I want to start a new thread so everyone, especially us novices, can get the scoop on Seramune.
Given Paul's, Tim's and Jos's comments and Jos's article, "Failure of Passive Transfer in Foals," I discussed all with my wonderful veterinarian.
He told me not to follow the instructions on the bottle. He said to wait 8 hours, so the foal can get plenty of colostrum. Then give half a bottle.
He said the reason is twofold:
1. Gives the foal a chance to get colostrum from the mother, so it gets the antibodies specific to the locale.
2. Gets those local antibodies first, before the ability to absorb them starts slowing down. He said that once the foal has ANYTHING in its belly, even WATER, the signal to begin decreasing the foal's ability to absorb the anitbodies begins.
So waiting the 8 hours gives the foal a chance to nurse and get those goodies from Mom. As a precaution, or extra boost, the Seramune can be given. Give 1/2 bottle and repeat with the rest within a 24 hour period.
Oh, in addition, the stuff has to be kept refrigerated! So beware of that when ordering. I don't know how long it can be kept out, before it begins to break down.
Hope this is clear. It makes sense to me, so if anyone has questions I will try to clarify.
One last thing-my vet's advice will not cover all situations. So consult your own vet, of course. Certainly, if your foal cannot get colostrum for some reason, this is a different story. I'm not trying to advise anyone. I am just passing on what my vet's recommendations are.
Michelle, you must be getting it better than I, but I read both threads and still not sure. IS Seramune like Foal Response? I got a Foal Response JUST in case. Would it be OK to give it even if there's no problem just as a precaution? An experienced birther friend does, but my vet says hold off until tested. The vet did say just to go ahead and give the enema, though.
Would giving the Foal Response possibly too early like the Seramune possibly have the same problems?
That sounds like a decent plan, but what if the mares colostrum is very weak? You will then have 8 unprotected hours with dissipating absoption rates every hour.
I hate to introduce even more grey area here, but colostrum supplementation SHOULD intially be based on the quality of the mares colostrum, and then on the levels that are found when the foals IgG is tested 9-12 hrs after foaling. If the colostrum is very potent, supplementation will be useless but probably won't hurt if done in the time-frame you suggested. If the colostrum is marginal, then I agree with your time-frame. Let the foal get what it can from the mare then boost it a bit at 8 hrs.
However, if you are in a situation where your mare has dripped out all of her colostrum, has had fescue problems and been treated with domperidone, or is habitually a poor colostrum producer, it is important to get the good stuff in there before 8 hrs.
Again, I think any plan to supplement should initally be based on the quality and quantity of the mares colostrum at the time of foaling. Having the back-up stuff handy is a vital step to avoiding problems should they arise.
Hey there Tim. I'm sure you are absolutely right. This does get complicated, doesn't it? And to make matters worse, my vet will be out of town for a week. I told Jewel to wait, and she looked at me like I was nuts. I'm sure she was thinking, "What the #%@&%#? You really want me to hold onto this package for another full week!!! Are you out of you're *%&$@# mind?"
Anyway how do I know the quality of the colostrum? And I've tried to get some from around here without any luck. Any suggestions are appreciated.
It is suprisingly accurate and has taken a year of using it for me to be sold on it. Of course, being the obsessive record-keepers that we are, we put this thing to the test and found that it does in fact give some good insight into the overall quality of the mares colostrum.
We also do a visual and "sticky" test, if it dries very sticky to your fingers, it is likely good stuff. Good colostrum is also a little thicker than milk and a yellowish tint to it.
Our definitive test is run by the lab tech, I can't recall the name of the test, but it is a fairly simple clot/time test.
There's a very cheap way to test colostrum... Although this particular piece of equipment is not available in all parts of the world, but it is in the USA. One uses a small antifreeze tester such as is used in your car. The technique is detailed in this thread on the board, and more information can also be obtained by doing a search of the board for "antifreeze".
Seramune is NOT the same thing as Foal Response or Nursemate ASAP
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