day old foal with jerking movements when sleeping?

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RJRMINIS

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We have a day old colt that when laying resting really jerks, he is nursing, active, passed the meconium...tried to kick me when I dip his cord, and acts normal when up, but when resting he seems to jerk his legs, his head, and sometimes rolls.....I just have never seen one do this before.....any advice?

Edited to add: I just came back in and he pooped some more, 2 brown and then more yellow, hopefully he will feel better now, but in case he still jerks when he sleeps, what would cause this??
 
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Joanne

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I agree with Mona. Jerking is normal, sleeping or not for newborns.

Just make sure he is not cold and shivering. That is the only think that would increase his jerking if he is restless.
 

Jill

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I've noticed both my foals at home doing the same in their sleep on the camera. Once when back at the barn, Ducky was doing that (dreaming) and I wanted to wake him up to be sure he was okay. I had to shake him a little but once awake, he was up and nursing in a flash. I think it's just a deep, dreaming sleep we're seeing
 

Irish Hills Farm

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I was told that the "jerking" the foal does after birth for a couple of days is normal. After all, they have been in tight, cramped courters for quite some time. Now their little bodies, muscles, tendons, etc., getting use to not being held so close/tight.
 

Miniv

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I've always called them "Foal Jerks".
 

RJRMINIS

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Well I have never seen one jerk this much....he will jerk his legs, then his head then roll over, and then sleep for awhile....he is up standing by his momma now, I think I am going to call the vet, the thing that worries me, is he had some brown stool, then now it is yellow like the milk coming through, but while I was out there he had really runny yellow, now I have seen it be pastey but not runny......so I am worried, and going to see what the vet thinks....He did pee alot too while I was out there.....I have had a bad start to '08 with bad dystocia's so I am in panic mode with everything now.
 

Magic

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Does he jerk at all when he is awake? Just wondering if it could be petite seizures... I think it is wise of you to consult with your vet, better to be safe than sorry, and I really hope that everything is ok with him!
 

RJRMINIS

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Well the vet was here this morning...on another call.........this has been a bad day..........anyway, I just called him and he wants me to come in and get some oral antiobiotics.............so I am heading that way........
 

Miniv

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The "pastey" poop wouldn't be related to the jerking. But it could indeed mean infection of some sort. It's good you're getting right on that.
 

RJRMINIS

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Just got back and gave him a dose of antibiotics.........His poop looks like yellow mustard.
 

Miniv

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It could be "milk poop" but you don't want it too runny or pastey either. Watch your foal's attitude too. If he's bright, alert, nursing.......you are in a safe zone. If the poop gets too pastey/runny and too light colored (wish I could see it or show you what we watch for), plus the foal starts slowing down in behavior, we jump in with the antibiotics....etc......which you are already doing, so let's hope all will be fine! You're being a great MOM!
 

minie812

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Do not worry Michele...You are doing everything you can do and are a GOOD mom
and you are taking good care of my step g-baby
 

Bess Kelly

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I've had a couple foals who appeared to have "hiccups" from the jerks. Crush a few calcium pills, wet and give them. Low calcium can create jerks.

Just a thought and the calcium won't hurt them. Usually see results quickly if this is an issue. When it has been an improvement, feed mare extra calcium for a couple weeks. Be it pills or some alfalfa hay.

Not a vet -- just something for anyone out there while "deciding" what's happening.
 

RJRMINIS

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Well we are getting firmer poo.....I was really worried yesterday. He still on occassion will jerk around when resting, but more normal now, I think before he wasn't feeling good, and then when the diarrhea started I knew that shouldn't be happening. Vet had me give anothe dose last night, (so he got 2 doses yesterday) and today he got one, and tomorrow he will get one, and then hopefully, he will be firm and doing fine.

Thanks for all the responses.
 

HGFarm

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I've had many foals do that..

When foals are born, they have a high jerk/nerve reaction. This is why, when you touch one on the rear it bucks or jerks, but you will notice that goes away in the first few days. It is like puppies- have you ever watched a litter of puppies or kittens sleep? They do the same thing.

It is normal....

You will also notice the first poop is usually really dark, then gets yellowish mustard color or sometimes even an orangish cast. This is normal- dont panic... The poop will turn a different color yet again when they get past that stage and then when they start eating actual food too.

The yellowish poop is usually softer than the first dark ones (sometimes they are actually constipated with that) as they are now up and moving and on a different diet- first colustrom and then milk...
 

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