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Mares and Foaling


     Your mare has been diagnosed as being in foal by your veterinarian. If you have not had much experience with brood mares, foals, and foaling, you undoubtedly have many
questions about care of the mare during gestation, protecting the new foal ,and just what to expect during pregnancy and foaling.
    This article is designed to help you understand more about a relatively normal pregnancy and foaling. There are numerous abnormal situations which may occur. We hope that after studying this, you will be able to determine if there is a problem and know when to contact your veterinarian.

    We will assume that your mare is in good physical condition, has been dewormed routinely and has up-to-date vaccinations prior to breeding. All of these factors contribute to a healthy animal and increase your breeding success rate.
    Once your mare is in foal, it is important to continue on a 60 day deworming program. Most of the dewormers currently on the market are approved for use in pregnant mares.Always read the labels of any dewormer before use.For any further questions consult your veterinarian.

    Rhinopneumonitis(Rhino) virus can cause abortion in mares.It is recommended that pregnant mares be vaccinated at five, seven, and nine months of gestation to protect against abortion. All mares should be boostered with at least tetanus toxoid 30 days prior to foaling. This stimulates the mare to make antibodies which will be present in the mare's colostrum (the first milk she secretes) and will give the foal protection for
the first few months of life.

    Your mare should be maintained with a good nutrition plan. A good quality hay and grain must be fed. Fresh water should always be available. Some people supplement with extra vitamins and minerals. If you are feeding a high quality hay and grain, this probably isn't necessary.

    Your mare will eat more during pregnancy but resist the temptation of overfeeding her. A fat mare may have more problems during delivery than a fit one. Keeping your mare fit involves a good exercise program. It is important to see your mare gets regular exercise to keep her in shape.

   There are numerous types of foaling facilities. The type best for you should be determined by the climate, numbers of mares you will be foaling, and available space. In areas of the country where the climate is moderate, foaling mares in the pasture is excellent. Problems with this may arise if complications occur during foaling and go unobserved. So you must still be vigilant.
    Foaling mares in stalls is the method routinely used as the mares can be more easily watched for problems. The foaling stall should be adequate size (14'x 14'), have good ventilation, and be easy to clean. Straw is the best bedding. The stall should be thoroughly cleaned and the floor limed after each mare has foaled.

    Each mare should be given at least three weeks to adjust to the new environment before foaling. If the mare has been sutured after breeding (Caslick's operation), she can be opened by your veterinarian at this time. You may notice the mare beginning to bag at this time as her mammary system begins to develop.

Gestation Table   |   Broodmare - Preventive Medicine   |   Mares and Foaling   |   Parturition   |   Mares - Timing Artificial Insemination in the breeding mare.   |   Foal Angular Leg Deformities

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