I have a 3 1/2 week old Percheron/TB cross foal. The last week or so he has been more and more difficult to get up either to come in from outside or to get from his stall to the pasture. It's like he takes a long time to wake up, his mother can call and call and I can push and pull on him and he just won't get up. When he finally does get up he walks along fairly nicely, no more biting at the lead rope or leaping around like he did at first. Yesterday it took him several attempts to get up and after he did he was just really slow to come to his mother and get led inside. Once I got him in I realized he was trembling all over, especially his front legs and shoulders. I took his temp and it was 102.4. I called the vet and she examined him pretty thoroughly and finally decided he has bilateral fracture of both coffin bones in the front feet. She put him on banamine, ulcer meds. and stall rest for 60 days. She took xrays which didn't show any fractures but she said often that is the case and she will retake in 2 weeks. In the meantime, he spends most of his time down, nurses fine when up, his temp is pretty normal. The vet is coming back today to do a CBC on him just to cover all bases, but I'm wondering if anyone on this board might have had a foal do this...
I would be very concerned about a septic foal. Did/can she ultrasound his umbilical/urachus area to see if he has an infection just inside his belly? That can kill him very quickly and at the least give him joint ill.
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[QUOTE=EHS;3300644]I called the vet and she examined him pretty thoroughly and finally decided he has bilateral fracture of both coffin bones in the front feet. She put him on banamine, ulcer meds. and stall rest for 60 days. She took xrays which didn't show any fractures but she said often that is the case and she will retake in 2 weeks.QUOTE]
For some reason I have heartburn with this. She's diagnosed bilateral fratures of both coffin bones in the front feet. How exactly did she come to that conclusion?
I would be concerned that he has an infection. The temperature is a bit elevated. How is his manure? Does he have swelling in any joints...doesn't have to be in all legs? Don't delay - septicemia will take them fast and this is the right age for it. I second having the umbilicus ultrasounded to make sure he does not have an infection in there. Is he dehydrated? Have you done the pinch test? If he isn't getting up to nurse as much he may be dehyrdated and you may need to give fluids when the vet returns. And in general, he may need some bottle or bucket feeding if he cannot get up frequently to nurse.
I would also be scared about an infection. I lost a filly this year too and the first thing I noticed was she didn't want to get up. Her joint was infected. Does your boy have any swelling in any joints? Plus, the elevated temp. Klasse only had a 101.8 temp but had a terribly infection.
Last edited by misita; Jun. 19, 2008 at 03:58 PM.
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We had a very fast growing draft foal that had difficulty getting up at that age (was fine before), was stiff but with [I]muscle[I] tremors that made it "shaky". Hind quarter muscles were stiff too. Temp similar to yours. We started Vit E/Sel shots with Banamine the day we noticed it and she turned around very quick. Blood results did not indicate infection though.
Your blood work is the first and most important piece of the puzzle.
Obviously, infection is the first thing you want to rule out (and usually the answer... and definately not something that you take your time with a wait and see approach on a foal). Just wanted to point out another possiblity if the foal has tremors vs weak shakiness.
It is a very funny conclusion that your vet came to. What is his temp now without the banamine?
Were you able to get a (preferably, different) vet out again? I would be very worried about the possibility of septicemia / joint ill. Also, you mentioned lethargy rather than lameness. I would think if he had fractured coffin bones he would be obviously lame. That diagnosis sounds really bizarre to me.
I can only echo what others have said. Please get another vet out. I'm throwing up the BS flag on this one. Bilateral coffin fractures? WTF? Honestly, after what I went through with my colt this year, I would be crawlying out of my skin with nerves. I almost lost one to septicemia this year. When I called my vet, she had me start Penn as soon as we got off the phone; she had not even looked at him yet. The symptoms sound so similar. Is there another vet you can speak with for a second opinion?
I think the same person posted on a local forum as posted here. She has not been back here but I see more activity on this thread. Here is the link to it...sounds like they still don't know what is wrong.