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Stillborn foal - Red Bag - anyone need a nurse mare in VA?

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  • #21
    I had a situation similar to Suzanne's at Bloomington Farm, where I saw violent kicking about 2 days prior to delivery. No colic in the mare, though. Late that night, she expelled some amniotic fluid - yep - down with my nose in the bedding to smell it, to make sure. Once the kicking stopped she didn't appear to be in any distress. Had the vet in first thing in the morning. He checked her out, found everything to be fine. I don't think he believed that it really was amniotic fluid. We kept a very close eye on this mare, who was at 327 days when I saw the violent kicking, which nearly put the mare off her feet. The next evening, she expelled a bit more fluid, and the foal was born at 5:12 the next morning. We watched her like a hawk because I knew something wasn't right. I was standing behind her when the vulva lips parted and I saw the placenta. I was not at all surprised by the red bag, being already aware of Suzanne's experience, and was prepared as much as possible. I got the foal out as quickly as possible. Still, the foal was mildly hypoxic, with not much suck reflex, and in mild shock. We syringed colostrum into the foal and kept him warm until the vet arrived 4 hours later. The vet tubed him with high-test colostrum I had frozen and thawed from another mare. He came around quickly after that, and had a strong suck reflex, but was still too weak to stand to nurse. He was bottle fed for the next 2.5 days, kept stalled for the next 10 days, by which time he was normal in every respect. He is now two and very sound and healthy.

    If I had not been right there, there is no question I would have lost this foal, and possibly the dam as well. Even being there, the foal cannot always be saved in the matter of a red bag. The foal was a normal presentation once the placenta was out of the way. I can only assume at day 327, the foal was in distress from lack of oxygen, from a twist or what-have-you. In struggling to break free, he either partially dislodged the placenta or ruptured the amniotic sac, but then his body plugged the hole. According to my vet, if the water had broken, by the time he arrived the next morning, I would have had a dead foal on my hands.

    I am very sorry for your loss. If you're in the business long enough, you will lose a foal. It's a statisical probablity, but sucks, just the same. It is very generous for you to offer your mare as a nurse mare.
    Martha Haley - NeverSayNever Farm
    2009 KWN-NA Breeder of the Year/Silver Level Breeder


    • Original Poster

      Definitely - we will do all of that to see what condition her uterus is in and then decide.

      Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
      I would biospy her uterus before deciding whether or not to breed her back again. Assuming that along with the culture and cytology was ok, I would breed her again.


      • #23
        Originally posted by savvy9 View Post
        Thanks Sid - I am glad to know it probably was not fescue - if it was, I would blame myself..... There are absolutely no trees in the field she was in, so I doubt it was catepillars. Would you breed her again if it was your mare - do you think 19 is too old? She is in good health and pretty spunky still....

        You know this mare - I brought her and her 2008 foal to your RPSI inspection - he was the big, clunky bay colt by Westporte, the mare is dark bay with a white face - Savoir Faire. That son is now 5 and almost 18 hands, but a sweet, gorgeous boy and a lovely mover - I sold him to a dressage home
        Oh my! I do remember. In fact, I may have a picture floating around somewhere with Otto doing the branding.

        Like Laurierace, I would do a culture, cytology and biopsy. If all is good, no reason not to breed again. At her age I wouldn't keep her open long though.

        Sometimes, things happen like this and you'll never know why -- and they don't repeat.

        BTW, the dam of my Boleem daughter "Ballroom Dancer" was 22 when she was born, without any problems.
        www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
        "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
        Boleem @ 1993 National Dressage Symposium - YouTube


        • Original Poster

          I agree - I don't want to wait another year - if her medical tests look good I will breed back! And this will probably be the last one if all goes well - I would really like a replacement filly. She has had 4 bay colts in a row, so maybe it is time for a filly!


          • #25
            Originally posted by savvy9 View Post
            I agree - I don't want to wait another year - if her medical tests look good I will breed back! And this will probably be the last one if all goes well - I would really like a replacement filly. She has had 4 bay colts in a row, so maybe it is time for a filly!
            www.littlebullrun@aol.com See Little Bull Run's stallions at:
            "Argosy" - YouTube and "Boleem" - YouTube
            Boleem @ 1993 National Dressage Symposium - YouTube