This foal started his brand new life by ignoring his mother and refusing to nurse. A specialized vet, Dr. Madigan, started immediately a treatment called “the squeeze” which attracts the attention of researchers on children’s autism.
In horses, it is called Neonatal Maladjustment Syndrome, NMS, where foals are emotionnally detached from their mothers.
The “squeeze” is a technique where the foal’s body is installed in a sorft rope harness then gentlu suqeezed to increase pressure. At some point, the foal drops over and falls asleep. When the pressure is realeased after a few minutes, the foal wakes up. Madigan says that on all cases where he applied this technique, the foals then stopped their rejection behavior and ran to their mothers to be fed and have some interaction.
The imporvement is dramatic, he says.
Reasearch seems to indicate that there is a connexion between the levels of neurosteroids in the blood and the NMS.
As this NMS in foals seems to look like autism in children, it might be a lead to follow.
To get more details ont hese syndroms and the bridge that could be done between children and foals, read Study of bby horses’ bahavior triggers new autism research.
Pour illustrer cet article, jolie photo d’un poulain qui a l’air bien indépendant prise par julochka sur Flickr