Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Nutrition: neonate

Contributor(s): Derek Cuddeford, Zoe Davies, David Frape, Deborah Lucas, Wendy E Vaala, Katie Williams (nee Lugsden)

Significance

Introduction
  • Mare's colostrum is necessary as the sole feed during the first 24 h as a source of immunoglobulins and fluid. If unavailable, bovine colostrum is required.
  • Neonates rely entirely on the mare's milk for their nutrient and fluid requirements - for optimal growth, function of the immune system, thermoregulation, etc.
  • Foals which are ill, weak or orphaned require additional and/or alternative sources of nutrition.
  • Alternatives include a donor mare, goat's milk, cow's milk (diluted after the first few days) and commercial mare's milk replacers.
  • Parenteral nutrition (combined where possible with enteral feeding) can be used in severely debilitated foals or where the gastrointestinal tract is compromised and intolerant of nutrient intake.
  • Enteral feeding should be the method of choice where possible as it is more physiologically normal and helps to promote gut development and maturation of brush border enzymes.
  • See also nutrition for growing animals   Nutrition: growth  .

Print off the Owner factsheets on Feeding the young horse and Nutrition - keeping your horse on top form to give to your clients.

Requirements

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Enteral feeding

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Parenteral nutrition

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Sequelae

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Ousey J C, Prandi S, Zimmer J, Holdstock N & Rossdale P D (1997) Effects of various feeding regimens on the energy balance of equine neonates. Am J Vet Res 58 (11), 1243-1251 PubMed.
  • Hintz H F (1992) Clinical nutrition. Vet Clin North Am 6 (2).

Other sources of information

  • Frape D (2004) Equine Nutrition and Feeding. 3rd edn. Blackwell Publishing Ltd, UK. ISBN: 1405105984.
  • Durham A (2004) How to Use Parenteral Nutrition in Equine Practice. In: Proc 43rd BEVA Congress. Equine Vet J Ltd, UK. pp 237.
  • Vaala W W (1992) Nutritional management of the critically ill neonate. In: Current Therapy in Equine Medicine. Ed: N E Robinson. W B Saunders Co, USA pp 741-751.


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