Hampton Veterinary Centre Hampton Veterinary Centre Hampton Veterinary Centre

Foals

A veterinary examination within the first day of life includes:

  • Eyes
  • Heart
  • Navel
  • General stance and demeanour
  • Birth-related injuries and congenital defects
  • Ensures meconium has been passed
  • Administration of tetanus anti-toxin and antibiotic cover according to individual risk assessment.
  • The mare is also examined for trauma and normal udder formation
  • Placenta is checked to ensure it has all been expelled.

 

Equally important is 24hours post foaling, when a simple blood test ensures the foal has ingested enough quality colostrum from its mother, to give it sufficient antibody levels to protect it from infection in the following few months. A foal with low IGG levels can look healthy, but is extremely susceptible to common infections which can quickly become life-threatening. If IGG levels are too low an intravenous injection of these essential antibodies can be given. The vet should also be called without delay to foals which have not stood by 1-2hours or sucked vigorously by 3-4hours old. A mare who hasn’t passed her placenta by three hours (less in draft mares) is another emergency, as unlike other species retention can quickly lead to metritis (uterine infection) and laminitis without prompt treatment.