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Re: RC:

In a message dated 3/17/00 7:54:32 AM Pacific Standard Time, writes:

<< We are expecting (any day now) our first foal in many years. 
 I would love to have some of the more experienced breeders on ridecamp share 
their "newborn care routine " with me.
 I keep getting mixed info on things like:  iodine on navels, ivermectin for 
mare after foaling, testing for antibodies.........
 What do you guys do?
 We have big hopes for this baby and want to everything right.
 Thanks!! >>

First off, did the mare have a tetanus shot 30-60 days ago?  Our "newborn" 
routine starts with the mare well before delivery.  The mare SHOULD be 
vaccinated in this time span--if she is not, then the foal should have a 
tetanus shot.  I don't like to give vaccinations to new babies if at all 
possible--so if the mare is vaccinated, you only have to worry about the foal 
in the event that it does not get adequate colostrum.

Where do you live and what is your selenium status?  We give E-Se injections 
to our mares approximately 30 and 60 days prior to foaling.  
Selenium-deficient mares are much more apt to suffer from uterine 
insufficiency (not getting enough nutrients to baby) and retained placentas, 
and the resulting foals can have depressed immunity and angular limb 
deformities.  In extreme cases, foals can also get White Muscle Disease 
(causes sudden heart failure).  We also give the foals 1 ml of E-Se soon 
after birth.

The mare also should be dewormed 30-60 days prior to foaling.

When the foal is born, the navel needs attention--DO NOT use strong tincture 
of iodine--that used to be the "norm" but current research shows that the 
inflamation from this harsh product actually sets up an environment for 
infection in some cases.  Tamed iodine is ok, and the current thinking is 
that chlorhexidine (Nolvasan) is even better.  DO treat the navel multiple 
times.  I like to get it treated right after it breaks, if possible.  For 
later treatments, I like to use a shot glass--holds just the right
amount, and I can hold it up under the foal when he's already standing and 
just dunk the navel without much waste.

Also deworm the mare with ivermectin within the first few hours of 
foaling--this not only cleans out the adult worms in her digestive tract and 
minimizes the contamination for baby (who is GOING to eat her manure, because 
that is natural) but it also will eliminate the parasite Strongyloides that 
migrates into the mare's udder soon after birth and is passed to the foal in 
the milk.

BE SURE that the foal gets colostrum within 4 hours!!  Most foals WILL be up 
and nursing by this time, but if for ANY reason the foal is not, MILK the 
mare and give the colostrum to the foal.  In a pinch, a 60-cc syringe with 
the tip end cut off and the plunger put in backward makes a great "udder 
pump" for mares, if you have trouble milking those stubby little nipples.  DO 
NOT milk colostrum into a glass container--antibodies will stick to the glass 
and be lost.

Do have a Fleet-style enema on hand--most foals don't need them, but they are 
cheap insurance if one does.

Good luck with your baby!  They are a lot of fun.


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