Euthanasia (livestock)

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AJMD429
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Euthanasia (livestock)

Post by AJMD429 »

.

One of our goats got meningitis, probably listeria, which is endemic in the midwest. We started treatment yesterday with dual antibiotics, but it is seldom successful, and today my wife was able to check on her during the day and said she was having seizures and in distress, so I left the office early to come home and euthanize her.

Anyway I got home, so all the goat was in agony and pain and distress and that my wife had already pretty much confirmed the diagnosis.

When you have life stock you get a 'routine', so I immediately started up the tractor and dug the appropriate hole back at the sandpit. By the time I got to the house, my wife had already prepared prophylactic antibiotic injections for the other animals including the dogs, and earlier in the day I had phoned in oral prescription stuff for ourselves for prophylaxis.

After donning washable garb appropriate for the occasion, I grabbed my Marlin 1894 carbine (44 Mag) and loaded the distressed, and now-seizing goat into the front end loader so I could take her away from the area the other animals frequent (less body fluids from the euthanasia to infect the others). Once nestled in the front in loader she actually calmed down, so I drove her back to the gravesite uneventfully.

She would twitch once in a while so I tried to encourage her by telling her she "was fighting with a wolf to protect her baby, and that she was winning". Of course I doubt she understood my English, but I figured perhaps in some cosmic way that would put the events in a context that would be encouraging. What mother wouldn't mind infinite distress and pain if she knew she were successfully defending her baby...?

Anyway, once there, a 180 gr 44 Special from the carbine seemed to provide a humane and quick end to her torment.

As I returned to the house in the tractor, I couldn't help but think I wish my own demise would be that simple, free of drama, and environmentally sensible. I'd much rather my hard-earned mass of complex biochemicals should be used to nourish a tree or a grapevine or even some poison ivy, than get embalmed with formaldehyde in some concrete vault.

The whole life-ending process probably took about 60 minutes.

At the other end of the spectrum, most farmers are prepared to go from sound asleep to defending livestock in about 60 seconds. The goal is that if you hear your animals scream, you should be outside with enough clothing to function and some sort of night-capable all-weather firearm with appropriate ballistics and capacity to deal with the local predators. That should happen regardless of the weather, how tired you are, or any other factors, so you keep a set of coveralls hanging up in the warm furnace room to step into to save time.

Farmers are practical gun-users by that definition...
"60 seconds outside and ready to PROTECT life..."


Where we live, two of the best options are a 357 magnum lever action or a 300 blackout A.R. 15, either one with a decent light and red dot optics, and preferably suppressed with subsonic loads. I used the 44 tonight just because with meningitis I preferred a thoracic shot versus brains-all-over head shot, and thus wanted a bigger thoracic hole for faster hypotension and unconsciousness, even though the seizures likely made it moot.

My wife keeps promising that she will see to it that I am buried here on the property like that, but whenever we talk about it she gets this strange and eager gleam in her eye and mumbles some thing about "...you didn't make me promise that you'd be dead before I buried you..."

Sometimes I worry... :shock:
Last edited by AJMD429 on Wed Jan 12, 2022 12:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Sixgun
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Re: Euthanasia (livestock)

Post by Sixgun »

Doc,
I sympathize with you greatly.......having been animal lovers for all of my life and my wife's entire life, those things bother me more than people.....I've shot more than I've wanted to and every time the animals were on their last leg.....the last one was a few years back, our 28 year old horse, Sugar...between the eyes and an inch up....45-70 with 11 grains of Unique.....our last horse died a couple of years ago at 40 and while we knew he was dying I no longer could administer the coup-de-grace.


Must have been a hell of a thing driving the goat to the appropriate place.....having animals is a full time job but what they give is more than worth the effort...

I'll take any animal over a human, even a toad.---006
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wvfarrier
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Re: Euthanasia (livestock)

Post by wvfarrier »

I had similar conversations with a lot of horse owners during my farrier career. Quite a lot of the time having a veterinarian come out does nothing but make the last few minutes terrifying for the animal, when a simple pop behind the ear sends them on without all the fuss.
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JimT
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Re: Euthanasia (livestock)

Post by JimT »

Thank you.
It's a tough job but one you have to do if you love your livestock and pets.
I've had to do it with everything from hamsters to cattle over the years.
I usually caution people that if it is a pet that has been in the family for years often it's best if someone who is not quite so close but who understands does it for them.
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Re: Euthanasia (livestock)

Post by gcs »

Had to do it with multiple dogs and cats, along with hogs for butchering, I don't look forward to it but I feel it's my responsibility to let them go as humanely and stress free as possible, Our vet is a great guy, and a very caring person, my wifes pekingese's goes to him, but I'd like to think they'd rather go out with a loved caretaker....
Anyway, sometimes I think I'd rather go that route then rotting away in a nursing home.
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JimT
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Re: Euthanasia (livestock)

Post by JimT »

gcs wrote:
Wed Jan 12, 2022 10:32 am
Anyway, sometimes I think I'd rather go that route then rotting away in a nursing home.
I am with you.
I would rather not end my days in a bed sucking an oxygen bottle and pooping a diaper.
And I know that for many people, admitting this is almost a sin.
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Grizz
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Re: Euthanasia (livestock)

Post by Grizz »

i agree about this. i am preparing for a long ocean voyage. i can't stand the thought of paralyzing my wife and children and grand children with a time eating preoccupation with me, something they should not see or know or have to remember. i don't want to inflict them with a lifetime of bad dreams. the ones i love should not have to see that.

