A friend of mine lost a filly last year due to something similar to an RH factor problem. I realize that RH is a human explaination, but it was a similar issue. We lost a filly at 2.5 days old last year. She had no symptoms other than being slightly sluggish. She stood, ate, and passed her stools normally. She followed mom around the paddock just fine and enjoyed a scratch. She was somewhat curious and alert, but maybe slightly depressed. The day was warm, about 85 degrees. She exhibited no signs of pain. I found her dead when I went out to give her Dam her evening grain.
Does anyone have experience with the "RH factor" thing. Does this sound like it could have been the problem? I am concerned because the mare has been re-bred to the same stallion.
Hi Colleen, we have also lost a foal this year of the same thing. (the foal was not born here so i don't think the breeding farm ran the NI test on the mare) we run an NI blood test on our mares, 30 days before they foal to make sure they are not positive. 2yrs ago the same mare tested positive so i was prepared for when the mare foaled. the foals dont show any signs at first but their gums and eyes will look yellow and then go downhill from there. my understanding is that if the mare tests positive, the foal cannot nurse for at least 48 to 72 hours. when the mare foaled here, we put a muzzle on the foal and supplemented mares milk until it was safe and we had milked the mare during that time. we also had plasma run to the foal along with the oral seramune that i also had on hand.
Posted on Wednesday, February 20, 2008 - 10:48 am:
Neonatal isoerythrolysis ("NI") is sort of the same as the rhesus factor problem in humans, but different.
With NI, the foal receives antibodies against its own red blood cells in the colostrum from the mare - remember a foal is born without immunity - and therefore over the course of the next few days its own immune system destroys its red blood cells, leading to anaemia and death.
Managing an NI positive mare and foal can be somewhat labor intensive, but once you know the correct steps, there is no reason to expect anything but complete success!!!!
I work for a major TB breeder , we encounter about a half-dozen of these annually. Here is how we deal with them.
Have your Vet do an NI Screen: Most people will suggest these be done within 30 days prior to foaling, be we use 2 weeks to get the most accurate result possible. Chances are more than good that your mare will again be NI positive if she was last year.
There are a few things you'll need to have on hand to ensure success;
Frozen donor colostrum: Your vet will likely know of a local colostrums bank, keep it frozen until the mare foals.
Milk replacer: I¡¦ve used Foal-Lac and Mares-Match successfully, however, we add a few ounces of Goat¡¦s Milk to the milk replacer. It seems to cut down on the gasiness usually associated with powdered milk replacer.
A foal muzzle: Make sure it is specifically designed for a foal. These little guys can get pretty crafty when they are hungry.
A means of bottle-feeding: I use regular baby-bottles, but enlarge the hole in the nipple just a bit. A coffee pot nearby: This process takes us 24 hours, with regular hourly feedings.
Once an NI positive mare foals, put the muzzle on the foal before it has a chance to nurse and thaw out your donor colostrum. We usually wait about 90 min. for everyone to settle down before the first bottle feeding. They will likely only eat about 6 oz or so the first feeding. We then do hourly feedings. Once the donor colostrums is gone start with the replacer. It is usually best to for them to be a bit hungry than to overeat at this stage. Most feedings are about 10 oz or so. This is just a rough guidline, simply assess your foals needs and try to meet them without overdoing it. Skip a feeding if necessary.
One of the most important this to remember is to strip the mares bag at every feeding. This will ensure that the antibodies in her colostrums are significantly diluted in 24 hours. Like wise, the Foal's absorption rate for those antibodies will be reduced significantly. I've foaled well over 1000 mares over the last 20 years and never had a Jaundice foal following these protocols.
There are a few things to keep in mind during this process:
1. This is a stressful 24 hrs for the foal. Keep a close eye on him for any kind of abdominal discomfort. Consult your Vet for advice on anti-ulcer medication.
2. This is also stressful on the mare. Their instincts tell them to feed their foal and they may be VERY upset by being left out of the loop. A mild tranqulizer such as Ace can go a long way to maintaining group harmony.
3. These little boogers can be very industrious when they are hungry, make sure they are not, somehow, getting any colostrum from the mare in the first 24 hrs. After 24 hrs, pull the muzzle and watch your foal go to town!!! Go home, take a nap but don't forget to turn off the coffee pot ƒº
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