Items

Forums
Equine Euthanasia
 By Winniefield Park   •   30th Jun 2018   •   871 views   •   0 comments


This is a topic that is difficult to discuss. But, itís something that horse owners should educate themselves about. When we take on the responsibility for any animalís life, in my opinion anyway, we also must accept the responsibility for its death and make that death as stress and pain free for the animal as possible.

Distressingly for us, horses donít all die of old age. By that I mean they donít always die by drifting off in their sleep and trotting over the rainbow bridge. Senior horses can suffer aches, pains and illness that may not outright kill them, but makes their lives a misery. So, to avoid a natural death that may mean prolonged suffering, a horse owner will choose to have their horseís euthanized.

The leading cause of horse death is colic - but horses donít die of colic. A severe colic can mean if you donít want their end to be horrifically violent and painful we must choose euthanasia. Other chronic conditions such as laminitis or severe arthritis can mean that the kindest thing we can do for our horses is give them a calm, pain-free exit. So we choose euthanasia. And, sometimes horses can critically injure themselves. Accidents can cause broken legs, necks, spines or other severe trauma that canít be healed and would kill a horse over hours, weeks or days, but humane euthanasia ends suffering.

There are four different methods of euthanasia. The choice of which method will be used will depend on the circumstance. The priority is the safety of the human handlers and the efficiency of the method. The most common is the use of a drug solution containing a killing dose of a barbiturate anesthetic. Most vets will first administer a sedative that will relax the horse. Then, via intravenous injection, a deadly dose of drugs is injected. This shuts down the central nervous system. The respiratory system shuts down, and brain activity ceases. The down sides of barbiturate doses can include thrashing or sudden falling if not administered properly. The sedative helps prevent this. Another downside is that after the horse is dead, disposal is more difficult because of the drugs used. Drugs can leach into the environment. But this tends to be the most stress free and safe option for horse and owner.

Captive bolt guns are something that most of us associate with the cattle slaughter industry. A captive bolt gun or pistol looks like something that might be hanging up in someone's well equipped tool shed. The type used for large livestock for euthanasia has a metal projectile propelled with air or a chemical explosion that as it penetrates, damages brain tissue. Although itís called a captive bolt gun, the projectile in this specific type might not be reusable. The action of a bolt gun is quick although the horse may appear to scramble for some time afterward. The wound made by the gun may bleed. The horse must be well restrained for the aim of the gun to be accurate.

A gun of the right calibre does much the same as the bolt gun. Grandpaís .22 is probably not adequate, especially if the right target isnít hit precisely. If you are ever backcountry packing, and worry that there may a situation where you have to euthanize a horse, youíll want to do some research about what you should be taking along how to safely and efficiently go about it. There are lots of stories about poorly aimed guns and horses suffering needlessly.

Exsanguination is the most messy and least efficient method of euthanasia. Only in extreme situations should this be used. But if a horse is injured in a place where a gun can not be safely fired, drugs and vet not available, this may be the only logical choice. Bleeding a horse out involves cutting the carotid artery and jugular vein behind the jaw, from one side to the other. It requires a very sharp knife and steady hand.

Nobody wants to euthanize a horse, especially in an emergency situation. But, like all emergencies, itís best to be prepared.
Horse News More PB Articles About:  Sedation,
Horse News More In This Category:  Care and Grooming      Horse News More From This Author:  Winniefield Park
 Related Horse News
Equine Euthanasia
30th Jun 2018   |   Care and Grooming   |   Winniefield Park
This is a topic that is difficult to discuss. But, itís something that horse owners should educate themselves about. When we take on the responsibility for any animalís life, in my opinion anyway, we also must accept the responsib ...
Equine Sedation
2nd Aug 2018   |   Care and Grooming   |   Winniefield Park
One aspect of the pregnancy check I watched a vet perform recently that really bothers me is the sedation. I hate seeing horses sedated. There is some internal fear that creeps in on me when I see a horse standing with its head dr ...
  View More PonyBox Related Horse Articles
 More News by Winniefield Park
Top PonyBox Stables To Start 2020
21st Jan 2020   |   Care and Grooming   |   Winniefield Park
2020, and a new decade is only a few weeks old. The winter days seem to drag, it certainly doesnít seem like the Roaring Twenties, but game play continues with changing stats and rankings. Hereís a look at some of the top barns on ...
Rejected Show Horse Saves Owner from Fire in Australia
19th Jan 2020   |   Care and Grooming   |   Winniefield Park
As her family fled the fire, leaving behind possessions and favorite farm animals, a horse named Charmer, once rejected as a show horse, carried her owner to safety though blinding smoke to safety. Her rider, disoriented by the sm ...
PonyBox Top Fives and Prospects
18th Jan 2020   |   Care and Grooming   |   Winniefield Park
Who has been at the coveted number one ranking recently? Here is a look at some of the horses that have reached the number one spot and a few that are poised to grab top spot very soon. ...
Tiniest Dwarf Horse Learns To Walk
13th Jan 2020   |   Care and Grooming   |   Winniefield Park
Chanel the tiny horse is a dwarf. She had a hard start in life when her mother rejected her. Her poorly formed legs made it difficult to learn to walk and she had to be bottle fed every two hours. Her breeder reached out to the Pe ...
One hundred Horses Rescued In Police Sting Operation
12th Jan 2020   |   Care and Grooming   |   Winniefield Park
A team of volunteers is responsible for rescuing over one hundred horses in King County near Enumclaw. The horses, some in foal and with foals by their sides, were being kept in unsanitary conditions by a women well known to be a ...
Interview of a Horse Kill Buyer
8th Jan 2020   |   Care and Grooming   |   Winniefield Park
The public may be more aware of the negative side of horse racing as the number of race horse deaths at Santa Anita and other tracks becomes publicized. Now, USA Today has shone an unflattering light on another dark side of the sp ...
Horse Magazine Apps
4th Jan 2020   |   Care and Grooming   |   Winniefield Park
An interesting magazine is a good way to pass the time on the bus or in a waiting room. But who wants to read those germ laden, dogeared waiting room magazines, or yesterday's newspaper? And, your Facebook Instagram feeds can get ...
Horse Pulled Behind Truck
2nd Jan 2020   |   Care and Grooming   |   Winniefield Park
A video taken in Colorado has gone viral, angering animal lovers around the world. Animal control officers are investigated after viewers reported the video showing a white pick up truck pulling a horse tied to the back bumper up ...
  View All News by Winniefield Park
 
©2002 - 2020   PonyBox LLC Create Account Terms & Conditions Privacy Contact Us
320 Members Online 258,627 Registered Members 2,654 News Articles 11,265,242 Unique News Article Views 266,497,664 Website Views