PTS for financial reasons(7 Posts)
How do I get my head round this?
I have a 17yr old gelding who for the past 5 years has been on retirement livery around 5hrs drive from my home. I have seen him twice in that time (keep a check on facebook photos so I know he's in horsey heaven!). In total retirement livery has probably cost me £10k. He went there after damaging a tendon just after my daughter was born, the intention was for him to go away for a couple of years then bring him back and see if he was sound.
I can no longer justify/afford to pay for him and I have two options. Either have him PTS with his friends where he is, no stress for him and he won't know anything.
Or I can transport him back to me and if he is sound try to find him a loan hacking home. I have no idea if he will be sound, vet report said prognosis for tendon was 'guarded', he has also has had some bucking issues in the past and is accident prone. So if he is not rideable I'm in the same position of having to PTS but having put him through the stress of travelling, starting riding again, moving yards etc
I know PTS is the most sensible choice and probably kindest for him. I just can't get the picture of him walking up to the vet ears pricked to say hello and dropping to the floor 5mins later out of my head. How do I handle the guilt?
There is no point trying to find him a companion home, he is a bit of a thug, can only go out with geldings and will not stay on his own.
Can he be checked for soundness at the yard where he is and can you discuss with someone there whether he could have a 'job',I.e someone to hack out or as company? It does sound like you have thought it through though and there are a lot of 'cons'. As far as PTS, my personal opinion is that we are herd/pack leaders and therefore it is our responsibility to make the decision. In the wild,herd leader would move on and the old and infirm at some point would be left behind. We have to take responsibility for our animals. Yours is a difficult one as you don't really have a reason other than financial to make the decision,but that is a very real reason. If I was in your shoes I would leave him where he was,no need to stress him with moving,and discuss with someone there. If he is rideable to any degree it's worth giving him the chance and looking to re home him?
IMO I've nothing against PTS for financial reasons, in many cases it's the most responsible option. My friend had a horse PTS when she lost her job as the horse, while "sound" was sharp to the point of being dangerous. She'd had a very very rough start in life and never quite got over it and the thought of her hurting someone (she had potential to do some serious damage)/getting passed from pillar to post by people that didn't understand her was too much to bare.
Can he be checked for soundness at the yard where he is
That's what I was wondering. I know it's five hours drive away but it's got to be easier for you to go there to meet a vet than for you to do the same journey with horse in tow (and a lot cheaper if you haven't got your own transport). It would also avoid stressing the horse out for no reason if he turns out to be not sound.
He could be ok though. My mum's horse had a bad tendon injury and it took a couple of years but he did come right. Didn't the livery yard ever comment on his progress or otherwise regarding the lameness?
As for the picture you have in your head of PTS, we've had to go through it several times and it was quite peaceful. If you go for the injection they have a sedative first before the lethal dose so they are quite calm and you get to say your goodbyes. I'm not saying it's easy but I don't think it will be as bad as you are imagining.
Thanks for all your thoughts. The place he is at is retirement only with huge fields but no yard to speak of or school. The owner has said 'she has her doubts about him staying sound' and I'm trying to find out if he is unlevel around the fields or if this is just a hunch. If he was obviously lame she would have told me.
He does not have shoes on and can be quite footy so trotting up would be a bit unreliable.
Thanks Pixel, despite having horses for over 25yrs I've never had to have one PTS.
Agree with pixel,r.e the actual PTS bit, I've seen it done both ways and personally the injection is much preferable. I've just read somewhere,will see if I can find it again,that they have now actually concluded just how quick it actually works,with the injection. Think people have thought that it isn't instant enough? The last one I was involved with, we gave him a feed,had a groom and a rub and cuddle,he was sedated and led to a suitable area and then done,it was all very calm, you can be with them and talk to them and by the time the body goes,keep in mind that 'they' are already gone. It's always hard and everyone has very different experiences and thoughts( I've seen a shoot go wrong,horrific experience) personally I'm able to see bodies simply as a shell,it's the spirit that counts. Horses don't have to be ridden and worked loads but they do need attention and contact,imo. If he isn't getting either and you face running out of money,it's the right decision
Oh yes I'd had my dear old boy 23 years so it was a thing I'd dreaded but I remain convinced that he was dead before he hit the ground, he knew nothing about it beyond being fed some lovely treats. The vet was very efficient and discreet so he was just focused on us.
I do agree about the 'spirit/shell' part but I must admit I made myself scarce for the actual removal of the body (the vet was happy to deal with that for us too) as I wouldn't want that to be my last memory iyswim. Once I knew he'd got the ending he deserved that was it for me.
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