Labor Signs

Discussion in 'Horse Breeding' started by Blistering Winds, May 8, 2004.

  1. Blistering Winds

    Blistering Winds Senior Member+

    Oct 15, 2003
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    Here are the notes I have for Labor. Now mares can't read and don't always follow the same regimine. BUT, mares, from foal to foal, will be the same on average.

    So, here we go.

    Distension of the Udder 4-6 wks before
    Relaxation of teh Croup, Jelly-like 7-10 days
    Filling of the Teats, 4-6 days
    Waxy buildup 2-4 days
    Dripping of Milk, 24-48 hours

    You can get some water hardening test strips from a water company. Check to see calcification in the milk and if so, 24-48 hours definitly. DONT squeeze milk. Only do it if it is dripping to make sure this isn't false. Some mares can drip twice, but only one will be true milk.

    Different things to know

    False Labor, ing, groaning, getting up and down, may last 3-4 days

    Actual Delivery 15-30 minutes. Streaming milk, sweating, Colic like symptoms, water breaking, see parts of foal, Heavy breathing, groaning, tail up and over.

    Post delivery takes 3 weeks.

    Labor and Contractions are SO powerful, rarely will a mare have delivery problems. Foal WILL come out regardless.

    2 front feet will present first, soles pointed down. Chin should be laying between knees and pastern.

    Mare can and will stand up sometimes after you see the feet, and foal will slip back down. Will resume.

    If you see soles up, rear feet, etc, GET MARE TO STAND UP and call vet ASAP.

    If disturbed during labor, can cause mare to stand up and STOP labor. At this time, call a vet if she is still standing 10 minutes later. Labor has stopped completely and complications will probably occur.

    DO NOT DISTURB MARE!!!! Total labor should take no more than 30 minutes. If longer, CALL VET!!

    After mare delivers the foal, both will lay down for about 20-30 minutes. LEAVE THEM ALONE. THis is bonding time for momma and baby, as well as recovery time. Also, if you disturb momma and she stands up too early, you can cause premature placenta tearing, which can cause severe and QUICK bleeding of the mare, and could cause a severe uterine infection to loss of mare!!! So again, LEAVE THEM ALONE!!

    As foal stands up, he/she will struggle. LET THEM. This is when initial muscle control is gained. If helped, can cause muscle problems and take longer for the foal to get their footing and balance.

    Still, stay back and keep quiet. Call your vet after foal is out to schedule a basic exam. Do a visual check at this stage. Look for abnormal blood flow. Watch for placenta to pass. Should pass within 2-3 hours. If not, get some Banamine into her and CALL VET!!!

    Glance at vulva area. Look for tearing, bruising, large amounts of blood. If so, ASAP VET!!

    After foal is up and has had his first drink, enter the stall and get some 2% proiodine/iodine glycerine mix onto the foals naval. Do this every 6-8 hours for the first 24 hours.

    Watch for foal's first passing of muconium. Give enema if not passed.

    Vet should be out within 24-48 hours after birth to look for serious birth defects/overall health of the foal.

    Use a Fleet Enema you can get from Wal-greens or wal-mart, or anywhere else you can get one. ONLY 1/2 at first!! Just need to trigger movement. IF no movement within an hour of enema, give other half. Place no more than 2" inside.

    Also, flush with Ivory soap and warm H2O. Only use 250mL total.

    That is my notes. Have fun!! Good Luck to all who are getting ready to have foals hit the ground. And Congrats to those who already have them on the ground!! :D
  2. crazi4horses

    crazi4horses Senior Member+

    Sep 8, 2003
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    thanks for the notes!they are very helpful!
  3. miniearwig

    miniearwig Registered

    Feb 25, 2012
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    Thanks so much this is REALLY useful information, my horse is due soon so this was very good to know! xxx :running: :)
  4. sambersmate

    sambersmate Senior Member

    Dec 17, 2005
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    Would also like to add that whilst mares slacken off days weeks before foaling, there is often a big difference between slackening and imminence where they really do become even more like jelly. The tail also often looses all muscle tone and can be liften without any resistance.

    Also another visual aid that I look for is view of the udder from behind by lifting the tail, when the teats filled and elongated and point outwardly and the bag is so swollen that there is no line between the two udders then its often a sign of foaling within 24 hours, especially when accompanied with all the other signs. :)

    Frequently smelling the air, teeth bared and nose in air, we have a couple of mares that do this only when labor has started accompanied by checking over the doorway circling, smelling, lifting legs these are always signs of imminence for ours anyway.

    APHAPtHA Senior Member

    Feb 25, 2011
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    This thread is like seven years old!! lol

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