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**Need input ASAP - Anyone ever had a blind foal?

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Bluewater Minis

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Sadly, it appears that our newest filly, who is just shy of 48 hours old, may be blind. At first we thought she was just having difficulty focusing as we've heard of some foals can have that for the first couple of days. Then we thought it might be compounded by the incredibly bright summer sun. But after watching her again throughout today, I'm suspecting that it's not good news.
The vet (whom I trust and have had a great relationship with on our minis and Arabs) said to give it tonight and we'll bring her in tomorrow for an exam and go from there. Her eyes are grayish blue, and I don't believe she can see out of either eye, but I'm not a vet to make that determination. I just keep seeing her bump into things. She's not a dummy foal, and knows where lunch is at, and is actively walking/trotting around (trying not to bump into things).

My question for the folks on LB is, has anyone ever had a foal that was blind from birth? If so, what did you do? Euthanize them humanely or cherish them and let them grow up and have a life? Either way, did you regret your decision? Or, have any of you ever had a horse go completely blind (not from birth), and if so, what did you do? I'm trying to not dread the worst, but it's rather hard not to do so right now.


Needless to say, we're feeling rather devastated right now...


Here's our little princess...Bluewater Cowboy's Silver Lace:

 

twister

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I am so sorry about your foal but there was a foal born called I think Helen and they let her live, her story is very inspiring. I am going to do a search and see if I can find it.

Yvonne
 

crponies

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I was trying to remember the details about Helen. That was what? 2 years ago now? I don't remember for sure but yes she was born blind and thrived.
 

Royal Crescent

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I am so sorry.
Hopefully it will turn out to be something else. I have seen a couple postings about the same kind of problem. hopefully they will see this soon and give you some feedback. She looks very sweet
 
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twister

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The foal called Helen belonged to backwoods nanny on the forum, maybe you could send her a pm and find out how they dealt with it. That was in Aug 2006 and I believe she turned out to be a beautiful horse. I think they used a bell on her companion horse. Good luck with your foal, I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.

Yvonne
 

Marty

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Don't despair just yet and I think you may have already hit the nail on the head.

I had the same problem with a foal born in my new barn. (edited to add it didn't happen to Timmy who was born in the old one, just plain strange)

It had very bad lighting. Terrible actually. Then the foal would go outside in the very

bright sunshine and I swear to you couldn't find mama for nothing,

not make it through the gate without running into it, you name it. It took a

good few days for the eyes to adjust and get used to it, about 5 or so.

In the beginning I wondered why on earth my foal didn't follow closely behind mother.

It became very apparent that in the isleway of the barn, he could focus in easier and see just fine but once

outside, that brightness he were not used to

was blinding them. You know how it is when you are driving along and suddenly

a ray of sunshine can hit you right in the eyes and you can't see where the heck the road went?

It's like that. Finally I got all new lighting in the barn! Give this a few more days and best wishes

and good luck to you on your beautiful new baby.
 
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Joanne

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Newborns are not able to focus their pupils like a mature horse. It takes them a few days and they can be really clumsy.

If you move your hand toward her eyes does she close them?
 

Bluewater Minis

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Thanks for the encouragement so far... We do appreciate your kind thoughts.

She seems to have no idea that anything is in front of her head (like my hand), as she startles when I actually touch her muzzle...and she should have been able to see it coming.
We've never had any of our other foals do this...
 

ErikaS.

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Give it a week. And if it does turn out she is blind, so be it. I have heard of many blind animals coping very well in spite of the handicap they don't even know they have. People despair about their own inadequesies or handicaps and animals do not. Ar far as I know, blind critters need familiar surroundings and a routine- and a companion with a bell is great. Don't give up on her just yet. Good luck and God bless to you all.
 

qtrrae

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Lisa,

We had a similar situation in 2005 - we had the most beautiful filly, she seemed healthy and alert but kept walking into things. I had my vet out to check her out and he said she was completely blind.

She was that way for about 10 days, we kept her in a small paddock and put a bell on her Mom and she learned to listen for the bell and would follow her Mom.

She gradually started to see things - I had the vet back to check her-he was amazed that she had her sight completely back he thinks the blindness was caused from some pressure at birth and now that the swelling had gone down she could see.

