I found my 3 week old filly lying in the pasture yesterday in a paralyzed state. She was breathing, blinking her eyes, but that was it. She had not nursed for a while because the mare's udder was very full. When my vet arrived he told me the foal wasn't sick, she had a broken neck. Needless to say I was completely shocked considering she was lying in the middle of the pasture with nothing around her. I had to trust my vet's diagnoses, but without the visual proof of an x-ray to confirm it for me, I have a major case of the "what if's". I'm just wondering, is there an illness that can strike a foal in the matter of 8 hours or so that can cause paralysis? She was even unable to swallow, was totally non responsive to any stimulus anywhere on her body. I just can't help but feel like I put this filly down for no reason. That maybe she had an illness that could've been treated. I guess I'm just looking for some peace of mind. Any input is appreciated.
Posted on Saturday, May 04, 2002 - 10:46 pm:
Sandy, I`m so sorry to hear about your filly.How awful for you. Marylou
Posted on Saturday, May 04, 2002 - 10:50 pm:
Please accept my condolences. I am so sorry. I know that this experience must be devastating. Sorry, I can't help with suggestions of any possibilities. It would be interesting to know how the vet made his/her diagnosis. rick
Posted on Sunday, May 05, 2002 - 12:14 pm:
The vet made the diagnosis through the fact that there was absolutely no movement upon any sort of stimulation anywhere on the body. Her skin wouldn't even flinch. He even probed her sphincter and it didn't even pucker. Plus when he moved her head you could hear popping sounds. Plus he said he could feel the bones grinding in her neck. My husband even felt it where the vet showed him it was, I didn't want to. I just wish I would have had the security of an x-ray. Yes, this has been a devastating experience. I guess I never realized how fragile these little ones are. And the hard part about it is, she was exactly what I had hoped for too. A palomino Appaloosa with a full white blanket with palomino spots, and two white stockings and a big blaze. I don't think I can ever replace her. Thanks everyone for your condolences.
Posted on Friday, May 10, 2002 - 01:07 pm:
Sandy- So sorry for that experience that you just went through. Although situations like this are few and far between, when it happens to you it is all too real. You did the right thing. Thank god you were so observant, that you could relieve her in a short period of time.
You did what you had to, I hope that you get to enjoy having another baby one day.
She could have been kicked or run into the fence, even by the mother. These things can happen even with the best care and the best of mothers. A friend of mine was feeding her horses when she turned for a second to pick up a bucket. Right in front of her eyes, one horse kicked her other one directly between the eyes, dropping it dead right there. These things can happen and are so hard to reconcile. Good luck in the future.
Posted on Saturday, May 11, 2002 - 12:30 pm:
Kelly, Thank you for the condolences. I do have 2 other foals here at the present. One is 3 weeks old, the other 2 weeks old, and I am enjoying them as much as I can. I have to say though, I am being a mother hen over these two. I just find it so hard to believe that these babies are that fragile. I have had to put one foal down before at 2 weeks of age due to a broken knee, but the difference with that was, I saw the accident happen, and I saw the x-rays for the proof. With this one, I don't have a clue what happened, and there were no x-rays. But, so far, I have not heard of an illness that can strike a foal so quickly and have such a profound effect as to completely immobilize it. Although I keep searching to see if there is such an illness out there. The foal that died is the one I had spoken with you before about, the mare that was going way over due, late bag development, all that stuff. So that's another reason why this hit so hard. Thanks again.
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