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Foaling kit

Discuss normal, abnormal and immediate post-foaling issues.

Moderator: Jos

Foaling kit

Postby mynutmeg » Mon Feb 25, 2013 2:06 pm

What's in your foaling kit?

Am starting to put together my kit but this is the first time I've ever done this so would like some advice. Generally what do you have in your kit and why?
I'm on a livery yard which also does sheep and the yo has bottles/teats etc for the sheep so would these be ok should bottles/teats be needed or do I need to buy horse specific ones?

Thanks
mynutmeg
Breeding Stock
 
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:14 am

Re: Foaling kit

Postby Qhkat » Tue Feb 26, 2013 3:02 pm

cellphone/hardline phone w/several vets' numbers programmed
watch or clock within line of sight
Vetrap for mare's tail
nitrile gloves (prefer these to the latex as they're a little tougher to tear and you don't risk anyone being allergic)
sterile ob sleeves
sterile ob lube
sterilized scissors
sterilized hemostats (for umbilical cord 'bleeder')
stainless steel bucket with hot water and cotton (or paper towels) to wash mare's udder before foal nurses
navel iodine with a little plastic supplement cup (30cc size) to dip navel
4-6 soft, white cotton towels, washed w/bleach and detergent
plastic zip ties (to tie up placenta post-partum - we also slip an ob sleeve over the placenta, to keep things a little cleaner until the mare drops the placenta, the but some mares won't tolerate that plastic bag banging around their hocks)
refractometer to test colostrum (best $75 you'll ever spend if you foal out any large number of mares!)
baby bottle with a lamb nipple (baby human nipples are too small for foals, I've found)
styrofoam cup (12oz size or bigger) to collect colostrum to bank
WhirlPaks to package banked colostrum
coffee filter (or semen filters work great too) to strain colostrum - just to get out any large dirt or smegma particles
6-10oz. colostrum in freezer (or fresh from dam if hers is good quality)
ivermectin or moxidectin de-wormer for the mare immediately post-foaling
one-hand twitch
Banamine for mare if she's crampy enough to be a danger to herself, you or the foal post-foaling
Tranquilizer of choice, for the same reason as Banamine, or if she tries to reject foal
garbage bag to dispose of placenta

I've found that if you need much more than this, you're probably going to have to call the vet :) You should also have an IgG test on hand to test the foal at 16-18 hours after birth, to determine if FPT is present or if it got enough good quality colostrum. We've kept a refractometer on hand for the past few years and our FPT rate has gone down drastically because we know whether the mare has good colostrum or not. We bank good colostrum and give that to the foals out of mares with poor quality.
I will also get about 4-6 oz of colostrum into the foal before it starts trying to get up. They will usually slurp it right down. Gives them something warm in their belly, a little sugar boost from the milk, and also gets those antibodies into their gut before they start trying to get up and suck on any and everything in the stall (usually the nastiest things the can find). Between the refractoeter and keeping the mares as clean as possible post-partum, and getting the first sip of colostrum in to the foals, our rate of foal scours went WAY Down, about 80% the first year, and was still declining several years after. With the immediate de-worming of the mare, our foal-heat scours also improved drastically. They still scour, but the duration is shorter and it's not nearly as bad as it was before.
Qhkat
Neonate
 
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Re: Foaling kit

Postby mynutmeg » Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:25 pm

Thanks for the reply - that pretty much matches my rough idea of what I need.

This is the first foal I've done and although my yo is experienced he tends to leave them to get on with it without much supervision ie comes in the morning and to see if there is a foal :8:

If it's good to get colostrum into the foal before it gets up should I milk a little off the mare to give before foal gets up? Mare's a maiden and I don't have access to any stored colostrum although I believe you can buy synthetic at the feed store (I'm in the UK)

What's FPT?
mynutmeg
Breeding Stock
 
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:14 am

Re: Foaling kit

Postby Jos » Tue Feb 26, 2013 9:27 pm

FPT = Failure of Passive Transfer

I would like to add a couple of points to the excellent list above.

Re: iodine use on the umbilicus. Research has actually shown that 0.5% Chlorhexidine is better than iodine solutions. the latter is more caustic and can actually cause tissue damage, leading to a greater incidence of navel ill and/or patent urachus. 0.5% Chlorhexidine can be obtained by diluting Nolvasan at a 1:4 dilution (but check the label to confirm that it is indeed 2% Chlorhexidine). In the UK it is marketed I believe as Corsodyl or Chlorohex.

