My mare starting colicing on a Wednesday afternoon. I called the vet out right away and they did all the "usual stuff". I skipped work and stayed up with her all night. By Thursday morning she seemed slightly worse. I took her up to the clinic and she was hospitalized all day on Thursday. By Friday morning she wasnt any better...but she wasnt really worse either as far has her pain level. At that point she had not had a bowel movement and was blowing up like Violet in Willy Wonka. My vet told me if I was considering surgery, now would be the time to be getting things in order. Since her vitals had remained stable and her bloodwork and lactate were all normal, we decided she was a candidate for surgery.
It was a 3.5 hour drive to A&M. Again, her vitals and labs were normal when we got there. They told me they were going to give her some pain meds and see how she does, but they did not anticipate actually needing to cut her. An hour later I got the call that they were prepping her and planned to have her in surgery within the half hour.
I was a wreck for the next four hours
She made it though surgery ok. Doc said she had an impaction the size of a basketball at the pelvic flexure. There was no torsion, but the tissues of her colon had just started to lose circulation. Aside from some radial nerve paralysis that resolved with a support boot after a few days, she had no complications and is recovering well.
I've heard a lot of people say they would never put their horse through surgery. I personally think its all situational. About 10 years ago I had another horse colic. His was chronic and that time was particularly worse. When the vet came out it was apparent that he had an abdomen full of blood and surgery success rate would be less than 10%. He was euthanized so that he didnt suffer any longer as he was in severe pain.
I've also heard of people going though with surgery and making it, only to have surgical complications up to a month later.
What are your thoughts?