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A guide for best practice in equine euthanasia

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Euthanasing a horse with competence, compassion and feeling, whilst ensuring that the owner is aware of the limitations of any All Risks Mortality (ARM) Insurance cover, which may be in place, is a very fine balance.

Clinical scenarios, such as a mid-shaft compound comminuted cannon fracture in a horse or pony, which has become entrapped in a cattle-grid, can be very stressful and traumatic for all parties involved at the scene, but requires little justification for settlement by an insurer.  However, “elective” euthanasia for less severe orthopaedic injuries or cases of chronic disease, which may be achieved seamlessly do not necessarily fulfil the criteria for a valid ARM claim.

Regularly horse-owners, much like the rest of us, are unaware of the “small print” of their insurance policies.  Subsequently this obliviousness can result in protracted grievance and dispute between horse-owners, vets and insurers.

This presentation will highlight some of the common complications, misconceptions and misunderstandings, which may occur around this disturbing time and will aim to help you and your clients avoid them.

Learning outcomes

  • “Please don’t let it wake up again once I’ve left” - how to measure success when it comes to euthanasia
  • What does All Risks Mortality Insurance cover really mean?
  • When do I need to get a Second Opinion and from whom?


Andrew Harrison, Three Counties Equine Hospital.

Running time: 54 minutes.
Part of BVA / BEVA equine stream at London Vet Show 2016.

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London Vet Show

London Vet Show is a national two day conference and exhibition which offers world-class clinical and business content to veterinary professionals. The show has nearly 400 exhibitors and six clinical streams of world-class Continuing Professional Development (CPD).