A number of conditions in the foal are a consequence of them not receiving enough colostrum, leading to a failure of them receiving this early immunity. This could be due to the foal being born premature or the mare running colostrum before parturition. There could be a reduced quality of colostrums that contains low antibody levels. The foals access to colostrum could also be reduced, such as the foal being separated from the mare of the foal being too weak to feed in the early hours after birth. The foals immunity levels and the quality of the colostrums can be checked in a number of ways to see if there are any problems.
These problems could be prevented by giving the foal colostrum supplementation, this is useful within the first 24 hours of birth. There are a number of types of antibodies and if it is given after this time the IgM antibody will still be absorbed but the IgG may not be. It may be possible to create a colostrum bank by milking the colostrum from a number of different mares after the foal ahs had enough, this can be stored in the freezer and mixed together and can be given to sick foals when they need it.
A plasma transfusion may be given if there are severe problems, this is when 3-4 litres of blood is taken from a donor mare or gelding. The plasma is separated from the blood. This can then be transfused into a foal and will raise their IgG antibody levels.