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  1. #1
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    Default Irritation after enema on new foal

    Anyone had signs of irritation/straining after giving a foal an enema? Advice? Foal seems to be trying to pass feces an aweful lot, not diarrhea, (yellow sticky) but I want to be on top of it.

    Called vet (same vet who made the phone diagnosis of founder on broodmare *sigh*) and he said oh rectal tear.

    What should I be looking for and what should I be doing at this point? Id ask vet, but well, Id like to hear more feedback from other breeders too...
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  2. #2
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    How old is the foal? What type of enema did you give him? Has he passed the meconium? I give a saline enema the first time then follow up with mineral oil enemas if needed. Saline can be irritating but is effective which is why I start there. And while I disagree with an over the phone diagnosis of rectal tear it is a possibility especially if you forced the tip in or went in at an angle. Regardless of cause, excessive straining is not a good thing and needs to be investigated.



  3. #3
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    A rectal tear would be something I wouldn't be wanting to hear....they can heal on their own but still. Yellow sticky feces is due to getting milk through the system...not sure why one would give an enema for this....or was it for meconium before the milk got through? Either way I'd be wanting to have the vet check...a tear isn't something to just leave alone as far as I know. Have seen lots of babies do a little straining even with the yellow baby poop for the first couple days.
    Colored Cowhorse Ranch
    www.coloredcowhorseranch.com
    Northern NV



  4. #4
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    OK, he was just born yesterday. We gave it to help pass the meconium, but we were very very cautious and used a foal saline based enema. I need to back track.. its less straining as it is pooping a lot..so yes feces is being passed but I feel like he is pooping more since the enema.. Ok- maybe Im sounding crazy.. I feel like it as I write this..no sleep, not thinking clear. The worry and fretting over foals is exhausting.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by wehrlegirl View Post
    OK, he was just born yesterday. We gave it to help pass the meconium, but we were very very cautious and used a foal saline based enema. I need to back track.. its less straining as it is pooping a lot..so yes feces is being passed but I feel like he is pooping more since the enema.. Ok- maybe Im sounding crazy.. I feel like it as I write this..no sleep, not thinking clear. The worry and fretting over foals is exhausting.
    Pooping a lot is good, that is why you give the enema in the first place. Straining a lot is bad. If he seems like he is working hard and nothing is coming out or very little is coming out then follow up with a mineral oil enema.



  6. #6
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    Ok.. phew.. things are definitely coming out. He's not working hard just he was walking around with his tail up and pooping a lot yesterday after the enema..but as you say thats why I did it in the first place. Ok.. I havent even had coffee yet.. maybe I should go straight to the glass of wine.
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  7. #7
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    This happened to my mare's '10 and '11 colts. They were both born "late" and I thought they passed all of the meconium, but they were straining. Diarrhea may be able to pass around an impaction. Last year's colt had to go to the hospital for 2 days and this year's colt was treated at him and just had 1 saline enema at birth, then ivory soap and warm water attached to a stallion catheter. I also gave them both 1 cc of banamine to help with swelling. If you can turn them out, that is good as well. They need to move. Good luck!



  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Callaway View Post
    If you can turn them out, that is good as well. They need to move. Good luck!
    I did this.. first nice days in nearly 20 days of rain. Looks fine now. Yellow poop has stopped, starting to play. Im going to really reconsider using an enema unless it is a very last resort next time. Not worth all the extra concern.

    Thanks everyone for the feedback.. its a HUGE support to come on here and get insight from others.
    www.windhorsefrm.org and on Facebook too!
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  9. #9
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    The poop after the meconium is usually a bit light colored due to the milk.

    best type of enema to use is WARM WATER - maybe a couple drops of mineral oil. Never heard of using saline it's too caustic.
    Summit Sporthorses Ltd. Inc.
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  10. #10
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    I raise mine mostly in a herd setting with the mares usually foaling either in a pen at the fenceline of the almost 20 acres they are on or actually in the field (bring to pen at night but this year 4 of the 6 foals were born in the daytime in the field). No enemas to any but I think that is partly due to the amount of movement they are able to do as soon as they have their legs under them.....they are out with moms grazing what grasses are out there (desert so there's not a lot!) and coming in twice a day for hay. One or two had a couple moments of straining with meconium but none beyond that.
    Colored Cowhorse Ranch
    www.coloredcowhorseranch.com
    Northern NV



