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"Sleeper" foals or Lavender Foal Syndrome

I've run this question past the horsescience list and no one seems to have
vast quantities of information on it.

A mare in the stable where I board foaled recently and the foal will not
stand at all on its own. The mare is aggressive and killed an earlier foal,
but was covered once and it took. Both horses are Egyptian Arab although
they are not both purebred. When the owner realised that she was pregnant
plans were made to remove the foal immediately and bottle feed. They were
able to get her to stand to be milked for colostrum and the foal gets his
mothers' milk as well as formula. The behaviour of the foal has led to a
diagnosis of lavender foal syndrome or sleeper. He lies on his side with the
neck arched backwards and the legs going rigidly straight and then relaxing
in a sort of spasm. He suckles well and the eyes are sort of half closed all
the time when he is lying down. He is a funny grey colour that could almost
be called lavender. The foal is now about two days old and seems to be
improving slightly. He is fed hourly and has round the clock company of the
stable staff, owners and the Great Dane from next door. His temperature and
so on seem to be fine. Just from my looking at him, I guessed some kind of
neurological disorder, and a couple of the vets said that this is the case
and it is connected to his colour.

Has anyone heard of this? The only reference I could find said that it was
always fatal within two days. We are not expecting miracles, but the little
guy is a real fighter. When you sit next to him in the box, he responds to
touch and voice, so we are doing a lot of massage and so on. We don't know
how it will turn out but if he does make it, would he be impaired some way?
He would certainly be gelded to be sure this isn't something that gets
passed on.

Any and all information would be appreciated. This stable is in rural Egypt,
so high tech is out of the question, but human effort is no problem.

Maryanne Stroud Gabbani
Cairo, Egypt

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