4 week old colt doesn't look like he is going to make it: seeking tips/advice - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 115 Old 06-01-2012, 03:13 PM Thread Starter
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4 week old colt doesn't look like he is going to make it: seeking tips/advice

A month ago we rescued a mare and colt from slaughter the night he was born. We think she was a brood mare who had little to no interaction with people. My fiancee hasn't had a horse in years and this is my first.

The colt has had troubles breathing for a little over a week now. We gave him 3 days of shots, 10cc's each but, did not see any improvement in his breathing so we discontinued the shots as the mare is unfriendly and it was a major hassle to get them separated. He had been maintaing high energy and playfullness but, today he is wheezing more than before and is very listless. He would not stand up for quite a while when I was trying to let them out of the barn. He is now up and is following the mare around but, he sounds just awful and appears very week and disoriented.

Any tips/ideas on what this is and how we can help him? We have spoken to a vet who stated that he must have an upper respiratory problem but, what are we supposed to do? I do not want to stand by and watch him die. I want my playful little buddy back.
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post #2 of 115 Old 06-01-2012, 03:19 PM
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Call the vet out to examine the colt. Let them do the treating. Hopefully it isn't to late. The vet can prescribe the needed antibiotics depending on what the colt needs. I understand you don't want to lose him, so call the vet.....

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post #3 of 115 Old 06-01-2012, 03:22 PM
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The vet needs to come out and see the little guy first hand, pronto. Sounds to me like he may have developed something more serious than an upper respiratory infection.
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post #4 of 115 Old 06-01-2012, 03:32 PM
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Is there any nasal discharge? Even if there isn't, it could be pneumonia. Here is a link which may be helpful to you:

Pneumonia In Horses

I hope a vet can come out to examine him. With or without more antibiotics, I think if you can introduce some microbials into his feed and give him some extra supplements to boost his little system, he sounds like a fighter who can pull through it.
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post #5 of 115 Old 06-01-2012, 03:38 PM
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What did you inject, who advised you to do so and has a vet actually seen this colt since birth? At this point failure to seek proper medical care qualifies as neglect imo
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post #6 of 115 Old 06-01-2012, 03:59 PM
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I don't know your circumstances, and do not pass judgment regardless of what those circumstances are, which is none of my business. That you've reached out for input is very commendable to me.

I know that those on a budget (many are these days) work within their parameters and do their best for their animals with the resources available to them.

The veterinary profession is only about 250 years old. Humans and animals have been around a little longer than that, 200 million years, I think, and managed somehow to survive. We are blessed to have such knowledge and technology available to us now, and there are still plenty of old school rural people who use time-tested remedies which are effective too. Someone who lives in the back 40 of the Dakotas, for instance, likely doesn't have the same resources available to them than someone who is only a short jaunt from from New Bolton.

Last edited by DRichmond; 06-01-2012 at 04:03 PM.
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post #7 of 115 Old 06-01-2012, 04:03 PM Thread Starter
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There is no nasal discharge nor has there been. The mare was sick for the first 2 weeks and had a lot of discharge but, she got better on her own and we attributed it to stress as she was being hauled with 20 others, was penned overnight in a strange place, gave birth, and was then hauled a few more times until she finally made it out here. But, she has been well for 2 weeks now.

We have been trying to get a vet out to see him but, have been unsuccessful. All we have been able to get from them is that it may be upper respiratory issues (mentioned above) and another vet suggested it may be pneumonia but, since it has been so long and he was so playful until today she no longer thinks it is pneumonia. She stated that, he would be dead or better by now if it was pneumonia.

The shots we gave him were at the suggestion of a vet and were penicillin (I should have included this in my original post).

DRichmond, thank you for the link and the positivity.
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Last edited by Mike_Admin; 06-07-2012 at 06:11 AM.
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post #8 of 115 Old 06-01-2012, 05:35 PM
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Call another vet. THis foal needs to be seen. Nothing, human, animal, whatever, should be diagnosed and treated oever the phone. And given antibiotics? Wow. This is why we have resistant strains.

How many shots did they TELL you to give, before you "gave up because the mare is unfriendly?" You NEVER stop antibiotics until they are gone. THat means how ever many the vet says, not when you feel like it. Again-same for people. Because, what CAN happen if you stop early? The infection the penicillin was helping comes back with a vengeance.

I find it a bit hard to believe that both vets you have contacted have been so lackidasical about a sick YOUNG foal. Something is not right here, and I am not sure what it is.
Get a vet to COME OUT NOT. or, you WILL lose the colt, from the sounds of it.

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post #9 of 115 Old 06-01-2012, 05:39 PM
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I don't understand why the vet won't come out. My vet will come whenever I call what ever its for - of course I pay for that service but that's why they have it.
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post #10 of 115 Old 06-02-2012, 05:52 AM
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My parents did the "wait and worry and see" thing for a 6 month old filly they bought - she died in our yard.

I am a firm believer in pay the emergency call (110. for my vet, Colorado) and get the foal the help it needs. You gave three shots of penicillin that may have nothing to do with the true reason he is struggling. Get him help or risk losing him.

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colt , foal , trouble breathing , weak , wheezing

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