The ambulatory practitioner is usually the first to evaluate the equine neonate and must assess the foal and determine its health status. If there is suspicion of one or more abnormalities, then the ambulatory veterinarian must initiate appropriate treatment and determine if the foal can be successfully treated in the field or should be referred to a specialty hospital. This article will describe the examination procedure including an accurate history, a comprehensive physical examination, laboratory evaluation and application of point-of-care diagnostics. The initial examination is the basis for the correct determination of health or illness and informing the owner of the correct course of action for the neonatal foal.
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