if the situation isn't anywhere near being for convenience. As in a horse with a serious illness that will only get worse in the future and owner wanting to put it down before it gets bad/painful. Or an older than the earth horse with all sorts of health issues but still acting fine. (eating, eliminating, not hobbling badly, etc)

        There are even a few vets around here that will not euthanize serious colic cases...insisting the owner send it for surgery even if it isn't a good surgery candidate or owner can in no way afford the surgery, etc.

        I've known quite a few owners who've gone through Hades and back trying to euthanize a horse in situations like these and not being able to. And if you can't get your regular vet to do it, good luck hiring a new one just to euthanize.

        So I get confused over the convenience euthasia because sometimes it's next to impossible to get it done even on a horse that 99% of folks would consider it a kindness.
        I was discussing this very thing a few weeks ago with a neighbor. Back east it was certainly harder to find such a vet but not so around here on the left coast. Interesting observation anyway.

        I've got Sunny- shetland pony. She would be one of those situations where I would certainly consider euthanasia. She's not ancient but an older pony mare with some maintenance issues. I'd rather put her down than risk a neglect or abuse situation.

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        • #24
          Originally posted by myrna View Post
          Someone i know and really care for put her 2 horses down as she was getting on in years and didn't feel anyone could take care of them as she did.I still feel it was the wrong decision.She never asked any one if they could take them on.I always thought that the older mare would end her days here,she was about 20,and her daughter maybe 12.Both beautiful horses with so much life ahead of them.If there are NO alternatives then euthanasia is a viable option,but in this case it was wrong.
          That is sad but understandable. She is getting old enough that she feels that she can't care for her friends and wanted to do right by them. Wouldn't it be heartbreaking for her to rehome her friends, have them end up in an unfortunate situation and then be able to do nothing about it? It's so hard to get older, to have to come to grips that you are losing your ability to do the things you love - how much harder must it have been for her to do what she felt was right for them. I am in awe of her ability to be that strong.

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          • #25
            The only thing that gets me in regards to euthanasia is the number of whackjob horse owners I've come across that swear up & down that their horse can't/won't do this or that and in truth, it is purely the owner's lack of knowledge.

            I remember a particular instance when I went to look at a 7 yo TB gelding - the young girl that owned him was petrified of him. It was painfully obvious that his bad behaviour was due directly to her lack of knowledge and timid demeanor. She probably would have classed him a dangerous horse but in reality, he was just misunderstood and needed a more experienced handler.

            Generally speaking, I have no problem with euthanasia and actually believe it to be one of the more responsible things an owner can do for an animal that needs it - I just wonder about who gets to decide who needs it.
            \"Don\'t go throwing effort after foolishness\" >>>Spur, Man From Snowy River

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            • #26
              Originally posted by SLW View Post
              A girlfriend in her 60's had two mature TB's many years ago. The 25 year old was permanantly lame and his 23 pasture mate was sound. She made the decision to let the 25 year old one go and then went ahead and had the 23 year old mare go at the same time. She said the mare would be frantic without her buddy and she was mostly retired now anyway. Hard decision but she made the decision with her head and all the facts laid out in front of her.
              A dear friend of mine has in her will, should she die, both horses are to be put down. I love both of those horses and would love to have either one, one is a 24 year old Arabian and the other is a jet black huge 20 year old TWH (looks like a Fresian! He is amazing to look at).

              It makes me sad but I do understand, now. She explained her reasons (future care, starvation, run into the ground, neglected, beaten, etc) and she said as long as she owns them they are cared for. Once out of her hands or if she is gone their fate is unknown. Better to go now in good health and love than down the road from neglect.
              I want a signature but I have nothing original to say except: "STHU and RIDE!!!

              Wonderful COTHER's I've met: belleellis, stefffic, snkstacres and janedoe726.

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              • #27
                Originally posted by MistyBlue View Post
                Not to slightly derail...but how many folks can find any vet who will do a euth for a non-terminal horse?
                I can only speak for myself and my vet.

                I have two "behaviorally-challenged" horses. One is a mare who was severely abused -- I do think she has a screw loose. My vet has been kicked and has seen me be trampled. (Parenthetically, I can't imagine being in a situation in which euthanasia might be considered without my vet being aware and involved.) I want to keep trying a few more things (reserpine is next on my list); I think my vet would be happy if I gave up now before someone gets hurt worse! I'm just kidding about that but my vet does get to see this mare at her worst. I know she would support me if I decided I had tried long and hard enough.

