A Peaceful End – making the right decision.

A Peaceful End.

Part of the responsibility of owning a veteran horse is providing for a peaceful pain free end. It is perfectly natural for owners to be strongly bonded to their horses and not want to ‘let go’ of their old faithful friend. But this is a decision that EVERY horse owner will need to have the courage to face. When dealing with an animal like a horse we need to pay particular attention to its quality of life, can it express its normal behaviour? Is it in constant pain? Are its basic needs being met? The following list indicates some of the signs that your horse is nearing the end of its life.

  1. Gets cast frequently in box or at pasture.
  2. Requires assistance to rise.
  3. Development of sores over pressure points such as elbows or over the pelvis.
  4. Severe weight loss such as there is no fat covering.
  5. Loss of majority of teeth – making eating difficult.
  6. Severe lameness not alleviated by pain killers or appropriate treatment.
  7. Severe ongoing laminitis – non-responsive to treatment (as may be the case in horses affected by Cushing’s disease).
  8. Recurrent colics.

Please consult with us at an early stage and be prepared to act on his / her advice. It is best when dealing with an old horse nearing its end to plan in advance. It is better for the welfare of the horse for it to be humanely destroyed before its situation becomes critical. Our staff and vets are very experienced in helping with this difficult decision. We can offer advice on collection of the remains afterwards including individual cremation and return of ashes. A well planned euthanasia can be less stressful for horse, owner and vet.

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