Not my foal but someone i know, so i can only tell you the bits i know. Filly, dummy foal, week old and still can't suckle. Had a feed tube in place till yesterday when it was removed. Foal been fed by drip today, fighting all attempts to feed her, is nosing around mares front legs but won't try by teats and again fights any attempts to get her on teat, but she still doesn't have suckle reflex anyway. Is lively otherwise. Vet been in touch with Newmarket who have said put the feed tube back in and carry on. Has anyone else on here had a dummy foal? How bad and how long till it started suckling? Thanks for any replies.
Many, unfortunately, due to many years working in the neonatal intensive care unit of a vet hospital.
Usually they start to suckle within about a week. Does mom still have milk? Is she being milked to feed the foal and keep her production up?
We'd introduce foals to nursing by feeding them positionally. Even if you're feeding her via NG tube, place the filly by the mom's flank so she starts to associate mom's hind legs = full belly.
Try squirting milk at the filly from the mare's teats at the filly's nose, or squirting it on your finger and luring her towards the teats. Sometimes you can get them to start suckling on your fingers first, then you can gradually draw them onto the teat.
Putting her on the bottle is another option, too, although it's safer and healthier if you can forego the bottle all together. There's a high risk of aspiration if you're trying to force her to suckle out of a bottle.
I hope this helps and best of luck... the sport horse breeding forum will also have lots of info for you.
Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO
follow the vet's instruction and place the NG tube and feed that way. with dummy foals, you can't force them to figure it out and nurse. The little lightbulb will go on when it goes on, until that point, the foal needs to be fed and supported through it if possible. But the above post has some great suggestions for when the foal is ready.