Well the worst of the worst came about last night for my friend. She called me at 5:42 last night and said something was wrong with her mare (Missouri Fox Trotter) who was 311 days. When I got to her house (right close) I called my vet thinking we had a red bag delivery as I just saw red until I got into the stall with her. Come to find out that it wasn't red bag but that the sac had broken inside the mare and there was no baby with the mare straining.
My vet had me reach in the bag and see what I could feel. I wasn't sure but I thought it was a tail and butt. When My vet got there she confirmed it was butt and that we'd already lost the baby, now it was saving the mare.
C-Section was not an option at being qoated 5-7,000 with no issues, so we tried another that was 3-5,000 and took her to UF. Price was then quoted again at 5-7 but we were looking at 8,000 and we're planning to have Princess (mother) put down. Vet said foal was breech and also upside down, a fluke of nature that couldn't have gone more wrong for us.
Vets decided to try and hoist Princess up after being put under and try to manually manipulate the foal. After an hour they were able to get one back leg straight out, but the other wouldm't budge and they cut it off to get the rest of the leg straight. After 2 hours rolled around they had to call it quits and let mother nature reign.
Princess was put down around 3:30 AM after being a wonderfull broodmare with more than 15 foals on the ground with never any issues foaling. She will be missed but is survived by many foals, one of which the owners have and will never sell now (2 year old filly).
The vets said that the way everything went, they felt the foal was deformed because they could feel intesting, and that the foal had been dead a while and never got to rotate into correct position when mare tried to deliver. This was just a case of the bad going horrible.
My thoughts are just on how often can a live breech happen (without baby being dead so it couldn't turn). How common is breech foals?
Per Karen Hayes DVM book, breech is rare -- about 1 in 500 cases.
I had my own experience with breech early in my breeding career. I was there -- as soon as the water broke I cleaned up, washed the mare and stuck a (gloved) hand in. Felt like it was a wall.
Immediately called the vet, and she was 40 minutes aways. Meanwhile the mare started hard labor.
Vet arrived, and after several failed attempted, finally managed to perform an epidural on the mare.
Vet was amazed to find the mare actually moving the foal down the birth canal! We got straps on the hind legs and began to pull...I SO wish the vet (a woman) had told me to call for man-help!
We did get the filly out and she was alive, but died about 5 minutes later. I've often wonder if oxygen or quicker help might have made a difference...but this thread makes me feel alittle better that we did the best we could.
You indicate that the mare was "moving the foal down the birth canal"" and that you "got straps on the hind legs". From these comments, I presume that it was the hind legs that were engaged in the birth canal and therefore moving down it.
If so, it was not a true breech presentation, but a reverse presentation. In a breech presentation, the rump of the foal is presented at the cervix, and the hind legs (and forelegs of course) are still pointing downwards in the uterus and not entering (and cannot enter) the birth canal. With a reverse presentation, the hind legs enter the birth canal and then the rump (rather than the head and forelegs). In fact, a mare can often foal unaided with a reverse presentation, but the biggest issue is that as the foal's abdomen passes over the mare's pelvic brim, the umbilicus is likely to be pinched off, preventing the passage of oxygenated blood to the foal. Consequently there is a high risk of hypoxia or even death during the foaling process, with (in the case of hypoxia) production of an hypoxic ischemic encephalopathic foal (aka "dummy" or "neonatal maladjustment syndrome" foal).
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