"where did grampa go?" "he's sailing his boat on a long voyage of discovery. we will see him farther on."

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Grizz
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Re: Euthanasia (livestock)

Post by Grizz »

p.s. right now i don't have the guts to shoot my dog, who is failing fast, i'd have to find some kind of sedative. i know how to kill him. i just don't want to.

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Re: Euthanasia (livestock)

Post by 1894cfan »

JimT wrote:
Wed Jan 12, 2022 10:02 am
Thank you.
It's a tough job but one you have to do if you love your livestock and pets.
I've had to do it with everything from hamsters to cattle over the years.
I usually caution people that if it is a pet that has been in the family for years often it's best if someone who is not quite so close but who understands does it for them.
The family I'm staying with has a dog that clearly isn't going to last much longer. I've offered to do the deed for them, but the wife isn't all that practical for things like that. She'd rather the animal suffer than to put it out of it's misery! Several years ago the dogs attacked a stray cat with the intention of killing it, she pulled the dogs off before they finished the job, leaving the cat with a broken back and in severe pain! I ended up finishing the job some 15 minutes later! Should have used a .410 instead to the 22! Messy, but much faster! :cry:
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Sixgun
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Re: Euthanasia (livestock)

Post by Sixgun »

Between the eyes and an inch up....A 22 pistol will suffice...I've shot my share of beef cattle and it works every time.....but with an animal as large as a cow it mostly just knocks them out so you can cut the throat and let em bleed out.....

Taking your beloved pet to the vet for a needle is cruel in my mind.....pets don't want to go to the vet even when you know they are coming home.......like some have said here, I'm not going to waste away in some nursing home, especially when you know they don't give a flying s about you anyway...it's all about MONEY and how much they can suck out of your estate......

Everyone is different....some people, especially women don't mind the nursing home thing so we give them what we can an accommodate them......here in Sixgun land we can care for each other.......

One thing you had better be smart on......DONT tell the "ones in charge" too much ...example...."well Doc, I cant even boil water so I can't cook for my bedridden wife" or something similarly stupid.....THEY WILL send people out to take them away....and let them rot in some filthy institution with mean looking Haitian type people as nurses beating the heck out of your loved one, all the time charging you 5-10,000 a month for dismal care....

NEVER sign nothing with a nursing home......I know these things from personal experience.....once you sign, you put THEM in charge of everything you ever worked for and bottom line is...they WANT what you have.....I was POA for an aunt and the nursing home had all kinds of stuff on the bill.....hair and nails done...$500...and nothing was done...talk about padding a bill.......on and on......yea, I reamed them a brand new a.h......this country is as corrupt as they come....the only difference between our country and some third world nation is that our country does it with finesse and deceit.

You want to see it for yourself...stop in a nursing home and you will see 50 people in wheelchairs with their head hung over playing bingo...all doped up on sedatives....

Of course, these types of nursing homes are for the "little people" I'm sure the elitists get home care or like one aunt I had, one of these $15k a month ones.....
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JimT
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Re: Euthanasia (livestock)

Post by JimT »

Sixgun wrote:
Wed Jan 12, 2022 4:28 pm
... this country is as corrupt as they come....the only difference between our country and some third world nation is that our country does it with finesse and deceit.
I used to tell folks that the only difference between Africa and America is that in most of Africa, the average man can afford a politician. Here you have to be a corporation to own one.
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Re: Euthanasia (livestock)

Post by yooper2 »

Always a crummy job but a necessary one. Can't count how many sheep, pigs, and chickens I've done in but the dogs and mules are the ones that stick with me. Put down my childhood dog at 16 and was a mess after it. Never gotten any better with it.

Agree fully with the others above, I'll never end up in a nursing home. Saw my great grandfather die in one as a child and our family has gone to extreme lengths to make sure nobody else has had to die like that.


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Re: Euthanasia (livestock)

Post by Scott Tschirhart »

JimT wrote:
Wed Jan 12, 2022 4:37 pm
I used to tell folks that the only difference between Africa and America is that in most of Africa, the average man can afford a politician. Here you have to be a corporation to own one.
So true Jim. I just wish they weren't for sale in either place.

Regarding the original post.....I have had to do this many times. Dogs and cattle bother me. Probably more than they should. But it is a necessary part of ranch life.
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Re: Euthanasia (livestock)

Post by Ysabel Kid »

AJMD429 wrote:
Tue Jan 11, 2022 10:21 pm

My wife keeps promising that she will see to it that I am buried here on the property like that, but whenever we talk about it she gets this strange and eager gleam in her eye and mumbles some thing about "...you didn't make me promise that you'd be dead before I buried you..."

Sometimes I worry... :shock:
The running joke with my wife is that you never take a walk in the woods with someone in their family if they are carrying a shovel. Her father took care of many farm animals and pets whose time had come by taking them for a final walk in the woods. Every time I get sick I go and hide all the shovels! :shock:
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