Fainting foal questions

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MountainMeadows

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Hi All

I have a new filly, she is kind of early as in around 305 days and she is a "fainter". OK, so I have had fainters before, but is has been a long time and I was wondering how much interference you have given the foal - as in do you go in and wake the baby up regularly or do you pretty much leave well enough all alone.

When she is up and toodling around she seems fine - has nursed several times on her own, pooped a bunch and is playful even tho she is only a couple hours old.

But when she goes to sleep it is like she is dead - yes, I know, that is the "fainter syndrome" - but I seem to think I have to go in there and force her to wake up.

Am I overdoing it? Feel free to call.

Thank you,

Stacy

(425) 788-5184
 

kaykay

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Hi Stacy

Robin Cole and I helped do an article for thehorse.com on this. We all (myself, robin and the researcher) believe it is really a mild form of narcolepsy that they quickly outgrow but we all tend to call it "fainting foal" and you do see it way more in premature foals then normal gestation foals

Years ago we had our worst one and we did go in and wake her up to be sure she was nursing enough. We did that for the 3 days and then it was no longer necessary. I had pictures of her fainting/falling asleep midstrid or midnursing. It was actually kinda humorous LOL. Then she seemed okay and didnt do that deep deep sleep. She did however continue to faint/fall asleep until she was 8 months old, if she got stressed at all

I have seen other ones never do it again after just a couple weeks.

Congrats on your new baby!! where are the pics??
 
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WLS

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I think this is just a preemie problem and your filly will outgrow it as she gets stronger.

I had one like this about 10 years ago, also born early. She would go to sleep and even do the sucking reflex while she slept, and I would have to shake her awake to nurse. But she got over it, can't remember how long it took, but she grew up into a very nice mare. Good Luck. Wendy
 

tagalong

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Stacy - the last fainter/sleeper I had here was not a preemie in any way - fully cooked and fuzzy and raring to go - except when she "fainted"... usually when you had to adjust her blanket or do anything that involved some kind of extensive contact. I would watch her on the monitor - and put a little sticker on top of where she was laying, If she had not moved in say - forty-five minutes - I would go out and gently wake her up - whereupon she would have a drink, stomp around a bit - and then drop back into a deep slumber. After a couple of days she seemed able to rouse herself - and all was well.

[SIZE=8pt]edited because punctuation is important[/SIZE]
 
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KayJay Farm

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We had a fainting filly last week. First time for us so very nervous! She was born at 321 days gestation. We checked on her every hour and woke her up every few hours to make sure she nursed. By end of second day she was acting normally, still sleeps alot but not deep, deep sleep.
 

Miniv

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We've had both "fainters" (where they pass out when startled/stressed) and we've had "sleepers" where they fall HARD asleep for long periods of time.

Fainters will scare the cr*p out of you at first, but with some gentle stimulation they revive and are just fine.

Sleepers mean having to watch them (usually on camera) to make sure they don't sleep any longer than a couple of hours at a time.......to make sure they wake up to NURSE.

Both types for us have outgrown the problem in a couple of days.
 

Charlotte

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I would watch her on the monitor - and put a little sticker on top of where she was laying, If she had not moved in say - forty-five minutes - I would go out and gently wake her up -
GREAT idea tagalong! Thank you for posting that.

We've had a few that would pass out if stressed but if left alone would wuickly wake and go on with their business. and we've had a preemie or tow that slept too much and I would wake every hour to nurse for a few days then they were fine (wish I had thought of Tagalong's plan). The fainters outgrew it pretty quickly....I think 2 weeks was the longest that one did that.

Charlotte
 

TPs flat rock acres

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Ok good to see this information. Can any foal do this or is there a connection? I have only noticed this when I when to put her blanket on and she fainted in my arms. I thought I broke her neck. then when I rubbed her head she started shaking it and up she came. Did it again when I went to take it off. Why do they do this? guessing its hereditory? any other information would be great. thanks My husband laughed as we used to have fainting goats and hes like Cool a fainting horse. I didnt think it was very funny. will she grow out of it?
 

Robin_C

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I think many of us have had the "fainting" foals and it does differ from true "narcolepsy." The fainting foals I have experience with (and there have been many) seem to exhibit a neurological response to being over-stimulated in most instances and just go limp or listless in your arms while working with them (blanketing, medical treatment, restraining for any reason). Within a few seconds they either "come to" on their own or respond to gentle stimulation or in some instances, I have had to apply strong applications of acupressure. "Sleepers" are common, too -- the babies that don't wake up easily. I tend to be very cautious and avoid vigorously waking these foals because frequently, when they do wake up, they JOLT to awareness and are in a bit of a "daze" or even in full panic mode until they come to full wakefulness and are aware of their surroundings. I have one of those currently, and yes she was born at 307 days and probably not as "fully cooked" as she could have been (born with very short hair and only about 15 lbs at birth. She is now 30 days old and still sleeps soundly, eyes half open and has very "twitchy" extremity movements almost constantly during the sleep cycle.

I've rarely seen them "spontaneously" faint, though I do know of one filly currently who seems to do so and am quite perplexed (probably a neurological issue perhaps from birth insult or other cause ?? blood sugar fluctuations ??, etc. -- owners are observing and experimenting with treatments).

I believe it has been determined that true narcolepsy in horses is fairly unusual. I did, however, have a true narcoleptic QH filly that I used to show. Thankfully she would only fall asleep while she was standing still, but it was unsettling to have her spontaneously just drop out from underneath you while you were in the saddle! Thankfully that can't happen with a mini.

Like others have experienced, the "fainters" and "sleepers" seem to grow out of it on their own time table as their neurological systems mature. Some just take longer than others. If I know a foal is a fainter, I just try not to over-stimulate them. Great idea about putting the marker on the sleeping foals!
 

TPs flat rock acres

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Well my little filly is a fainter as I was just spending time with her I was rubbing the back of her ear and she fainted. first two times she fainted while i was taking her blanket off. I thought I broke her neck as I was unaware that foals can faint. I had fainting goats before so this is very similar to what they did. Glad to know its not a really major thing but still very scary. God hope she grows out of it as its not pleasant knowing they just will faint like that and be lifeless. Shes a little clumbsy too but again shes only 1 day old now.

thanks for sharing if you find out any other information can you please post it. I try not to fiddle with her too much as I don't want her to get hurt.
 

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