                I have a young gelding who I sold, who flunked out of training under saddle with a wicked buck. The trainer couldn't figure out what was triggering it, if anything. Said he had a screw loose. New owners weren't comfortable and were going to put him down. I brought him home. What I'm going to do with him, I don't really know, but I bought him some time and, at some point, I'll buy him some more training. And (before that happens) some physical diagnosis work. My vet agrees that he needs more chances. I think if I were to call her and say "I want to have X put down" she would try to remind me about the chances he needs, and if I didn't have some compelling things to say to change her mind, I don't think she would do the euthanasia.
                Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.
                Starman

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by Chardavej View Post
                  A dear friend of mine has in her will, should she die, both horses are to be put down. I love both of those horses and would love to have either one, one is a 24 year old Arabian and the other is a jet black huge 20 year old TWH (looks like a Fresian! He is amazing to look at).

                  It makes me sad but I do understand, now. She explained her reasons (future care, starvation, run into the ground, neglected, beaten, etc) and she said as long as she owns them they are cared for. Once out of her hands or if she is gone their fate is unknown. Better to go now in good health and love than down the road from neglect.
                  I have done the same for my two retirees, I could not in good faith "leave" them as another obligation to my family and friends, it's not like leaving a piece of artwork or jewelry to an heir for sure.

                  And I did discuss this with my vet, and she said she had no problem with that, and she would have no problems carrying out my wishes, for the same reasons listed above.

                  And if you cannot find a vet to do it, at least in our area, we have a very kind gentleman that will use a gun and dispose of the remains.

                  As to the OP question, I think the term falls under the other catagories, that the owner just doesn't care about the animal. I can honestly say I have never had the displeasure of meeting a person that would do that. It does not mean they are not out there, I just have never met one.
                  There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

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                  • #29
                    Most of the vets I know would be willing to put a horse down under the circumstances discussed here as acceptable. I don't think they'd feel the same about putting down a young, well behaved, perfectly sound horse just for the convenience of the owner.
                    Visit Sonesta Farms website at www.sonestafarms.com or our FaceBook page at www.facebook.com/sonestafarms. Also showing & breeding Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

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                    • #30
                      I'm confused on the definition of "convenience euthanasia."

                      Originally posted by Sonesta View Post
                      I don't think they'd feel the same about putting down a young, well behaved, perfectly sound horse just for the convenience of the owner.
                      See THAT is what I'd consider "convenience euthanasia." And really how often does that happen? Not very often I'd bet. The stories on this thread of unsound, geriatric, dangerous horses being put down... those are not "convenience euthanasias" IMO. Those are responsible choices made for the good of the horse.

                      I really doubt there are that many owners out there euthanizing horses willy nilly. It is not a fun thing to do and I don't think it is a decision that any horse owner takes lightly. In 20 years of being in horses I can't say I've known any owner that has put a horse down for an unwarranted reason.
                      We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

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                      • #31
                        Originally posted by sketcher View Post
                        That is sad but understandable. She is getting old enough that she feels that she can't care for her friends and wanted to do right by them. Wouldn't it be heartbreaking for her to rehome her friends, have them end up in an unfortunate situation and then be able to do nothing about it? It's so hard to get older, to have to come to grips that you are losing your ability to do the things you love - how much harder must it have been for her to do what she felt was right for them. I am in awe of her ability to be that strong.
                        There was no effort to rehome these mares that were in their prime.The young lady that was riding the younger mare had made a christmas gift for the horse only to find out that she was gone when she brought it to the barn.The stallion owner of one of them only found out later,she would have had a home for life.I also would have taken the older mare to her forever home.If their are behaviour problems or health problems,or just quality of life ,then i would certainly end their days and have done so.
                        mm

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                        • Original Poster

                          #32
                          Originally posted by FlashGordon View Post
                          I'm confused on the definition of "convenience euthanasia."



                          See THAT is what I'd consider "convenience euthanasia." And really how often does that happen? Not very often I'd bet. The stories on this thread of unsound, geriatric, dangerous horses being put down... those are not "convenience euthanasias" IMO. Those are responsible choices made for the good of the horse.

