At MBM we strive to ensure a compassionate and supportive service to our clients and their horses

One of the most painful and difficult aspects of owning any animal is coming to terms with saying goodbye. Making the difficult decision to euthanise is often accompanied by a wide range of emotions, and at MBM we strive to ensure our service is not only compassionate and supportive to our clients and their horses but also respectful. We understand speaking about euthanasia can be extremely distressing for many owners, so we have tried to include all relevant information on this page. If there is anything we can do to help you and your horse during this difficult time, please do not hesitate to contact us.

  • Although difficult to think about, we advise all owners to have an idea or preferred plan in place for euthanasia in case an emergency should arise. This should include the method of euthanasia preferred, if you have a preferred transport service, and if you would like ashes back or not. Some owners prefer to schedule a date prior to an emergency situation in which case we can talk you through each step of the process and ensure you are aware of all of your options at this time.

  • You can contact us at the practice or alternatively email us if you find talking about end of life too difficult. We will ask you if you have a preferred vet and what day/time you would like. We endeavour to work with you as much as we can. 

  • We understand how truly difficult it can be losing your horse and every owner will have different approaches to handling euthanasia. You are welcome to be there for the entirety of the procedure or, equally, you do not have to attend. If you decide to stay, please remember that you can leave at any point during the euthanasia if you find it to be too traumatic and upsetting.


    In an emergency setting, we will need someone to hold the horse initially, however this does not have to be yourself. If you would not like to attend a euthanasia that has been scheduled, please let us know and we can arrange for a nurse to attend with us. We will ask for a consent form to be signed by yourself prior to euthanasia in all cases; this can be emailed over prior to our visit if applicable.

  • There are two methods of euthanasia that are used in the UK: injectable and shooting. Sedation may or may not be used for both methods and is often case-dependent. The method you choose is entirely personal and should be what you are most comfortable with. All vets will counsel you on the process at the time if you choose to be present. Unfortunately, unless the horse is already lying down, both methods will result in the horse collapsing to the ground, which can be quite distressing to witness.


    With injectable euthanasia, the horse is given an overdose of an anaesthetic-type medicine in the vein. The horse will lose consciousness and gently fall to the ground, with death occurring shortly afterwards.


    We do not offer shooting at MBM, but we are happy to advise further over the phone if this is an option you would prefer.

  • If the euthanasia was planned or during normal working hours, we can arrange the uplift for you to limit as much stress as we can. We will ask if you would like ashes back, shoes removed, and a mane/tail plait. The uplift company we currently use is Equine Recovery Services. If you would like us to arrange this for you, we will require payment for the uplift prior to the visit. Alternatively, you are welcome to source your own uplift service, however, please be aware that some services do not offer ashes back as options. We strongly advise that you are not present for the uplift.

  • If your horse is insured for loss of use or death, please tell us prior to euthanasia. Some insurance companies may require a post-mortem or report from the attending vet depending on the reason for euthanasia. With the exception of an emergency situation, most insurance companies require notification in advance of a scheduled euthanasia. We advise contacting your insurance company directly to verify what your policy covers.

  • The aftermath of losing a horse can feel overwhelming and lonely. It is important to reach out to friends and family, and not struggle on in silence. If there is anything we can do for you, please do not hesitate to get in touch.


    Blue Cross offer a free pet bereavement telephone service along with other resources to help you come to terms with your loss.


    British Horse Society (BHS) initiative called ‘Friends at the End’ offers free, confidential support for horse owners throughout the entirety of the euthanasia process.

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