CORVALLIS, Ore. — Veterinarians are calling it a miracle: twin foals born in the Corvallis area. Vets at Oregon State University say it is rare for horses to have surviving twins, yet they are getting ready to send the newborns home.
Mocha and Cappuccino were born last Wednesday at their owners’ farm, and were referred to the OSU College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. John Schlipf works at the college, and says he is amazed by the foals.
“I’ve been doing this for 30 years, and this is only the second set of live twins I’ve seen in 30 years of doing equine practice,” he said. “So it’s extremely rare to see this.”
Though Dr. Schlipf says it is possible for mares to have identical twins, Mocha and Cappuccino are not: they are heterozygous twins.
Even though the two males are doing well now, Dr. Schlipf says there was a bit of a scare at first.
“They both had failure of passive transfer which means they didn’t get adequate colostrum, which puts them at much greater risk for infection in that first 24-48 hours,” he said.
But under the 24-hour care of veterinarians and students at OSU, Schlipf says the foals are now doing well. He says it would not have been possible without the support of the students and technicians.
“I keep telling the students that they really need to take note of this because they may not see this again in their entire career,” he said. “So I think that really puts it in perspective that this is a pretty amazing event.”
Students say being able to help the foals has been an experience of a lifetime.
“I’ve never seen twin foals before,” said Emily Ansler, a fourth-year veterinary student. “It feels great to know that we are a part of it.”
Carrie Casita, who is also a fourth-year veterinary student, agrees.
“It’s been pretty amazing seeing something that basically in class we were told we would never see, and now seeing them survive and do well,” she said.
Just after a week, Cappuccino and Mocha are already galloping around, curious about the world around them.
“A little miracle like that makes your day,” Schlipf said. “It certainly does. We see a lot of things that don’t go so well, so to see two little foals do as well as these are, it’s a wonderful day that way.”
Veterinarians hope to be able to send the pair home this weekend.