Well, we had another baby born on Tuesday night. A beautiful bay filly. Unfortunately, she has contracted tendons in all four feet. For these first couple of days of her life she has had to be bottle fed because she can’t stand up on her own for more than a minute. The first night, Barbara and two of the barn kids fed the baby every few hours, which involved milking mom first. She wasn’t all that happy about that, but hopefully it’s only temporary.
A little about contracted tendons in newborn foals. The cause is not known but several ideas have been proposed. One is that the foal is malpositioned in the uterus or the foal may be too big for the mare. Other culprits may be the ingestion of locoweed and hybrid Sudan grass during pregnancy, goiter in the foal, or a dominant gene mutation in the sire. Treatment is generally splints or wraps. You can see some pick wraps in one of the pictures of this baby. A shot of oxytetracycline, an antibiotic, is also often given because a “side effect” is to relax tendons. Wish our new filly luck, and Barbara too, because she’s been up taking care of this baby nonstop and could use some sleep!
Here are some better pictures of the black filly, who is definitely going to turn grey.