Thought some of you might be interested in what my vet said about my little guy and to update you on his condition.
Born Tues. 1:00 AM. Trouble nursing. Did not get first half bottle of Seramune until about 17 hours later and didn't get the second half until Wed. morning. Next day his IgG was only 400; borderline for plasma transfusion. Vet did not recommend the transfusion or not. Just said to watch close and if any sign of infection, including limping, call and we would do the plasma transfusion then.
Tonight, he is almost a week old and is very robust. Runs, kicks up his heels and so on. A vet who came to see other livestock told me that since he has passed the 72 hour critical period, he would probably be okay. It can take 2 months for him to build his own antibody level to normal. She said he is okay because:
72 hrs. passed within which time they can go down VERY quickly. Horses are not coming and going on the property. The nearest horse is at least a hundred feet away, in another pasture. He did have a level of at least 400. His mama had been vaccinated (in this case about 40 days before birth) She advised against giving antibiotics as a precaution because it can cause diarrhea, which is a real problem for newbies.
For those of you who are novices, please don't get the idea that one can be casual about it all. It could have just as easily have gone the other way for me and I'd be posting on the "when things go wrong" thread. And of course, he is still compromised. I will be watching him very closely for any sign of illness. But if I had it to do over, I'd get the transfusion probably. Of course, I'd have done things differently, such as given the Seramune within the first few hours, one way or another, earlier.
As far as a dummy foal, these are his progress notes: He knows where the groceries are now and doesn't annoy his mother looking for the goods. He no longer lets his tongue hang out the side of his mouth. He has learned to lay down with little hesitation, as opposed to having to relearn each time. He still has trouble with understanding those things called gates. Sometimes he will follow mama, but if he gets on the wrong side when she goes in, he may stand at the side of the stall and doesn't really seem to notice, unless I move toward him. Then mama calls for him and he runs inside.
So, there is hope. I think he will eventually be fine. He runs and kicks and rears up to his poor mama. Anyway, just thought I'd pass on what I've learned. Sending good foaling vibes to everyone still waiting!
Sounds like things are going as well as can be expected CJ.. Don't worry too much about the gate stuff, that's pretty normal for even the brightest foals.
The one piece of advice I would offer is that if you are going to let a 400 IgG ride, then insist on running a CBC, or at least a white count and total plasma protien. A normal TPP with a 400 IgG can be OK. If the TPP is low though, you may be headed for trouble.
Oh my stars, CJ! I somehow missed all this about your new little one (haven't been here much, getting ready for what looks like 2 geriatric mares to foal at once!) I'm sorry your mare had such a time and your baby is going through all this. I just hoped you'd have a nice, uncomplicated momma and baby! I agree with what Samantha said.....he could be the best one yet....dummy foal care has come a long way in the past few years it seems, as more is known about them! You were so very prepared.....but when Mother Nature has a different idea of how things should be, it is something we have to deal with until we can get the best possible outcome for the foal. I'm glad that he is here, though....now you can put part of your worry to rest!
Thanks Samantha. I'm sorry I don't recall; did you get a "dummy foal" this year? Obviously you've had some expereince with them. And Bobbi said the same thing as you did about them being special foals that win our hearts.
Beth, thank-you. You put my thoughts into better words than I could have!
And, next time, I WILL have someone available who can help me, one way or another. And I knew I had some leeway in terms of hours to give the Seramune. I tried to milk my mare, but she was having none of it. The placenta was still in her, poor dear.
Then my neighbor came to help and he was nursing a little by the time the vet got there at about 9:00 AM. She gave oxytocin and my mare passed the placenta after that.
The vet felt the foal would be okay too. We thought he would soon get better at it, but that was a long-long day for me, waiting for her to get off work, because I knew he wasn't getting enough from his mama and he needed the Seramune.
So the first half of the Seramune wasn't given when he was about 17 hrs. old and the second half the next morning. But I have sure learned a lot from this experience, and so far, my little fella is okay.
Tim, I just left a message with the vet's tech. and he is going to call me back this evening. What you said sounds very logical to me. I thought there must be some way to monitor his condition, other than just observation. Thanks!
I had one two years ago, I didn't own him at that time, but I was kind of interning at the breeding farm where he was born. I was with him from the moment he was born, and purchased him at 4 months old. Now a two year old colt, he is truely very special
Cj: Sounds like good news for you! Isn't it so funny how these different vets have different ideas. Mine would rather take the chance with the 10 day antibiotic program and he is basically "un-phased" with diarrhea issues. I was a vet tech for many years and I always used to tease my two vets that they drove me crazy because they both had such different methods and philosophys on treatment. I always had to stop and think about who's patient was who's before I asked questions or did anything...hahaha!
I have a post going under another heading regarding my premature foal. A colt. Foaled 3 weeks ago. He was foaled around 1:40 am and though he had a suck reflex, he couldn't quite get the hang of 'latch and hold'. The mare was being really nasty, so I decided to go to bed at 3 and hope for the best when I got up.
Went to the barn at 6 am to find the foal still hadn't nursed. Milked the mare and fed the foal some. Worked with him all morning with no luck. To make a long story short, I ended up taking the mare and foal to the vet hospital to get him nursing that afternoon, run an IgG and do a plasma transfer if necessary.
Two plasma transfers later and two hospital stays, the foal is now suffering from a joint infection/septicemia. However, he is making improvement and with any luck (and the right antibiotics) he may be ok.
He had complete failure of transfer. Less than 200. The first plasma transfer done when he was 3 days old brought his level up to 530. And he was sent home. I didn't feel that was high enough and took him back for another. The second transfer brought him over 900.
In hindsight, I would have had a vet out to tube him with colostrum or Seramune before he was 12 hours old. We might not be in the predicament we are in now if I had.
Good luck with your foal. I hope he does well and you can put all of this behind you!
Thank-you Becky. Wow, that is quite a story. I agree with you though; better to tube the little guy if necesary to get it in. But your persistance paid off! Sounds like he'll be fine now. Sorry he got an infection. Seems like the plasma trqansfusion ought to have taken cafre of thrat.
Let us know what happens, okay?
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