You might find it interesting, I was speaking to the cheif surgeon at our hospital about it - it is a very common procedure in England, however it is incredibly rare out here. He has never actually done it, and this guy is considered the top surgeon in the west!!
My surgeon was just amazing, I saw my horse 3 hours after surgery and he looked so comfortable i was gob-smacked - the pain relief afterwards is pretty important! I am now 13-14 weeks on and you can't even see the scar all the hair has grown back he is working well and i am just about to try to get back on him - my experience was very positive (with a few ups and downs!) although I know that won't be the same for everyone
My horse had a kissing spine op in December last year and came back into full work without complications. The costs depends on how many you have removed. My horse had 1 and half and the fees just for the op alone was about £1600,00 without the aftercare. Has your horse been diagnosed??
he was diagnosed at the animal health trust via scintygraphy by Sue Dyson and had 4 impinged and more scheleroid (not certain how you pell that!!) ones as well. on top of this he had navicular changes in both front feet as well. at the onset of winter he has every year bronked me off just as i get on so am in no rush to get on him again till this is sorted. tried steroid injections but no change. AHT dont/wont do the operation so I have contacted Svend Kold in Tetbury. I have no insurance left as the diagnosis took all of that! waiting to hear what Svend says once he has seen the x-rays.
I worked at a top Equine hospital and I have mixed views on the surgery. I personally would not put my horse through it. There is a risk the horses is so bruised that he feels paralysed and in unable to move - with this the horse gives up trying to get up and is PTS. The rehabilitation progress is a hard one - there are lots of success stories but there are also ones that do not have any better a quality of life. I would discuss in detail with your vet or even Sue Dyson. If you do go ahead with it I recommend you either go to: The Royal Vet College, Liphook, AHY or Rossdales. It is major surgery and you want people with the experience of surgery and aftercare. Will your insurance company pay out for it?
There are a lot of scare stories around about kissing spines, I think you will do what you feel is best for your horse and that is the way it should be. By the way Svend Kold operated on my horse, I didn't take the decision lightly, he would have had to be put down if I hadn't gone ahead as he was in constant pain. In my opinion this surgeon is the best in the country and he does well over 100 cases a year, I asked my vets to ensure Ryan only went to someone very experienced, this surgeon is very clever in the way he operates - you couldn't be in safer hands and his pain management was superb, I know my horse is a coper, but as I said earlier, I saw him 3 hours after surgery and every day after and this guy knows how to manage pain relief - Ryan was up after the op before the surgeon had finished his cup of tea and tucking in to a wedge of hay when I saw him 3 hours later - I do know this won't be the same for every horse but your horse is in the best hands possible