ImageColostrum quality can be estimated using a cheap antifreeze tester. Milk off a little colostrum, suck it up into the antifreeze tester (you can remove the black rubber tube before using, which makes it easier), tap the side a couple of times, and you want to see all of the balls floating. If any one of the balls is not floating in the colostrum (not necessarily at the top, but floating in the liquid), then you have poor quality colostrum.

Be cautious about the use of "Banamine" (Flunixin Meglumine - marketed as "Finadyne" in the UK) during or shortly after the foaling process. Flunixin Meglumine, while having good analgesic effect is also a prostaglandin-release inhibitor, and prostaglandin is the hormone that is responsible for causing uterine contractions which are an essential part of the foaling process. Suppression of those contraction (as a result of suppression of prostaglandin release) may result in a higher incidence of dysotcia or retained placentae.

Washing the mare's udder with warm water (only - no soaps!) prior to the foal nursing has been shown to have a significant positive effect in reduction of neonatal septicaemia. It's easy to do when the mare is in the early stages of foaling (before she's actually foaled), but of course, do be careful and don't get kicked!!

While "leave them to get on with it without much supervision ie comes in the morning and to see if there is a foal" is the far end of the "don't interfere" extreme (TOO far!!), do not be overly involved unless you have to be. Sit and monitor the situation outside the stall, only being in the stall if your mare is absolutely OK with it. You don't what her getting up and down because you are in there. Of course, if she is OK with you being in there, that is fine and may be beneficial when it comes time to stabilize the foal's umbilicus prior to it separating. Do not feel the need to "help" the mare by pulling the foal unless it is absolutely necessary - and in all probability if you are inexperienced, it isn't necessary! Be patient! Oh - and good luck!! :D
We're always happy to try and help, but don't forget to check the articles section
of the website too, which has a search engine to help you look for answers!
:)
User avatar
Jos
Senior Stallion or Mare
 
Posts: 3948
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Re: Foaling kit

Postby mynutmeg » Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:55 am

My plan is very definately hands off - if I think hands on are needed the vet will be on the way!
She's very much my girl - when she was ill last summer I couldn't leave her box as she get very upset if I left so I plan on sitting quietly in the corner to give her some company -she's a maiden and hasn't been around any in-foal mares/foals before so I guess it may well be kinda confusing for her to understand whats going on.

By stabalising the umbilicus do you mean holding it near the foal and allowing it to tear naturally (obviously once all the blood has drained through and it's gone white)? I guess this would be to help prevent hernias at the umbilical site?

Also if I am milking a little off the mare and giving to foally before s/he gets up, do I just pop in a bottle for it to suck or is there a better way?

Thanks
mynutmeg
Breeding Stock
 
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:14 am

Re: Foaling kit

Postby Jos » Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:30 am

mynutmeg wrote:By stabalising the umbilicus do you mean holding it near the foal and allowing it to tear naturally (obviously once all the blood has drained through and it's gone white)? I guess this would be to help prevent hernias at the umbilical site?


Exactly, yes! And not only at the time of breakage, but when the foal or mare is moving prior to that to prevent premature breakage and pulling - but you don't need to sit there the whole time hanging on!! :D

Also if I am milking a little off the mare and giving to foally before s/he gets up, do I just pop in a bottle for it to suck or is there a better way?


A bottle is one way, or sometimes just trickling it into the mouth from a syringe will work better. One drawback of the bottle is that sometimes (because it requires less "suction") it can slow down the true nursing instinct - not always, but sometimes. We typically will wash the udder and let the foal nurse naturally unless they are extremely slow in nursing, in which case we will give them some.
We're always happy to try and help, but don't forget to check the articles section
of the website too, which has a search engine to help you look for answers!
:)
User avatar
Jos
Senior Stallion or Mare
 
Posts: 3948
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 12:11 am

Re: Foaling kit

Postby mynutmeg » Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:15 pm

Thats brilliant, thank you. It's all these little things that no-one puts in books or anything and takes years to learn through experience, so very much appreciated :D :D
mynutmeg
Breeding Stock
 
Posts: 100
Joined: Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:14 am


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