dummy foal??

Discussion in 'Breeding Horses' started by megan, Aug 21, 2009.

  1. megan

    megan Well-known Member

    i was wondering what a dummy foal is?? and do they normally come good or not?

    sorry i just have know idea and love to learn
  2. ZaZa

    ZaZa Guest

  3. megan

    megan Well-known Member

    thanks for that it was really informative
  4. EVP

    EVP Gold Member

    The only saving grace is that dummy foals come in varying degrees....some are not so bad and others are at the other end of the scale. All will display signs of 'maladjustment'...that is they seem not to be active in the bonding process, have little or no suckling urge, walk around like they are blind and bumping into things, try to suckle posts/trees, and end up with breathing problems. At the worst they tremble and shake and have convulsions.
    Its scarey for owners.....If they don[t get colostrum they also then suffer from loss of antibodies which makes things worse.
    We've had 2. Both from STB mares and both foals were BIG. One was 11HH at birth (we called him Jerry Giraffe), he actually toddled around with his tongue sticking out....after his dramas, transfusions, and plenty of intensive care over 3 days he came good........well it co-insided with him sucking by himself which he did probably more than normal...he never seemed off the tit.

    I have heard that the majority of these "dummy foals" are big at birth....or bigger than normal....maybe its a loss of oxygen as they come through the birth canal where their little chests and lungs are compressed for too long, or something else.....but the lit doesn't seem to clarify just why it happens and how to prevent it.

    All we can do as breeders is be vigilent at the time of foaling and hope and pray.....oh yeah remind me why we do this again?
  5. ZaZa

    ZaZa Guest

    EVP - do dummy foals that survive suffer any long term affects ?
    Do they have and learning difficulties or behavioural (sp) issues later in life ?
    By that I mean learning difficulties or trouble integrating into a herd enviroment.
    I presume they're a little like premmy babies (not that they're born early or small) but they have to 'catch up'
    a little and once they do, you wouldn't pick any difference between them and a normal foal ?
    Did your 2 go on to race without issue ?

    *Apologies for all the questions :D *
  6. Noelle

    Noelle Gold Member

    I also did some googling and found this article:

    The Horse | Dummy Foals

    ZaZa - do dummy foals that survive suffer any long term affects ?

    This is at the end of the article:

    Foals exhibiting neonatal maladjustment syndrome usually recover. In most cases--90% or more--the foal develops normally into a mature horse and performs the same as his stablemates which were not afflicted with the syndrome.
  7. ZaZa

    ZaZa Guest

    Cheers for that Noelle :))
  8. TBPA

    TBPA Well-known Member

    Really severe ones usually die I have heard of some that people have kept alive for two weeks without the foal actually manging to stand up. It can be effective to open your wallet and infuse them with plasma. The mild 'silly'(fence post lovers etc) ones we've had showed no long term effects.
  9. It was our turn to experience a "dummy foal syndrome" .
    You all know that I am not a vet but a normal person like majority of you guys here. The only difference is because we breed more numbers, our chances of coming across breeding and foaling complications are higher.
    So I will try to describe in plain words what we'been through with our "dummy" filly.
    The mare started foaling at 4am, we went and pulled the filly out, she was a big foal (104 cm in withers). I ripped the bag off to free her nose as soon as we had a good grip on the front legs. We noticed that she wasn't in a hurry to get up, but a lot of big babies are slower than little ones. I always milk a mare when a foal is still on the ground to make sure it has enough colostrum to start with. I milked about 100 mls and managed to get it into the filly. When she got up at last ( 2 hours later) we noticed that she was drooling out of the mouth without a usual suckling reflex. Then she started purposelessly and randomly wandering around bumping into everything. We thought she might be blind. We had to confine her and the mare in the stall. Then she started fitting and convulsing, we realised that we had to take her to the vets asap and we went to Murdoch.
    If any of you in future see these signs, you should take a foal to Murdoch as soon as possible.
    What happens with dummy foals that their brain and organs get deprived of oxygen during birth and it causes them to shut down. One of the most important things is to prevent them from seizures. Otherwise they keep on convulsing, the temperature rises and they cook their brain. We had valium on hand but in a tablet form, so it was no way we could administer it to the foal that doesn't suckle or swallow.;) We managed to get her to Murdoch within 12 hours from birth. It is of a vital importance not to leave it any longer.
    The Murdoch vets put her on oxygen straight away, administered the drug that stopped her from seizuring, she is on fluids to prevent from dehidrating, on plasma transfusions and antibiotics for prevention of infections, So the poor girl is in 24 hour intensive care. We don't know if she pulls through or not but we gave her the best chance to survive (as we always do with our animals).
    I don't know if there would be any complications further on, she is the first foal with a "dummy syndrome" we have ever had. But as I say there is always a first time for everything, this year it was our turn.;)
    Keep your fingers crossed for her.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2009
  10. Sugar's Mum

    Sugar's Mum Gold Member

    good lcuk Lena. Hope she pulls through
  11. ASH lover

    ASH lover Well-known Member

    Oh Lena - I hope she gets through this..... it was good you were 'on to it' as quickly as you were at least you have given her the best chance of recovery.
  12. Wrangler Miss

    Wrangler Miss Well-known Member

    Mate ..... I am so very very sorry to hear! Mother nature can sometimes play cruel jokes!