It was a scary situation, the people on LB were awesome and kept little Naomi Faith in their prayers. I know prayer helps and today Naomi is a beautiful, sassy 3 year old with absolutely no problems!

I will keep your precious little filly in my prayers and hopefully her outcome will be as great as it was for our Naomi Faith!

Hugs and LOTS of prayers coming your way!
 
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StarRidgeAcres

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I know this is a scary time for you, but try to be calm and take your time with her. Yes, she may be blind, but she may just need some time. I personally had a foal that WAS totally blind at birth - walked into walls, couldn't find mom, had no idea our hand was in front of her until she touched it. It was very scary. Thankfully (in an odd sort of way), she was born 4 days after our premie, Mira, and we were so consumed with keeping her alive that we had to let Lily be and what was to be would be. After about one week her eyesight had improved greatly. Within two weeks it was basically "normal" to all appearances. To this day, it takes her a minute to adjust when coming out of the dark barn into the bright sunlight. I even had her run into a fence at about 8 months old when she got excited and bolted. But as a 16 month old, she is just fine, gets around great and her only issue is that transition from the barn to the bright sun.

Also, just in case it matters (I have my suspicions) my mare is a double dilute with very, very light blue eyes.

My prayers are with you and your BEAUTIFUL little filly. I hope she grows out of it.
 

Miniv

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Keeping my fingers crossed for your little one.......... I would keep her out of direct sunlight until the vet sees her. And if she is indeed blind, the bell on mom's halter I know has worked for other's. I also remember Helen on here and she has done very well.......
 

AJ

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We had a blind filly this year (coincidentally, white like yours) and the vet told us it was cataracts which is a apparently rare in foals. Mostly in older horses. She is now 3 months old. I created a separate paddock for her and her mom and ensured she could not hurt herself on anything, be it fence, corners, screws etc. I put a bell on mom. I saw her bump into the fence once on her first day and have not seen it again. She will go direct to the mom when fed or wishing to nurse. When she gets spunky, she will spin on the spot and gradually expand her circle within her safe space, but will not even touch the fence. I am sure her hearing and smell direct her. She is very healthy, and perhaps too much because she cannot run a lot like all the other foals. The mom is excellent. There is no reason she could not be a wonderful pet for somebody and I have already been asked if they could have her if she would be available. Interesting part is since she cannot see, she doesn't spook. After halter training she leads very well, she trusts me but I must make absolutely sure that I keep her safe or she could lose that trust. I never even considered putting her down. Good luck with your girl and perhaps she will gain sight as others have mentioned.
 

Kathy2m

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I have a little different situation. I take care of a VERY old pony, she is going blind. I have to move slow around her and talk to her all the time to let her know where I am. The bell sounds like a great idea. Good luck and I'm hoping for the best for you, Kathy
 

Genie

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Hoping for the best outcome for your pretty little girl.

We have had a couple of foals that seemed to have poor vision when first born and time made all well.

Some of our horses transition from the sunlight into the barn very poorly as well. Takes a few moments to see well coming from the bright light.

The fair coat colour and the pale eyed horse possibly has more issues "vision wise."'
 

sundaymom

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I don't have the knowledge or experience to help you but I can feel your dispair at this situation. I will pray fory your foal and like the others have said, hope it will be temporary.
 

Bluewater Minis

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Thank you to everyone who has posted or PM'd me with encouragement or your experiences/input or things to consider. There have been many helpful thoughts. "Lacey" will see the vet at 11am this morning, and I'll let you know the outcome of that visit. I never entertained the thought of euthanizing her for simply being blind, but if she was in pain without remedy I knew I might have to consider it. As of 5am this morning, she was up bucking & kicking around and in no pain whatsoever. Hopefully, she'll have some return of her vision if not a full return. We're purchasing a bell for her dam to wear, and she could NOT have a better momma. Heck, her dam has so much milk, she looks like a little cow, so she might as well have the bell!


Thanks again, and I'll post an update later. Please keep your fingers crossed or say a little prayer or whatever help you can send our way.
 

Hosscrazy

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Yes, please contact Backwoodsnanny who has a horse named Helen. Very inspirational story filled with love and dedication.

Liz R.
 

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