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Everyone loves a good story right? Well we have a great one to share with you about a new born foal that came into our clinic for our help. Liz Wilson, from Oakleaf Farm, brought in the new born after a red bag delivery. Dr. Orr and our veterinary technicians worked very hard and were able to save this little foal! Here is his story:


At only 24 hours of age Contentious Point presented to Peterson and Smith Equine Hospital. During delivery the mare’s placenta separated prematurely from the uterus and exited the birth canal with the foal (red bag delivery), as a result, there was reduced oxygen delivery to the foal during parturition. Although the foal was initially able to stand and nurse, he became more lethargic through out the day. Dr. Riggs came to the farm and started the foal on intravenous antibiotics and anti-inflammatories; however, due to the foal’s increasing lethargy, he was referred to the hospital.


Because Contentious Point had decreased oxygen delivery at birth, the foal was suffering from Peripartum Asphyxia Syndrome. Clinical signs of this syndrome can be present either at the time of birth or within 24-48 hours after foaling. As the name implies, this syndrome is due to a lack of oxygen either in utero or during parturition. This lack of oxygen affects all organs, especially those that have increased oxygen needs such as the brain, gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, and liver.


At admission, Contentious Point was unable to stand and was carried to his stall on a blanket. The foal was immediately started on intravenous fluids, oxygen supplementation, and continued on the antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. Because he was too weak to nurse, a nasogastric tube was placed and the foal was fed through this tube. During the night, Contentious Point’s condition declined and he started having seizures. The foal was then placed on a continuous rate infusion of anti-seizure medication. By the morning, the seizure activity had decreased and the foal seemed brighter. The veterinary technician’s worked round the clock with Contentious Point, turning the foal and encouraging him to stand every 2 hours, in addition to administering his long list of medications. With each passing hour the foal seemed to grow stronger and by the third day he was able to stand on his own with minimal assistance. Eventually, Contentious Point was weaned off of the oxygen and his feeding tube was removed once he started nursing from the mare. Although he would have to remain on intravenous antibiotics for a few weeks, at the time of discharge Contentious Point was bright, alert, and learning how to run laps in his stall.


Contentious Point is doing great now! He is such a wonderful horse who is so full of energy and totally loves life! He is very friendly and because of this, now associates humans as friends. Due to his friendly nature, his nickname around the farm is Buddy. Be sure to be on the lookout for Contentious Point to be hitting the headlines in the near future!

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