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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 3, 2012

    Default Dummy foal, anyone had one?

    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.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 27, 1999
    Midland, NC, USA


    Our very first foal was a dummy/barker foal. Vet put a feeding tube in and gave it less than a 10% chance of surviving the night. Also did plasma and DMSO I've. She survived, stood up at about 24 hours old, was about a week before she developed a suck reflex. Grew up into a nice event horse.

    Last edited by ThirdCharm; Mar. 20, 2013 at 03:32 PM.

  3. #3


    I had a dummy foal. We had to do dmso drip to help with the brain swelling from oxygen deprevation. 1 day after treatment foal was nursing on her own. hope this helps.

    Eowyn Brewer

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 6, 2004


    My profile horse pic is of my DUMMY EUROPA! He was not able to stand for over a week and closer to 2. He started suckling after a 2nd round of liquid gold and lots of fluids. Spiked a fever at the end of the first week and we thought he might have gone septic. Luckily not. He pulled through with the tube in place and at almost 2 weeks he learned to suckle and that was that.

    Keep feeding the foal. They will know when the time is right to suckle.

    Vet thought he might be stunted all 17.1 of his tank self! HA HA
    The rider casts his heart over the fence,
    the horse jumps in pursuit of it.

    –Hans-Heinrich Isenbart

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2006


    I helped with one a few years ago. Same as the other posters with the DMSO, however, we used a bottle to feed her the first week. Friend would milk the mare and poor milk into a bottle I gave the foal. It took about a week for her to stand up and she easily transitioned to nursing the mare after a few more days. It was a lot of work but the foal made it and is a healthy mare today.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr. 20, 2011


    my coming 3 yr old was a dummy foal, but from reading these stories, probably not as severe as could have been. she bumped around the stall trying to nurse on the walls and anything her mouth came into contact with for a couple of days. we went out every two hours to lead and hold her to the mare, and she did nurse at those times. after a week she was pretty much fine.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2009


    mine was similar to willowmeadow...went to the clinic at 8 hours old as she was not nursing (tried to suck on everything but could not grab on and hold) was at clinic for 3 days while they milked mare and bottle fed filly. I believe they did dmso early on. She grew to be a healthy and no signs of any other problems.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 4, 2003
    Oxford, MD USA


    Have had 2 . Both survived after NICU and lots of $ and are pretty normal horses

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 27, 2012
    Barboursville, VA


    We have had two "dummy" foals from the same mare. The first presented with seizures, couldn't stand without flopping over, after a couple of days (2), she continued with seizures although she was able to nurse when she was up. Took her to the Marion DuPont clinic and it was a wild ride after that. Seemed to recover from what was believed to be sepsis. Then diagnosed with meningitis, seemed to show signs of recovery and then boom....degenerative joint disease in both hind stifles. All in three weeks...we tried.

    Second foal, presented with that same type of seizures but not as sick as first. Sent her to same clinic and after 5 days was home, happy and recovering. Today she is a strong and healthy 3 yr old. However, that mare will never carry another foal.

    Had a colt last year by same mare via ET. Beautiful and no Problems.

    It's a sad situation, and mother nature always has a bigger plan. Some are not meant to be I guess?

    Hyperion Stud, LLC.
    Europe's Finest, Made in America
    Standing Elite and Approved Stallions

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 17, 2006
    Sunbury, NC


    We had one! We took him to NC State at about 16 hours old and he was there for 10 days - came home happy and healthy. Definitely worth the university referral. He is a wonderful, big and healthy, normal 5yo gelding now. His was due to partial red bag delivery.
    Signature Sporthorses

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