A newborn foal’s biggest adversary is infection from pathogens such as Rotavirus, E. coli and Salmonella bacteria. In fact, diarrhea or sepsis (generalized body infection) is the leading cause of neonatal intensive care in foals. The illness starts out as invasion by one of many viruses or bacteria. Rotavirus is highly contagious and happens when foals ingest focally contaminated material or lick surfaces contaminated with manure. One teaspoon of Rotavirus-infected feces from a foal can contain more than 10 million virus particles – enough to infect whole herds of foals. Unfortunately, too, the virus is so hardy that it can survive more than nine months at room temperature and over winter on farms.