Friday, March 6, 2009

Foaling Anxiety

I am going to try to answer your questions here, Rae. I don't know what is up with all of the problems trying to leave comments, but I wish they would try to get it fixed.

One thing that you said in your comment was: "So who knows???" and that is a great summery. We have been foaling mares for many, many years and I still get nervous and anxious with each one. I lose many hours of sleep and when I do sleep it is so light that the lest noise startles me. Our foaling stall is right outside our living room door, so that makes it very convenient.

My DH just goes to bed and says, "Wake me up when you see feet." He figures I worry enough for both of us. But if he doesn't have to work the next day he does occasionally set his alarm and checks the mare throughout the night to let me get some rest.

We have had mares foal at all hours, day and night. All mares are totally different but I do take notes on each mare and they usually follow the same pattern year after year. We have one mare who stands and eats hay, stops, yawns, then yawns again, then lies down and pops the baby out. She shows no signs of foaling other than yawning.

We have had mares who just turn and look at their bellies on one side, then turn and look at their bellies on the other side, then lay down and foal. We had one mare who would try to destroy the stall. One of our mares was an embryo transplant mare for many years for a popular show stallion and she thinks that it takes a whole crew of people for her to foal. She will definitely let you know when her time has come, she wants you to hold her hoof and tell her to breathe.

People do not understand why we watch our horses so closely and won't leave home if we have one close to foaling but we have had so many times that if we hadn't been there we would have lost both the mare and the foal, we take it seriously because they are our responsibility.

Another sign that you can look for but probably not with Georgia is by opening the vulva. Mares will normally be pink inside but will become very red during or right before labor. Their udder can look tight without being tight also, the only way that you can tell that the udder is strutted to the max is by touching it, again this is probably not possible with your mare.

I would just about bet you that your mare has the same bloodlines as mine. Our mare is a registered TW and she is beautiful but totally nuts, we took her in on trade from someone who rescued her, they thought that she had been mistreated and would come around but she never did and she ended up kicking the lady. From what I have been told about the bloodline they are the smoothest of the smooth but are crazy and very high strung. The good news is that we have had two foals by her and she has not passed this trait down to her foals when bred to a level headed stallion.

We have thirty something horses at the moment and we have had tons of abscesses, we have even had two get abscesses in two feet at once. They are very painful and disturbing to see but they eventually blow out the top of the hoof and all the pain is relieved. You can have a Vet or Farrier open them up but we only did that once because it really didn't help that much.

As for the bute, we don't use it. We do use banamine and it has it's problems too. I have even been told by a Vet that she doesn't recommend the injectable because it can cause a rotting hole at the injection site. We have given a lot of shots and have never had a problem with it but I guess the paste is safer.
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