Poll Recap: Colic Surgery Experiences

Poll Recap: Colic Surgery Experiences

156 (27%) readers indicated that one or more of their horses had undergone colic surgery.

Photo: Anne M. Eberhardt/The Horse

In last week's online poll, TheHorse.com asked if one or more of your horses have ever undergone colic surgery. More than 575 readers responded, and we've tallied the results

The majority of the voters—421, or 73%—indicated they've never taken a horse to colic surgery. The other 156 (27%) indicated that one or more of their horses had undergone colic surgery.

Additionally, 90 respondents provided comments about their individual experiences.

Some respondents said they've had positive experiences with colic surgery:

  • "She was 24 at time of surgery. Recovery was intense (but she's) still here at 26. Worth it!"
  • "He was about 22 years old, an Arab gelding, and he lived until he was 32. Well worth the money."
  • "Small intestine was entrapped. Surgery was nine years ago and (the) horse is strong and healthy."
  • "We were lucky … He was 14 at the surgery; lived until he was 25."
  • "(She) had a complete recovery and produced four foals afterwards."
  • "It was more than 40 years ago. Job well done."

Others said their colic surgery experiences haven't been as successful:

  • "An apparently successful twist surgery still produced a dead horse about 12 hours after surgery."
  • "Not the best outcome. Lost one mare with her foal in utero. Lost my 25-year-old horse of a lifetime."
  • "Two horses (had surgery and we) lost them both three days later (due to) peritonitis and they did not regain gut motility."
  • "For my 18-year-old Draft cross mare—it was not successful. I am reluctant to go through it again."

And some respondents said that while they haven't put a horse through colic surgery yet, they know what they'd do should the need arise:

  • "Would only do as last resort. Thankfully, my horse recovered by herself with great vet care."
  • "None of mine have ever colicked. Surgery is expensive. Think I would have to euthanize."
  • "The cost and stress on the animal are not worth it."
  • "I would if there was a good prognosis. But I would have to go into debt to do so!"
  • "I would do so if horse was a good candidate."

The results of our weekly polls are published in The Horse Health E-Newsletter, which offers news on diseases, veterinary research, health events, and in-depth articles on common equine health conditions and what you can do to recognize, avoid, or treat them. Sign up for our e-newsletters on our homepage and look for a new poll on TheHorse.com every week!

About the Author

Erica Larson, News Editor

Erica Larson, News Editor, holds a degree in journalism with an external specialty in equine science from Michigan State University in East Lansing. A Massachusetts native, she grew up in the saddle and has dabbled in a variety of disciplines including foxhunting, saddle seat, and mounted games. Currently, Erica competes in three-day eventing with her OTTB, Dorado, and enjoys photography in her spare time.

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