Thursday, February 1, 2007

Reflections of Foaling Season 2006 - The Twins Part 10

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9

Sunday and Monday night I slept like a log. Knowing the twins would soon be coming home took a huge amount of stress off and I collapsed for those two days. Sleeping as much as possible and the rest of the time getting things organized with the rest of the farm so I could continue to devote my time exclusively to Vee and her twins.

I was greatly relieved that I had sent Lilly (my best producing broodmare) of to Bev Ferrington’s to foal. Lilly was getting ready to foal and I never could have dealt with her foaling and the twins’ special needs. For the first time in a while, I was beginning to feel like maybe, just maybe, I had things under control.

Both foals and the Arabian mare continued to put on weight Surprise’s umbilicus was continuing to shrink and her liver enzymes were dropping. Everything at the Pilchuck Vet Hospital with the twins was going well too. The twins were ready to come home as scheduled.

Lillie Fletcher again drove her rig to pick them up so I could ride in the back. The weather was expected to reach record temperatures and we wanted to get the horses home before the hot part of the day. We sure didn’t need to add heat exhaustion to the things we needed to deal with.

Dr Joanne Fehr had been the twins primary doc and she had everything organized and ready for us so we could get in and out quickly. I was escorted to the bookkeeper to take care of the financials (BIG OUCH!!). I got detailed written instructions on Surprise’s medication and care regime, we loaded up the horses and we were off.

Traffic was horrible and our trip home didn’t go as smoothly as we had hoped. While there weren’t any issues on the road, it was a frustrating and uncomfortable trip. The twins were both more comfortable in the trailer this time so they didn’t lie down from the outset. Every time we hit a bump in the road or a big truck would pass us by and the trailer would get pushed by the rush of air, one or both twins would stumble, the mare would whinny and I would curse.

The ordeal didn’t tire the twins nearly as much as it did me or they would have been more time resting. As it was, I’ll bet the little varmints were on their feet over half of the trip, much to Vee and my chagrin.

The stress of the trailer ride affected Vee’s milk supply which was something no one had anticipated. She got off the trailer fully engorge with milk and it was squirting everywhere. Mother Nature’s was of dealing with an oversupply is to cut production. Between that and the stress she’s endured Vee’s milk production dropped down by nearly half. Watching them as closely as I was it was easy to tell that they were not getting enough milk. I got a milk replacer, Foal Lac powder to supplement until we could get the mare’s milk back up where it needed to be.

I figured I would just bottle feed them. They were both familiar with the bottle. As usual my plans didn’t always agree with the twins’ plans. Neither foal wanted anything to do with the baby bottle. Luckily I had a large dose syringe and I was able to use that to force feed them. I used the same target amount I had used before, 3 ounces of milk every two hours. I figured that would cover their added requirements due to growth with what they were getting from the mare.

To help bring the mare’s milk supply up faster, I mixed a couple of tablespoons of table salt with water and dosed her with that combination. The salt would force her to up her water intake and that in turn would help boost her milk output.

To be continued...
Part 11

DressageMom told me she couldn’t get any of the Cams to come up.Sometimes you can't view the cams because of Activex. Go to Mare Stare on this Troubleshooting Cams page. There are directions there on how to solve he Activex issues. I had those things at the start too. Once changed my settings in Internet Explorer, I’ve been up and running ever since.


  1. Sheesh it never rains but it pours does it, get over one hurdle and there is another one waiting. I was interested about you adding salt to the water to get her to drink more. I sometimes buy electrolytes to add to their water which is supposed to do that too. I didnt notice that Trouble was undoing your laces LOL, little monster! I have one that steals anything you may have in your back pocket if you dont watch her.

    "See" ya tomorrow for the next update, it is going to be fun when you get into their training regimen, I bet it is going to be eventful LOL.


  2. I read your blogs daily, however I can't your cam to come up either. I know I have all the active x done properly (I too have a cam). Don't know what is wrong.
    I can't wait until tomorrow's post!

  3. Yes, it did feel like it was pouring a lot. But they were so darn cute and sweet it was worth it.

    I didn't put the salt into her drinking water. I put 2 tablespoons into a large dose syringe and added just enough water to make stick together and then force feed it to her like you would paste wormer. I didn't use electrolytes because you can cause problems if you throw those out of balance. I learned that from my endurance friends. Since she didn't need the water because of heat/sweating/etc which takes out electrolytes, I just wanted her thirsty, table salt was the safest bet. And I force feed it to her to make sure I got results quickly.

    She was good about it, heck, she was good about everything. Motherhood has turned her into the sweetest horse. She used to be an impatient premadonna.

  4. As for the cam, I did find it was down when I checked it yesterday after I received your comment.

    Do you always have trouble with it or was it just yesterday? If it's always, with the error message I might be able to figure it out. It is working right now.

  5. That filly of mine that you liked in the snow, the sorrel and white, is the same way, a primadonna and impatient as heck. We did breed her two years ago and she was in foal but she cut her leg badly and after we thought it was on the way to healing it suddenly flared up with an infection which left her really sick literally overnight. Very high temperature and I had a feeling that she might lose the foal which she did. My husband says that motherhood will probably slow her down a bit as well, so maybe next year I should try to breed her again.


  6. I sure can't believe the difference in Vee. It's like day and night. Her mother this year got a really bad injury to her side and I was worried about it because she was pregnant. I sure didn't need another foaling trauma, but it all healed up beautifully and she's still pregnant. It's so hard when you're expecting a foal to have it go awry.