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Euthanizing a mare with a young foal

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  • #21
    We have had 2 orphan foals over the past decade & sent the first one to a friend who already had 2 orphan foals. She put an antique mare in with them & the grew up with few issues. We raised the 2nd here at home with the use of an Igloo cooler & she also did very well. We got her used to drinking cooled milk replacer & the igloo kept the formula clean during the worst of fly season & the ice kept it from spoiling in the heat.

    I am sorry for what you are going through, but reality is with the 2nd mare and foal, it sounds like you are in a better position than most people (even though that doesn't make it easier).
    Hidden Echo Farm, Carlisle, PA -- home of JC palomino sire Canadian Kid (1990 - 2013) & AQHA sire Lark's Favorite, son of Rugged Lark.


    • #22
      No advice but just wanted to say so VERY very sorry.
      What's wrong with you?? Your cheese done slid off its cracker?!?!


      • #23
        I'm so very sorry too - but if you are anywhere near NE Indiana, I can loan you a mare or a pony.
        Last edited by hundredacres; May. 23, 2013, 03:46 PM.


        • #24
          I'm so sorry you're having this problem.

          Cyber {{{hugs}}} to you.


          • #25
            Jingles for your mare and foal. So sorry you are having to deal with this.


            • #26
              I would suggest you get the foal to suck from an Igloo instead of lapping from a bucket. You just put a nipple on n Igloo cooler and hang it at a height suitable for the foal to "nurse". The cooler keeps the milk replacement at a constant temperature.
              I've seen two grown horses who tongue suck and both were "bucket babies".
              Summit Sporthorses Ltd. Inc.
              "Breeding Competition Partners & Lifelong Friends"


              • #27
                isn't jennywho in the PNW?
                Sending lots of jingles your way


                • #28
                  I am just so sorry...how stressful in so many ways for you, the mare, the foal...

                  If I were in your shoes, I think I'd try to find a grandma or grandpa pony/small horse. If they could go ahead and share a fence line I'd give that a whirl. We had a grandma pony that was turned out with our mares & babies. I love the grannys & gramps for all the reasons previously stated. Again, so sorry.


                  • #29
                    Oh, Jenny. Not Diva. I am so very sorry.


                    • #30
                      How sad!!! I am so sorry you are faced with this!

                      As an undergrad, I worked as an intern on a research project which involved weaning foals at 2 months of age (half of them were fed a top-dressing of spray-dried plasma protein on their feed and the other half got a "placebo" concoction of amino acids - in some livestock species SDPP increases immunity - we found it didn't in horses!). Anyhow, we got all of the foals to eat Purina's Equine Junior prior to weaning and then did a cold turkey removal of the mares. They were in individual runs with shelters but we paired them up with a buddy for some play time every day. They had NO problems - just the usual screaming for mom for a day or so. Well...there was one filly we had to move because she kept nursing on her next door neighbor's umbilical hernia. They gained weight well, looked great and were otherwise healthy. Some of them did get an upper respiratory infection towards the end. They actually looked better than other foals at CSU that had not been weaned... I ended up buying one of them at the end of the study and I still have her (15 years old now!). It's not something I'd recommend someone do unless circumstances dictate like in your case. Good luck!
                      Dodon Farm Training Center - on Facebook


                      • #31
                        This happened with one of our mares (Nanny) a few years back. We had another orphan foal we were boarding at the time and we put them together. How old is your other baby/babies? Could you wean them same time?

                        B. has also given orphans goats before and that has worked. (LET ME KNOW if you need a goat, we have like 14 now.) Or get a nice old mare to be a stepmom, or even your old gelding might work if he's not a butthead.

                        I am so sorry.
                        It's a uterus, not a clown car. - Sayyedati


                        • #32
                          I'm sorry you're in this situation.

                          I worked with a lovely TB mare that developed aggressive bone cancer in her face during pregnancy. She was very sick but miraculously delivered a healthy foal at 13 months, despite being a rack of bones. She still wanted to eat and care for her foal, so I think we kept her alive for about 3 weeks before it was just too bad. Her foal had been on milk replacer the whole time so he was used to the bucket, and she was euthanized in a paddock with him with her. He was given a gelding as a buddy (who he tried to nurse off of....) and ended up doing fine.
                          Hugs to you.
                          As Peter, Paul, and Mary say, a dragon lives forever.


                          • Original Poster

                            Thank you all so much for your kind words and ideas. Funny how much clearer things are thanks to the COTH wisdom and I am feeling much better in making a plan. Thankfully the days following my posting have been good ones for Diva and as long as we can keep her happy we'll keep her going.

                            I talked to the vet school today and they are "excited" to necropsy her when it comes time. This type of tumor and the location effects 1 in 10,000 mares and there are only 6 scientific papers related to it.

                            Sigh, couldn't I have just been the 1 in 10,000 lottery winner.

                            Thank you all again. I have one mare that has been a nurse mare in the past so i will probably try her if needed, hopefully Diva will hang on long enough to wean both babies at the same time. Otherwise pnw'ers I may be reaching out to you.


                            • #34
                              Just wanted you to know how sorry I am for you & your mare.
                              Producing horses with gentle minds & brilliant movement!


                              • #35
                                Originally posted by ise@ssl View Post
                                I've seen two grown horses who tongue suck and both were "bucket babies".
                                My grown mare sucks her tongue after she eats (either her grain or a treat.) And on a VERY RARE occasion she will just randomly suck her tongue. She was raised by her mother and nursed like any other foal. I think it is kind of cute and it doesn't interfere with anything we do.

                                To the OP - I am SO sorry about your situation. I hope your mare can stay comfortable for a little longer. Can you go ahead and find a suitable babysitter/companion and turn that horse out with your mare and foal now so the foal can get acquainted. My very large warmblood mare (the aforementioned tongue sucker) is my foal sitter, believe it or not. She is not at all aggressive but gently tells foals to knock off bad behavior. I have always turned her out with the mare and foal at least a month before weaning. Then weaning is not so traumatic because the foal is already happy hanging out with "Aunt Summer."

                                Good luck and hope it all works out well for your foal. So sorry about your mare - very sad.


                                • Original Poster

                                  Well, tomorrow's the day Diva is having more bad days than good and it's just not fair to her. Plus as warned, she has a sore that has opened up on the affected side of her udder.

                                  So, what I ended up doing was putting Cheese (another mare that has raised an orphan) in with the four of them today. She is good buddies with my other mare Bacpac. I will have Diva euthanized right outside the pen so her colt can see her and hopefully there will be minimal drama.

                                  I will keep you all updated on how it goes.

                                  Hopefully no one else ever finds themselves in a similar situation, but sadly I know that won't be the case.


                                  • #37
                                    I am very sorry for your loss! Godspeed Diva
                                    RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
                                    May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
                                    RIP San Lena Peppy
                                    May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010


                                    • #38
                                      Oh I am so very, very sorry. I don't know what else to say. Thinking of you, and will be tomorrow.
                                      We're spending our money on horses and bourbon. The rest we're just wasting.


                                      • #39
                                        I'll be thinking of you and hoping it goes as well as it possibly can for all concerned. Brava, Diva, for getting that little guy a good start!
                                        Shall I tell you what I find beautiful about you? You are at your very best when things are worst.


                                        • #40
                                          {Hugs}...I am so sorry.
                                          Certified Spiritual Medium/ Animal Communicator