Equine Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (ENICU)
The UF Large Animal Hospital Neonatal Foal Intensive Care Unit is the only unit in Florida dedicated to neonatal foal, cria, calf and kid care with board-certified internal medicine veterinarians on staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
We are available for emergency and regularly scheduled appointments. Call our emergency and office phone number at 352-392-2229.
About UF Equine & Large Animal Neonatal Foal Care
During the most critical time in a foal, cria, calf or kid’s life, our veterinarians and highly trained staff are here to to provide the best care for the most sensitive and complicated neonatal cases in our specialized state-of-the-art ICU. We provide superior emergency foal care to patients from all over Florida, including the Gainesville, Ocala and Jacksonville areas.
Our neonatal unit works with board-certified specialists in large animal internal medicine, surgery, reproduction, anesthesiology, radiology, neurology, cardiology, dermatology, ophthalmology and pathology, to provide the best and most thorough care to all patients.
Specialized Services for Neonatal Foals
- Videoendoscopy – One and three meter long endoscopes allow assessment of the upper and lower airways, the esophagus and stomach, and the bladder.
- Ultrasonography – High-resolution stall-side ultrasonography can be used to assess the thorax, abdomen, umbilical, and musculoskeletal structures.
- Digital or computed radiography – High-quality radiographs of the thorax, abdomen, and musculoskeletal system can be helpful in the diagnosis of disease or malformation.
- Computed tomography – Cross-sectional imaging can be used to assess both soft tissue and bony structures to look for injury, infection, or malformation.
- Magnetic resonance imaging – High-quality images can be obtained of the head and limbs.
- Fluoroscopy – Real-time examinations can be performed for interventional procedures.
- Nuclear Scintigraphy – Radioactive isotopes are used to look for areas of damage or inflammation.
- Electromyography – The electrical potentials in muscle can be analyzed to look for signs of denervation or congenital myotonias.
- 24-hour complete in-house veterinary laboratory services.
- Brain-stem auditory evoked response – BAER testing detects the electrical activity between the ear and brain to establish a definitive diagnosis of deafness.
- Pulse oximetry – This non-invasive test allows us to measure how saturated the blood is with oxygen to determine if the foal’s respiratory and cardiovascular function are sufficient.
- Capnography – This non-invasive test allows us to measure the amount of carbon dioxide being expired by the foal to determine if its respiratory and cardiovascular function are adequate.
- Oxygen therapy – We can provide supplemental oxygen via a nasal cannula that foals can wear while still being loose in the stall with the mare.
- Arterial blood gas analysis – Point of care monitoring system that enables us to measure the amount of oxygen in the foal’s bloodstream as well as electrolytes and glucose.
- Mechanical ventilation – If the foal’s neurologic and/or respiratory systems are not able to coordinate breathing effectively, we can place a tube in the lungs and breathe for them.
- Cardiology services – Electrocardiograms (EKGs) and echocardiolography can be performed to determine the cause of any abnormal heart rhythms or murmurs.
The UF Hofmann Equine Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
In 1982, the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine became the first in the world to establish the discipline of equine neonatology in a unique partnership with faculty specialists and human neonatologists at the UF Health Science Center. Our Equine Neonatal ICU has become a model for veterinary colleges nationwide.
Our facilities are equipped with specialized divided stalls to allow for constant intravenous fluid administration and nasal oxygen support while keeping the bond between the mare and foal. Our facilities are also equipped with video camera monitoring and isolation stalls to keep foals with contagious diseases separate from other hospitalized patients without compromising nursing care. View more UF Large Animal Hospital facilities.
UF Neonatal Veterinarians
- Chris Sanchez, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, Service Chief, Professor, Medical Director of UF Large Animal Hospital, Director of Hofmann Equine Neonatal ICU
- Amanda House, DVM, DACVIM, Clinical Associate Professor, Equine Health and Extension
- Robert MacKay, BVSc, PhD, DACVIM, Professor
- Martha Mallicote, DVM, DACVIM, Clinical Assistant Professor
- Diego E. Gomez, DVM, MSc, MVSc, DACVIM, Clinical Assistant Professor
- Demia de Tonnerre, BVSc, Second Year Resident
- Dr. Shannon Darby, DVM, First Year Resident
- Preparing for Foaling – Read about the tools to have on-hand and the warning signs prior to foaling.
- Neonatal Foal Diseases – Read about neonatal isoerythrolysis (NI), sepsis, neonatal encephalopathy, prematurity and more.
The UF Large Animal Hospital veterinarians treat equine and large animal patients from the Gainesville, Ocala and Jacksonville areas, including Alachua and Marion Counties in Florida, and our clients come from all over the United States. Contact us to speak to one of our specialists or to make an appointment.