I came upon your board doing a search trying to find more info about foaling problems. You appear to be an experienced, well educated group of people and I would greatly appreciate some advice as I am new to the breeding game. I've been involved with horses on a large scale for years now but last year was my first intro to the foaling out side of things. Our mare last year rejected the foal and we had to do the bottle feed and restrain the mare routine for quite a few days until the mare gave in and let her drink. All is well now and her foal of '08 was allowed to drink after only a little intervention. Our maiden mare this year very sneakily foaled I would assume shortly after my partner left the barn after checking her and seeing no signs of an inpending birth. When I arrived the mare was lying down. When she got up, I saw that her vulva was badly torn. The vet came, checked the placenta and said all was well. Stiched her up (the tear is a large flap basically from about an inch below her rectum down almost to the bottom of her vulva on the left hand side.) We put her on penicllan and were told to flush the area with a peroxide/furacin solution once a day. The first couple of days it swelled but looked not bad. (She foaled last Sunday) Since then it is slowly looking worse. On Tuesday night we gave her penicillan, bute and flushed the area and she had an allergic reaction(intense itching and small hives) so we called the vet to see if it was ok for the foal to give antihistamines. He said yes and to not give any more penicillan, to switch to sulfatrims. Then, the next day, we gave her bute and flushed it again. She had another reaction. I'm thinking it's the fura/peroxide so I dont' want to use that anymore. She's had bute plenty of times before and no problem. Is there anything other than washing it with betadine that I can do? Should I try her on penicillan again since she obviously had the reaction from something else? I am concerned that the tear is not healing well at all. There is a lot of necotic tissue around the edges and it smells terrible. The mare doesn't have a temp., is licking her feed tub clean and seems bright and alert. I'm also concerned that when we turn her out she had a lot of discharge coming out, looking like incontinece. The last time the vet was out he said it doesn't look good but to continue as we are going and quite honestly I'm not terribly comfortable with that. As well, although the foal is bright eyed, energetic and very alert, there doesn't seem to be enough milk. Her bag was hard and we are massaging and hot compressing and it seems to be softening some. The vet dropped off foal-lac but the little guy refuses to drink it. The vet came to give Oxytocin on Wednesday to help her drop the milk but he thought she had a colicy reaction then too so he had to give her banamine as well. Any advice at all would be greatly appreciated. She's a lovely mare and a wonderful mother already and I hate seeing her have to go through all of this.
While there are some excellent people here, and we all try to help on this board, I really do feel that these are questions best addressed to your vet who has seen and is treating the mare, or to a second-opinion vet who can actually evaluate the situation. If you're not comfortable with the way it's going, don't hesitate to either tell your vet that or get a second opinion.
The foal may not be getting enough milk because the mare is so sore in the back end that she is either not letting the foal nurse ("don't go near that it hurts!!!!"), or not letting down for the same reason.
This is going to sound a little silly, but a friend had a mare that tore really bad last year. Her mare was allergic to Penicillin and was a picky eater so they had a hard time getting the Antibiotics in her. She developed an infection and the vet told her to just keep with her and keep up with the flushing. My friend was so frustrated that she decided to see if she could get some of the swelling down so she could clean the area better. She used a rotation of Hot and Cold compresses. For hot she used a sock with flax seed in it that she placed in the microwave and then held it to the area for about 10min. She then crushed ice, placed in a bag, put it in a sock and held it to the area for 5min. She did this 3 times a day and always kept her tail wrapped with soft padding to prevent rubbing. She got the swelling down, pulled out allot of puss and dead skin and the mare started to heal up. I think she kept with the compresses for about 4 days. The mare healed up all the way and is due to foal next month. I know it sounds silly but maby it will help. Good luck.
Hi. I am a novice, but have some medical background. If I am being too basic for the knowledge you have I apologize. The antibiotic has to be given as ordered. If stopped, or is hit or miss, then the organisms can regroup and come back stronger than ever. I learned this with my daughter, the hard way. She got an antibiotic for strep. I missed a few doses once she was near the end and seemed fine-ended up in the hospital with a kidney infection as a result of my ignorance. She recovered.
I think you are right about the allergy. If the allergy were to the antibiotic, it should have been systemic, not localized. But you are right to not give it when in doubt, without the vet's okay.
The worry I would have is that she can get septic and that is a life threatening condition. I would advise you to write down the concerns and present all of it to the vet. If he satisfies you with answers, fine. Follow advice. If not, definetley get a second opinion ASAP.
You might check one of the threads on here that is about post foaling incontinence. I haven't read it, but it may have some good info there too.
About her milk supply-I can only make suppositions, so will not do that. As I said, I am a novice. I do know you have reason to be concerned. Foals can get into trouble very, very quickly, as you will see if you read some of the links, such as, "when things go wrong."
But above all, listen to the advice from Jos's post. She is very knowledgeable. Glad you came on board. Your concerns come across loud and clear in your post. Keep us posted okay? We might all learn something from this.
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