Holiday Miracle? Australian Vets Assist Tiny Foal

Veterinarians at the University of Queensland Equine Hospital in Australia have given a foal there a special Christmas gift: they saved its life. The tiny foal weighed only10 kilograms (22 pounds) when it arrived for treatment.

Imagine the potential confusion in the admissions process: was this a case for the large animal hospital or the small animal hospital?

Both hospitals did collaborate when it came time to weigh the patient; a cat scale from the small animal department turned out to be perfect for the task. 

Four-day-old “Philomena” was referred for treatment of sepsis and acute renal (kidney) failure, according to the university, and early intervention in the 24-hour Neonatal Intensive Care Unit led to a reversal of fortune and a full recovery.

University of Queensland Equine Internal Medicine specialist Joan Norton, VMD, DACVIM, shared some comments about the difficulties that the foal faced:

​“Unfortunately foals are susceptible to sepsis – a bacterial disease in the blood stream – as they don’t have a mature immune system when they’re born.

“Signs that your foal could be suffering from this condition include not nursing as well as they normally would and a lack of energy,” she continued.

“We are very pleased that Philomena has made a full recovery and she is back with her owners, running around the paddock.”




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