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Breeding Horses Thread, dummy foal?? in Horses and Ponies; i was wondering what a dummy foal is?? and do they normally come good or not? sorry i just have ...
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Old 21-08-2009, 11:22 AM   #1
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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
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Old 21-08-2009, 11:51 AM   #2
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I wondered that same thing after reading Coliban's thread so I did some googling.
I found this .....

Cyberhorse Guide to Horse Health - The "Dummy" Foal

Hope the link is ok MODS. If not I apologise and please delete.
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Old 21-08-2009, 12:39 PM   #3
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thanks for that it was really informative
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Old 21-08-2009, 12:44 PM   #4
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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?
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Old 21-08-2009, 01:00 PM   #5
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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 *
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Old 21-08-2009, 01:08 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 21-08-2009, 01:19 PM   #7
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Cheers for that Noelle
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Old 21-08-2009, 01:20 PM   #8
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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.
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Old 21-08-2009, 01:51 PM   #9
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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.
lena
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Last edited by Coliban Quarter Horse Stud; 22-08-2009 at 09:25 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 21-08-2009, 01:57 PM   #10
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good lcuk Lena. Hope she pulls through
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