Sunday, March 27, 2011

I am worrying about Tonka again. I had hoped that he'd started an upswing after getting back on his EPSM diet. He does seem to be feeling better mentally, which may just be because of the warmer weather, but he's still belly achy. My sister saw him today for the first time in a long while and she was very alarmed. I'm going to call WSU tomorrow and start getting some price quotes and possibly make an appointment for later in the week. My vet is supposed to be back on Tuesday. Hopefully he'll have some test results. I'm pretty positive we'll be going in for abdominal radiographs though.

Which leaves me wondering - what if they do find that he needs surgery? Will he immediately go to surgery or will we have some time? How long will he be in the hospital? Is he even a good candidate for surgery since he doesn't do well in a stall? (You can bet I'm really regretting not stalling him more often to get him more relaxed about it.) I have a million other "what ifs" going through my head.

I used to say I'd never shell out the money for major surgery on a horse. After all, horses are a dime a dozen, especially mustangs, and there are so many beautiful mustangs to choose from. But at that time I'd never had a horse like Tonka. Besides the fact that I love him (which is huge and not expressible in words), I've invested thousands of dollars in him already, not to mention all of the hours we've spent building a relationship and turning him into a horse so valuable I'd never sell him. He has a place and a job here. He's irreplaceable. Scout will be a great horse, maybe even better than Tonka, but he can't replace Tonka. Any horse that I could buy right now that does all the stuff Tonka does would be very expensive, and I wouldn't have that all-important bond of trust until we'd spent many hours together.

I hate to think about the idea that I just might not be able to afford this. I can cover a couple thousand dollars, probably. But $5,000? As John says, as hard as it is to admit, he's not priceless.

Here's a good article titled "Colic Surgery - What Horse Owners Should Know." It's good food for thought about possible future decisions that you may have to make in a short amount of time under a huge amount of stress.

Tomorrow I'm going to try stalling Tonka for a while and see how he does. It will probably become a daily exercise, just in case.

I'm going to go do some dishes and try to think about something else for a while.


hkfarms said...

*Hugs* My little rescue gelding that I got with Tucker passed away a few weeks ago. I knew when I took him he would be a pasture pet, but we had a bond. The only advise I can offer is hope for the best and be prepared for the worst, and listen to what your heart is telling you.

Linda said...

I'm sorry. I used to think, if I lived close to WSU, I'd just always go straight there--they have the equipment. When we had that colt break it's shoulder, we spent almost a week with a local misdiagnosis. There are other factors rather than just cost to consider--like what are his chances for surviving the surgery and what will his life be like afterward. If I could talk to you in person, I'd tell you more about my own stories--but it's TMI for this format. One step at a time....maybe it will be something much smaller than you think.

Keechy said...

I've decided against colic surgery for mine if it happens. I don't like the odds for a full recovery. Can't remember what they are, but I read up at the time of the decision and didn't feel comfortable with the chances of recovery versus the pain and confinement for the horse and the cost for us. Plus we are a couple of hours from the only place that could attempt it here and can't imagine trying to transport a badly colicked horse all that way. Everyone is different though. I hope it is nothing so severe for your boy though! Would love to hear it was a bean! :)

Anonymous said...

It's hard not to worry - I'm one of the worst worriers on the planet - but try to just take it one day at a time. Sending best wishes to you both.