Neonatal maladjustment syndrome, also referred to as hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) and Dummy foal syndrome, is a multi-systemic disease affecting the nervous, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, and renal systems of a new born foal. Foals are often normal for the first few minutes to hours following birth, after which they're not able to properly suckle from their mother. It is caused by decreased oxygen reaching the foal's tissues during birth. This results in varying degrees of damage to the central nervous system, depending on the age of the fetus, the length of oxygen deprivation, and on how low the oxygen level was.
The University of California-Davis is currently conducting clinical trials related to their research on the effectiveness of the use of the Madigan Foal Squeeze Method (MFSM) for reversal of clinical signs of NMS in foals. MFSM causes foals to enter a slow wave sleep, mimicking the pressures of the birth canal; this triggers or signals the transition from consciousness from in utero to extra uterine consciousness, and then birth. MFSM has been shown to be an effective method of treatment in foals, resulting in significant improvement in foals with clinical signs of NMS, without any negative effects. Click here for additional information about the research and clinical trial.