SmartPak Monday Morning Feed: Perspective on ColiCare

If you’ve thought about seeking colic coverage for your horse, this is a must-read. SmartPaker Vivian Pilicy shares her perspective on ColiCare and its benefits. Read on to learn more:

Adobe Stock/Ronel Lowe

Colic, one of the biggest fears for us as horse owners. It’s unpredictable, even when we try our hardest to prevent it. Although, I have learned that as a horse owner my awareness level is very different than it used to be. Since it may not have happened to your horse, or your friend’s horse, you may start thinking it will never happen, or chances are just very slim because “our horses don’t colic” – until they do.

For several years at SmartPak, I worked with our incoming ColiCare claims for horses who were on our ColiCare eligible supplements in SmartPaks that did have to go through a colic surgery. Working with these customers, who were also my fellow riders and horse owners, brought me much more colic awareness than I ever had before. I heard their individual stories of how things happened, and most of the horse owners mentioned how very unexpected it all was, which really drove home the understanding that colic really can happen at any time to any horse. One thing these owners and riders all had in common was how deeply they loved and cared for their horses, and how grateful they were to have the ColiCare backing. I no longer handle those calls, but it was gratifying to be able to help support them during one of the most stressful possibilities of horse ownership.

I’ve also been fortunate enough to have attended veterinarian conferences like AAEP (American Association of Equine Practitioners) and NEAEP (Northeast Association of Equine Practitioners). While there, I took the opportunity to speak to veterinarians who had to refer their clients’ horses to the hospital for surgeries and others who are actively recommending their clients to enroll in the program and put them on the digestive supplement. If I hadn’t already believed in the program myself, hearing their firsthand accounts and their belief in ColiCare would have filled in any gaps in my confidence.

So, then what about insurance? My current medical insurance for my horse would only cover $5,000 for colic surgery. Frankly, that is a fraction of what it would cost. Surgery itself runs around $2-3,500, the surgical pre- and post-operative care accumulates quickly, plus I don’t live in a low-cost area. Our hospital bills can run a bit higher in the New England area. ColiCare, on the other hoof, offers up to $15,000 reimbursement, a large sum that would be very helpful should the worst happen. And if it happens, I can then still decide if I want to use the insurance money first or the ColiCare reimbursement money! (Some insurance companies do have a clause that if there is any other form of reimbursement possible that needs to be used first and the rest can then be covered by insurance. I think it’s worth reading through those details to know what your options are.)

Science and research have not figured out yet 100% why horses colic, which makes it nearly impossible to fully prevent it. While a mild colic can turn very quickly into a surgical case, horses now do recover from surgery at higher rates and can live a normal life again! We may not yet know how certain colics are caused, but we do have knowledge about supplement ingredients backed by research to help support the digestive tract. So even if my horse doesn’t show any signs of digestive issues (loose stool, gassiness etc. for example) I always put every horse on SmartDigest Ultra and enroll it in ColiCare (if it is eligible). I recommend the same to my friends and students. Because, really, why not? It gives me peace of mind to be prepared for the worst and the last thing I want to do is say no to surgery because of financial reasons. The monthly cost of the supplement is lower than an insurance and I am doing something good for my horse. Plus, through the program requirements my veterinarian and I are able to stay in close contact about my horses’ general wellbeing and physical condition.

Go SmartPak and go riding!