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Lost Foals Group Bulletin Board » Abortion and Pregnancy Loss » Lost Foals Group « Previous Next »

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Posted From:
Posted on Friday, February 25, 2005 - 10:21 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I thought it might be a good idea to start a new category for those of us who have lost foals. Here we can find some comfort from others who have been in our shoes, or those who might have ideas as to what might have happened, or what we might do, if anything, to have a happy outcome the next time around. These mares are pregnant so long, it is only natural to imagine what that little foal is going to look like, what color, how loud it might be, what kind of conformation, etc, etc. To lose that foal along the line is a devistation that only those that have experienced it know.
Any opinions?

Posted From:
Posted on Saturday, February 26, 2005 - 01:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I think this would be a good idea. I, thankfully, haven't lost a foal, but only new to breeding. From the time my mare conceives I am excited about next year so if she lost the baby so close I would be devastated. Nice idea horselady.

Posted From:
Posted on Saturday, February 26, 2005 - 02:30 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi Teb;

This is my first year breeding. My first mare lost her foal at 6 1/2 months along. No reason known yet, though I did take the foal to the local animal health laboratory for autopsy. So far on visual examination they tell me that the foal had little fat laid down yet, was small for 6 1/2 months and they suspected that it might be a failure on the placenta's part to nourish her. THey have sent tissue and blood samples to test for virology, toxicology and bacteriology to see if there is something else going on that the visual exam didnt show.
Needless to say, this wasnt the outcome I was hoping for, but considering what I have read and those that have responded to my post on the mares and foals page, it certainly isnt something new either.
I have one other mare due in May of this year and I am hopeful that she will foal a beautiful little foal.
I have contacted the stallion owner who also has his share of sad stories to relate, and will be taking my mare back to him in the spring for a rebreeding. I will be keeping my fingers crossed from then on.

Posted From:
Posted on Monday, February 28, 2005 - 12:33 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I am so sorry for your loss. Last year was my first foal and I woke up one morning to see a filly in the stable with Stella. Mare showed not classical signs of foaling so I decided this year she was not doing it on her own! Have had the camera up for 3 weeks. My mare is 328 days today and went 331 last year. Husband and I are camping out in the living room until she has this thing. We only have one mare and just bought a very nice flat TB last week to breed as well for next year. I find the equine reproduction amazing-the amount of stuff I've learned and learn every day. Before I moved to Ireland I galloped race horses at the track and now we run a pinhooking operation. We are very fortunate here in Ireland as we don't have as many things to worry about with vaccines and fescue grass. All you need here is flu/t and the rhino and roto, and believe me most mares don't get any of it over here.
Keep me updated on the foal that will be born in May and let me know what you are breeding. Chin up for your mare that lost her foal-she'll give you a really good one next year! Also when they find out what caused the loss let me know too!

Posted From:
Posted on Monday, February 28, 2005 - 07:43 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks Terri;

I breed paint horses. This mare that lost her foal was the first mare I bought last year. She is the one I thought would go through the whole thing without a hitch. My other mare I brought up from PA last November and she was already 5 months pregnant though the owner didnt know it until we did the Health Export Paperwork etc. She is a Homozygous Bay, Homozygous Tobiano Mare, pretty as a picture. Since she is homozygous for Bay, she will either have a Bay or a chestnut tobiano from the cross with the stallion she was out with. I am hoping for a Bay, but at this point will take whatever I get. I will be rebreeding my other mare probably in May so that I have a nice baby on the ground for her next April or so.
We have no fescue on the farm here, I don't think it is as big a problem in Canada as the States, but I could be wrong on that point. I also vac for flu and Rhino and make sure my mares are all kept familiar with the local equine vet as well.
I am in the middle of making a decision on where my Bay paint Mare will have her foal in May. She is at a boarding ranch with 5 other horses, but the owner doesnt have alot of experience in foaling yet. My other choice is about 20 minutes away, they are fairly new to the area living here about a year now, and foaled 6 foals last year, two of which they were present to see, and my third choice is a lady about 2 hours away that has extensive experience, foaling cameras etc etc.. but I have no trailer to get my mare to her, and don't know if she will come pick her up or not yet...
Ireland is one of the places I have always wanted to go. My fiance and I both have Irish backgrounds so maybe one day we will get there. In the meantime we are busy getting the farm ready to build a 40x 116 horse and John Deere Collection barn and today my house in the city goes up for sale. Needless to say it has been a busy year!

