My flagship mare appeared to be colicing on Tuesday night, but then her water broke and she was in labor. Pregnancy was only 289 days old and the foal was dead.
My "emergency" vet offered to get her truck and trailer and serve as an ambulance to get the mare to Chino Valley Equine Hospital. We arrived about midnight.
The vets and techs sedated the mare, rolled her up on her back with her feet hoisted above her. The surgeon on call was able to turn the foal. The colt was in a breech birth position with head turned back and unbudgeable for my vet at home.
With the help of chains on the hooves, two men pulled the foal out. I watched from an observation room with tears in my eyes, fearing the worst until the colt slid to the floor. If the vets could not slide him out, he would have been cut out in pieces or they would have suggested a Caesarean section.
The prognosis is placentitis. The cord itself was VERY thick. The fluid was brown and nasty. His white hind socks were discolored and yellow.
My mare remains in the hospital with retained placenta. She is being flushed twice daily.
I've had 30-40 foals and this is my first dystocia. There was NO clue that anything was wrong until she started to show signs of colic.
I share this story as a reminder to everyone to have an emergency plan in place. I honestly was not prepared. I had loaned my own trailer out, and we just had to replace the engine in the pickup so hauling a heavy load would not have been a good idea.
Amazingly, this vet offered to get the mare to the hospital. The options would have been to put her down on the spot or let her suffer through the night and do it in the morning.
While I am sad, and worried, I am very thankful that there is good reason to be positive despite the ongoing retention of the placenta.
I'm so sorry to hear that. I'm glad that you were able to get your mare to the care that she needed; it is a testament to your responsibility as a breeder that you are providing your mare with the excellent care that she needs.
I'll be jingling for you.
I am so sorry for your loss and jingling for you and your mare. Unusual things have seemed to happen since last fall to many breeders with slipped foals, spontaneous late term abortions, stillborn foals, etc. So sad. Please keep us updated about your mare.
Yes, emergency plans are always a good idea under all circumstances. We keep current emergency numbers handy every time we haul more than a few miles and have a phone network to help others out in the area specifically for situations such as yours. It's paid off many times for many friends to be part of a phone tree for horse emergencies.
Your mare is very lucky, sounds like she will be OK. Jingles for a smooth recovery. I just hate to hear about these things. I have lost a foal and a mare and nothing is worse then that feeling of helplessness.
~Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away...
What a wonderful vet you have!! I applaud your swift action to save your mare. Lets hope she improves each hour she is at the facility. Even though I am sorry for your loss I am happy to see you react in a positive manner to do something about the situation at hand. Please keep us updated. I will be reading and waiting.