Monday, February 3, 2014

When the time comes: Your Old Guy or Gal

Planning for our old guys
I have been thinking about Harv and age and health. He is 27 this year! In the Chronicle forums there was an interesting article on euthanasia, talking about owner preparedness (emotional and otherwise). An interesting point was made about how when older horses become ill, you have things to consider when treating...

Pick meds carefully
If you have retirees, or any other horses that are not candidates for colic surgery or a trip to a vet facility,  talk to your vet ahead of time about what kinds, and what amounts, of meds should and should NOT be used if the horse becomes seriously ill. Some meds  will slow or prevent euthanasia meds from working if the horse ultimately needs to be put down. I am pretty sure "ace" (acepromazine?) is one such drug.  If a horse sustains a traumatic injury, you may be tempted to give any drug on hand to calm or help them. Check with the vet before medicating, so that you don't give your horse something that will hinder the effectiveness of euthanasia meds in the event this step is needed.


  1. I have never heard anything about drugs that can hinder euthanasia drugs before. Definitely something to discuss with the vet well in advance.

  2. Great info. We said goodbye to our 30-year old goddess mare in May. Another thing folks (especially those with their own farms and not in a boarding situation) might want to do ahead of time is figure out what you want to do with the body. We knew we wanted to bury Salina here (she is buried right behind the A in my dressage arena, which is such a comfort to me and exactly where she would want to be, I think) and I had done some research about 6 months before her passing about burial, mounding, and local resources for moving the body humanely. We are lucky to have a couple who have slides and bring an ATV with them - and know how to fold horses so there is a very quiet and easy moving of such large bodies. As hard as that day was the last thing I needed was to have to watch something that felt disrespectful to Salina. It was quiet and they were amazing and that made it so much easier.


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