I have a miniature foal who is 5 days old. He never nursed. I fed through a stomach tube for his first two days, then on the 3rd, he started drinking out of a bowl, so the tube was removed. Last night he started declining. Still drinking the foal lac from the bowl, in normal amounts, but from the evening he started to look and feel bloated, and through the night he gunted and groaned all night, finally I found online where someone had given Milk of Magnesium for bloating...so I tried it, within 30 minutes he was finally sleeping peacefully. This morning he drank, had a BM and peed, but was still very "droopy", and he has not taken the milk since that feeding at 6am, it is now after noon. The last time I tried to feed him though, he refused, and I just sat their watching him for a long time, and out of the blue, he walked over to the water trough and got a big ol' drink. I am glad he is keeping hisself hydrated but am in a panic because I don't know what went wront or how to fix it. Our only horse vet in a 100 miles or more has only been a vet for a few months, and doesn't know what's wrong or how to help him either, so I am spending my time hunting for info on the web. Last night while he was grunting and so uncomfortable, he did have an elevated temp and was breathing hard, similar to a dog's panting. I have been giving PenG as the vet suggested, and since he is not getting any antibodies from mom, vet suggested "serum" which neither of us no where to get. He is still really "droopy" and not drinking from the bowl still, and still seems to have a belly ache, though is not rolling or looking at his belly, or kicking at it like a grown horse would. So, what are your opinions. We have come so far, I am not about to give up on him! but I need help. Thank you.
I would think the vet would also give you something to help him digestive tract like gastroguard or zantac. Whenever I have to medicate a foal I always give them something for stomach upset since they do not tolerate medicine well. I would look to put your foal into a clinic like at a university or something.
Jennifer ~ My only suggestion is that I don't believe a foal that young needs water and may be finding it (for some strange reason) more appetizing than the milk. I would take away his access to water and only give him milk...he needs to keep his strength up! I remember reading in "Blessed are the Broodmares" that some foals will sometimes fill themselves up with water and not drink milk and quickly decline from malnutrition. Talk with your vet about this but that is what I would suggest besides sending him to a clinic as Cathy mentioned.
Thank you for the advice. The vet gave me gastroguard, today when I had her come out. She also found a breeder that had "serum" that I was able to buy, and we gave him banamine for stomach cramps, and have switched him from PenG to Nexsel, because he still has a fever. I switched him to goat milk and he went right back to drinking. I had wanted to remove the water, but don't know how to give the grown minis access so that he couldn't reach it, they are not that much bigger than he. I will work on that tomorrow, and try to figure something out, but you were right, the water was keeping him too full, and for some reason, he liked it more than the foal lac. Now lets hope he continues to like the goat milk. Strangest think happened after the IV for the serum was done....when I took him back outside, he stood up and acted like he was going to nurse the mare in her girth area, so I grabbed her halter to keep her from moving and gently nudged him in the right direction, and he almost instantly grapped a hold of the nipple and got 2 or 3 swallows, then grabbed the other, and got a couple swallows from it! He is 5 day old now, and he hassn't so much as looked in the right directed! I expressed a hand full to see if she still had any milk and will start milking her again tomorrow and hope it comes back in. Now that he knows where it is, and how to get to it, I am hoping that he will be aggressive and bring her milk back quickly! I just gave him his Nexcel shot, and I am happy to announce that he now feels good enough to get angry, because he was NOT a happy camper! I thought he would never quit pinning his ears at me, LOL. I hope we are out of the woods now, and that its all down hill from here. I haven't been so sleep deprived since my kids were born! Oh, I wanted to mention that a University or even a clinic is not an option where I live....they just don't exsist, unless you have the time and money to travel to get to one. Well, there is a clinic about 1 1/2 hours away, but a university...that would be a 10-15 hour drive...IF there's one in Houston or Phoenix, only other big City between them is Albuquerque. There's a university there, with a hospital, but no veterinary facilities that I know of. As much as I hate "big city" congetstion, state of the art vet services is one advantage that I wish we shared!
Jennifer ~ I am glad that he is starting to feel better!! It sounds like he is starting to pick up again which is encouraging! I would remove the water at all costs even if you have to drag buckets of water out twice a day to your other horses and give them a drink and then take it away again I would do it. They will be fine with water twice a day for a while especially if your foals life is at stake. Hope all keeps going well for you!
Jennifer I also read in Blessed are the foals about the "Water drinking syndrome" and would follow others advice to remove water. It also suggest giving electrolytes. Best wishes for you and your baby!
thank you all for the advice. Foal is still nursing, refularly and often, and I'm milking mom every time I go out, hoping to help the milk come back in. I am able to get just less than 2 oz most settings....is this enough to sustain the baby? He refuses the goat milk now, and I worry that he's not getting enough from mom.
Also, he breaths really fast, and stays "droopy" most of the day, but every evening he seems to perk up and gets around alot more. It has not been rediculously hot....mid to high 80s. In the evenings it is much cooler and usually the winds die down, (was 50-60 mph winds today). Is it safe to assume that it is the heat that makes him breath so fast?
Jennifer... if he is nibbling grain you might try giving him some foal-lac pellets in a creep feeder just for an extra boost.
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