What to Expect When You’re Expecting (A Foal!)
Image courtesy of AAEP
If your mare has made it through 11 months of pregnancy, you’re almost there. Labor and delivery, while momentous, are generally uncomplicated — however, being a prepared and an informed owner will help you keep your anxiety in check so you can assist the new mother and foal get off to a great start.
Here are some things you can do to prepare for the arrival of the foal:
- Consult with your veterinarian well in advance of the birth. Know how to reach your regular veterinarian after hours and ask about a back-up or referring veterinarian in case your regular horse doctor is not available.
- Clean and disinfect the stall as thoroughly as possible. Provide adequate bedding.
- Wash the mare’s udder, vulva and hindquarters with a mild soap and rinse thoroughly.
- Wrap the mare’s tail with a clean wrap when you observe the first stage of labor. Be sure that the wrap is not applied too tightly or left on too long, as it can cut off circulation and permanently damage the tail.
- Time each stage of labor, to help you keep accurate track of the mare’s progress. Take written notes! When you’re worried or anxious, your perception of time can become distorted.
As always, these are general guidelines, and you should contact your veterinarian for more information specific to your situation.
Here’s the complete article, “Foaling Mare & Newborn: Preparing for a Safe & Successful Foal Delivery,” by Ben Espy, DVM, DACT, for AAEP: https://aaep.org/horsehealth/foaling-mare-newborn-preparing-safe-successful-foal-delivery