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.