Posted From:
Posted on Monday, February 28, 2005 - 02:01 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

If you come to Ireland,give us a shout. Hate to say this but very easy to get ripped off here at the moment especially with an American/Canadian accent! Also in reference to moving your mares from the other post, I would say at 300 days you are fine. The woman that owns our place has 5 TB mares which she ships off to a foaling place 1 week before they are due and brings them back 3 days after they have foaled. Don't ask me how she gets away with it. Always ships them to big foaling places with mares in and out and foals and mares always seem fine. Tried to talk to her about the antibody thing and at 81 she doesn't want to know. Always a bit of a time warp here in Ireland, don't want to know about any current information.
Good Luck with your mare and you'll have to send pictures. I love paint horses-nothing more beautiful!

Posted From:
Posted on Monday, February 28, 2005 - 03:05 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

thanks Terri:

you can see my paint mare at Look at the Mares for sale page. This is the lady I bought Becky from. Look for Sierra's Lucky Chick. That's her, though shes alot fatter these days than she was last summer LOL

Posted From:
Posted on Wednesday, March 02, 2005 - 12:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Checked out the website. Your mare is gorgeous and what a mover! They breed incredible paints at the farm. Your very lucky, a very special horse!
Take care

Posted From:
Posted on Wednesday, March 02, 2005 - 12:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks Teb;

That place in PA is a horseman's paradise with the cremellos and perlinos. I'd love one day to have a cremello paint though in Canada they are rarer than hen's teeth. Anyway, Becky is a beauty for sure. I just love her to death. I am hoping for a beautiful little foal out of her this May so am keeping my fingers crossed for a positive result this time around. Am arranging her last Rhino shot for tomorrow and vet check for anything else necessary before she moves to the foaling facility at the beginning of April.

Posted From:
Posted on Thursday, March 03, 2005 - 12:58 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I am at 331 days today and mare has been up and down all night. Milk still clear and foal has not yet changed positions. I think we are getting close. As soon as my scanner is up and working I will send you some pics to your email if you like. I will have to see Becky's Foal! Good luck with your vet exam and pending birth.

Posted From:
Posted on Thursday, March 03, 2005 - 07:23 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks Teb;

I would love to see your foal as well. Your mare is farther along than mine by almost 60 days or so. I will be keeping my fingers crossed for you and can't wait to see your new baby :-)

Posted From:
Posted on Thursday, March 03, 2005 - 10:19 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi guys,
Thought I would go ahead and share my stories of the foals that I have lost over the years.
First one was in 1999, a darling solid bay Appaloosa filly. We had to put her down at 4 weeks of age due to a broken front leg. The vet told me that we could have tried to cast it, but more than likely the older she got the knee would calcify and she would be deformed and never have a good life.
The next one was in 2001 when my TB mare aborted her foal at approx. 5 months gestation. I didn't even know she had lost it until the snow had started to melt off the pasture and we found the fetus. It was a perfectly formed tiny little thing. We figure she had probably lost it 2 weeks earlier and it was too decayed to be able to do a necropsy. When I asked my vet about it all he told me was that sometimes these things happen. But I honestly believe it was because I had given my mare a tetanus shot. She had cut her hip open on a nail and the vet told me that she was far enough along in her pregnancy that it would be fine to give her the shot. Well, I figure she aborted within days of giving her the shot. Makes me wonder.
The next 2 were in 2002 and they were within approx. 2 weeks of each other. The first was a 3 week old palomino near leopard filly that we found lying paralyzed in the pasture. When the vet got here he told me that her neck was broken. He said the only thing he could figure was that she got playing and running around, fell and broke her neck. That broke my heart as she was exactly what I had hoped for.
The second one was a 2 week old solid mahogany chestnut App filly. Her small intestine telescoped back up into itself by about 2 feet. There was no hope for surgery, so we elected to put her down.
Like I said,these last two happened within approx. 2 weeks of each other. I was ready to throw in the towel and stop breeding horses altogether. My vet had even said that I had two very rare misfortunes happen to me in the same foaling season. But he reassured me by saying "well, maybe that means all of the bad things that can happen to you have already happened and now you're done, there won't be any more".
I can only hope.

