Horse Colic Surgery: Making Hard Decisions
Knowing what to do if your horse needs colic surgery, and how to afford it, can save his life
Your heart pounds as you try to soothe your sweaty 21-year-old gelding, who is struggling as pain clutches his abdomen. You remind yourself to stay alert when he almost catches you with a hoof as he paws. He swings his head around to look at his flank and swishes his tail wildly. The more agitated he gets, the more you worry. Then the veterinarian’s voice interrupts your thoughts, confirming one of your worst fears.
“It’s definitely a severe colic, and he needs to go to the nearest equine veterinary hospital for an evaluation,” she says. “He may need surgery, but they can tell you more once he gets there. We need to get him there immediately.”
Your thoughts begin to whirl. Colic surgery? Will he survive that? Can’t we just manage him at the farm? How will he handle the two-hour drive? Do I need to put air in the trailer tires? How much will surgery cost? How will I afford it? How long will he have to stay
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