Question about foal behavior...

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Well-Known Member
Apr 14, 2005
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Orangefield, Texas
Our little 7 day old filly started doing something with her tongue yesterday that I have never seen. She keeps hanging it out the side of her mouth... kinda like a child concentrating. She runs with it like that, plays with it like that, etc. She is nursing fine and doing GREAT overall (as you can see over in the photo gallery), but she started this yesterday.

I was just wondering if anyone else has/had a foal do this. She is starting to mouth grass and such, and I thought maybe she tasted something she didn't like, or maybe found a sticker somewhere? Truthfully, it's cute, but I just want to make sure there isn't anything else going on.



Edited to say, her mouth is closed when she is doing this, not open... her tongue is just sticking out, and if you touch her tongue she'll suck it back in really quick.
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I have heard of dwarf foals doing this. Sorry Im not much help but maybe someone else has seen it
We've never had a foal do that........but I was just wondering what your foal's bite is like? If it's off, it would allow her to be "lazy" with her tongue.
Well, I just ran out there to double check her bite, and it is perfect, not over or under. Thanks for the suggestion, though. And of course while I was out there, she never did it.
As for the dwarf part, Kaykay... I hope that isn't it. She appears perfect in every way! She was trying to get up the moment we tore open the sac and up on her feet 15 min after birth and nursing within 15-20 after that. To me she shows no signs of dwarfism. Here is the latest picture of her... see if you see something I'm missing.

Thanks again,




No she doesnt look dwarf like at all to me. Its just the only thing I knew I had read about tongues hanging out. And if like Ma said her bite is good then I wouldnt worry too much. Maybe shes just playing. Shes sure a pretty thing!!
She is not a dwarf I'm sure.

I know when I had a mare once who had a couple seizures, one "test" the vet did was to pull out her tongue and see how quickly she took it back in... Looking for signs that were neurologically (sp?) not normal.
It's not uncommon for some foals' tongues to stick out of their mouths for the first few days to weeks, as long as they're nursing fine there's no problem and as they get older they'll learn to control their tongue better.. I have a friend who has a big colt who's tongue has been sticking out since birth, normal delivery, nurses fine etc. Stuck out for about a week and a half to two weeks, she went out one morning and it was tucked inside where it belonged
We had a little filly last year, Electra, who would stick her tongue out, roll it out the side of her mouth etc, just playing around
Thanks kaykay.... Well, I'm just gonna keep an eye on her and not worry much about it. Most of the time, it's seems like when she is playing or being really curious that it's poked out there. She is such a sweet girl, we are just in love with her!

Thanks again everyone!

Glad it seems to be nothing to worry about. She sure is a little doll!
She's not a dwarf! Perfectly natural and normal for babies to hang their tongues out. She won't do it forever and is no indication that anything is wrong. She is very pretty, enjoy her and her tongue.

I've had several foals do this. Particularly all one bloodline. It worried me at first too, and like you say, it does look kinda cute. But my vet assured me that it is perfectly normal, its just something she has learnt, and she will play with it for a few weeks, and then you wont see her do it again.

She is a pretty girl

I noticed looking through pics I snapped of "Passion" today that she was sticking her tongue out some, too
I have had a foal or two play with their tongues... they usually outgrow it quickly as a phase.

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