This is a rare condition seen in foals. One of the first signs noted by the owners is that when the foal suckles milk runs out of its nose. They are also very prone to developing pneumonia. Surgery is possible in some cases although it is not for the faint hearted and the success rate is not good.
The image shows a severe cleft palate involving both the hard and soft palate in a two week old Shire foal. The camera (scope) has been placed into the foals mouth. You can see the tongue its teeth and a massive defect in the palate all the way back so you can look into the nasal chambers at the same time!
This is not a recent case. At the time it was decided that surgery was not an option and just to wait and see how the foal progressed. The foal is now a two year old colt and we are pleased (and surprised) to say that it is growing well and in good condition. The next problem is that it is a rig!