First time mare foaled standing last night around 10:00 pm. I have seen only one other mare do that... Foaled onto straw and foal is just fine. Because she foaled standing the umbilical cord broke right away and no membranes to help gently pull the placenta out. We kept a very close watch on her as she did not expel the placenta until the early morning. I monitored her temperature and watched her closely. I recognize that this can be a real emergency. She did not respond to the oxytocin to help her expel it. After finally tying a small jug to the cord that was coming from her she finally expelled the placenta. The placenta was intact with no areas that were discoloured or particularly thick. She has remained without a temp and eating fine. No heat in feet nor pedal pulse. My vet is unavailable until Tues. Would it be prudent to start a course of antibiotics or some Banamine?
I was always told by the vet not to panic until 24 hrs. had gone by, or the placenta was dirty and pulled back in. Some mares take longer than others to clean out, doesn't necessarily mean a problem, as long as she stayed clean, and nobody stuck dirty hands etc. inside. Be very careful about pulling on the placenta - you can actually cause more damage than if she keeps it in longer than "normal". We had a mare prolapse her uterus (she didn't pass it for several hrs. after foaled and then suddenly started pushing so hard that everything came out (NOT A PRETTY SIGHT!) Many mares die when this happens. This mare survived, but many do not.
By 24 hours, many mares will already be septic and you are looking at complications from that sepsis such as laminitis - or death.
The rule of thumb that we use is if the placenta has not been cleared by 2 hours post foaling, we give oxytocin. We repeat that in one hour if it is still not cleared. After that, we recommend stepping up the treatment with the assistance of your veterinarian. A high-volume lavage with saline to distend the uterus and create a degree of suction is the next step. Manual removal is the last step, and can take up to three hours to remove a placenta without leaving pieces or damaging the uterus.
Cows however are a different proposition. It is not unusual to leave an undetached placenta in a cow for 24 hours and have no ill-effects. The idea that it is OK to do in the equine is sometimes put forward by veterinarians that have more experience with cows than horses.
Do mares retain a placenta for 24 hours and have no side effects? Sometimes.
Do mares always have no side effects in that situation? Definitely not! You are more likely to have negative side effects than you are to get lucky and have none.
Am I going to risk it? Not on your life!!!!
Please note that opinions, product information, advice or suggestions posted on this bulletin board are not necessarily those of the management at Equine-Reproduction.com nor does the maintenance of the post position indicate an implicit or any endorsement of that information, opinion or product.
Further, although we have the greatest respect for the posters offering assistance here, you are advised to seek a consultation with your veterinarian prior to using information obtained from this board if it is of a veterinary nature.Proud to be sponsored and supported by: