Last Thursday I got a call from Romeo's mom that he was hanging his head, not eating, and pawing. She hadn't seen a horse colic but because Bre has such a long colic history I have reviewed symptoms with her often. I told her I was on my way and to call my vet. By the time I go there he was trying to roll if she stopped walking him. Luckily the vet was only twenty minutes away so she arrived shortly after I did. She listened to his gut and palpated his rectum. Then she said the words no horse owner wants to hear "Is surgery an option for you". She said he could go either way, needing surgery or resolving on his own, but several issues pointed towards surgery. The vet school is two hours away so if waiting until it becomes a surgical case could mean a short surgery turning into a long and dangerous bowel resection. All the start aligned, she had gas in the truck, and someone to watch the kids. It was a long two days but his displaced bowel resolved on it's own and Romeo is now back home feeling much better. It was hard to have him so far away when he was sick. Poor baby. Hopefully it was a one time shot but it made us talk about some hard decisions.
I know that colic surgery or even an extended stay in the hospital would not be an option for me. Due to Bre's health issues I have long ago come to terms with the kind of treatment I would be willing to give her. I love Bre and my heart would break if I had to tell the vet I am not sending her to surgery but I also know she has already been through so many health problems over the years that I don't want to put her through anything else.
I have to say I haven't really come to terms with making hard decisions about Dickie. If he had issues due to his heart murmur I have run through all the scenarios and feel prepared. On the other hand if he needed colic surgery or put his leg through a fence I don't feel at all ready to say I can't follow through with treatment. It sounds bad to put a dollar number on your friend but we all know that is the reality of owning a horse. I had just assumed that because of his heart condition I would not be able to get him health insurance but decided on a whim to call a few places. Turns out he CAN be insured. I talked to several places and plan on going through the company my vet suggested. They are a tad more expensive but I don't need the vet to come back out for an exam and the covered expenses are much higher. I just need to fill out the paperwork this weekend.