Posted From:
Posted on Thursday, March 03, 2005 - 11:57 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Im sorry to hear of your losses Sandy. I guess we don't like to think of all the things that can go wrong. When we have no real answers as to what happened or why, it makes it harder. We all live on pins and needles until our foals hit the ground safe and sound, but even then it seems that nothing is guaranteed.

Good luck to all of us expecting foals this year, and hopefully no more bad news.

Posted From:
Posted on Thursday, March 03, 2005 - 02:43 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That's terrible, all those things at once! Are you expecting this year? It's amazing the things that can happen to horses,isn't it. I was so amazed when I came to Ireland and saw all the foals being born outside in bad weather with no attendants and you think the breeding thing is an easy game. I hope you have better fortunes in the future.

Posted From:
Posted on Friday, March 04, 2005 - 01:52 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks, yes I am expecting 3 foals this year. One Appaloosa and two miniatures. The first one is due March 31st.
I'm not comfortable anymore until my foals hit about a month old to be honest. You just never realize how fragile they really are. It's amazing how many make it out in the wild.

Posted From:
Posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2005 - 07:39 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Morning Sandy;

I was thinking the same thing about how these little foals survive the wilderness and live to grow up healthy. I guess that only the strong do survive.

Posted From:
Posted on Wednesday, March 09, 2005 - 05:22 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I guess that is one way of looking at it :-)

Molly (Unregistered Guest)
Unregistered guest
Posted on Thursday, May 12, 2005 - 11:54 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I posted this once already in a similar form on the Mare and Newborn Foal board, but I will put it here too now.

We are heartbroken here. A mare we just bought in March delivered twins at 324 days, early on Mother's Day, which is a bitter irony to me. I think they were stillborn. She did not look to be carrying two babies. Everyone was surprsied. The former owners did not have her ultrasounded early on because they did not think she was bred. It was only this spring that they had her checked and I'm pretty sure she was palpated for that, so I suppose they would have missed twins. We had her under surveillance and thought we noted foal movement the night before she delivered. The babies were small, with one being quite a bit smaller. They looked perfect though. The bigger was a palomino colt and the little one was possibly a buckskin or bay filly. The colt looked like he could have made it. We did not see the actual delivery, but the foals look like they never moved once born. They were both still completely in their sacks with their heads bowed and their front legs folded up. The cords never broke and were still attached to the afterbirth which was located only a foot or so away from the foals. We consider ourselves lucky that the mare didn't get into trouble delivering them. I had the vet check her Sunday and he thought she didn't retain anything and should recover quickly. He wanted me to give her bute for 4 days. It didn't quite work out as easily as that and she has since been flushed and is now on antibiotics. We are watching her closely in case her fever returns. It's my fervent hope that she recovers completely from this. She has been such a patient girl through all this. I feel the worst for her. At first she was distressed because she has had foals before and knew she was supposed to end up with a little on at her side. Her confusion and dejectedness was clear. She's doing better now, but we are watching her closely.

We weren't all that cracked on buying a bred mare, but we liked her and once we got her home, I had given myself over heart and soul to having a little one on the place again. I now realize that I had been so looking forward to it that I now feel I have little to look forward to. I am trying to anticipate the riding we will do once Goldie is recovered and healhty. I will say that the concern we felt for the mare, did jolt me out of my crying spells and so forth for the lost foals.