    I am gald you shared this experience [now I will know to look for this in the future if I am every silly enough to try and breed again ..... doubt it *haha*] .... But I know what your going through with the uncertainty but know you have done everything possible and given her the best possible chance to start her life. If you were not there chances are she may not be with us today!

    I 'know' the vets will do everything they can .... she is one special foal .... You are right, to have a foal with this syndrome is really luck of the draw and you breed great amounts of mares each year so your percentages for complications are higher, doesn't mean your mare or stallion are any less as good, it just means that mother nature had a different path for your filly .... What Mother Nature doesn't know is that you have the best vets working on her round the clock to turn her in to the champion she was bred to be!

    I will be thinking of you Lena and your family and of course the mare and foal!

  13. WM:)
    I was told by the Murdoch crew that a "dummy foal" can happen to anyone any time. It could be a placenta not doing its job properly, it could be uterine infection (no obvious signs though and placenta was visually looking OK, I always check) etc It is not clear why it does occur:confused: it is like you said a luck of the draw. We are at higher risk due to higher numbers we breed.
  14. Pics Of The Just Born Filly





  15. Talkingshell

    Talkingshell Well-known Member

    Sorry it turned out to be a dummy foal BUT at least you both got them into Murdoch for the best care and treatment! Fingers crossed that it will all come out good on the other end. :)
  16. miniequine

    miniequine Well-known Member

    Sending all the luck and good wishes for that gorgeous little girl, love black horses and so hope she pulls thru. not just her colour tho, for you as she is your little dream filly, will send a little prayer for her and for all those fighting for her recovery. best wishes
  17. EVP

    EVP Gold Member

    Both our dummy boys.....well we actually called them 'wonkers' because of the way they wander around bumping into things. Jerry is turning 3 on Sept 1(STB birthday), he's still huge......and he will race later in the year. He is a very sociable fellow......the women love him. The other boy who we called Jeffery was probably worse than Jerry.....his mal-adjustment made him very naughty and it was like he was always making up for lost time....his mum seemed to know he was 'slow' and although she is a very business-like mare she seemed to tolerate his behaviour more than any of her other babies.

    They grew normally and each week seemed to get better.....after the dramas of course....and by yearling you wouldn't have known anything was amiss.
    Jeffery is a yearling now.......the only horse I have had here that I really don't like much....lolol The herd spoilt him by allowing him to eat out of everyones feed bin....thankfully all our mares are beautifully quiet and there is never a feed shortage.....we have never seen it where every other mare including 2 empty ones would share their feed with him!! He'd just wander over and eat with them and their foal......
    Anyway Jeffery annoys me...and he's very nippy.....god help the breaker and trainer when he arrives in a years time. Will he run.....OH and I have a bet on that.....If I win I get a new float!!! If he wins I get a new float!!
  18. Thanks for the best wishes,:) Miniequine, Shell and others**)
    thanks heaps EVP for all the info you gave us on dummy foals, it's helped us a lot to understand what's involved and what we have to deal with.**) I hope you'll get your new float either way!
    All we have is hope now.
    I might call the filly Hope (if she lives):)
    I had an update on her an hour ago, she is holding her own, still very medicated to prefent sesures, the gut function is better than it was in the morning, kidneys are stressed a bit, but there is urine in the bladder, her lungs are funcioning ok atm, her chance of survival is 30% at the moment.
    Last night I didn't think she'd live through the night.
    Thanks for positive vibes, phone calls and e-mails:)
  19. KC Quarter Horses

    KC Quarter Horses Gold Member

    I am keeping my fingers crossed for you & sending positive vibes hopeing your little girl pulls through with no adverse effects.
    She is at the best place she can be & you have done all you can.
    All the best :)
  20. EVP

    EVP Gold Member

    Gee mate all I did was scan the computer whie you were driving....lolol

    I "hope" Hope pulls through........sending as many positive vibes as I can muster.....Les showed me the pic on his phone and all I did was get teary....just be glad I'm all the way over here!!

    Luv ya

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