Dysphagia in the neonatal foal manifests itself as the presence of milk in the foal's nares after nursing. Milk reflux in a foal should not be ignored. Aspiration pneumonia is the usual secondary consequence.
During foaling season, equine practitioners are asked to examine foals that present with lameness or joint effusion. Many times the owners will report that the foal was noticed to be a little "off" for the past few days, and they assumed the mare stepped on it. These words should alert the practitioner to the real possibility of the foal having a septic arthritis or osteomyelitis. Because of the seriousness of the potential problem, all lame neonatal foals should be considered to have a septic joint, epiphysis or physis until proven otherwise.