Shepherding foals into the world

Shepherding foals into the world

While counting the days until your mare foals, plan to review what’s normal, when you should intervene and how to recognize an emergency that demands veterinary help.

For example, if the foal isn’t born by 20 minutes after your mare’s water breaks, call your veterinarian. The same goes if the foal doesn’t present normally at the birth canal. And if you see bright red tissue instead of a white amniotic sac, the placenta may be detached, putting the foal’s life in grave danger.

Once born, if the foal isn’t breathing within 2 minutes, act quickly. Clear his nose and rub him vigorously. If you still don’t see breaths, attempt resuscitation by closing one of the foal’s nostrils and breathing into the other.

Remember: As a foal enters the world, your rapid and thoughtful response can mean the difference between life and death.

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