Foaling Down

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Rosehill offers a full foaling down service for both resident and visiting mares. We supervise all foalings to ensure a safe delivery and a healthy newborn, using a system of close attention to pre-foaling signs combined with head collar foaling alarms.

The majority of mares do not experience any difficulty giving birth, but the small percentage that have trouble can lose their foal and even their own life if they do not have assistance straight away.

The normal foal is a very exact fit in its mother's birth canal, and needs to be presented correctly (front feet followed closely by nose) to pass through - Stage 2 of equine labour, the expulsive phase of birth, is one of the fastest and most violent amongst all mammals.

If the foal is not coming the right way it quickly gets stuck, and the force of the mare's contractions causes her severe pain and distress. Within a very short time the birth canal swells and dries out making it impossible for the contractions to shift the foal. The placenta detaches, the foal dies, and sometimes the mare will rupture the uterus or simply die of pain and shock.

To prevent foaling disasters the birth must be supervised from the start of Stage 2 at the latest. This is when the "waters" break: most mares will lie out flat at this point as they start to push the foal out. An experienced operator can often correct any malpresentation of the foal before it causes a problem and assist the mare to deliver safely.

Occasionally a more serious malpresentation occurs and veterinary intervention is required. At Rosehill there is an experienced equine reproductive vet on hand 24 hours a day during the foaling season, and a well-equipped hospital only 50 metres from the foaling paddocks.

Foal CareOnce on the ground, the foal must be closely observed for normal behaviour - standing, following its mother, getting up and down, and most importantly suckling successfully. It is absolutely vital that the foal drinks enough good quality colostrum to absorb the antibodies which protect it from infection - the neonatal gut becomes impermeable to these after only 12-18 hours.

Our postnatal care includes ensuring the mare has completely cleaned at the right time, watching the foal drink and move around, and testing the foal for IgG levels at 24-36 hours of age. Foals or mares exhibiting problems are hospitalised and treated by our expert veterinary staff.

Foaling Down

Includes: Supervision of foaling, postnatal mare and foal care, test for IgG levels routine

Fee: $300 inc gst

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