I have insurance for my horse, so yes, I would try the surgical route even if he odds were against him. That's exactly why I got it- so I wouldn't have to put a monetary limit on procedures and whether it or not it would be worth trying if the situation arose.
Having something on file with the vet is a great idea- I'll have to see if I can do that!
I have monetary limits on all my horses, but if the horse needs surgery to fix a twisted gut I'll put him down. I don't think the odds of recovery are that great, and it's exorbitantly expensive. Plus, I'm the sole breadwinner and care provider, and I simply can't take months off work to nurse a horse recovering from major surgery.
Sometimes you have to make decisions you don't like, based on the overall good of the majority.
I currently do not own a horse but I know my limitations and always have. I have the same deal when it comes to my dogs. I will do so much.. and maybe so much +X.. but I cannot and will not jeopardize my financial well being.
If that makes me a "bad" person, so be it. I have learned that sometimes animal ownership (Ha! Life itself!) forces our hand and no matter how special that animal is, there are others.
This does not mean my heart won't break. It simply means that I won't break the bank too.
Mia had colic a few months after I bought her. The vet came out at 11 PM ($400), poured oil thru her nose, and she got better. She has had some episodes since then, and I walk her around and keep an eye on her. And our horses get regular treatment for sand colic. But from what I've read, if the horse needs an operation to save it, then the cost is very high and the outlook pretty poor. So yes, I've made the decision already.
I like Mia, and she likes me. But she isn't my family, and I'm not part of her herd. She would never race into danger to save me, and I won't bankrupt my family for her.
Yes I have made the decision at only a 20% survival rate id put them down. I have a limit on how much i"ll spend for a colic case. My 26 year old I would put down if she needed surgery not worth putting her through that. My other two I would do surgery if the chance of them surviving was better the 50%. No I wouldnt risk losing my home to save a horse. My family is over my horses when it comes right down to it can't risk going into financial ruins for a horse.
Surgery is not an option for us. It would mean at least a 3 hour trailer ride and would be far beyond our budget for my hobby horse. If $1000 doesn't do it, well, the news would be bad. :( But, on a happier note, I've never had a vet bill over $500 and in 6 or so years that I've had horses (this round), I've never spent more than $500 in a year on vets, farriers or extra care. Oh, wait, maybe one year on extra supplements for one horse. But still... it's been good. I am very attentive to every little thing which helps keep my horse healthy and my budget in tact. Any horse that we have lost, anyone would have lost, regardless of the money available.