Hello all, I just lost a client's foal and I'm struggling to figure out why. Some history: Mare foaled on Saturday morning, myself and owner were there, maiden mare, pretty easy delivery. We treated umbilical immediately, I examined placenta, all was in order. Baby seemed normal, got up, nursed, passed manure. All was well. Initial blood test showed high numbers for colustrum. We were so excited. Next morning we notice baby seems to be trying to poo but isn't. Tail up alot but no results. Immediately, we call the vet. He takes more blood, we give enema. We finally get poop, gross yellow/orange stuff with the most horrible odor. She seems to get brighter and feel better. Blood work shows liver counts elevated and low white counts. We are watching her like a hawk, she is on Naxcel and Amikacin. She seems to be improving but her poo seems to smell worse and stays pretty runny. Tuesday morning she spikes a fever, heart rate is 160, and she is have a hard time breathing. Off to New Bolten Center we go. She seems to go up and down - they call and tell us she is improving and then call and say she isn't. They discover she has a bad pneumonia, she is on oxygen, steriods and more anitbiotics. This morning they call to say she is crashing and we give the ok to put her down. They had taken her off the mare's milk the first day at the hospital to rest her digestive tract and when they let her nurse again, she again became colicy.
Could this baby have been allergic to the mare's milk? We asked about this when we arrived at the hospital and were told it doesn't happen but I'm now hearing that it does. I came here because I know I'll get real answers. Any insight anyone could offer would be appreciated.
Don't confuse neonatal isoerythrolysis with "allergy to milk". NI results in the foal's white blood cells destroying it's own red blood cells, and certainly is a condition that exists. It may be that people that are telling you that foals can be allergic to the mare's milk are referencing (perhaps unbeknownst to them) NI. This condition results in a jaundiced foal and would have been picked up at New Bolton I am sure.
What did the autopsy show? My guess from what you describe is that you had a case of neonatal septicaemia.
Thanks Jos. We don't have the autopsy results yet. I'm just sick that we lost this foal who seemed so healthy in the beginning and want to learn whatever I can from it so hopefully it won't happen again.
Cindy, I am really sorry for the lost colt. It is so sad to hear about losing a foal, but as you said, we come on this site to learn and if you didn't post, we would not have had an opportunity to learn.
Again, I am sorry for your loss.
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