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Orphan Foal Management. Feeding & Caring of the Orphan Foal. Sarah VandenBussche. Saun Bratton. Two Goals…. Instill in you the basic information on how to care for and treat a recently orphaned foal (on-farm situation)

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orphan foal management

Orphan Foal Management

Feeding & Caring of the Orphan Foal

Sarah

VandenBussche

Saun Bratton

two goals
Two Goals…
  • Instill in you the basic information on how to care for and treat a recently orphaned foal (on-farm situation)
  • Guide you on how to help owners with continued orphan foal care (feeding, general care, and socialization)
what we will cover
What we will cover…
  • “The first 24 hours”
  • FPT: testing for & treatment
  • Milk replacers
  • Feeding program
  • Expected growth rates
  • General care & owner
  • recommendations
  • Serious medical problems
causes of an orphan foal
“Causes” of an Orphan Foal
  • Mare sickness (colic, colitis, infectious dz)
  • Poor milk production
  • Injury or dz of mare’s udder (laceration,
  • mastitis)
  • Mare death (ruptured uterine artery during
  • parturition, euthanasia)
the first 24 hours
“The First 24 Hours”
  • THE MOST IMPORTANT!!!
  • Make sure foal receives a sufficient amount of colostrum
  • 250ml every hour for the first 6 hours after birth, or…
  • 2-3L total divided into 3 to 4 doses, given at hourly intervals
failure of passive transfer
Failure of Passive Transfer
  • In horses, defined as serum IgG<200 mg/dl at 24 hours of age
  • Incidence varies from 2.7% to 24%
  • * Most insurance companies now require documentation of adequate passive transfer of immunity before the foal can be insured!
testing for f p t
Testing for F.P.T.
  • radio immunodiffusion
  • -latex agglutination
  • * enzyme immunoassay test (CITE), can be done stall-side
  • - an IgG level >800 mg/dl is considered protective
colostrum
Colostrum
  • Should be “thick & sticky” with a SG>1.060, (corresponds to an IgG concentration >3000mg/dL)
  • Collect from mares after foaling when a sufficient amount is present, (200 to 500ml can be milked without compromising antibody passage to the foal)
  • Should be frozen for saving
  • Shelf-life of 1 year
feeding program 2 options
Feeding Program… 2 Options
  • *Once sufficient immune protection has been established!
  • Nurse mare or goat?!
  • Manually feed (bottle or bucket)
  • feed 10% of foal’s weight at day 1 and increase
  • to 25% from day 10 through weaning
milk replacers
Milk Replacers
  • commercially available replacers (“Foal Lac”)
  • homemade recipes should only be used for a
  • short period of time, when a commercial
  • replacer is unavailable
  • fresh cow’s milk (whole) should be avoided
  • (2X’s fat and only 2/3 sugar content of mare’s
  • milk, causes loose stools)
homemade formulas
Homemade Formulas
  • 4oz evaporated milk, 4oz
  • warm water, 1tsp white corn
  • syrup
  • 8oz of 2% cow’s milk, 1 tsp
  • white corn syrup
slide13

Orphaned Foals

  • Expected growth rates
  • General care
  • Serious medical problems
expected growth rates
Expected Growth Rates
  • Orphaned foals under management
  • 30 days old
    • smaller in size
    • slower growth rate

-

  • 180 days old
    • no difference in wither height
    • only a slight difference in weight
expected growth rates continued
Expected Growth Rates Continued
  • WITH PROPER MANAGEMENT
    • no long term effects on mature size of foals
  • WITH IMPROPER MANAGEMENT
    • growth may be stunted
general care information for owners
General Care Information for Owners
  • MONITOR! MONITOR! MONITOR!
  • Illnesses in foals are often vague
  • KNOW NORMAL PARAMETERS!
  • Dramatic changes in health can occur quickly
  • Don’t “wait and see”
  • Any ill foal is an emergency!
normal parameters
Normal Parameters
  • Body Temp: first 4 days, 99-102 degrees Fahrenheit
  • HR: first 5 minutes, 70 bpm
  • Resp. Rate - first 15 minutes, 60-80 br/m
  • - then 20-40 br/m
  • First urination - avg. 8.5 hours after birth
  • - colts earlier than fillies
  • - First stool: within 24 hours
slide18

