Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Foal: resuscitation and care

Contributor(s): Dennis R Gieser, Craig Johnson, Jarred Williams

Significance

Introduction

  • Foals may need immediate systemic resuscitation most commonly for septicemia, hypovolemia, hypoglycemia, hypothermia, hyperkalemia and hypoxemia.
  • Underlying conditions leading to problems needing immediate attention include, but are not limited to, neonatal maladjustment syndrome Foal: neonatal maladjustment syndrome, ruptured bladder Bladder: rupture, prematurity Reproduction: prematurity / dysmaturity, septicemia Foal: neonatal septicemia syndrome, failure of passive transfer of maternal IgG Foal: failure of passive transfer (IgG), aspiration pneumonia, and neonatal isoerthrolysis, require intensive clinical care for survival.
  • A thorough clinical work-up with complete history and physical examination Foal: evaluation - neonate is essential to assess problems, underlying conditions, treatment plans and prognosis.
  • Emergency treatment should be initiated at the earliest possible time, eg oxygen administration via nasal catheter, fluid therapy where appropriate, antimicrobial therapy, anti-convulsants for seizure activity, electrolyte/acid-base corrections, etc.

Presentation

Cost

  • Fatalities are expensive especially in the thoroughbred industry.
  • Nursing and supportive therapy are intensive with 24 h supervision required in moderate to severe cases. Fluid therapy, nutritional support, and antimicrobial therapy are most frequently required, and in certain cases respiratory support may be warranted.
  • The cost of treatment can be significant.

Treatment

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Prevention

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Consequences

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Haga H A, Risberg A & Strand E (2011) Resuscitation of an anaesthetised foal with uroperitoneum. Equine Vet Educ 23 (10), 502-507 WileyOnline.
  • Corley K T & Furr M O (2000) Cardiopulmonary resuscitation in newborn foals. Comp Cont Educ Pract Vet 22 (10), 957-966.

Other sources of information

  • Orsini J A & Divers T J (2014) Equine Emergencies. Elsevier-Saunders, USA.
  • Reed S M, Bayly W M & Sellon D C (2009) Equine Internal Medicine. 4th edn. Elsevier-Saunders, USA.


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