Colin the ‘miracle’ caesarean foal is beating the odds to survive thanks to dedicated vet

  • The owner of a “miracle” foal who was born prematurely by caesarean while his dam was undergoing colic surgery has praised the vet who pulled out all the stops to ensure his survival.

    Zoe Hyslop’s six-year-old Welsh section B mare Paris was some 10-14 days off her due date when she colicked, at the end of April.

    Lockerbie vet Fiona Dalgliesh had to operate, and performed the caesarean at the same time.

    “They got Colin out but he was a dummy foal,” Zoe said — a dummy foal is one suffering from neonatal maladjustment syndrome, which can cause a newborn foal to be slow in following expected behaviour, such as standing or drinking.

    “Fiona squeezed him, to make him feel like he was coming out of the mare, and gave him a plasma transfusion from her own stallion.”

    Paris did not survive the surgery so Colin needed 24-hour care; Fiona slept in the stables with him, and he also spent time in her kitchen, and when he spent a weekend at home with Zoe, he had a straw bed in the living room.

    “That was so Fiona, who’s a one-man band, could get some rest!” Zoe said. “She’d made room in the house for him; one day he was helping her hang the washing out in the garden.

    “The idea now is to get him back to a more normal life, and get him on to a mare, which would be amazing.”

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    Zoe was devastated by the loss of Paris, the “sweetest pony; absolutely beautiful”, but said her colt is getting stronger all the time.

    “I feel his story needs to be told,” she said. “He really is a miracle and Fiona’s absolutely gone above and beyond to help this little foal, and to show it can be done.”

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