Euthanasia is a way of providing a quick and painless death for your horse to avoid unnecessary suffering. It is never an easy decision to make but this post will provide you with some basic information regarding the whole process.
Reasons for Euthanaisa
- A horse is elderly and can no longer maintain a good quality of life
- A horse is suffering due to a incurable condition
- A horse has become a danger to people, itself or other animals
Familiar surroundings will cause the least stress for your horse but vehicle access is vital so they can be taken away after the procedure.
Do you need to be there?
If you are able to stay calm, your presence will often help to relax your horse. However if you do not wish to be there you may have someone there to help in place of you. We advise you are not present while your horse is being loaded to be taken away following euthanasia.
If the situation permits, you should discuss the claim with your insurance company. They will usually require a veterinary certificate regarding your horse and the reason for euthanasia. They may also request a post-mortem examination.
The Euthanasia Procedure by Lethal Injection
Your horse will be given a large overdose of anaesthetic via intravenous injection. This will cause them to lose consciousness and collapse. Different veterinarians have slightly different methods of administering the anaesthetic, some prefer to place an intravenous catheter to facilitate drug administration whereas some give the anaesthetic through a needle. Some may sedate your horse prior to euthanasia where some may not. The heart can take a few minutes to stop and a few deep breaths may be noticed, however your horse will be completely anaesthetised and unaware during this time.
The disposal options available are affected by the health of your horse at euthanasia and the method chosen
This is the most frequently used option. It is available in all situations and you may request to have the ashes returned to you if you wish at further cost.
The hunt kennels will collect your horse but it must be fit for consumption by the hounds. This option is not available after lethal injection or if your horse suffered from certain diseases.
Burial on your own land is an option but you will need to check the current regulations with the Environment Agency and DEFRA prior to burial.