Mare & her foal

Mare and foal – a bitter sweet story from Caddy vets.

An owner on return from Balmoral show found his mare lying dead on the floor and a newborn foal wondering around. Although the mare was cold, the owner pulled whatever milk he could, not knowing whether the foal had suckled or not. The owner made every effort to save the much anticipated, well-bred foal.

Initially, a bottle of artificial colostrum was given, then some colostrum from another newly foaled mare was stolen to ensure that the new orphaned foal received as much nutrients as possible with 6-12 hours after being born.

Then began the long days and nights of feeding every 2 hours with artificial foals milk.

For more information on artificial foals milk click here

The search for plasma

Then began the discussion of plasma administration between the vet from Caddy vets and the owner. The discussion then led to two possible options, should we receive it fresh through a blood transfusion or receive it in it’s frozen form.

The owner following extensive research found the one and only bag of frozen plasma available in Northern Ireland. A successful transfusion took place on this now 48 hour old foal, which was easily worked with due to the amount of human interaction it had received. Against all odds the foal continued to prosper.

Another loss

The owner continued to suffer, as one of his other mare’s foal had severely broken its leg, which necessitated euthanasia. What appalling luck and yet the question was immediately apparent, could we swap the orphaned foal on to the poor mother. So, with a combination of blind folds and sedatives, the foal was introduced, and amazingly it worked.

Out of the ashes of disaster, came a great pair bonded – mare and foal.

For more information on colostrum, plasma and the benefits of their administration click here