Hi, I need all the advise I can get, this is our first pony and the vet care near where we live isn't great for horses/ponies. It seems on Friday(2 days ago, foal 9 days old) my dad noticed that the foal couldn't stand, it seemed/seems she can get her back legs to function, we found her in a sitting position and trying to get up by using her front legs. Foal feeds well, but as she can't get to her mum atm, we are making sure she is feeding off her (nursing her), by holding her etc... The bedding we are using is plenty of hay. My main concern is we managed to find a vet, friday evening, he carried out a few tests and the foal seems to still have feelings in her back legs, just not able to use them really. the vet injected her on her neck, within the muscle, he said this would help the pain and swelling (she had another injection saturday and due her last one today), the vet said its the foal nervous system, I am a bit worried as we still need to hold her up and not seen much of an improvement, my dad reckons when he's holding the foal her balance is a bit better. But her legs at the back seem to cross for a better word, we are also massaging her back legs & encourging her to walk again by holding her up. Also read to apply heat to her inner thighs, will this help? Anything else is appreicated as we are worried. Thanks
There are a number of possible causes for ataxia such as you describe, ranging from brain damage owing to oxygen depravation during foaling ("hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy" aka "dummy foal syndrome") through to neurological issues caused by injury or a congenital condition.
Probably the best thing you can do is to have the foal evaluated by a specialist such as you might find at your nearest Veterinary Teaching University and probably the sooner the better.
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