Foals are delicate and have unique needs when compared to their adult counterparts. New foal and foal wellness examinations are offered at all stages to ensure early detection and treatment of irregularities.
The arrival of a foal can be very exciting and rewarding! Understanding your foal’s and mare’s needs is the best way to ensure a healthy start for them and a lower stress foaling season for their caretakers.
While there are many topics that are valuable to understand when breeding a mare and planning for a foal, some of the core principles are listed here:
1) Know your mare’s breeding date as accurately as possible. This will help you and your vet prepare for an accurate foaling window.
2) Provide your mare with pre-foaling vaccinations per a veterinarian’s recommendations.
3) A foal needs to be fully delivered and breathing air within 25 minutes of when the mare breaks water. If you are not seeing normal progression of delivery by 15 minutes from when your mare’s water breaks, call a veterinarian right away.
4) Follow the 1-2-3 foaling guidelines: after delivery, the foal should stand within 1 hour, nurse within 2 hours, and the placenta should be completely passed within 3 hours. If any one of these things has not occurred on time, please contact a veterinarian.
5) Foals can get sick within hours, so always have your foal evaluated by a veterinarian if the foal seems quieter than usual or sleepier than usual, is eating less well or less often, has a fever, has a wet or swollen umbilicus, or has a swollen leg or joint.
6) Whenever possible, advise your veterinarian well in advance of your mare’s due date that you are expecting a foal so your vet can be at the ready.