Friday, January 1, 2010

Foal Run To Death on January 1, 2010 ............. BLM releases vet necropsy

APHIS vet necropsy of Foal Run to Death on Jan 1, 2010 available here.

On New Year's Day, the BLM rounded up 10 wild horses but only captured 9 because a 6-month old foal died en route. APHIS vet at the scene, Dr. Al Kane, reported that after being chased by the helicopter for "1/2 mile" the little foal was falling down. It is reported that the pilot radioed Dr. Kane that this foal was having problems; Dr. Kane went out to see the foal who was found dead. Dr. Kane said that he did a necropsy in the field and indicated he thought the colt has a congenital heart defect. They left the body in the field and refused to allow the public observers to witness the body. This foal lived his last moments in utter terror, forced to run, falling repeatedly and his family being stampeded away by government-contracted helicopters.

Foal Run To Death - Vet Necropsy

APHIS Veterinarian Necropsy Report

Date:                    1/1/10
Prepared by:          Albert Kane, DVM, MPVM, PhD Location/Event:      Calico Complex Gather
Animal ID:              6 month old, dark bay/brown, colt

History:  The pilot reported this colt lied down twice while moving just ½ mile from the original location of the band of horses. The second time he radioed to the trap for wranglers to come with a trailer and assist the colt as he seemed unlikely to make it to the trap. I accompanied the wranglers to the location. We arrived to the colt’s location about 10 minutes after the call from the pilot. On arrival he was found dead, lying in left lateral recumbency, with no signs of struggle or agonal movements apparent in the surrounding snow.

Examination: Alan Shepherd accompanied me during this necropsy examination. The carcass was rolled onto the right side, no external abnormalities were noted. Front right leg was lifted and reflected dorsally. On opening the chest cavity negative pressure was apparent. There was no blood present in the trachea. There was a large amount of free blood in the chest cavity. The lungs were pink and airy with no abnormalities noted.
On examination in-situ a hole was apparent in the pulmonary artery at the base. The left ventricle was thickened and larger than expected and the atria were thin and without muscular tone. There was an area of thinning and apparent aneurysm on the left atrium.
The abdominal cavity was examined with no abnormalities noted. Body condition was moderately thin with only small amounts of subcutaneous and abdominal fat noted.
Conclusion/Differentials/Dx: Left side heart failure. Death caused by acute pulmonary artery rupture attributable to a pre-existing, probably congenital heart condition. Gather related but attributable to a pre-existing condition.
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Albert J. Kane, DVM, MPVM, PhD
Veterinary Epidemiologist
Senior Staff Veterinarian
APHIS/BLM Wild Horse and Burro Partnership