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Author Topic: Our newest filly developed Sepsis a few weeks after she was born.  (Read 630 times)

Hickory Springs

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I wanted to share with you the birthing of our latest filly, Saffron who came into the world without a hitch. Tiny, elegant and beautiful,  Saffron was eager to stand, and get down to business of getting Chelsea (dam) to allow her foal to nurse.
Unfortunately, her dam being a maiden mare and this her first foal was running in circles trying to get away from the foal who was eagerly trying to latch onto her.
We (my husband, Mike and I) got down to business helping our Chelsea to ease the tightness and soreness of her udder. Mike held Chelsea while I milked her. We transferred the much needed Colostrum for the foal into a syringe and gave it to little Saffron over and over again while we watched Chelsea finally relax and let us milk her.
By now it was past the two hour window when we all want our foals eagerly latching onto their dams and we worked for the next hour or so getting mom to stand still for nursing her baby. It wasn't until five hours later that we finally could relax as we watched Saffron latch onto mom's udder and Chelsea standing to let her do so. We watched throughout the first day of our newest filly's life to make sure she was nursing well, and that her mama was accepting her.
As usual right after birth we always treat the umbilicus with Betadine, and we did so with Saffron too. However, bacteria must have found it's way into her umbilicus opening and by week two (last Friday evening) my husband noticed Saffron favoring her rear left leg. Saffron had been quite active, even throwing a wee buck or two, and we watched to see if it worsened over the next several hours. We also wondered if the mare by chance had possibly injured her foal somehow over night.
I gave Saffron 3 cc of Banamine  to ease the swelling and pain on Saturday evening as we noticed that her hock was now twice the size. We contacted our vet and discussed the situation with her, and she said that we should continue to watch her over the next 24 hours and to give her Penicillin and that she would be out first thing on Monday morning and to contact her if she worsened overnight.
I put in a call to Diane Wolcott and let her know that our sweet baby was suffering with swelling and pain. Diane agreed with me that it could either be a bruising due to falling, or mama getting in her way, or more importantly signs of Joint Ill, or Sepsis which shows signs in foals' joints. We watched over our littlest foal taking turns to make sure all was going accordingly.
Our vet, arrived early Monday morning and gave little Saffron a thorough vet exam. She had developed a temp of 102.5 by now and the swelling definitely had continued to grow to twice the size of her other hock. Our vet checked each joint on all legs and made sure that the leg was not broken or had any tendon damage. She drew blood on Saffron, and began treating her for Sepsis immediately.
Saffron got two shots, one in her neck (short acting antibiotic) and the other (long acting antibiotic) in her rump. We gave her another dose of  Banamine and will follow the directives of our vet's medical advice and continue to monitor and treat Saffron with antibiotics, Banamine and if need be Pedialyte.
This being our first experience of having a foal with Sepsis (been involved in breeding for 27 yrs), our vet stated that Saffron was very well hydrated and that we caught the Sepsis early. Ashely (vet) turned to  me and said that we were lucky to have caught it early and the blood tests would let us know how her body was functioning under stress. The blood work came back with no worries...whew!  Now, we have to continue to monitor our sweet baby's vital signs and condition and if she worsens, she will be headed to the clinic to be put under 24 hour care. Ashley stated to us that she knows we can handle this round the clock care and she is comfortable with allowing Saffron to remain here at our farm with her dam, Chelsea. No need to stress out the baby if we can help it...and mama too.
As I write this, Mike is out caring for her now. She is bee bopping about on her three legs and seems to be a bit better today!
I wanted to share with you this situation as it is our first time to have a foal develop Sepsis and most of it was due to the foal not being able to latch on quickly and get the much needed Colostrum in her system to fight the infection.
I hope this experience we are sharing with you helps you if you ever come across a brand new foal who starts out strong and then develops signs of Sepsis (swelling joints, listless, not moving around, not nursing, Diarrhea and fever) and begins to rapidly go down hill. Sepsis is a very serious problem in foals. They can be fine one moment and become critical within a few hours.
We are fortunate to have video cameras that stream 24/7 in our home so we can watch Saffron while in the house.
If you have any questions, please ask Diane as she quickly informed me on the signs of this illness when I contacted her and as aways was given the best advice to help little Saffron. We acted quickly and got this under control in no time and today she seems better after her medications have kicked in.
 I will keep you all posted on Saffron's well being. Thanks for taking the time to read this message. It is so important to act quickly and to never hesitate to ask questions in this forum and/or to your vet. Debbie
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dcwolcott

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Re: Our newest filly developed Sepsis a few weeks after she was born.
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2016, 03:33:35 PM »

Thank you Debbie.  This is a VERY important topic for everyone to know about.  Joint ill is nothing to mess around with.  A foal can be fine and gone in the blink of an eye, and noticing the swollen joint was a telltale sign, and you did great.

