Hello, I would like to ask if anyone has ever had foals born with something really wrong? This year I had 21 foals, but two had to be put to sleep with severe deformities. One filly was born with her bladder sealed off at the ends and a colt was born completely healthy and beautiful, except he had no eyes. Just empty sockets. Has anyone ever even heard of such "frankenstein-ish" things? I wonder what I may have done, but one mare receives Regumate but the mare that foaled the colt is on absolutely no meds, etc. I do not live near any power plants or anything like that. My nearest neighbor is miles away in the country. Just checking.
Hi Brian, I can't speak scientifically but from my understanding, it's been a very strange year for foals here in WI. My own colt was born with a large scrotal hernia that needed surgical repair at 8 days of age (it was pretty bad according to the surgeon) and I know of a QH breeder nearby that have had a few foals this year born with extreme leg deformities (they were put down after being treated unsuccessfully) out of otherwise proven mares and his same stud that the same mares were always bred to. So, I can't say "why" but I can sure concur that it's been strange. You may never find the "reason" but I would guess that regumate wasn't part of the problem. I ventured onto a website not to long ago that advocated against the use of West Nile vaccine in pregnant mares and they supplied plenty of pictures of deformed foals to back up their claims. I am not in total agreement with their statements, but it's food for thought.
Very sad.....we had a foal born just the other day with the end of it's top jaw twisted and bent. It's nose pointed to the left, and it's right nostril was in it's mouth as a result of the twist. Somehow the little dear managed to suck but was put down the following morning, as she would never be able to survive once she needed to eat. The poor mare was frantic afterwards, but thankfully she has managed to score herself an orphan and she took it immediately. So a happy note at the end of a sad day. The vet is sure this deformity is purely bad luck. Just the way the foal was lying as it developed. In every other way,she was perfect.
Thats so sad LisaI have heard of that happening before. I saw a stock horse colt with the same deformity once, unfortunatly the lady who owned him tried unsuccesfully to nuture the poor little thing and he had a slow and painful death. It must be distressing for the owners and mares when this happens.
You're right, Emma. It's very distressing for everyone. But it's better to do it sooner than later, when the baby has started to suffer and we all get attached to it, like her Mum already was. I've heard of this same deformity a few times over the years, but thankfully had never seen it. I hope I never do again.
Oh wow - I just recently read a whole webstie thorugh with deformities like you were saying that linked it to the West Nile shot.
It was not scientific at all, just horseowners talking about their experiences and losses.
The upper jaw being twisted was a common one, there was one or two pics of foals like that. Front leg deformities were hugely reported, missing eyes, big dead green marble eyes, humps on backs, and all sorts of breeding issues for stallions and mares after getting the shots. The reports start in 2002 I think and go to 2004.
I was horrified and amazed that there were so many people posting on tha site! awful!
Here is the link - I had stumbled on it while googling the words 'foals' in images, was trying to fiond some cute pics for a friend's daughter, and one of them was of a foal with no front legs.
I have to say that I have been to the web site , it is aweful. Yet I lost a two year old filly to the wnv. It was aweful to watch this happen to such a young prosperous mare. We then began to vaccinate all horses and it scared me to death to know some of the possibilities, but we vaccinated our mares that were being bred. We had to look out for their health because if we lost them we lost our breeding program. For the next year I waited on egg shells and then we had beautiful, healthy foals. So we continue to use the vaccine and have had good results... Watching a horse die from the wnv is not a good thing. Please People, think about some of these things that you see on this site.
I've vaccinated for the WNV in all my horses, including my broodmares. However, I do not give any form of vaccination within the first 90 days of gestation. I make sure they are UTD prior to breeding, do the 5-7-9 Kneumobort, then boost 4-6 wks. prior to foaling. This way, I at least make sure they are protected, but avoid the early days of gestation when foal formation is occuring. As a side note....I certainly sympathize for anyone who has had problems with drug/vaccination issues, etc. However, I work in the vet industry and see the ENORMOUS life saving, beneficial reasons to utilize these means to reduce suffering, disease, and death.
