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old horseIf you want to put down your horse, you have to call the vet. Your invoice will show charges for:

  • Farm call
  • Emergency fee (if circumstances warranted)
  • Examination fee (to assess if euthanasia is warranted)
  • The actual products used (syringe, euthansol solution)
  • A possible additional fee to verify death

The total tends to be anywhere between $200 to $400. Every single one of these charges is warranted. There is a cost to the vet and a service granted for each item. There is no argument here.

It Doesn’t End There

Now you have a dead horse. If you’re lucky, you own your property and a back hoe. You dig a hole, you say good bye to your good friend and you bury them in a place that you can visit from time to time.

If not, you have to call another company to come and get your dead horse. They may be able to come out right away, the same day or the next day. Sometimes longer. Years ago this would be a free service. The body taken away, rendered down and used for it’s parts for a multitude of uses.

Today many companies charge for this service. Costs range from $200 – $400 for a horse.

Again, there’s no argument here. You needed your horse disposed of and they did just that. This is a good business model for them.

Horse Owners In A Pinch

In addition to this being a very emotional time for many horse owners, the prospect of a costly bill weighs heavily on their ability to offer a peaceful crossing over for their trusty mounts. $400 – $800 isn’t pocket change for many owners. Especially in this economy where boarding fees and everything else associated with horses are sky rocketing.

Sadly, the reality is that this is simply cost prohibitive for many owners. While they want to offer their horses the end that they’ve earned, they simply can’t afford it.

Vets Don’t Need To Euthanize

The act of euthanasia is a simple one. A highly concentrated anesthesia is administered via intraveneous injection. The animal’s heart slows, they lay down, breathing gets shallow and stops, the heart soon follows. The animal is then monitored to ensure that their hearts are no longer beating. After a duration of time without a heartbeat, the animal is declared dead.

Euthansol is a controlled drug:

Any drug or therapeutic agent–commonly understood to include narcotics, with a potential for abuse or addiction, which is held under strict governmental control.

Certification by the government in order to possess Euthansol could be offered outside of the veterinary community. Euthanasia itself should be removed from the veterinary mandate. Considering that one of their very first declarations is “to do no harm”, it seems that this should be considered.

It’s not to say that veterinarians shouldn’t be permitted to euthanize. However they shouldn’t hold a monopoly on it either.

All In One Service

A service that offered to come out, euthanize and take the horse with them could do so at a much cheaper rate. There would only be one farm call rather than two. It would be emotionally easier on their owners, as the horse would be removed right away.

This service would make the option of humane euthanasia more financially feasible.

When offering services to horse owners, to grant them and their horses the last, loving dignity after a lifetime of service to their owners… Shouldn’t every effort be made to make that happen?