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Would you buy a horse that had colic surgery?

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  • Would you buy a horse that had colic surgery?

    I did not want to put this on the Jinges thread for Henny out of disrespect NOR do I want to start a train wreck but I have been wondering how colic surgery might effect the future sale of a horse. I was wondering what implications this might have even for a potential buyer to further be able to insure a horse that has had surgery. Would you purchase a horse that had colic surgery? Thoughts.? Would your opinion change if it were a top competition horse? Would this decrease his value?

  • #2
    It wouldn't bug me one bit, if the horse didn't have a history of colic. Every once in a while that stupid "perfect storm" brews and there is nothing you can do. From what I hear the weather has been interesting over where Henny is. Now if the horse had a history of colic, I wouldn't touch them, just too much risk involved. Also I probably wouldn't buy something that had just had the colic surgery within the past year. That is how long my insurance company keeps the colic exclusion, and if they were going to really have issues I would think you would see the signs within the first year afterwards.


    • #3
      I would be cautious either way, but it would also depend on the history and if I could find out the history.

      If something crazy happened in the horse's life (sudden move, radical change in feed, etc.) and the horse coliced, requiring surgery then I would be more willing to take the horse on than if he had a history of colic.

      I would also be more cautious if I had trouble finding out the history of the horse, especially if the owner claimed owning the horse for several years but was not forthcoming in providing history.


      • #4
        I bought a horse that had had colic surgery, it had been several years before I bought him and he had the best possible type of surgery where they just opened him up and closed him up without taking anything out (had my vet look at the discharge papers that specified everything). I would say be cautious, he has colicked once in the years I've owned him and that was due to coastal hay we believe (which has a reputation of making horses colic, even if they've been on it consistently). It just depends on the specific situation in my opinion, even though he's colicked I wouldn't trade him for the world.
        Come to the Dark Side, We Have Cross Country



        • #5
          Agreed with the others that it depends upon the type of colic surgery and whether or not the horse has gone without additional colic episodes or surgery complications since.

          My mare was on stall rest due to a leg injury and surgery, and at month 3, she colicked badly. It didn't resolve with fluids and tubing, so she went to surgery. Yep - 2 surgeries in 3 months, lucky me. She had an enterolith (stone) blockage the size of a softball in her small colon.

          The vet brought it out to show to me, offered to let me have it (no thanks, probably too weird of a paperweight to take to work).

          She healed up like a champ, and she has (knock on wood) never had any complications from the surgery or additional colic episodes in the nearly 5 years since.

          All that said, if I were buying and came across one with a verified history like hers, I wouldn't worry about it. If I came across one with a surgery and a history of additional bouts, I would be probably put off.


          • #6
            We're spending our money on horses and bourbon. The rest we're just wasting.


            • #7
              It would depend on circumstances, with no absolute yes or no answer. But it is unlikely I would. Of course, I also want my future horses to be babies/greenies, so that affects my opinion on it. For hypothetical future kids with established medical history behind the horse and perfect for kid, I would be far more likely to be willing to, but with the financial considerations of whether or not I could insure the horse for colic surgery or how much I would want to have saved up in case it were necessary.
              If Kim Kardashian wants to set up a gofundme to purchase the Wu Tang album from Martin Shkreli, guess what people you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE.


              • #8
                I wouldn't really consider it a red flag. I know at least 2 *** horses who have had colic surgery and it didn't effect them one bit. I, personally, bought my aging I/A horse after he had had colic surgery as a 7 yo. He's never been effected by it, and i wouldn't be bothered--provided the vet says the horse should return to competition--one bit.


                • #9
                  Didn't Winsome Adante have colic surgery before his last two Rolex wins, the Aachen WEG, and the Olympics? Might have been in 2002 or 2003.
                  "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                  Thread killer Extraordinaire


                  • #10
                    I would not do it again.

                    I bought a horse that went through colic surgery before I bought him. Torsion colic.

                    I had him 6 years then he coliced 3 months in a row, the last month landed us at NCSU vet school, in surgery they discovered he had adhesions from the first surgery. Everyone was surprised he lasted as long as he did.


                    • #11
                      I think it's hard to say. There would be people for whom it would't be a red flag at all and there would be people for whom it would be an absolute dealbreaker. A girl at my barn spent a fair amount of money on a fancy dresage horse in its early teens. It colicked the week after it arrived and had to have surgery. The horse is fine now. The first comment out of a lot of people's mouths (not in her presence of course) was about the decrease in the horse's value.


                      • #12
                        I bought a grey gelding in 1997 that had had colic surgery. He was 10 at surgery, 14 when I bought him and he is still trotting around in a field at 28 (almost 29). There was no resection and he has not had an episode of colic in the 14 years I have owned him. He also cribs, has a heart murmur, melanomas and at this point has lost all his teeth. He is one poor medical specimin that is as happy as can be, as long as he gets his whole grain soup twice a day.

                        That said, my answer would be "depends", some excellent responses above.


                        • Original Poster

                          NC rider,

                          That is what I was thinking/wondering about the horses value afterwards. I would think it would go down but was not sure what other people thought.


                          • #14
                            If the colic surgery was at least a couple of years ago, the horse had recovered without ongoing issues and was currently competing at the level it was priced for then I don't see why the surgery would impact the price or the decision to buy.

                            If the horse had ongoing issues I wouldn't buy it.

                            All of the horses I've known (friend's horses, other boarders where I used to board) who've gone through colic surgery either were fine afterward and had long healthy lives or started having problems again within less than a year and ended up either getting put down or not making it through the second surgery. So if it had been at least a couple of years since the surgery I wouldn't be concerned, personally.


                            • #15
                              The horse I bought; his value was cut a bit more than half after the first colic surgery.


                              • #16
                                From an insurance/underwriting standpoint, you are not required to reduce a horse's insured value if it has colic surgery. The reasoning is that most horses can return to the previous workload after they recover.

                                Most companies will give a lifetime colic exclusion if the horse had a resection during surgery, otherwise the exclusion can come off one year from the surgery date if there are no further episodes.
                                No Trouble
                                2/2/05 - 7/29/13
                                Rest In Peace my quirky brave boy, I will love you forever.


                                • #17
                                  If it was an isolated episode (no hx of colic beforehand and no problems after; I'd want it to have been at least 2-3 years since the surgery, though), it wouldn't bother me.

                                  I wouldn't think it would necessarily reduce the value of the horse, but it might reduce the number of people willing to look at him/her, if that makes sense. So while a horse might have been worth $10,000 and had 10 people out there willing to pay that before surgery, you could still get $10,000 but now there are only 5 people - so the marketing process might take longer. (Or you could reduce the price, of course - I just don't think you'd HAVE to in order to sell.)
                                  Proud member of the EDRF


                                  • #18
                                    It doesnt bother me if the horse does not have a history of colicing besides the initial colic/surgery and if they healed up fine.
                                    I bought the mare I have now knowing that she had coliced as a yearling and underwent surgery. She has never coliced except that once (they still dont know why she did, possibly worms). The vet did a very good job, you cant even feel the scar. I just make sure to keep her on a good worming schedule (just like my other horses) and she is on tractgaurd 1/day
                                    Last edited by eventingismylife; Dec. 15, 2010, 09:05 PM.


                                    • #19
                                      Only at a very reduced price.
                                      Free bar.ka and tidy rabbit.


                                      • #20
                                        No because no matter what anyone says, try to sell one!!!

                                        If it was a Forver Heart horse, possibly after many vets Looked at surgery report and post surggical history.