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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Horse Veterinarian
Category: Horse Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 1204
Experience:  Board Certified Equine Surgeon, Lameness and Sports Medicine Specialist DVM, BSc
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My problem is similar to the one stated by Shiralee. My mare

Customer Question

My problem is similar to the one stated by Shiralee. My mare foaled approximately 36 hours ago she has not nursed inspite of repeated attempts on her part she touches the teats but does not suck she will not accept milk from a baby bottle with variety of nipples. and she will not lick milk out of a bowel. I have been in continuous contact with my vet throughout the day and he says unless I am willing to spend countless dollars on IVs there is not much he can do. I have tried it all with my bottle and physical attempts with the help of several skilled horseman. We are all without an answer. At 36 hours the foal has a lot of energy and fight left. Any suggestions...
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Strange behavior is often perplexing. I'm sure the Veterinarian can help you. What is the horse's name?
Customer: The vets suggestion is expensive IV's for several days at the local vet clinic. Which one can expect to spend 3 to 5 thousand dollars. And still no assurance that the foal will survive...
JA: Anything else I can tell the Veterinarian before I connect you two?
Customer: no
JA: I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Horse Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi,So sorry to hear about the trouble you are having with your foal. Can you tell me a little more about the foal so I can see if there is something else that can be done.1. Is the foal able to walk around? Does she do so without help?2. Did you milk the mare? Did you do so right after she foaled?3. Can you open the mouth and see if there is an overbite of the jaw? Are the ears floppy?4. Can you get a temperature on the foal?Looking forward to your reply...
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
yes the foal is very energetic she runs without hesitation
I did milk the mare she has plenty of milk
she does not have an overbite the ears are forward and alert
does not have a high temperature
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Ok - Thanks for the additional information. This all sounds very positive. I think the foal is getting some of the milk that you are giving and likely (hopefully) she is actually getting some from the mare when she is left to find the teat and suckle from the mare. I would encourage her to suckle from the mare as much as possible. They usually figure it out pretty quick once they find the teat properly. It doesn't sound like the foal has any signs of infection but you need to keep a close eye on the temperature - anything over 101.5 F, then take it seriously as we don't know for sure that your foal got the initial colostrum she needs. That brings me to the next step that you could take - that would be to get a IgG snap test done (this is a test that looks for the levels of colostrum antibodies that she would have gotten). If this test is too low then you would need to consider those expensive options but if she stays healthy then you could avoid all of that. The test should be pretty cheap (<$100) and will give you significant piece of mind regarding the possibility of losing this foal to a common infection within the next 7-14 days. Overall, the prognosis should be good but without a actual exam by a veterinarian, then one cannot say for sure. Hope this is helpful. All the best and enjoy your new foal!