Euthanasia can be an emotional decision, but it is important to keep your horse’s welfare top-of-mind. Discussing the following questions with your veterinarian will help you determine your horse’s quality of life:

  • Is the horse suffering?
  • How long will the horse continue to suffer?
  • How likely is it that the horse will recover, at least to some extent, or regain some level of usefulness?
  • What special care will the horse require, and are you able to meet those needs?
  • Can you continue to provide for the horse financially?
  • Does the horse show an interest in life, or has it become depressed?
  • What are your alternatives?

When discussing euthanasia with your veterinarian, remember that a horse:

  • Should not live with unmanageable or constant pain from a chronic or incurable condition
  • Should not receive continuous analgesic medication to relieve pain that still does not allow it to have a good quality of life
  • Should not have to endure continuous box stall confinement
  • Should not endure any condition that has no chance of survival
  • Should be euthanized if it has a medical condition that causes it to be a hazard to itself or its handlers.

Your veterinarian can help you weigh the decision to euthanize, but they cannot make the decision for you. It is important that you are confident that your decision is the correct one. If you’re unsure, a second opinion is a wise next step.