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Advice Column 2006 and Onward


The Advice Column contains a tremendous amount of information. However, it doesn't come even close to the information contained in the "Complete Foaling Manual." I assure you that if you like the column, you will love the book. And one of the great advantages to the book is having all that information at your fingertips right outside the mare's stall. For easy ordering, just click on the "Order Manual" link at the left. Don't foget to contribute to the column by clicking on "Submit Question." I would love to hear from you!


Starting in 2006, I will post only questions that are new and/or interesting on the column. Most of the questions I receive have already been asked and answered many times in previous years. To keep everyone from having to read the same information over and over, I will not post every question I receive. Please rest assured, though, that I will answer each question I am asked, usually on the same day it comes to me. Please keep sending your questions and letting me know how your seasons are going!


Thanks much, Theresa


This is a question I received recently. My reply was returned as undeliverable, likely due to a problem with the e-mail address. I�m hoping Robyn will check back on the column and see the reply here.


Submitted by Robyn from Australia on 11/18/06.

Theresa, this is more a comment on how valuable your Foal Manual proved to be rather than a question. We own a warm blood mare who has produced 2 healthy colts in the previous 2 years. This year she was expecting a foal by AI to a beautiful German dressage stallion. My daughter, who is the horse person in the family, went for a quick 2 week holiday to the USA when the horse still was only at 308 days. As she had fairly long gestations with her previous foals [353 and 345] my daughter was confident that nothing would happen. The mare had bagged up a bit so to be sure the vet put her on Regumate. Within a few days of my daughter leaving the horse started to really bag up, tailhead muscles and vulva became really relaxed and some small waxing could be seen. Many emails to daughter! When the mare was 318 days I decided to do a nighttime check before bed each night. THAT VERY NIGHT I did my first check at 9.15pm. Horse down in paddock in labour. Got husband, towels, scissors etc within 2 minutes. 2 feet presented with a lot of blood and then the bright red placenta appeared. Due to your manual I knew what it was. I instructed my husband to tear it apart but it was too tough. He then cut through it [thank god I grabbed the scissors] and one more contraction produced the placenta, foal and heaps of fluid. The foal breathed and we put her up on her chest to drain all the fluids she had swallowed, they poured out. We then rang the vet who arrived quickly and we moved mother and baby into the stable. The foal was weak but determined. Her first week of life was tough with 3 bags of plasma, intravenous antibiotics and colic etc. She is now 2 weeks old [today] and daughter has arrived home to a lovely healthy filly. We have other books on foaling but none of them give clear instructions about what to do with a red bag delivery. One of them even says 'not to touch it and to call the vet'. There is no doubt our foal would not have survived had we not cut through the placenta. She was hypoxic but did survive. So, all the way from Australia we send you many, many thanks for saving our little filly.

Best regards,




Oh, Robyn, thank you so much! That you were able to deal with the situation successfully makes all those long, lonely hours watching mares and then the long, lonely hours in front of the computer writing the book all worthwhile! That said, you were still the one who had to recognize the problem and act quickly and decisively. Good for you and congratulations! I am ecstatic that everything turned out so well.


Thank you again, so very much, for sharing your story.




Submitted by Sharon in New Zealand on December 1, 2006. (The e-mail address on this one was incorrect and, again, I hope Sharon reads my answer here.)

Hi, my foal was born 2 days ago to a maiden mare. The vet came out a few hours after he was born because the mare wouldn�t let him drink. She let him drink for the next day or so but last night and today I have to hold her as she tries kicking him. She appears to be quite sore and one side appears to be a bit harder with hardly any milk. Would it pay to get the vet back out. She lets him feed while I am holding her but I do wonder how much he is getting because I tried milking her and got nothing. But I may not have been doing it right. Thank you very much


Dear Sharon,


I think it would be worthwhile to have the vet back out to make sure the mare doesn't have mastitis. That would account for her soreness as well as her not wanting the foal to nurse. It could also be that the foal is only nursing out of one side and the other side is getting full, hard, and painful. I still think the safest course would be to have the vet take a look because you don't want the foal nursing out of the one side if the mare does have mastitis.


Please let me know how she does,