Specialist topic - foaling down, foal care, weanling handling...

DanniS

Active Member
Placentitis- A Problem Australia- Wide

This season I have come across numerous cases of Placentitis.
The cases I am referring to have resulted in the loss of foals and in some cases both mare and foal. For some reason it is prevalent in all states this season and the occurances are no longer unusual.

Placentitus is essentially infection of the uterus.
Alot of the time the cause of the infection is unknown and can be for many reasons.
The most common signs of impending abortion in the mare are premature udder development ("bagging up") and vaginal discharge.

Treatment for diagnosed Placentitis ( diagnosis can be achieved through ultrasound and measuring the thickness of the uterine wall) usually consists of antbiotics and pregesterone (Regumate) and uterine anticontraction meds, although proof as to the efficy of Regumate is yet to be documented.
Early diagnosis is essential and I cannot stress enough to call your vet if your mare exhibits any of the listed early warning signs.

Unfortunately, in many cases, the disease has progressed too far for treatment to be successful. This technique is most useful in monitoring mares with a previous history of abortion.

Too many times this season I have seen friends and clients left distraught after the loss of their foals and/or mares...please keep this awful condition in mind when awaiting your next arrival.

Danni
 

DanniS

Active Member
Uterine Artery Hemorrhage (Rupture)

This is another condition that has befallen some of my clients this season.
It is devastating for all concerned.

There are two large arteries that supply the uterus with blood. One crisis that can occur is severe hemorrhage of one of these arteries into the surrounding tissue or abdominal cavity. This problem, "rupture of the uterine artery," is well-documented in older mares and usually occurs after the birth of the foal or up to a few days afterward. It is suspected that during the birth process the artery ruptures or is torn in varying degrees. The arteries travel in a band of tissue called the broad ligament which helps to suspend the uterus within the abdominal cavity.

If the rupture is small, a hematoma will form within the broad ligament and, hopefully, the ligament will contain the bleeding and the pressure will slow the hemorrhage and allow the artery to clot. If the rupture is large and the blood flow strong, the hematoma can become quite large (basketball-sized) and potentially start to bleed freely into the abdominal cavity. If the hematoma is small, the only clinical sign might be mild colic during the post-partum period and, obviously, if the other extreme occurs the mare could bleed to death in a relatively short period of time.

Signs of more significant hemorrhage can include weakness, significantly elevated heart rate, continued colic, and pale/white mucous membranes. Many mares will experience post-partum cramping and demonstrate some degree of colic, but veterinary evaluation should be performed nonetheless. Mares suspected of uterine artery hemorrhage should be kept as calm as possible and moved as little as possible (cross-tie if necessary). Excessive movement or excitement could hinder blood clot formation.

Unfortunately ruptures of this type often end in euthenasia or the sudden death of the mare.
The breeder is then left with an orphan foal to hand raise or find a suitable surragate mare. Both of these eventualities are hard work and are not always guaranteed.
 

jamk9gg

New Member
Colostrum

My question is what are the normal levels and varying levels of colostrum in the foal and how is it determined. When do you start to think about transfusions?
 
Hi All!:D
We have done an IGG test on one of our foals over 10 years ago. Due to where we live we rely more on our observation skills and a good knowledge of what our mares are as milkers and what a normal foal should or shouldn't look like and how much time it should spend latched on a teat in first hours of its life. I milk my mares regulary to estimate foaling time, so I can tell by touching their udder if a newborn foal had a good drink or not.
Touch wood*#) we haven't lost any. We closely monitor our newborns with outside or inside cameras during the night, looking for any signs of a foal being lethargic, lying down a lot and sleeping a lot. Checking its poop, consistency and amount of it. Checking what it's urine look like, what color it is, etc.
If anything looks out of ordinary/normal, only then we get our vet out.:)))
lena
 

Theriowannabe

Active Member
My question is what are the normal levels and varying levels of colostrum in the foal and how is it determined. When do you start to think about transfusions?

If you do check the levels, it will be done by a blood test ideally taken from the foal around 12 hours after birth. An IgG (immunoglobulin) level at or above 800mg/dl is considered normal. Levels between 200-400mg/dl are considered a partial failure of passive transfer and may or may not require treatment. Levels below 200mg/dl are considered complete failure of passive transfer and require some sort of treatment, usually in the form of good quality colostrum pumped directly into the stomach via naso-gastric tube or an IV plasma transfusion. :)*
 

samm

Gold Member
Trouble with IgG is I find by the time you get the test results back you have to go to plasma transfer anyway as the foal is 24 hours old and the ability to absorb antibodies through the gut wall has diminished.
 

Theriowannabe

Active Member
For lab analysis yes it takes awhile but there are clotting tests that can be done very quickly. Either way I find that even a plasma transfer is a better choice than a chronicly ill or dead baby.
 
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samm

Gold Member
Hey Therio I'm not against IgG ,I test all my foals born every year I breed.I'm just saying that tubing by the time you get the results back is probably too late and you have to go straight to plasma transfer :)
 

Theriowannabe

Active Member
And you are absolutely correct (i didn't mean to sound like I was contradicting you), you are always working against the clock in getting appropriate passive transfer into the stomach before it is a useless procedure.:))
 
S

saltriver

Guest
HI
while I was in Texas the breeeding barn We visited, actually milked the mares of colostrum :)pre foaling and immediatlay after the foal was born, i mean literally on the ground , would syringe 60cc of colostrum into the foal, the foals have a great suckling reflex and would comply by drinking the lot.
Great theory to make sure you have passive transfer !
 

breakawaystud

New Member
And??

