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Hypoxemic-Ischemic Encephalopathy

Synonyms: Neonatal Maladjustment Syndrome, Dummy Foal Syndrome Barker Foal, Convulsive Foal, Wanderer, Perinatal Asphyxia

Hypoxemic-ischemic encephalopathy, well known as “Dummy Foal Syndrome” is is usually caused by a period of reduced brain oxygenation associated with a difficult birthing process (dystocia). This is often associated with premature placental separation, red-bag delivery.

Signs can vary from mild to very severe and are usually seen within 2 days of birth. Generally, foals with this syndrome are slow to rise and nurse, seem confused or disoriented, or aimlessly wander.

Mild cases may respond slowly to field treatments. Severely affected foals that experience seizures, or are are comatose or semi-comatose need to be transported to an equine neonatal intensive care unit for care.

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Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP

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