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Bringing a foal into the world is a momentous occasion for any horse breeder or owner. However, the journey doesn’t end once the foal is born; in fact, it’s only just begun. In the whirlwind of excitement surrounding the new arrival, it’s crucial not to overlook the essential step of conducting a thorough post-foaling examination for the mare. These examinations play a pivotal role in ensuring the health and well-being of both the mare and her foal.

Neonatal Exams for Mares

One of the primary objectives of post-foaling mare exams is to assess the overall health of the mare following the birthing process. These exams typically involve a thorough physical examination by a veterinarian to check for any signs of distress, injury, or complications that may have arisen during foaling. This includes evaluating the mare’s reproductive tract for any abnormalities or tears, as well as assessing her general condition, such as heart rate, respiratory rate, and temperature.

Additionally, neonatal exams for mares involve monitoring the mare’s behavior and demeanor, as any signs of discomfort or distress could indicate underlying issues that need to be addressed promptly. Early detection of problems can help prevent complications and ensure the mare’s swift recovery, ultimately contributing to her ability to care for her foal effectively.

Normal Reflex and Retained Placenta Check

Another critical aspect of post-foaling mare exams is checking for the presence of a retained placenta. Retained placenta occurs when all or part of the placenta fails to be expelled from the mare’s uterus after foaling. This condition can lead to serious complications, including uterine infections and infertility, if left untreated.

During the examination, the veterinarian will carefully inspect the placenta to ensure it has been fully expelled. Additionally, they will assess the mare’s normal reflexes, such as urination and defecation, which can be affected by the birthing process. Identifying any abnormalities in these reflexes early on allows for prompt intervention and minimizes the risk of complications.

Foal Vital Check, Including Vitals and Tendon/Ligament Examinations

While the focus of post-foaling exams often centers on the mare, it’s equally important to assess the health and well-being of the newborn foal. Foal vital checks involve monitoring vital signs such as heart rate, respiratory rate, and temperature to ensure they are within normal ranges. Any deviations from the norm could indicate underlying health issues that require attention.

In addition to vital signs, our team of veterinarians also conducts thorough examinations of the foal’s tendons and ligaments. This is particularly important as foals are susceptible to developmental orthopedic diseases (DOD) due to their rapid growth and immature skeletal structure. Identifying any abnormalities early on allows for timely intervention and proper management to prevent long-term issues.

Plasma Administration for 24 Hours After Birth

Ensuring the health and longevity of newborn foals is paramount, and one way to support their immune system and overall well-being is through the administration of plasma. Plasma is rich in antibodies and essential proteins that provide passive immunity to the foal, helping it fight off infections and diseases during the critical first hours of life.

By providing plasma for 24 hours after birth, we give foals the best possible start in life, bolstering their immune system and setting them on the path to optimal health and development. This proactive approach to foal care shows our commitment to ensuring the well-being of every horse in our care.

Get Your Mare Examined Today

Post-foaling mare exams are not just a routine procedure; they are a critical component of responsible horse breeding and ownership. By conducting thorough examinations of both the mare and her foal, we can identify and address any issues early on, ensuring the health and longevity of these magnificent animals. From monitoring vital signs to administering essential plasma, every step we take is aimed at providing the best possible care for our equine companions. To learn more about the reproductive services that Signature Equine Hospital offers, contact us today!