                          I really doubt there are that many owners out there euthanizing horses willy nilly. It is not a fun thing to do and I don't think it is a decision that any horse owner takes lightly. In 20 years of being in horses I can't say I've known any owner that has put a horse down for an unwarranted reason.
                          That's why I started the thread, Flash. In reading the other euthanasia threads, it seemed as if the situations described in this thread were being classified as "convenience euthanasia." I was confused, too.

                          My own horses are sound and healthy, but old. Should I ever be in a position where I can't take care of them, they will be put down, not given away. It just doesn't seem responsible to me to pass off a horse's final years to someone else when I know they are likely to end up in a bad situation just because of their age. But similiar statements in the other threads seemed to be frowned upon by many, who felt the "find it a good home; give it to a therapy place" was the best option, even for horses with a lot of strikes against them.

                          It's that "good home" part that worries me, especially the way the market is right now. For me personally, I prefer knowing exactly what is going to happen to my guys, to know that they won't be frightened, in pain, hungry, lonely, or any other bad thing I can think of.

                          Over the years, I've taken in a number of elderly horse the owners could no longer care for. I loved doing it! But that was when I had my own farm with the space, money, time, and energy to see to those horses' every need. I have none of those anymore, sadly. Euthanasia would be the most responsible option for my current situation; I was just surprised at how negatively that view was perceived of by some.

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                          • #33
                            Originally posted by FlashGordon View Post

                            I really doubt there are that many owners out there euthanizing horses willy nilly. It is not a fun thing to do and ....
                            Here's an interesting side twist for you.

                            About 2 hours from here is an exotic cat rescue. They will accept horses/cattle/etc donated to them, which are then euthanized and the meat used for the cats. Last yaer, when the economy was bad, they told us they said "no" to owners wanting to bring healthy horses to them an average of twice per week. They said, "we won't kill a healthy animal of one species to rescue another", and now refer folks to us and another rescue in the region.

                            Comparatively, last summer they were accepting about 2 horses per week from owners where the horse WAS infirm, ill, lame, or whatever diagnosis was enough for them to accept the horse. (Sorry, i don't know details of how they confirmed or anything.)

                            I wanted to share that to make the point that, as money got bad last year, there were a lot of 'backwoods' type owners who had to get out of horses fast, and this was an option they were seriously considering.
                            ----------

                            As far as finding someone to euthanize, we are near U of I vet school. They will make an app't to euthanize without asking why. The cost is roughly $150, if I remember correctly.
                            AnnMarie Cross, Pres, Crosswinds Equine Rescue, cwer.org
                            Sidell IL (near Champ./UofI/Danville IL/IN state border)

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                            • #34
                              Bad Economy Causes BIG Problems

                              At least down here in Texas the bad economy has caused a huge increase in dumping dogs and cats or abandoning horses and cows. The ASPCA has had a few trips to fields where an owner has just stopped caring for the animals at all. One farm had a handful of emaciated horses and carcasses of the dead, no clean water or grass in the muddy enclosure. And I'm currently trying to capture a little dog that was dumped at my office months ago and who is now living alone in a field. (So long without human contact and kindness has made her completely unapproachable unfortunately).

                              I do understand the people that prefer to euthanize their elderly horses before they end up desperately having to end the animals suffering, such as a horse that goes down in the field an is unable to rise again. Or the young horse injured so badly that there is no way that the owner can afford to try to save the animal (the case of compound fractures or the like).

                              Otherwise "You remain responsible forever for that which you have tamed".

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                              • #35
                                Oh boy ... I am not even touching this thread. Been here before and what a trainwreck it became. Have fun. Popcorn time....

                                Comment


                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by ProzacPuppy View Post

                                  Otherwise "You remain responsible forever for that which you have tamed".
                                  I believe in this-- to a point. If someone wants to put down and old otherwise healthly horse BEFORE it's down in a field, fine. Or if they've tried to find a home and have been unable, fine. Healthy and don't want to deal with horse anymore and it's still young and well mannered, I do have an issue with that.
                                  I want a signature but I have nothing original to say except: "STHU and RIDE!!!

                                  Wonderful COTHER's I've met: belleellis, stefffic, snkstacres and janedoe726.

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                                  • #37
                                    Playing God?