Normal Parameters, Continued

  • Righting Reflex: established within 5 minutes
  • Suckling Reflex: established within 30 minutes
  • Attempts to Stand: within 1-2 hours
  • Ability to Stand Unassisted: within 1-3 hours
  • Time to Nursing: avg. 2 hours (range of 35-420 min)
general care
General Care
  • Provide dry, clean,
  • warm environment
  • During cold weather:
  • -heat lamp set at 68 degrees
  • -down vest
  • When stronger, turn out
  • into pasture for exercise
general care continued
General Care, Continued
  • Rear orphan foal with:
  • -another orphan foal
  • -pony/horse/nurse mare or goat
  • Encourages socialization
  • Reduces behavioral problems
general care continued21
General Care, Continued
  • Best overall care: Nurse Mare
  • - Mare must have good disposition
  • - DO NOT leave nurse mare and foal unattended until foal is accepted by mare
  • - May need to tranquilize mare
serious medical problems
Serious Medical Problems
  • Neonatal Maladjustment Syndrome (NMS)
  • Septicemia
  • Failure of Passive Transfer
  • Ruptured Bladder
neonatal maladjustment syndrome
Neonatal Maladjustment Syndrome
  • NMS: used to describe a variety of behavioral disturbances
  • NMS is also called…
        • “Barkers”
        • “Dummies”
        • “Wanderers”
nms continued
NMS Continued…
  • Noninfectious
  • Due to hypoxia?
  • Due to difficult birth?
  • Seen within first 24 hours of birth
signs of nms
Signs of NMS
  • Loss of suckling reflex
  • May appear blind
  • Teeth grinding/chomping
  • Abnormal vocalization,
  • similar to a barking dog
  • Anisocoria
  • Low body temperature
  • Jerky, stiff movements
  • Seizures/paddling
  • Abnormal respiration
  • Coma, death
treatment of nms
Treatment of NMS
  • Control seizures
  • Maintain body temp., hydration, electrolytes,
  • acid-base balance, and blood glucose
  • Oxygen therapy
  • Broad spectrum antibiotics
  • Prognosis: good if not also septic
  • Recovery 2-7 days
septicemia
Septicemia
  • High cause of death in neonates (one-third of all
  • foal fatalities)
  • A TRUE EMERGENCY!
  • Again, foal may appear normal but may
  • deteriorate within hours
septicemia continued
Septicemia, Continued…
  • Primary routes of infection
      • Respiratory tract
      • GI tract
      • Umbilical cord/placenta
  • Usually Gram neg. bacteria
      • E. coli, Klebsiella, Enterobacter,
      • Actinobacillus, Pseudomonas
signs of septicemia
Signs of Septicemia
  • - See previous 10 signs of
  • NMS
  • Cyanotic or bright red MM
  • Hemorrhages in oral MM
  • Blood shot eyes
  • High HR and RR
  • Respiratory Distress
  • Severe depression
  • Unable to rise or arouse
  • Diarrhea
  • Straining to defecate
  • Colic
treatment for septicemia
Treatment for Septicemia
  • Intensive care/close monitoring
  • Should be taken to a hospital
  • - Oxygen
      • IV nutrition
      • Assisted ventilation
      • Broad spectrum antibiotics
      • NSAIDs
  • - IV fluids
nms and septicemia
NMS and Septicemia
  • May appear similar
  • Do CBC and blood chemistry panel
      • NMS foal, normal results
      • Septic results, abnormal results

- Treatment is very similar

conclusion
Conclusion
  • First 24 hours is most important!
  • Ensure adequate colostrum intake
  • KNOW NORMAL PARAMETERS
  • MONITOR! MONITOR! MONITOR!
references
References
  • Equine Clinical Neonatology, Anne M. Koterba, et all,
  • c1990, Lea & Febiger, U.K., pp. 4-5, 9, 11, 71, 74-81,
  • 275-290, 302-303, 482, 627, 631-635, 639-641,
  • 730-731, 735-744, 772-773, 777-778.
  • http://www.horses-etc.com/Foals.shtml
  • http://www.ianr.unl.edu/pubs/horse/q1237.htm
  • Merck Veterinary Manual, Eighth edition, c1998,
  • Merck & Company, Inc., New Jersey, p. 1595.