I will try to keep this short. I am fairly new to horse ownership, but recently had acquired a pregnant mare who we were told was to deliver in September/October. Vet saw the mom, said everything looked great, but probably more like September, maybe August. Surprise! The baby was born sometime in the evening/morning hours of 07/20-21/11. Baby seemed to be doing okay, up and nursing. Called the vet Thursday morning/afternoon and he suggested he wait until early Friday morning to come check out mom and baby after ascertaining the baby was up and nursing and things seemed to be okay. He came out Friday morning, looked at and took blood from baby, gave tetanus, looked at mom and said everything looked good. Went back out on Saturday afternoon and noticed baby seemed to be not as energetic as I would have expected and not nursing like I thought she should and was being a little too compliant to being handled. I worried all that night, so went back out Sunday morning and felt like something was terribly wrong. Baby did not want to get up. I called my husband who in turn called the vet and the vet on-call for the weekend finally came out to see the baby. Upon examination, temperature was 104.5, baby was not nursing, and it was hard to get the baby to stand. Vet said temp was probably so high because the baby was in the hot sun. But then, the baby would not nurse, mom had plenty of milk. They milked mom and tried to bottle-feed, but baby still was not interested. Baby would stand for a short time, but then always wanted to go lie down (on its side), wouldn't follow mom when it was up. The vet gave the baby a penicillin injection and said the baby "looked like a healthy foal" and then said if she were not better by the next day they would like to come back out and give it IV antibiotics/fluids. I told her no at that point thinking if anybody is going to look at the baby or do anything to it I wanted it to be our regular vet. I could not get through to my regular vet, but was terribly worried about her and that evening texted my vet to let him know what had happened. He did not see the message until the following morning and of course, by that time the baby was dead.
I was very upset to say the least. The on-call vet in no way gave us any indication that the baby was in any kind of imminent danger or any other options for that matter. Am I right to feel that this matter was mishandled? Should the on-call vet have recognized (as well as I) that the baby was in need of urgent medical attention and given us other options, i.e. referral to hospital, etc. Our regular vet did tell us that the baby's IgG level was well over 800, so no problem with antibodies. Would most anyone who is familiar with the mares/foals have recognized this foal to be in imminent danger (as she obviously was)?
So much for keeping it short.... sorry.