When Is The Right Time To Euthanise My PSSM or MFM Horse?

Euthanasia- a topic none of us like to talk about, but when it comes to horse ownership euthanasia is a big part of that responsibility, and when it comes to PSSM & MFM we may find ourselves faced with making that decision a lot sooner than we’d hoped.

But when is the right time to euthanise my PSSM or MFM horse?

This blog has been created to help you make your decision.

Please note this blog has not been made to tell you or force you to put your PSSM or MFM horse down*

When Is The Right Time To Euthanise My PSSM Or MFM Horse?

In What Circumstances May You Consider Euthanising A PSSM Or MFM Horse?

There are a number of different circumstances where euthanasia may be considered for a PSSM or MFM horse these include:

The horse isn’t responding to any form of PSSM management because their PSSM or MFM is not manageable

The horse used to respond to management but now isn’t due to progression

Recurring Tying Up
The horse is experiencing recurring tying up episodes

Severe Aggression
The horse is dangerously aggressive

Severe Depression
The horse is severely depressed and has lost interest in life

Ataxia & Neurological Issues
The horse is severely ataxic and suffering neurological issues

-You can no longer keep your PSSM horse
-You can no longer afford PSSM management
-You can’t afford to pay for a horse that’s unrideable

All of these reasons listed above are valid reasons for euthanasia and neither one of them is wrong.

Is Euthanasia The Best Decision For My PSSM Or MFM Horse?

Only you can make that decision, but if your struggling to decide you need to ask yourself 3 questions:

1. Can my horse lead a good quality of life?
With all riding put aside, is your horse able to live a good quality of life and function as a horse? Or are they in constant pain. A basic need for any animal is for their bodies to function enough to enable them to live pain free, and as normally as possible.

2. Can I afford PSSM & MFM Management?
This second point may sound harsh, but the reality is horses are not cheap, and neither is PSSM & MFM management! Supplements to manage PSSM1, & PSSM2 even more so can cost £100’s of extra pounds a month, for some owners this cost can be expensive to pay out for.

3. Am I Happy Paying Out For A Horse I Can’t Ride?
Again this third point sounds harsh but are you happy to pay for a horse that is not up to the job you purchased it for? Not everybody can afford to keep more than one horse, and some owners are unable to pay out for a horse that cannot do the job they originally brought it for, if a PSSM horse becomes symptomatic at a young age and is manageable an owner can be left with an unrideable horse for 10 years or more.

If you answered yes to questions 3 or 4 then shouldn’t you just sell your PSSM horse instead of euthanising them?

Yes selling your PSSM horse is an option, but its also a risky one and one you as an owner must be aware of before making it. By selling your PSSM horse you risk selling them to somebody who then sells them on again with no mention of PSSM. Once your PSSM or MFM horse has been sold their future is out of your hands, euthanasia can be a kinder fate to a PSSM or MFM horse than an unknown one.

What Techniques Of Euthanasia Are Available?

There is currently 2 methods of euthanasia and these are


Neither method is wrong.

Whichever method you go with you should always have your horse sedated first, sedation will make the horse drowsy and unaware of their surroundings, sedation is especially needed for nervous or flighty horses.

The Day Of Euthanasia

The day of euthanasia will be one of the toughest days of your life, but never have any doubts in your decision.

Make your horses last day a special one, feed them their favourite treats, give them lots of love, take lots of photographs for memories, and take tail hair for keepsakes from your horse, the hair can be used to make any memorial jewellery at a later date.

When Is The Right Time To Euthanise My PSSM Or MFM Horse?

Support After Euthanasia

Euthanasia is hard, especially hard, at PSSM & MFM awareness we know this as we have been there more than once- But your not alone.

If you need any support or just need somebody to talk to after losing your PSSM or MFM horse please head over to our group PSSM & MFM awareness, or alternatively contact us at [email protected] we are always on hand to talk to any of our members and support you.

To find out more about euthanasia please check out our YouTube video by clicking this link