[question name="Harvey Sawatzky" location="British Columbia, Canada"]I have bred and raised 142 Morgan foals since 1976. During that time, we’ve had eight foals born with a very similar set of problems–contracted front tendons, an underbite, lethargy, hypothyroidism, and/or mental deficiency. We tried bottle feeding, making a sling to hold them up to nurse, and putting plaster of Paris casts on their front legs, but our success rate was low. In 1994, a veterinarian suggested a mare supplement that happened to contain selenium. The four mares that were stalled and received the supplement had normal foals, and the four mares that were kept on pasture and didn’t receive the supplement had foals with these clinical signs. We have not had any foals with this clinical signs since 1994, could this be because of the selenium?
What Was Causing Foal Abnormalities?
I have bred and raised 142 Morgan foals since 1976. During that time, we’ve had eight foals born with a very similar set
AI couldn’t find anything about the prognathia (underbite) related to selenium in my files. The flexure deformities and weakness that you mentioned could have been related to selenium. However, there are also toxic plants that can cause such deformities in foals. In British Columbia, Canada, it could have been caused by lupine or locoweed. The fact that the affected mares were on pasture, whereas the others were not, might also be significant.