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Bad foaling- can't get mare up. Ideas?? Jingles, too.

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  • Bad foaling- can't get mare up. Ideas?? Jingles, too.

    Mare had huge foal early this morning. Lost the foal. We got the foal out before the vet got here. He gave her a bunch of stuff- oxytocin, glucose, hypertonic saline, dmso, banamine. We tried to get the mare up before he had to leave, but no luck. She's been resting and occasionally trying to get up since he left at about 6am. She'll get part-way up and fall, and of course I'm not strong enough to keep my steel-toe clad foot against hers for support. I'll be calling the vet back shortly to update him.

    Anyone have any ideas of how to help her stand? She's in a stall with a dirt/stone floor so the footing isn't awful. I don't think her pain level is enough to give her more banamine or that stuff that starts with a "P" (can't remember right now) that he left for me if needed. She's not a big mare- maybe 900#, but the ceiling structure won't support any type of sling to help. Any suggestions appreciated.

  • #2
    Keep her rolled up on her sternum, braced against a bale of hay or straw.

    I had a mare last year who could not get up. The vet delivered her foal with obstetrical chains and the foal lived, a miracle baby. The mare looked like she was dying, but she did rally and get up.

    Keep your mare hydrated with electrolytes until the vet gets there.

    Jingles to you!


    • #3
      It sounds like the meds are right on; the anti-inflammatories are paramount at this point. Really, if you can't get her in a sling, then your options are limited at this point. She needs to stay on the anti-inflammatories and she needs to be turned regularly, i.e. if she is laying on her left side (or has her left hind leg under her in the case of being sternal) then she needs to be moved to her right side and back and forth alternately. She needs to be bedded very deeply and of course have feed and water where she can easily reach it. Did your vet think it was nerve damage of some sort?
      This is going to sound cruel, but have you gotten after to get her up? I don't mean beat her, but have you strongly encouraged her?
      Already excited about our 2016 foals! Expecting babies by Indoctro, Diamant de Semilly, Zirocco Blue and Calido!


      • Original Poster

        Nerve damage is what I'm afraid of. We have been turning her occasionally. She's eating a little hay, and as per vet instructions, offering lukewarm water. She gets partway up but can't get her hind feet under her enough. I might be able to get her outside to grass (my barn aisle is sawdust), but then I'm worried that she wouldn't have a wall to lean on if she does make it to her feet. Outside and using the tractor loader is looking more like a possibility at this point.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Hillside H Ranch View Post
          It sounds like the meds are right on; the anti-inflammatories are paramount at this point. Really, if you can't get her in a sling, then your options are limited at this point. She needs to stay on the anti-inflammatories and she needs to be turned regularly, i.e. if she is laying on her left side (or has her left hind leg under her in the case of being sternal) then she needs to be moved to her right side and back and forth alternately. She needs to be bedded very deeply and of course have feed and water where she can easily reach it. Did your vet think it was nerve damage of some sort?
          This is going to sound cruel, but have you gotten after to get her up? I don't mean beat her, but have you strongly encouraged her?
          I couldn't agree more with everything said.

          If it does get to the point where you have to turn her, make sure you turn her sternally. DO NOT roll her over her back. While rolling over on the back seems easier, it is a dangerous situation for all. Especially the horse.

          I'm so sorry for your loss. Many jingles!
          Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


          • #6
            many thoughts and prayers headed your way...
            InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs

            Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)


            • #7
              I have no constructive advice, but wanted to send you a bunch of jingles. I'm so sorry about your foal and I pray your mare pulls through....keep us posted as you can.
              Celtic Pride Farm
              Become a fan on Facebook!


              • #8
                I am so sorry for your loss

                Sending you and your mare well wishes
                Visit us on Facebook!


                • Original Poster

                  I just talked to the vet. He said the best option is probably a sling. Any ideas on what to use? I'm not having any luck find a "real" sling.


                  • #10
                    There are pretty few large animal sling makers out there. You'll want a Liftex style sling:


                    Maybe you can call around to local vets or emergency rescue places if you can find any. Someone out there surely has to rent them. Maybe call Liftex and see if they can point you the right direction?

                    Since liftex don't have a frame, you can use them with almost any ceiling height. You'll need a manual or electric chain hoist. You mentioned your ceiling structure not being good, though?

                    If you can gather lots of (brave, competent) people, you can probably get the mare up with a series of ropes. One on her head, one under her sternum, one on her tail. Brave soul on the tail end to help steady her hind end.
                    Last edited by Texarkana; May. 23, 2008, 01:19 PM. Reason: remembered the word "hoist" how hard was that? haha.
                    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


                    • #11
                      Can you call your local fire departement? I wonder if they would have something that would work? I would worry that something you rig yourself might break and the whole thing comes crushing down!
                      Good luck! Sending lots of jingles!!!!!!!!!!
                      Hoppe, Hoppe, Reiter...
                      Wenn er faellt dann schreit er...

