Euthanasia is a very emotional subject for all horse owners. Making the decision to have your horse euthanased is never easy but knowing what to expect can make that final decision a little more bearable. Please do not hesitate to call us to discuss your horse’s situation to help you to decide if the time is right.
In some instances a decision will have to be made urgently, for example if a serious colic or untreatable fracture occurs. It is even harder when there are incurable long-term problems which seriously affect the horses’ quality of life such as painful chronic lameness or other difficulties which can come with old age. In these circumstances the decision will often be made to avoid further unbearable suffering.
Most people decide to have their horses euthanised at home in their familiar surroundings as this will involve the least disturbance for the horse. If there is time to plan, it is useful to have a large enough area with suitable access for the vehicle which will take the horse away. A quiet grassy area is a preferable choice. If you do not have the facilities at home or would prefer to bring your horse to the clinic, this can be easily arranged.
This involves sedation and the placement of a catheter into the jugular vein to ensure safe access to the horses vein followed by the administration of an intravenous preparation to induce unconsciousness. Horses will usually lean backwards and then collapse on their side. They quietly drift off into a deep sleep and soon after the heart will stop. This may take up to 10 minutes in some cases but they are pain free and unaware of events.
This is at your discretion but regulations dictate that horses euthanised by clinical injection must be cremated. It is illegal to bury horses in the UK unless you have prior agreement with Trading Standards/DEFRA.
The options are:
- Cremation with ashes returned to scatter.
- Cremation with ashes in a casket.
Please ask reception for the pricing details.