please help, i think i must pts my foal - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 27 Old 07-21-2009, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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those are simular, but those can be fixed with surgery, when they operate to corredt displaced soft palate, they usually cut a bit off it, my foal is missing more than they remove, and so that is why there is a gap. I think (and not very clearly, as it is 1.30 am here in ireland) that i need to try get some sleep and hope some of the many vets i have emailed tonight can give me some more information tomorrow!
My poor little toby....i just wish i could fix it.
Fingers crossed we'll find a resolution....was gonna stick in a picture of him but cant figure out how....
thanks for allowing me bounce stuff off you!!!! you have been a big help......
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post #12 of 27 Old 07-21-2009, 08:55 PM
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post #13 of 27 Old 07-21-2009, 10:17 PM
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Well, it's good you're looking at this realistically. I agree that we humans tend to want to "fix everything" and we don't seem to realize how much worse we can do by an animal by trying to fix them.

I know it's hard, and I am so sorry you're in this position. If it was me personally, I'd likely put him to sleep. I couldn't stomach the thought of him suffocating slowly later in life. But I also tend to be a very anti-emotional person when it comes to these things. I have a good ability to set aside my feelings and do what is best for the animal. Lord knows it's hard as heck, but you seem to have a similair mentality and I think that's a good thing.

I'd definately say don't make any rash decisions, in either direction. Do your best to calculate exactly how worth it it is to save his life (both for your sake and his own) and try to make a decision from that.

I hope God tells her to smash her computer with a sledgehammer.

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post #14 of 27 Old 07-22-2009, 02:32 AM
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I'm sorry you and your sweet foal have to go through this. I can't offer any advice, as I really don't know what the prognosis is for him. I would ask my vet, "if this were your foal, what would YOU do?" They might not be able to answer that, but worth asking. I've had to do that with a dog before.
Anyhow, *hugs* good luck with him!
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post #15 of 27 Old 07-22-2009, 04:26 AM
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I don't have any advice to offer either as I have never had to deal with that but I just wanted to let you know that you have my support with whatever decision you make and my thoughts are with you and Toby. The only thing that keeps running through my head is that if you can keep him going until he is closer to grown, then they could maybe do surgery and use a prosthetic or something to replace the missing soft tissue. I just don't know and I am so sorry that you have to go through this. ((((HUGS))))

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post #16 of 27 Old 07-22-2009, 10:13 AM
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Years ago I had a colt born with a cleft palate. All of his soft palate was involved and 3 ridges of his hard palate.

I took him to the University of Guelph to be scoped and to be assessed for surgery

At 4 days of age, he had already aspirated a great deal of fluid into his lungs and even though he APPEARED to be a happy, bouncy, normal foal, the prognosis was very grave and they also advised that by morning, as pneumonia statred to set in, he could become a very sick foal very quickly

I then got on the phone and called the vet clinics at Davis, New Bolton, Colorado and Ilderton and each of those clinics said they had only ever done 1-2 cleft palate surgeries in 15-20 years. And none involved all of the soft palate and that much of the hard palate

All recommended euthanization

The success rate was less than 10%. The chances that more than one surgery would be required was more than 80% as the mouth/throat area is so vascular, once they made the incision to pull flaps of new skin over the openings, the flow of blood would impede their vision and they would vortually be sewing blind at that point and then they'd need to go in again in a few days time to make more corrections

Surgical costs and hospitalization costs were estimated to be in the $8000.00 - $15,000.00 range

*IF* he pulled through, no one could give me any estimation if he was going to be a pasture potato, if he could be ridden, if he would be prone to pneumonia and/or respiratory issues for the rest of his life

We made the decision to euthanize him and it broke my heart to lead away my heavily tranquilized mare, with him screaming in the background for her and me bawling my eyes out as we walked away ...

