My mini mare, Goldie foaled this morning at 7:30 am central time. The delivery went well. She was 343 days along. The placenta was hanging out. She jumped up quickly and broke the cord.
It is now 9:30 am central time. Goldie doesn't look so good. This is the first labor and delivery I have witnessed so maybe the other mares did this and I just didn't know. But, she is laying on the ground, rolling, and sometimes seems to be pushing. The laying on the ground is what bothers me. She has been there two hours. She will get up when I go near the pen and protects her baby. She licked off the baby's afterbirth and definitely loves the baby. But, every chance she gets, she goes for the ground and lays there. From the window, she looks mostly dead, but then when I go out she gets up and is very ambitious in protecting her baby. When she's up, she looks good. But, then she goes back down again really fast.
The baby has not nursed yet. I was going to give him one more hour (and her, too) before I intervened. I did check and she has very rich looking colostrum and her teats are working.
My question is - Is Goldie ok? I did not personally witness the rest of the placenta come out. There is none there now. I have two great pyrenes dogs that adore babies. I did not expect it, but they went right in and helped the mom clean up. The mom was with the baby and, when I went into the house for a moment, I suspect the dogs cleaned up anything on the ground because there is nothing out there now and nothing hanging from her any more.
So, can anyone tell me if this is normal or not? I have a constant eye on her - right now she just rolled again onto her back and then went back down. She just lays there. I am sure she is soooo tired. I am just worried if it is something serious like retained placenta or something.
If laying down this much can be normal, I won't worry.
Thanks for any input. We dearly love this mare and her baby is precious, too.
McKay, You need to get your vet out. Sometimes "colicky" symptoms are typical after a mare foals, i.e., to expel afterbirth, uterus is "re-sizing", etc. If the mare is just laying there and this has been going on for several hours, then you most likely need a vet. You need one anyway as also you have no idea if the mare retained any afterbirth.
The fact that dogs went into the foaling stall is a bit scary. I know Great Pyrnees are super animals, but try to keep dogs outside the foaling stall. It is VERY important to have the placenta and to figure out if it is all there. I can't stress that enough. If not, then you have no way of telling if the afterbirth was passed in its entirety and retained placenta can be deadly.
Thank you Catherine. I appreciate the help. I just went out again and the baby does not seem to have a sucking reflex. The mare is now up and around and I found the placenta - relief. However, the baby just will not nurse. I have taken a syringe and put colostrum into his mouth and he will swallow.
Is a lack of sucking reflex a sign of a bigger issue? Also, how much do I feed and how often. The mother has colostrum and milk and is letting me milk her.
Sorry so brief - running in to check this board in between nursings.
McKay, the more comfortable you can get mom the batter. If you've got banamine, use it. My baby didn't have a sucking reflex either, and mom was down more than she was up. Sometimes you've gotta help the minis, as it is unnatural for them to have to bend their neck down, and head up to reach the teat. If you can tie mom, and straddle baby, put one hand on baby's chin, and push it up under mom....all with one hand, grab teat and baby mouth (it's alot to do alone, but it can be done)...once baby figures out where the good stuff comes from, he'll take over. it's hard in minis, because they're born so big in comparision to the mother that nursing is just an unusual position. I have this problem with many foals...I'd have the vet out to check the placenta and make sure it's in tact. Then try to get her on her feet and comfortable enough for the foal to nurse. If the vet comes, he can help you get the foal nursing properly. Don't panic. Happens all the time.
Thank you so much Diana! I have noticed exactly that - it is so hard for him to get his head "under" mama because he is fairly tall to do that. That makes total sense to me.
I did hand milk mama. I am so proud of her. She is a maiden mare. I put a halter on her and tied her up. Then, I went to nursing her. I was a little apprehensive because she has never liked her udder touched. However, I think she knew it was for her baby and he was in trouble. Not only did she let me milk her without any problems, she lifted her leg for me to do it. What a sweetheart and a good mama.
I got about 6 ounces out. At first, I tried the syringe in the back of the mouth, but that didn't work too well. I got a bottle with a pritchard teat on it and went to work.
The amazing thing is that I had to use your trick to get him to even do a weak suck. I put him in my lap, held him backwards and rubbed his tummy. I don't know why it worked, but he did at least start swallowing while I bsically milked the bottle into his mouth.
I figure I got 4-6 ounces in him. The 4-6 accounts for the colostrum that I am now wearing on my pants, shirts, arms, and shoes. I figure that will get him for a little while. I will try to find a website to see how often I should do that. I will do whatever it takes. I am hoping he will develop his sucking ability. He seemed almost unconcerned about eating at all. That still concers me. Have you had that happen??
Godlie is up and walking around now. She stood just fine for the milking which was a long process. I raise nubian goats, too, and that is definitely much faster! I do have banamine, but I have only used it on goats. How much do you use for minis and where do you give it?
Thanks for all the help. I was really panicked. I appreciate the information so much.
I count it as a huge blessing that I was blessed to be there for this one. I don't think he ever would have nursed if he were born in the wee hours of the night.
McKay, I'd still get the vet out for nursing issues, and to do an IGG to see if the foal is getting enough antibodies from your feedings. I've never had one with complete unconcern for eating, but I have had ones that had no idea what to do. If you have a finger and a teat in their mouth at the same time, they tend to figure it out. I usually give banamine paste...which is weight based. But for a 250 pound mare, my vet left me some to give IM (butt or shoulder) 3cc. Everytime that baby wakes, he's gonna want to eat. If you've gotten him to suck from a bottle, I'd definitely work on getting him on a teat....you don't want to be stuck bottle feeding baby! Minis are temperamental,and babies go downhill fast when nutrition is lacking. I'd get the vet out to be sure you're doing all you can do. Don't wait till baby shows signs of something being wrong, or it could very likely be too late
I hope your foal and mare are doing better. I give every mare Banamine immediately after foaling. 1cc per 100 lbs body weight and you can give the injectable Banamine orally, which is what I do.
I had a premature miniature foal born a week and a half ago. He had a suck reflex but was not able to latch and hold to nurse. I ended up taking him to the vet hospital to get him nursing and run an IgG. His was very low and he had two plasma transfers. He and his dam are now at home and hopefully the worst is behind.
Wishing you well with yours.
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