***update*** see link for pics of Indiana! http://s8.photobucket.com/albums/a19/juliehannah58
I'm new to this board althogh have been lurking for a while! I really need some reassurance..
My mare gave birth last night at 9.25pm to a gorgeous big chestnut filly after carrying for 354 days. Apart from needing a hand to deliver as foal was so big all went well. Foal was up within 40mins and feeding within 1hr 15mins and then regularly feeding every half hour right through the night (I stayed and watched on cameras the whole night - I'm the ultimate worrying mum!) At 8am this morning the vet arrived and looked filly over and commented on how strong and well they both looked. Checked after birth which was fine, then took two small amounts of blood for the IGG as I requested. The reason she took two is because today is Sunday and she was unsure whether the lab was open today or not so would send one and then do a initial test on the other (said something about protein test?? I blame the lack of sleep for not remembering this).
She just called to say to lab isn't open today so it won't get sent until tomorrow, which means I won't have my results until Tues morning (time of birth 9.20 on Sat night). However she ran her other test (which she said would give us an indication before the more thorough IGG) and that was OK.
I'm now worrying like mad that these results will come too late to prevent filly going downhill if there is a problem, what do you think??
Filly seems fine and full of life, she suckles well every 20mins or so and mum seems to have lots of milk so I do know how paranoid I seem but I can't help it as IGG's are a subject I know little on.
Any advice or opinions most welcomed ! Oh and should just say the filly is called Indiana and is absolutely smashing, with four white stockings and white blaze - I'm over the moon with her!
HI Julie, congrats on the filly! Post pics! What did your vet say the initial IGG was? Surely if she said it looked ok, it is....but I think it's normal to worry anyway! LOL I always do. My last foal tested <400 on the initial test...and the vet sent it off to see what the "actual number" was...and it came back at 800 something...so I am not sure how accurate the initial tests always are....
I know that something can always go wrong. I would think if the test the vet did was ok and the filly looks good I wouldn’t worry too much. When Sky was born I saw that mom had good thick colostrums and I new he had gotten it in as I feed it to him. I never had the vet draw blood and I was never worried. I did continue to dip the umbilical stump 4 times a day. I would say relax a little and enjoy that filly of yours.
Thanks, I know I am driving myself nuts here! I think I need sleep more than anything.
I have just spoken to the vet and had her explain it to me in more detail, she says we will definitely get the results back tomorrow by early afternoon hopefully, so thats better than I thought! Also, the initial test she carried out was for protein measurements and she said anything over 4 was good and my filly scored a 5. She said as long as she's drinking regularly and seems alert and happy I should stop worrying quite so much....!
It's so hard though, all the time and effort and I know how precious these little things are! I have pics but haven't got the cable to upload them yet, but will do tomorrow morning so promise to upload them then
You might want to introduce your veterinarian to stall-side IgG assays such as those available from Exodus Breeders, or a spectrophotometer such as the DVM Stat from Har-Vet that can do IgG checks as well as sperm counts (see links at foot of this page for the suppliers). The stall-side assays are cheap, and both tests take minutes to do and can be done on-farm. While they may not be as accurate as a lab test, they will give you an excellent indication of the need for immediate action. Indeed, many breeders draw the blood and do the tests themselves. If one wanted to confirm the test with a lab test, one could draw two samples and send the second one to the lab. There is really no reason for not having an almost-immediate result.
There are two disadvantages to delaying receipt of the results - the first of course is that the foal is at risk longer if the IgG level is low; and the second is that you pass the point (~12 hours post-foaling) where oral (and therefore cheap) supplementation with stored colostrum is possible, and enter the realms of time where an IV transfer is required with plasma - considerably more expensive, and more risky for the foal.
And you are right to be concerned - USDA Aphis did a retrospective study of foals that dies in the first 48 hours in the 1997 foaling season, and one of the commonest denominators was not having had an IgG check performed. Note "died within the first 48 hours"... I always breath a sigh of relief when we have done the check (which we do at 9-12 hours) and get an "OK" on the results...
Yes I have heard of the 'snap' tests and similar and hoped they would have them but alas.
I have just heard however that I should get the results tomorrow and she said she will chase them all day to get them ASAP. She seems happy that the protein test she did is quite a good indicator when IGG is not available.
Julie, you will soon have some answers, but I understand your worry. I had a foal that, unlike your's, did not nurse well and next day IgG was only 400! I had given him some Seramune, but not sure if it was too late to do any good.
Anyway, it was very worrisome for me, but he is now 5 weeks old and doing great. He should have his own antibody level up to 800 or more by 2 months of age. But he is not around any other horses coming and going, so the vet said we probably didn't need to do a plasma transfusion.
However, since so many foals die within the first 48 hours, after seeming perfectly normal, it is only prudent to worry until we know the test results. So I'm right there with ya! BUT-becaused he nursed so well, he'll probably be fine as long as mother's colostrum has a good antibody count.
Was the mare at the location of birthing for two months or longer? And did she get vaccines at the appropriate time? I believe 45 days before the birth is the minimum needed.
If all that is okay, then perhaps that will help relieve your worry some. Sorry, it's all I can offer. I am a novice-one baby. Everyting I know I learned here, so you have come to the right place!
You sound like so many of the rest of us-worry about our beautiful four legged equine friends!
I have my own land and stables, so it's very quiet, only three of them and now the foal too. So no coming or going, hopefully that will help! Yes, her mum has been here for 5 years, and apart from when she broke her leg (in Nov, 5 months pregnant !! that is another sorry but hence why we named the foal Indiana after surving all mums adventures!)she hasn't even left the premises.
The mare is fully vaccinated, however the foal is also having her antitoxcin tetnus today too, just to be extra careful. This morning I was so dreading looking in the barn after their first solo night but there she was, using the stable as a race track!! Bucking, leaping and running rings around her poor mum! So she seems good at the moment. She is also drinking all the time, not for that long, perhaps 2mins at a time but every 10 mins she is slurping away. Again my vet told me this is a good thing.
I'm keeping a really close eye on her and I'm still a nervous wreck but everytime I see her it reassures me as she is so feisty. My poor vets, but they have been great and keeping in close contact to find out how they are etc.
Yes this is my first foal, I feel like I have learnt sooo much this past year! Came into it knowing nothing, so at least I can take that away with me whatever happens. The mare is hugely special to me and used to be very successful in SJ, unfortunately a field injury put paid to her ridden career last year so now she is concentrating on babies! She had two before so she knew what she was doing, it was just me who fretted the whole time!
Glad to know I'm not the only one who worries about them. First night in my bed for 2 weeks last night and even after 48 hours with 20mins kip, could I sleep???! Nope!
Link to pics now added in original posts, she is doing fab!
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