Early Medical Attention
Early Medical Attention and Common Diseases.
Early Medical Attention and Common Diseases. Observation is your most important weapon against disease and emerging problems. It is very important that in a short time you learn about your foal’s character, his movements, and its activity routine. Changes in routine (feeding, running, sleeping too much) can mean an infection is starting or something else is wrong. It is also very important for you and anybody else who will interact with it later on in his life to visit, play, talk and most of all have physical contact with the foal. A bond of trust and love established at an early age is forever.
Be aware of these possible problems:
Diarrhea. It is uncommon in a newborn foal and must be taken care immediately to avoid dehydration and possible death. Two weeks after birth it is normal for the foal to suffer from diarrhea for a few days due to a parasite it gets from its mother’s mammary glands. This diarrhea is called “ mare’s foal heat”. It will usually go away in a few days. If they persist, immediate medical attention is necessary. The scoured areas on the foal’s butt should be washed with warm water and mild soap and covered with petroleum jelly to avoid scalding.
Limb Weakness or Angular Deformity. These include, but are not limited to, knuckling of the fetlock joint, weak pasterns, and crooked legs. Normally they will disappear as the muscles in its legs develop and the bones harden and gain resistance. If they don’t your veterinarian will recommend the procedures to follow to correct them.
Hernias. A hernia is a piece of intestine that kind of sticks out under the skin, it is like a ball or a lump. They usually happen in the naval and scrotum areas. If they are small, there is nothing to worry about, they should disappear on their own, and if it is large surgery may be necessary to remove it. Again, your veterinary doctor will determine the procedures to follow.
Entropion. The eyelids and eyelashes are turned inwards, towards the eye instead of towards the outside. This irritates the eye and may damage its surface. The first thing to do is gentle, wearing sterile gloves, roll the eyelids out. Your veterinarian will recommend the treatment you must apply to keep the eyes clean and moist while the condition subsides.
Neonatal Isoerythrolysis. This is a serious condition where the mare’s blood is incompatible with the foal’s blood. The mare produces antibodies which enter into the foal’s blood stream through the colostrum and kill the foal’s red blood cells weakening it. If not treated promptly will lead to anemia and possibly death. Your veterinarian will also know how to treat this.
Persistent Urachus. When the foal is still in the womb, urine passes through a special structure into the placenta. When it is born and the umbilical cord breaks. Normally this structure seals itself and there are no more problems. For the first few weeks after birth, it is important for you to feel the stump and make sure that it is dry and closed. The presence of urine may cause infections and many problems. If moisture is detected you must call your veterinarian so he can cauterize the stump and make sure it is perfectly sealed and closed.
Keep in contact with your veterinarian since other problems may occur.