We have just buried little Hocus Pocus. He crashed on Friday afternoon, having been fine at lunchtime. He had a raised temperature, engorged membranes, was vey lethargic and seemed to have abdominal pain. The Vet was called and he gave him fluids, antibiotics and metacam. We very foolishly hadn't restocked our supply of plasma, the last two years we hadn't needed any, and I really believed he had suckled well enough in the first 24 hours, so we didn't take the time to go and borrow some and have the vet back later to administer it.. probably a huge mistake. He continued to go downhill and I tubed some more fluids and a little milk into him, he had no suck reflex at all, gave him an enema as he was straining but not producing, and left him at about 10.30 pm looking very flat and thinking he wouldn't last much longer.

A dreadful nights sleep, more like unsleep,  I got up just before 5 am and made my way to the stable expecting him to be gone, but he was sat up looking at me! Still no suck reflex, I tubed some milk into him a couple of times and later managed to squeeze milk from a bottle... every 2 hours. He could just manage to stand up, walk slowly round the stable, pee, but not poo - another enema, which later produced some meconium.  He brightened up a bit and seemed less flat, I hoped he had turned the corner, but again by the late evening he was down again.

This morning, another early one,  again I was surprised to see him still alive, he was kushed this time, which was very encouraging and he sucked a little at the bottle... I was optimistic. He didn't want to walk though and his tummy was very distended and painful, he peed but no poo. Although he took a couple of bottles he wouldn't take anything after 10 am and any efforts to feed him seemed to distress him. He was going downhill again. I gave him some more Metacam for the pain and antibiotics and made up my mind to go and get some plasma and have the vet back to run it into him with more fluids. He then began breathing very rapidly, started fitting and was obviously in pain. I couldn't bare to see him suffer any longer and called the vet to put him to sleep.

There is a saying if you have livestock you will have deadstock. We have bred more than 130 cria over 15 years and lost only 3 or 4,  but it's always very sad. Lessons have been learned and I will be organising plasma tomorrow morning and if we get another sickie I will probably give it to them regardless of how well they suckled.

Selene his mum, has been amazing throughout, allowing all the intervention without once telling me off and humming gently all the time. I feel sorry for her now. I have put her out and she's eating the grass in the sunshine, but keeps looking for her cria.

Well now I have thoroughly depressed you dear reader, I am going to go and check on Karma and Dynasty, who arrived on Friday morning from Jumper after 367 days, both are doing very well - thank goodness. No sign of any other crias on the way, but quite a few getting near their due dates and Bonaventure, who is a maiden should be next.

Jumper with new-born Dynasty
Hocus Pocus RIP


  1. oh Karen I am so sorry for your loss. He really was a lovely little man. xx

  2. Sorry to read this Karen. It's is so upsetting and you and Selene. Xx

  3. Sad news about little Hocus Pocus. Maybe all was not right inside, nature knows. Big hugs.

  4. Sorry to hear that Karen, don't blame it on the lack of plasma though, I don't think it would have made any difference. Some times it is just how it is.