Before getting sucked into the "lost-foals" group, take a look at other discussion on this board on the subject of WNV vaccine in the pregnant mare and also review the research done by Texas A&M University that confirmed no link with the use and pregnancy loss...!
I apologize if my posting that link offended or upset anyone ... I believe that being a 'good' horseperson means keeping an open mind, and part of that is seeing all information available before making any set decision.
I have a hard time believing that an otherwise healthy animal will produce a genetic defect very often, and if things are being seen more and more often we really have to review what is causing it.
I'm not saying that you should believe everything you read, especially online, but also I do not believe everything I read on 'scientific' papers or their research always, because we all know that pharmaceutical companies have lots of money into this, so lots at stake.
I'd love to see any links to sites with the scientific 'why it can't be' and also to other sites that might detail what those particular types of deformities are from if anyone here has them.
OK... you didn't offend me with the original statement, but I do take exception to the this one!!!
Your observation that "pharmaceutical companies have lots of money into this" - the inference being that the pharmaceutical companies will influence the results of the research - is erroneous and misled. "Published peer-reviewed research" (which is the research worth considering) means that the research has been independently - and intensely - reviewed by experts not involved in the original research, and indeed most times anonymous to the original author. The concept of peer-review is sound and devised to prevent influence by interested parties as well as inaccurate results. If the research does not measure up as far as method, results and conclusion are concerned, then the peers doing the reviewing will not approve it for publication!
I recognise that a lot of lay people do not understand, or are not aware of the peer-review process, but it is certainly present and very effective.
On top of that, be aware that the researchers' personal credibility is at stake, and in the event that a researcher loses credibility as a result of inaccurate research, then they will lose the ability to do future research, as nobody will back them.
So... let's take a critical look at a few factors relating to the web site you mention:
How many of the foals had necropsies performed that confirmed the "diagnoses" presented on the web site? Interestingly, none! Indeed - how many of the foals had necropsies performed, period? Not too many!
Bottom line - as I said previously, that website lacks accuracy and credibility.
Believe me, the researchers at Texas A&M that found no link between WNV vaccine use in the pregnant mare and increased pregnancy loss (some of whom I know personally) are not only "good horsemen" but have incredibly open minds - that's what makes them good researchers!
To bring the whole histrionic aspect of the website into focus, consider this:
What would those people posting on the web site have said if the WNV vaccine had been released the same year as the Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome hit Kentucky and neighbouring States? My mind boggles at the conclusions that would have been drawn... it's very fortunate that it didn't happen in the same year, or the website would have been much larger!
Much like Jos, I tend to go with research that supports evidence vs. unsupported anectodal reflections.
Yes, pharmaceuticals have a significant monatary interests. However, I have also seen them bend over backwards to assist or make amends when their products have failed.
Unfortunately, sometimes there is no real answer as to "why" defects occur...leaving the individuals involved wanting desperately to find a reason and/or place blame. Nature has a way of being very cruel at times.
In the absence of omnipetance, the best we can do as owners is make the best, most informed decisions possible for our animals. This certainly is what I do. Goodness knows, I held my breath for months until my mare foaled...and didn't allow myself to relax until I counted legs (oh PLEASE don't come out 2 headed!), ears, eyes, and he stood, nursed, and pooped. So very thankful all was relatively well.
We do have WN here in KS and when it first came through we vaccinated in the spring (along with the booster dose as recommended) that October, we lost a 3 y/o gelding to a very horrible death. After a week of doing all that could be done, we put him down. That following spring, out of 12 proven broodmares, we had one foal. The following year, we had 4 foals. Since that time, we've stopped using the WN vaccine, we've had no further cases (not that we won't, we sure hope not, but for us, it was much too expensive to vaccinate and then still have to treat a sick horse and loose the battle as well as having it seem to interfere with the breeding of our mares.) Now, having said that, it certainly could have been that the same illness that affected the horses in KY came through here during the same time as WN swept across the state..whatever the case, something certainly affected our mares reproduction during those two years, we're are now happily back to a 100% conception rate.
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