Thats reality and thats what you need to assess and face

A friend of mine purchased an older (3 year old gelding) with a cleft palate and I have no idea how extensive his was either

She did show him in the hunter ring and did field hunt with him and I think he is in his teens right now

Water continued to come through his nose when he drank. When he chewed his hay, hay slurry would come through his nostrils when his head was down eating. I believe that he was prone to sinus conditions off and on. But - he has thrived and appears happy and healthy into his teens as well

So there you have 2 completely opposite prognosis' and results and you really have to assess your guy and how bad his is in comparison, to know what is best for him

Good luck - at first glance because he has made it through this far, I would be inclined to think his level of cleft palate might be closer to the 2nd horse rather than to my colt

Let us know how he comes along and {{{HUGS}}}
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post #17 of 27 Old 07-22-2009, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
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thanks everyone. true colours, your poor baby, he was far more severe than my boy, but my boy is not a surgical possibility. I have spoken at length today with a specialist i found in england, who has seen several cases. the prognosis is that basically, however big the 'hole' in his palate is, it will never reduce, and will in all likely hood increase. It is quite possible that he will grow and learn to cope with his situation, but there is a far greater chance he will not.... as of this moment we are going to take it day by day and hour by hour. if he gets to 3 months and is healthy, then i wil wean him, and begin to learn how to manage him with solid feed...if he makes it to 1 year i will lightly lunge or long line him, to see if it will affect his going, although we would probably know that well enough if he goes for a gallop in the field. I will give him every opportunity i can, but i am going to let fate run it's course, as mother nature intended... but will obviously care for him and ensure he never is only now, 24 hours after the diagnosis, that i am beginning to admit to myself however, that i don't think he will make it. he is still not drinking enough today, the mare has milk flowing all i think if he continues to deteriorate by tomorrow then i will have to decide soon...he is quiet today, and although still trying to bite me and is playful, he is not himself, but, he did have a stressful day yesterday so i will see if he has perked up in the morning.....i'm not optimistic right now, thanks for your hlp and advice and support....i'm truely grateful...
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post #18 of 27 Old 07-22-2009, 08:49 PM
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BB - they can completely cover the hole. If they could with my colt, it sounds like they could with yours as well

But ... the risks are high, the costs are high to do so and the prognosis for having to go back in a 2nd time would probably be equally as high for your youngster as well

There were 2 choices - to go in mandibularily (where they would literally push his jaws apart underneath by pushing apart his cheek bones), or going in arthroscopically, by opening his mouth as wide as possible and basically cutting and suturing with a great deal of blood flow using a scope to check and see how they were doing.

What they were going to do with my colt was "peel" a section of skin from in behind the hole and then flip it forward and drape it across the hole and suture it in place and hope they got enough adhesion for it to stay in place and knit together. The peeled section in behind would heal normally and hopefully the front section covering the hole would heal at the same rate, and the same time

If he had aspirated too much fluid by the next morning, they would no longer risk putting him under as the anaesthetic could basically then kill him before they even got started on him

You have a lot to think about and a lot of things to weigh on both ends. Not least of all, do you have the money to even think about doing this level of surgery with him if it was offered to you?

Good luck and {{{HUGS}}} once again
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post #19 of 27 Old 07-26-2009, 06:06 PM Thread Starter
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hi everyone, thanks again for all your help, support and hugs!!!! Today i'm not so bad, but it's been real hard for the last two days. on Friday we had to put my little boy to sleep. I'm so sad, but i know i sis what i had to do for his sake. He'd been a bit quiet and was getting quiteer, he wasn't drinking enough and i couldn't get him to take any more food. He was coughing more, and then his joints started to swell, which meant infection. My poor boy was giving up too. He gave me so many kisses in the last day, i knew what i had to do. He was a really beautiful boy, and the sweetest foal i ever met, and i just couldn't see him suffer. Thanks again, i will stop being to full of tears soon i hope, but i know he is never going to suffer now. Even his momma came to terms with it really quick, so i guess she knew too. Here is a picture of my beautiful boy before he started to slip. Thanks again everyone for your support...
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post #20 of 27 Old 07-26-2009, 06:30 PM
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bb, I'm so sorry for your loss But he is in a better place now... **HUGS**

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