3-Week-Old Colt Down and Wont Get Up! Please Help! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 01-03-2011, 08:22 PM Thread Starter
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Unhappy 3-Week-Old Colt Down and Wont Get Up! Please Help!

Sorry to introduce myself through this thread, but I'm really freaked out right now and could use some advice! I've searched the forum for the word paralyzed and found just one thread that was similar, and it had a bad outcome.

Rebel is a 3-week-old colt. He began walking strangely yesterday and collapsed seemingly out of nowhere. He is in the barn now laying on a comfy bed of hay. He wouldn't take a bottle last night, my mom stayed with him in the barn until nearly morning. She stayed home from work today and tried to feed him with little success. Tonight it took me and my wife 3 hours to get him to drink a water bottle full of formula.

Two vets have come by so far. One suspected sepsis, but Rebel isn't running a fever and his white blood cell count is normal. The other thinks that it is a trauma injury, but in running my hands along his spine and elsewhere, he doesn't react to pain. There are no bumps or lacerations either.

He isn't totally paralyzed, he struggles to avoid the bottle by kicking his back legs. He tries to get up, but can't. We helped him up a couple of times and he goes straight to his mother who has been watching over him in the barn. He will suckle for a moment and lose his strength, bowing his head and collapsing.

I am driving back over here tomorrow to feed him in the morning and see if he has gained any strength and can stand any longer. I will post a video tomorrow. Thanks for any advice you can give me.

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post #2 of 16 Old 01-03-2011, 08:28 PM
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Wow, that has to be scary. Were his pulse, heart rate, capillary refill time all normal? The gum color shows alot in terms of shock and such. Perhaps this little guy is not able to absorb some important nutrients from his mother's milk? Either that or the mother is producing something toxic? Did they test her milk? Sorry I can't be of more help. I'll cross my fingers for the little guy.

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post #3 of 16 Old 01-03-2011, 08:33 PM
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Sounds like you need a vet who will get to the bottom of it; it doesn't sound good, I'm sorry to say. I have no idea what could be the cause, but a foal being down and not able to get back up is not good. Are his muscles spasaming? Is his dam in the stall with him?

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post #4 of 16 Old 01-03-2011, 08:33 PM
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No help here, but prayers your way.
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post #5 of 16 Old 01-03-2011, 09:13 PM
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Is there any chance when he was born that the cord snapped too early? ie short cord? Sometimes this can cause a back-flow of fluid to the brain. Has he ever had coordination problems, especially in the front end? We had a few with this issue and we thought they were gonners but were successfully treated with DMSO jugs and LOTS of veterinary care. If possible, keep trying to feed this foal on a very frequent basis. I would even suggest on an hourly/ every other hour schedule like e newborn baby.

Good luck - hope he is OK!

~Lindsay~ Mom of 2, wife to the goldsmith, doula and childbirth educator in training, life-long horse dork
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post #6 of 16 Old 01-03-2011, 09:32 PM
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I had a weanling that slipped on some ice one winter and couldn't get up. I was going to shoot her but thought I would have the vet come out to take a look. He gave her some IV fluids and some anti-inflammatory shots. gave her a shot the next morning and she still couldn't get up. I came back that afternoon with a rifle prepared to put her down. She tried valiantly to get up so I helped her a little and she stood. I gave her another shot and repeated it the next day as well. She never had another bad episode.

The vet said that when she fell she pulled a muscle and it hurt to get up so she stayed down and got cold and stiff. Then she couldn't get up. When he gave her some pain killer and anti-inflammatory and maybe a muscle relaxer it allowed her to get up with little pain. I can't believe you have had two vets look at the horse and they haven't done anything. That is just laziness on thier part. Try to find a vet that is a little hungrier.

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post #7 of 16 Old 01-03-2011, 09:46 PM
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I don't have any advice but I wanted to send prayers and well-wishes your way. I hope the little guy pulls through. My foal has had several health issues since he was born and I know how stressed and emotional I was when he had problems. So I really feel for you and I sure hope he makes it!
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post #8 of 16 Old 01-03-2011, 11:16 PM
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Meningitis maybe?

You think the vets would have at least tubed him and put an IV in.

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post #9 of 16 Old 01-04-2011, 07:30 AM
Green Broke
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How is he today?
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post #10 of 16 Old 01-04-2011, 07:41 AM
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Poor baby! Prayers coming your way.....Not sure where you are, but I guess I am fortunate to have an equine hospital within a couple of hours....That would be the best scenario.

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paralyzed colt

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