Springtime in the animal kingdom is marked with newborn babies and adventurous young wherever you look. It also is the time of year when most mares have their foals.
While Mother Mare often delivers without incident- as seen in the cartoon below- there are times when things get complicated. Dystocia, placentitis, and colic are all very serious concerns for a mare and her unborn foal.
Here in the clinic, we recently had a mare with a severe case of dystocia come in as an emergency. The foal was malpositioned, and stuck in the birth canal. This is a dire situation for the foal and mare. The mare was put under anesthesia, with her hind end lifted on a hoist. It took an entire team of doctors, assistants, and medical equipment to safely deliver the foal. While the foal was resuscitated, the mare recovered from anesthesia. Soon she was greeted with a tall, dark grey filly.
With around-the-clock medical care from our specialized staff of ICU technicians, the filly started to gain strength. Being weak from the unusual birthing ordeal, she could not immediately stand to nurse. Instead, she would squeak out a little whinny whenever she was ready to feed- not unlike a hungry human baby! Two people would lift her to her feet, then she would totter over to nurse eagerly just like any other foal.
In just a few days, the filly was a lively, healthy baby that was walking (and bucking!). Her owners were very happy to take her and her attentive mother home after a successful stay in the ICU barn turned ‘LEqMC Nursery.’