                                    IMO, that's a really strange way to talk about it. Or rather, it's odd that it should be brought up in this context. We play God in breeding horses by definition and no one seems overly concerned or humbled. So what's the difference between giving and taking away life?

                                    MistyBlue's post scares me. I live in the same state-- where land values and board are very high and where there is no shortage of vets and clinics ready and able to cut into a sick horse. I always discuss my wishes regarding colic surgery with my treating vet and BO, and write a letter to both reiterating that plus giving a couple of trusted people authority to make a euthanasia decision should I be MIA.

                                    If a vet planned on forcing me to send one to colic surgery that I expressly said (in writing) I do not wish to go, we would have a huge problem. Effing Huge. I can't imagine standing in the barnyard with a very sick horse that the vet won't euthanize and that I won't send to surgery when I made that clear up front.
                                    The armchair saddler
                                    Politically Pro-Cat

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                                    • #38
                                      I don't know many vets that would put down a perfectly healthy (or mostly healthy) horse that still can do a job. I do know people who have wanted to put a horse down for purely money reasons, but never did it. A horse where my horse lives is owned by someone else and leased and used in the school program for reduced board. Well the owners called one day and said they were thinking about having the horse put down because they were tired of paying board bills. He is older (18ish?) and has some melanomas, but does lessons and is sound and goes to shows. Now they worked out that a kid would pay part of his board to cut costs more and it didn't happen and I don't know if they could have found a vet to actually do it.

                                      I think often what happens if people talk about wanting to do it to a perfectly sound and healthy horse and someone steps in and takes the horse before the owner ever really gets around to talking to a vet about it. I lose a lot of respect for people who think like that.

                                      Now having in your will to put down your horses when you die especially if they are older and really only pasture puffs already is perfectly fine. It is hard to find homes for horses that can be ridden much less ones that sit in a field and just eat.
                                      http://community.webshots.com/user/jenn52318

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                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by myrna View Post
                                        There was no effort to rehome these mares that were in their prime.The young lady that was riding the younger mare had made a christmas gift for the horse only to find out that she was gone when she brought it to the barn.The stallion owner of one of them only found out later,she would have had a home for life.I also would have taken the older mare to her forever home.If their are behaviour problems or health problems,or just quality of life ,then i would certainly end their days and have done so.
                                        Evidently the owner was not comfortable with the idea that their fate would be out of his/her hands. "Homes for life" from other people are only as good as ... well... nothing. Things change, situations get worse and then the new owner gets to decide what happens. This is exactly how good horses end up in bad situations. If you want a guarantee on how animals are treated you have to take responsibility yourself. Good for the horses' owner to realize that. You don't have to like it or agree with it. A peaceful euth death is very very far from the worst thing that could happen to a beloved animals.
                                        HaHA! Made-est Thou Look!

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                                        • #40
                                          Interesting topic. I've actually recently considered putting down one of our horses. 7 year old mare, nothing "physically" wrong with her. She was a freebie that someone gave me and she's turned out to be a whackjob. We've given her lots of time and different approaches and she's still just not quite right. We were going to send her to a "cowboy" trainer to see if he ride her though her tantrums and do something with her but she ended up running through a fence. Now she needs to have her wounds cleaned out and bandaged daily. I said "ok, not a problem, we'll do this till she's better and then send her off to the trainer".
                                          Well now she's getting dangerous in the barn when she decides she doesn't "want" to have her leg wrapped. She flipped out yesterday and ended up throwing me into the barn wall from across the aisle. I'm glad I was able to get out of her way because she would have stepped all over me if I hadn't. That was my last straw.

                                          My way of thinking, I've already spent way too much money and probably time on this horse when there are SO many GOOD horses out there. I'm just not willing to "exhaust" my time and $$ as some of you have put it, on this horse.
                                          So what are my options? Try and sell her, being completely open about her behavior, I doubt I'd find anyone interested. Besides having that on my conscience if someone were to get badly hurt by this horse, is not something I want. She IS dangerous and WILL hurt someone. I can take her to an auction but run the risk of someone buying her and gettting hurt OR having her to go slaughter. Although I've got nothing against slaughter, I don't like the thought of sending one of my horses, I'm not sure I want that on my conscience either. Or there's euthanasia. Kinda seems like the lesser of the evils doesn't it?
                                          __________________________________________________ _
                                          Proud member of PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals!

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