Editor's note: This report includes two stories – a mainbar on the study along with a column (on the right) challenging people to come forward if they have similar stories to tell. There is also an audio podcast interview with Dr. Kathleen Mullen.
While completing her residency at Cornell University, veterinarian Dr. Kathleen Mullen noticed an uptick in dysphagia – a difficulty in swallowing – among foals from a specific farm near Sayre, Pennsylvania.
“They came to the clinic with their mothers, because their farm manager and farm veterinarians noticed that when the foals tried to suckle from the dams, that instead of swallowing their milk normally, they would aspirate the milk – meaning the milk would go into their trachea,” she said. “It’s concerning because if too much milk goes down into the trachea and eventually the lungs, the foals can be at risk of aspirational pneumonia.”
John Zaktansky is an award-winning journalist and avid promoter of the outdoors who loves camping, kayaking, fishing and hunting with the family.