Neonatal Care

After breeding and waiting over 11 months for a new foal, the last thing you want is a sick foal!  We can help!  New foals are frail and every minute counts when they are not doing well.  If you have any concern about your new foal or if anything goes wrong during the foaling process, please call us immediately!

Hours Count When it Comes to the Treatment of Sick Foals

Your new foal should be active, bright, and alert. Foals will lie down and sleep a lot, but rarely for more than 20-30 minutes at a time. They should be up nursing 2-3 times per hour. They should pass manure and urine without straining. Foals should ambulate comfortably without limping and should not have swollen joints. Be sure to dip the navel in iodine, betadine, or chlorhexidine as soon as possible after birth.

Normal Timeline

  • Foals that are not nursing or appear weak should be examined immediately
  • Foals should have a strong suckle reflex immediately after birth
  • Foals should stand within 1 hour of birth
  • Foals should nurse within 2 hours of birth
  • The placenta should be passed within 4 hours of birth
  • Any delay for these important events should prompt a call to your Veterinarian

What to Watch For With Your New Foal

  • Weak Foals, not standing, difficulty standing
  • Foals not nursing well
  • Milk coming out of a foal’s nose
  • Swelling in joints or umbilicus
  • Colic, bloat, straining to defecate or urinate

Foals Are Born With No Immunity to Disease

  • They must ingest colostrum during their first 12 hours of life
  • Vaccination of the mare 1 month prior to foaling helps with production of high quality colostrum

Call Us Today!

There are many problems that can occur in the early post-partum period that should be evaluated by a Veterinarian ASAP. If you suspect any of the following or other problems, call us today!

  • Dummy foal/Neonatal asphyxia
  • Meconium impaction
  • Blood/Joint infection (septicemia)
  • Ruptured bladder
  • Orthopedic abnormalities
  • Hernias
  • Neonatal isoerythrolysis


Let’s Keep that Foal Healthy!

Foals can deteriorate very rapidly and should be evaluated as soon as a problem is detected. Timely intervention is generally required for a good outcome. Let us know when you mare is close to foaling and keep us on alert to come help if needed.  Keep a cell phone with you and keep our number on speed dial!

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