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by coloredcowhorse View Post
    I raise mine mostly in a herd setting with the mares usually foaling either in a pen at the fenceline of the almost 20 acres they are on or actually in the field (bring to pen at night but this year 4 of the 6 foals were born in the daytime in the field). No enemas to any but I think that is partly due to the amount of movement they are able to do as soon as they have their legs under them.....they are out with moms grazing what grasses are out there (desert so there's not a lot!) and coming in twice a day for hay. One or two had a couple moments of straining with meconium but none beyond that.
    Last year we had good success doing it that way, but we just moved to Washington and are really rural.. and the coyotes have been coming in way too close so everyone is in. Though the mares did gang up on one and chased it from the pasture..I cant risk a mare foaling out there. I agree its better if the conditions are right.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by ise@ssl View Post
    The poop after the meconium is usually a bit light colored due to the milk.

    best type of enema to use is WARM WATER - maybe a couple drops of mineral oil. Never heard of using saline it's too caustic.
    Now I know.. I went into overkill mode. Glad I didnt screw it up too bad, I wouldn't be able to live with myself if I did.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by wehrlegirl View Post
    Last year we had good success doing it that way, but we just moved to Washington and are really rural.. and the coyotes have been coming in way too close so everyone is in. Though the mares did gang up on one and chased it from the pasture..I cant risk a mare foaling out there. I agree its better if the conditions are right.
    Lots of coyotes here too....high desert area and get to listen to them almost every night. Consider a llama for your herd, gelded males are good, intact even better but be sure not raised as an orphan (whole discussion there). Introduce SLOWLY to your herd as most horses do a total freak out when they see a llama for the first time. Very protective, no hassle for the horses at all and kind of cute. Not terribly expensive to get nowdays....check Craigslist as they show up there every once in awhile. Being nosey...where in western Washington (lived in Tacoma and went to nursing school there).
    Colored Cowhorse Ranch
    www.coloredcowhorseranch.com
    Northern NV



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by coloredcowhorse View Post
    Lots of coyotes here too....high desert area and get to listen to them almost every night. Consider a llama for your herd, gelded males are good, intact even better but be sure not raised as an orphan (whole discussion there). Introduce SLOWLY to your herd as most horses do a total freak out when they see a llama for the first time. Very protective, no hassle for the horses at all and kind of cute. Not terribly expensive to get nowdays....check Craigslist as they show up there every once in awhile. Being nosey...where in western Washington (lived in Tacoma and went to nursing school there).
    Thought about Llamas...or donkeys, or the LGD's. Id like to get something for sure. Which leads to your question.. we are in Toledo..the middle of nowhere, or approximately between Olympia and Portland. But we are moving.. cant handle the weather.I have never seen mud like this in my life and we had wanted to buy a large farm on a fixer up budget--not happening, way too much for a mother/daughter team. So looking at Northern New Mexico now. Still coyotes, less rain.
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  15. #15
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    FWIW Hillary, the vets at WEC told me that they routinely give a saline enema to any baby born at the clinic as a precaution. If more are needed after that they do the soapy warm water.
    When I had my mare and baby there in the CCU, there were at least two colt foals there with meconium impactions, its more prevalent in boys than girls. My colt born this year was a little plugged up, but giving a few soapy water enemas to help move things along if needed is better than letting them strain. Just use lube, common sense and be gentle when deciding when and how often.



  16. #16

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    I gave a fleet enema to my filly after she was straining and no production. Fixed her right up. What came out right after didn't look like anything that should have plugged her up, but she hasn't strained since. In her case........due to the problems early on and the mare stopping milk production she was dehydrated.

    When in doubt, I'd do the enema. Better to be safe than sorry IMO.



  17. #17
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    Do enemas help with hydration to the system? I thought they did..not just as a 'wash' but as rehydrating the internal organs in a foal that may have questionable hydration from nursing alone.
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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by wehrlegirl View Post
    Do enemas help with hydration to the system? I thought they did..not just as a 'wash' but as rehydrating the internal organs in a foal that may have questionable hydration from nursing alone.
    I wouldn't think so. It doesn't stay in that long. What it does do is lubricate.

    To hydrate, you either need an IV or a nose tube into the stomach if the foal isn't nursing properly.



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by back in the saddle View Post
    I wouldn't think so. It doesn't stay in that long. What it does do is lubricate.

    To hydrate, you either need an IV or a nose tube into the stomach if the foal isn't nursing properly.
    I think I saw it on man v wild.. Didnt know if it would ever work on a foal too.
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  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by wehrlegirl View Post
    I think I saw it on man v wild.. Didnt know if it would ever work on a foal too.
    LOL.. there is probably something to it, but the amount of liquid, the time it would take, on a wiggly foal (assuming it is still wiggly) would be rather hard to do. but as a last resort when a vet isn't close by, I'll put that in my tool kit. Those membranes absorb antibiotics so I'm sure water would get absorbed as well.



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