I had thought if the weather wasn't bad that maybe I would take Mayhem in and get a quick evaluation on her hernia before scheduling it. With the storms rolling through early this morning I opted to hold off and simply took pictures. I'm not sure if that was a wise idea or not.
Either way, I totally failed Mayhem. I've really done her an injustice.
I should have taken Mayhem in when I first got her or at least not long after getting her instead of putting her on a backburner to deal with the emaciated horses.
From what the vet could see in the pictures and without evaluating her, she has two options.
1. IF the umbilical hernia is soft and I can mush it around and possibly get it back into her stomach, the vet can do a quick procedure. It would be as quick as a castration on a colt, where he'd knock her out, rearrange everything and get it back to where it belongs, sew everything up so it won't happen again, and get her back on her feet with very minimal recovery time.
2. IF the umbilical hernia is immobile, we have to do major surgery. It's not quite ranked up there with colic surgery but very close. And if the intestines DO drop into the hernia, she runs the risk of colic and then would have to have colic surgery to save her. And I know some will be mad when I say this, but we cannot afford colic surgery. If we had major donations or donors, colic surgery could be an option but with my pocketbook funding the Sanctuary, if someone colics and surgery is the only way to fix it, we'd have to consider the alternative instead.
The first option would run us a couple of hundred dollars. The second option would be much more expensive. I'm not sure if the options would have been the same had she been younger or not. I really have no idea. She's grown and so has the hernia so I'm not sure.
It's not really an option to let her continue on the way she is because there is a growing risk that something could go into the hernia. If it's the intestines, and she starts to colic, we have a matter of minutes/hours to get her to the vet. Knowing what I know about my vet's schedule and the length of time it would take to get her to the vet from our location, she wouldn't make it without some lasting effects.
The problem is, she DOES have a heart murmur. Will that affect her during surgery, we don't know. Any type of surgery runs the risk of the horse dying. I know some will read this and think I'm being mean and lazy about not taking her in to the vet immediately for surgery. Or that I should have done it years ago. I messed up and acknowledge that fact that I messed up with her. But life has a way of slapping you in the face when you are down and that's exactly what happened with me and Mayhem. Do I want to do either/or procedure, most definitely. Is it possible? Yes. Is it in my pocket book? I don't know. We were trying to raise funds last winter and had two generous donations but those donations won't cover the first option let alone the second option of surgery. I know I'll be paying for a large portion of it but is it worth the risk of putting her under completely for major surgery? Is it worth the risk of letting her continue knowing that could kill her too?
I really screwed up. Poor Mayhem has really been shafted in life and this time around, it's me that caused it to happen.