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[RC] Any advice for this situation? - Maggie Mieske

Hello friends,
The below note if from our dear friends and mentors (who made our ownership of our beautiful horses possible)...if anyone has any advice or hope to offer, please respond directly to Barb or Larry at mashallaha@xxxxxxx.  If nothing else, perhaps it will alert/educate some of us to this potential problem in our own foals.  THANK YOU!!!

Dear Friends,
   The latest on our new bay filly (Talimm x Mashallah Mujhara a.k.a. Sweet Chocolate Bunny);  This may be a life threatening problem, or it may be nothing.  Little Mujadra seems healthy and normal in every way except that after she nurses, milk will often come back out her nose;  the first day it was a lot of milk, in a steady stream, with enough force to look like a punctured artery.  I have never seen this before, and it worried me (it has taken three generations to get a bay filly from this dam line) and I called the vet and did some research into neonatal cleft palate in horses.  Today she learned to gallop.  She still has milk coming back out of her nostrils, though not every time and not as badly as on the first day.  This could be one of two things;
  1.  Cleft palate, far enough back and/or small enough that we didn't see it when shining a flashlight down her gullet.  If so, it's a death sentence.  Surgery is risky, complicated, expensive, and the horse should not be used for breeding for fear it's heritable, as it certainly is in humans.  Untreated, she will eventually die of aspiration pneumonia from milk getting into her lungs.
  2.  The mare is producing more milk at more pressure than the foal can handle, and she can't swallow it all.  In that case the problem will disappear as she gets a bit older and needs more milk.  I have had heavy milking mares before, and Mujhara is one, but never (having had better than 80 foals on this farm over the years) have I seen a foal regurgitate milk back out the nose.
   In other words, it's a wait and see situation, and it doesn't make for peace of mind.  Those of you who have bred horses, have you ever had any experience with this, either cause???