Some animal rights activists believe rodeo rough stock don’t get treated well. That’s hardly the case with Big Tex, 2010 Bareback Horse of the Year.
According to PRCA ProRodeo, Big Tex underwent colic surgery on Saturday night for a displaced colon, according to his veterinarian Dr. Grace Richter of Oakridge Equine Hospital in Edmond, Oklahoma. After three days of non-invasive treatments, the 14-year-old bay bucking champion was still in pain and was not producing enough feces. Richter kept Big Tex on IV fluids and attempted a rolling maneuver to reduce pressure on the equine star’s spleen and kidney.
Travis Adams, the Pete Carr Pro Rodeo operations manager, shipped Big Tex the 45 miles from Edmond to Stillwater where he underwent surgery at the Oklahoma State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
Dr. Chase Whitfield found an impaction in Big Tex’s colon, which he removed by injecting fluids into the colon. The blockage made its way out without having to open up the colon itself.
Recovery and Prognosis
Big Tex had been schedule to perform at the Ram National Circuit Finals Rodeo, but will need 4–6 months to recover completely. The horse holds the world record for the highest score—94 points—in 2010.
Colic Surgery Costs
According to Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, surgery estimates can range from $2,800–$8,000. Often this is too large a budget for the average backyard horse owner. Owners of valuable performance horses usually insurance them through an equine-specific insurance company. Owners can also enter a care program like SmartPak’s ColiCare, which offers up to $7,500 of surgery reimbursement when you follow their supplement program.