Debbie Burnett
Username: Horselady

Post Number: 48
Registered: 03-2005
Posted on Thursday, May 12, 2005 - 12:12 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


Please accept my heartfelt sympathy on your loss. We all know how it feels to lose a foal. Look forward to spending time with your mare, and to future foals.

shawna williams
Username: Lexikay

Post Number: 1
Registered: 03-2007
Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007 - 12:31 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm very frustrated. Today we took our pregnant miniature to the vet. She has been congested, but was much better. It was a checkup. The vet listened to the baby's heart beat and all seemed fine. He felt that she had about two more months until delivery. We had exposed her 11 months ago along with three of our other mares. The other three all all close to foaling. We assumed that pregnancy must not have taken right away and accepted that the vet was right as she did not look as big as our other mares. This evening she gave birth to what appeared to be a full term, or close to it, foal. Sadly, when we got outside she was trying to remove the sack from a dead baby. My daughter saw the baby born and thought she saw it moving, so I believe it was born alive. Unfornutately, we are new at this, and my daughter, whom is 8, wanted to surprise us about the baby being born so she didn't say anything about the delivery for about twenty minutes. She wanted to surprise us at dinner and now she is blaming herself because it seems that the baby suffocated within the sack. We don't know how quickly Shadow got up to remove the sack. When we got out there she seemed to be still resting. However, now I'm wandering if she might have tried to remove the sack and couldn't. The reason is that we have fescue. We had asked our vet about this very early in her pregnancy as we heard that it could delay delivery and he assured us, many times, that fescue did not affect miniatures the way it did other horses. When I started thinking about this this evening I kept thinking that long ago I had heard something about fescue thickening the sack so I did a search and sure enough I have found several posts that say it does. Now I'm feeling like I do not trust our vet. How can he have been so off on her delivery? She was just there this morning! So, can someone tell me if fescue is a problem for miniatures because it does seem likely that Shadow couldn't get the sack off her foal. We are in a rural area and this is the only nearby vet. It seems that this entire ordeal may have been preventable! I feel so bad for Shadow and her baby, plus my daughter who feels responsible because she delayed telling us about the delivery. I want to be sure this doesn't happen with the three mares who could foal at any time.

Breeding Stock
Username: Shotsnurse1

Post Number: 114
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007 - 09:29 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

So sorry for your loss. I am new to this too, but there are so many knowledgeable people on this board, you will have some very helpful advice soon.
Keep us all posted, and post some pictures of those babies with their 8yr old human Mom.

Nancy McGee
Breeding Stock
Username: Ndv101

Post Number: 189
Registered: 08-2006
Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007 - 11:37 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Oh Shawna that is horrible news. I would have to say yes the fescue did play a big part. Tell your daughter she should not blame herself that there is nothing she could have done. I know nothing about minis but they are horses too. It could have been something else no one will ever know. Fescue is a big problem here to. It is actually not the fescue it is a fungus that gets into the seed head that is the problem. If you can have it tested that will be the only way to know for sure if it has the fungus.

Jan Owen
Breeding Stock
Username: 1frosty1

Post Number: 207
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007 - 01:37 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

My deepest sympathy. I experienced a foal loss last year. Red bag delivery the foal never took a breath. It is heartbreaking. I know that you say that you say you have 3 more close to foaling I would turn my attention to making sure that they foal out and you do not experience more losses. Thinking of you in CA.

Lisa R.
Username: Lisa98

Post Number: 44
Registered: 02-2007
Posted on Friday, March 30, 2007 - 03:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I am so,so sorry for your loss. I am sure that there was nothing that could have been done and I hope that your daughter can move on and be excited about the other impending babies. I feel for her so deeply. I am not sure of the effects of endophyte infected fescue in mini's-but would assume that they are the same as for regular horses. Maybe your vet wasn't worried b/c he knew (somehow) that your fescue isn't infected? I agree with Jan though, turn your attention to your three other Mommy-to-be's and please let us know how they are doing and when they foal.

Username: Rooty

Post Number: 72
Registered: 07-2006
Posted on Thursday, April 05, 2007 - 04:45 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I've got to say that if someone was standing right there to open the sac that there is a possibility that the foal would have lived.
I don't mean to be unsympathetic, or sound nasty, but we have had 5 out of 13 foals that if someone had not been present at the birth would have died - including 2 premature placental separations and a sac that didn't open. The first foal we ever had was a dystocia, and fate was on our side that both she and the mare were able to be saved, but it sure was a lesson to us to make sure that there is someone present for foaling.
It's a tough lesson but learn from your experience and move on.
I AM very sorry, and I hope the rest of your foals are born safely.

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