We checked on the little colt like we always do and monitored the mare and foal until he had nursed several times, then we left the band to have some peace and quiet.
Unfortunately later in the afternoon the foal was laying in the sun and looked lifeless. Since he was clearly overheating, our volunteers picked him up and cooled him off in the river (that he was not far from), and we even made him a bowl of milk replacer to attempt to get him to drink. He did perk up a bit from cooling off so that he could attempt to nurse from mom, who was watching and seemed to understand we were helping.
Flicka was patient in letting him try and try, and we watched with hope, as he got very close, but never succeeded again. We also could not get him to drink the milk replacer.
We then had a vet come to us in the field who assessed him and gave him some hydration, which we hoped would give him enough strength to try again to nurse from mom in the field. (Our goal is foremost to keep them wild and free and we do not take foals from mothers just to take them to the vet.)
But then the band stallion Mick, made Flicka leave the foal. That may seem harsh, but we see it all the time when it takes too long for a foal to come along with the band. ( It is the stallions job to make sure the mare survives.)
We then took the foal to the vet (with authorization) , where he got everything he would need to survive, plasma (which saved Snow) a feeding tube, etc.
However, unfortunately he did not make it. We are very sorry for the bad news.
Our volunteers as well as veterinarians tried very hard. Thank you Rick, Rosa and Lisa!
Because he was on this earth for only a day, his name is Dio. Since his body did not have any harmful substances in it, we brought him back to the forest where he can go back to the earth.
Sadly they cannot all survive, that’s just not what nature intends. The first two weeks of a foals life hold lots of risk. That doesn’t take away that it is a sad thing and that anyone has a right to grieve over this little life that was only in this world for a day.
Run forever free little Dio.