                      Originally posted by mbm
                      forward is like love - you can never have enough


                      • #12
                        So sorry for your loss. Jingling for your mare.

                        My friends had a similar situation six years ago w/ a maiden mare that had her first colt and he was a big one. He was fine, but mom not so much. Vet thinks the colt pinched a nerve on the way out... in that she basically temporarily paralyzed her hindend and couldn't get up (1800 lb mare.) She was able to eat and was doing fine otherwise, cleaned well and so forth all while laying down. It's been so long ago now that I can't remember exactly how long before she was able to get up, but 2-3 hours after foaling seems about right. She was a little unsteady on her feet at first so we stayed w/ her to make sure she wasn't going to fall on her colt and that he could nurse. She did have some damage from that foaling, but nothing has kept her down since and she's had several other foals (sadly lost hers this year, as well.) The left side of her pelvis/hip stayed in foaling position and that ended her show career. You can't even tell and she's no longer gimpy... she's also blind in one eye... the poor girl.

                        I hope your mare comes around in a few hours, too.
                        A Merrick N Dream Farm
                        Proud Member of "Someone Special to me serves in the Military" Clique


                        • #13
                          Nothing constructive to add, just jingles and prayers. I'm sorry for your loss of the foal, but hope the mare comes through this.
                          "I don't want to sound like a broken record here, but why is it that a woman will forgive homicidal behavior in a horse, yet be highly critical of a man for leaving the toilet seat up?" Dave Barry


                          • #14
                            I believe that fire rescues sometimes use, used wildland hose to make a sling. Check with your local forest service or wildland fire service. They will probably be willing to give you some.



                            • #15
                              I can't add much more either than to suggest that she likely has nerve damage. She sounds a lot like the mare we lost a few weeks ago with a dystocia...no ability to get her hind legs under her. The ideas of a sling are very good if you can rig it and hopefully she will rally with the support.

                              Sending jingles and prayers. So sorry for the loss of the foal.


                              • #16
                                I'm so sorry you're going through this. Call around to any friends and vets to see if anyone has a sling. You can't use just cargo straps with webbing in between. That's not balanced enough. I t has to be one made for livestock.

                                We had a mare in a similar situation, and we lost the foal, too. We special ordered a sling from a mfg in Washington state, I think. It was one that had to be rigged on the barn rafters. Our mare was down for 5 days before we got it. At first, she just hung in it. Very discouraging. Finally, after three or four tries, the mare put weight on her back legs and she stood on her own. We got her up every 3-4 hours after that and, on the fourth or fifth time, she stayed up.

                                Just to warn you, the healing from nerve damage takes a long time. Our mare looked like absolute hell for 4 months -- the muscles atrophied on her bad side and her stifle stuck out at an angle. It took about 6 months before she was anywhere near normal again.

                                The good news is that was 13 years ago, the mare is fine now.

                                Good luck.
                                "... if you think i'm MAD, today, of all days,
                                the best day in ten years,
                                you are SORELY MISTAKEN, MY LITTLE ANCHOVY."


                                • #17
                                  I am very sorry for your loss. And, I am jingling.

                                  In 1999 I had a mare do the same thing. Basically her hindlegs did not work at all for about 8 hours after foaling. The vet said the foal had been pressing on a nerve. In my mare's case she was given a pretty massive dose of bute. Eight hours later she got up and was fine after that. Hoping your mare does the same thing!
                                  Mary Lou


                                  Member OMGiH I loff my mares clique


                                  • #18
                                    Just remembered this: the vet gave her IV DMSO about 12 hours after the foaling, but she still couldn't get up. I have no idea of that's a wise thing or not. I can't believe I forgot that. The smell was overpowering.
                                    "... if you think i'm MAD, today, of all days,
                                    the best day in ten years,
                                    you are SORELY MISTAKEN, MY LITTLE ANCHOVY."


                                    • #19
                                      I'm so sorry about your foal I lost one last week to dystocia, it's so hard.

                                      We needed a sling several years ago and were able to borrow one from the U of M. We hung it from the front end loader of my farmer neighbor's tractor in the indoor. It worked great! I agree with everyone who says you need a specialized sling. After seeing it in action, the balance issue would be a problem with anything else. Is there a large clinic or University within driving distance?

                                      Lots of prayers for you and your mare.


                                      • Original Poster

                                        Well, the only luck we've had so far is finding a helpful neighbor with wide nylon rigging straps. DH just went to get a boom pole for a tractor while we let the mare rest a bit. The pipe we found isn't strong enough to support the mares weight. Hopefully we won't have to take the stall apart, but we'll definitely do it if we have to- fortunately it's but together with lag bolts and screws, no nails.

                                        I wish I was closer to Lexington, I'm sure I could find a sling there, but it's at least 2 hrs away.