Neonatal maladjustment syndrome, the dummy foal: a patient care report

Samantha Feighery
Saturday, June 2, 2018

Neonatal maladjustment syndrome (NMS) is not completely understood, but is linked to variable degrees of hypoxia before or after parturition. This condition can be expected in any foal with a history of premature placental separation; delivery by Caesarean section; prolonged dystocia; premature delivery or foals that have been resuscitated for any reason. Recent studies have shown an association between NMS and a persistence of high concentrations of neurosteroid in the post-natal period. These neurosteroids are thought to be partly responsible for keeping the foal in a sleep like state of unconsciousness while in utero. It is thought that physical pressure on the foal while in the birth canal during a normal delivery signals to the foal to stop producing the sedative inducing neurosteroids, and causes the foal to ‘wake up’. This theory is supported by the fact that NMS appears more frequently in foals with abnormal births.Nursing care in the treatment of the ‘dummy foal’ has an impact on the outcome of the patient. Managing and nursing a recumbent neonate is laborious, time consuming and personnel intensive, and requires proper facilities that can provide 24-hour nursing care.

Neonatal maladjustment syndrome, the dummy foal: a patient care report
Neonatal maladjustment syndrome, the dummy foal: a patient care report

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