For those who are new to foaling out mares, foals, like babies, get their immunity to disease from momma -- since of course, they've not received any immunizations yet.  One way you can assist a foal in receiving as much immunity as possible, is to ALWAYS give the mare's annual immunizations about 4-6 weeks before the expected delivery date.  This helps transfer immunity through the colostrum to the foal.  I know that Debbie does this, and I did it for years, and luckily never had a joint ill problem. 

So add giving annual immunizations to your list of pre-delivery things to do as you prepare for the birth of your next foal!

Deb, please keep us posted on this sweet little one, (she is beautiful with those long legs -- and I'm crossing my fingers for those SPOTS) and we pray she comes through this quickly!!   ;pray ;pray ;pray
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Ryan

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Re: Our newest filly developed Sepsis a few weeks after she was born.
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2016, 06:50:04 PM »

Debbie Im so happy that you were all able to work out the problem quickly and I hope she continues to improve. You have written some great information that will no doubt help others in the future.

keep us posted on her progress and sending best wishes and a speedy recovery your way  ;pray

Ryan :)
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Anna

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Re: Our newest filly developed Sepsis a few weeks after she was born.
« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2016, 03:08:17 AM »

Sending prayers for your little one Debbie.  Really sorry to hear that you are having this problem but so very glad that you have managed to get the treatment underway so quickly - well done you.

Good luck, and please keep us updated.
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Lnight89

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Re: Our newest filly developed Sepsis a few weeks after she was born.
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2016, 01:27:06 PM »

Oh my gosh! I'm glad you guys are so observant and caught it early!  I'll keep you and her in my prayers! :)
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Rocklone

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Re: Our newest filly developed Sepsis a few weeks after she was born.
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2016, 03:21:00 PM »

I've been watching Meadow like a hawk for this. It son my list of "biggest fears" so glad your foal is ok at the moment and thank you for the information it's really helpful.
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dcwolcott

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Re: Our newest filly developed Sepsis a few weeks after she was born.
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2016, 08:00:39 AM »

I'll have to call Deb form an update. She had a new filly born Saturday so has been busy.
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Hickory Springs

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Re: Our newest filly developed Sepsis a few weeks after she was born.
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2016, 09:59:30 AM »

Hi Everyone!
Here is the latest update on our little filly with Sepsis. 
Saffron made a quick turn around within three days. The first day on meds administered by our vet (long acting antibiotic shot in her rump, daily antibiotic in her neck) and Banamine to bring her fever down. Saffron had a temp of 102.7 so we watched her like a hawk. So glad we installed video cameras in our stalls so we could watch over our minis 24/7 and believe me, I spend more time up evenings and into the early morning hours than I want, but they come first always.
As Diane stated, one minute they are fine, the next they are listless and heading down hill fast.
The weather here has been very very hot like most places in the U.S. so we put two different fans on both mama and baby. We also used a cool wet wash cloth on the foal to make her more comfortable.
Day two her temp dropped to 102 so again Banamine was administered to her via mont and only 3 cc. We must be careful on measurement for foals and young stock. Over medicating can be lethal too. We gave her a second daily shot of antibiotics as well and continued to monitor little Saffron throughout the day and evening.
On day three her fever broke...WHEW!!! A great sign and the swelling in her hock was down in size. She was using her leg a bit more (maybe 30%) but again a good sign!
Day 4 we gave her another five day long acting antibiotic in the opposite rump and we also gave her the last daily shot in her neck. We alternated both sides so that she would not be sore in her up or neck.
Now, we are thrilled that she is bee bopping about with her leg swelling GONE and her spirits up. She is alert, happy, and back to being a healthy foal.
Mind you, we are still watching her closely and we will keep our fingers crossed that the Sepsis in her system is gone. Once the long acting antibiotics are done (Tues. July 19th) we will see if she continues to do well.
Our vet has been on vacation, but as always Ashley gave me permission to text her or call her with any questions or problems that arise in Saffron's condition. Ashley also alerted the other vets at the practice that I would be a priority and to act quickly if we put in a call for assistance as she is still very small and very young.
Here is little Saffron saying hi to me as I get ready to go in and check her over from head to toe. 
Thanks,
Debbie
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Ryan

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Re: Our newest filly developed Sepsis a few weeks after she was born.
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2016, 07:21:43 PM »

Great to hear that the fever finally broke and she is gradually recovering.

She is extremely adorable :)
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Rocklone

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Re: Our newest filly developed Sepsis a few weeks after she was born.
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2016, 07:24:54 PM »

SO glad to hear shes doing well :)
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Lnight89

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Re: Our newest filly developed Sepsis a few weeks after she was born.
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2016, 08:42:09 PM »

So good to hear!!
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dcwolcott

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Re: Our newest filly developed Sepsis a few weeks after she was born.
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2016, 09:45:07 AM »

What a cutie, and such good news!
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Anna

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Re: Our newest filly developed Sepsis a few weeks after she was born.
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2016, 02:11:12 AM »

Thrilled to read the good news!
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