HI
while I was in Texas the breeeding barn We visited, actually milked the mares of colostrum :)pre foaling and immediatlay after the foal was born, i mean literally on the ground , would syringe 60cc of colostrum into the foal, the foals have a great suckling reflex and would comply by drinking the lot.
Great theory to make sure you have passive transfer !


Passive transfer is not specifically related to consumption of colostrum!
What about the Ni foals with this method? Or less than aseptic collection/feeding? Whilst I agree with the theory (ie clog the gut wall with colostrum asap to prevent invasion by hostile pathogens or bacteria) there are also inherent risks involved with feeding a foal with another mares milk.:)
For anyone interested, the Japanese have recently released a study that involves the injection of penicillin at 5 minutes old to prevent neonatal septecaemia (umbiliclál ill / joint ill etc). Best results combined with normal post foaling management ie pre and post foal wash of udder etc,with Ph nuetral wash media,exposure to foaling environment in the 6 weeks prior to foaling (to acquire antibodies SPECIFIC to foaling environment) and foaling supervision.Their theory seems to be that the foaling environment (5 storys above ground and used very often) combined with poor maternal transfer of antibodies combines to make for a (duh!) icky place for foals. So they inject the foals at delivery to prevent a problem. And yes, I had the same question 'indiscriminate use of antibiotics causes resistance'. However,their results suggest this is more effective in preventing neonatal illness than tubing with colostrum alone and has a lot less risks of Ni etc.
hope this helps:))
 
S

saltriver

Guest
Passive transfer is not specifically related to consumption of colostrum!
What about the Ni foals with this method? Or less than aseptic collection/feeding? Whilst I agree with the theory (ie clog the gut wall with colostrum asap to prevent invasion by hostile pathogens or bacteria) there are also inherent risks involved with feeding a foal with another mares milk.:)
For anyone interested, the Japanese have recently released a study that involves the injection of penicillin at 5 minutes old to prevent neonatal septecaemia (umbiliclál ill / joint ill etc). Best results combined with normal post foaling management ie pre and post foal wash of udder etc,with Ph nuetral wash media,exposure to foaling environment in the 6 weeks prior to foaling (to acquire antibodies SPECIFIC to foaling environment) and foaling supervision.Their theory seems to be that the foaling environment (5 storys above ground and used very often) combined with poor maternal transfer of antibodies combines to make for a (duh!) icky place for foals. So they inject the foals at delivery to prevent a problem. And yes, I had the same question 'indiscriminate use of antibiotics causes resistance'. However,their results suggest this is more effective in preventing neonatal illness than tubing with colostrum alone and has a lot less risks of Ni etc.
hope this helps:))

never said anything about feeding the foal another mares milk :confused:

sometimes i think we humans interfere way to much with mother nature :)
 
HI
while I was in Texas the breeeding barn We visited, actually milked the mares of colostrum :)pre foaling and immediatlay after the foal was born, i mean literally on the ground , would syringe 60cc of colostrum into the foal, the foals have a great suckling reflex and would comply by drinking the lot.
Great theory to make sure you have passive transfer !

We do the same, Saltriver.:D
I just strip some colostrum off the mare into the baby bottle and feed it to a newly born foal when it is still on the ground.
Our babies are big and leggy, it takes a bit longer for them to get up to suckle. The quicker they get colostrum in their gut the better.**)
lena
 
S

saltriver

Guest
Passive transfer is not specifically related to consumption of colostrum!
What about the Ni foals with this method? Or less than aseptic collection/feeding? Whilst I agree with the theory (ie clog the gut wall with colostrum asap to prevent invasion by hostile pathogens or bacteria) there are also inherent risks involved with feeding a foal with another mares milk.:)
For anyone interested, the Japanese have recently released a study that involves the injection of penicillin at 5 minutes old to prevent neonatal septecaemia (umbiliclál ill / joint ill etc). Best results combined with normal post foaling management ie pre and post foal wash of udder etc,with Ph nuetral wash media,exposure to foaling environment in the 6 weeks prior to foaling (to acquire antibodies SPECIFIC to foaling environment) and foaling supervision.Their theory seems to be that the foaling environment (5 storys above ground and used very often) combined with poor maternal transfer of antibodies combines to make for a (duh!) icky place for foals. So they inject the foals at delivery to prevent a problem. And yes, I had the same question 'indiscriminate use of antibiotics causes resistance'. However,their results suggest this is more effective in preventing neonatal illness than tubing with colostrum alone and has a lot less risks of Ni etc.
hope this helps:))

And yes what about the NI foals with this method?????

simple management as is preventable by
mares can be identified at risk by blood typing
and screened for the anti -rbc antibody late in gestation

or colostrum can be tested for the prescence of antibody that reacts with the foals RBCs before allowing the foal to nurse.
 

carol51

Well-known Member
hi can you give me some advice my colt is now two weeks old he has always let us handle him from day one we pick up his feet we brush him and his mum dont mind i think she is glad of the respite anyway he has started to lean on us and strike and kick i know how to handle those things but not quite sure how to handle the biting he has started i was told to slap him on the side of his mouth but i am worried about making him headshy do you have any suggestions
 

torridonequine

Active Member
leave him with mum you are being treated like another foal and as a colt has no respect for you stongly suggest integrate with another youngster to learn how to be a horse , more cuddles , more trouble
 
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