Baby horse roller coaster
When I brought Marrakesh and Gina home last Saturday, he seemed firmly on the mend. He was running, bucking, napping, eating- all the things you expect a two-and-a-half week old foal to do. The vet had sent us home with five days’ worth of antibiotics, and Johnny and I dutifully administered them morning and night. I also took Marrakesh’s temperature every day to make sure he wasn’t feverish. The vet told me to call the clinic if he spiked a fever, had loose stool, or became lethargic.
On Tuesday morning, his temperature was slightly elevated. I called the clinic as instructed and spoke with my vet. He thought the increase in temperature might be due to the increased heat outside. (The heat index was over 100°F for the first time in a few days.) He advised me to bring Gina and baby inside, sponge baby off with water and rubbing alcohol, and park them under a fan. I did, and his temperature decreased to within normal range. However, on Tuesday evening, Marrakesh developed diarrhea. Not the kind-of-runny-but-still-recognizable-as-poop kind. The is-that-pee-wait-he-doesn’t-pee-from-that-area kind.
The diarrhea persisted through Wednesday. Marrakesh became less active. After consulting with his vet, I stopped the two antibiotics he had been receiving and switched him to a different one. I also began giving him probiotics. He remained lethargic and wasn’t nursing very well. On Thursday, the diarrhea stopped but he still seemed tired and uninterested in doing much other than lying under his fan. On Thursday evening, my friend next door noticed his eyes were sort of cloudy and oddly tinted. She texted the vet who treats our adult horses (and works at the same clinic as Marrakesh’s vet); she suspected fibrin formation in his eyes and advised applying atropine ointment and administering banamine.
On Friday morning, I called the clinic to discuss Marrakesh’s eye ailment and continued lethargy. They felt it was best if I brought him in, so I did. The clinic ran a blood panel on him, which unsurprisingly showed all sorts of wacky values. The vet felt most of the values were due to dehydration and diarrhea. So in went another IV catheter and another NG tube so he could receive fluids and milk. The cloudiness in his eyes was attributed to fibrin, which was forming as a byproduct of the ongoing bacterial infection. The vet felt it would clear up with treatment.
I last heard from the vet on Saturday. Marrakesh was about the same as he had been on Friday- not feverish, but still lethargic and not nursing well. The diarrhea had also returned. The vet planned to run another blood panel on Saturday afternoon to see if any of the fluids he was receiving needed to be adjusted.
I’m trying to remain optimistic. I know he’s in good hands at the clinic, and I know his vet (and the rest of the staff) want to figure out what’s happening and why. This certainly isn’t how I anticipated breeding Gina would go, but hopefully her colt will recover and go on to live a happy, healthy life!