Thursday, May 31, 2007

Foal Watch with a Very Sneaky Arabian Mare

Part 3

Thank you to twosuperstudponies from marestare for this collage of pics!

Part One

The foal was only out up to his hock, still encased in the amnion (the sack that covers the foal. I was worried for two reasons. The foal couldn't breathe with the sack over its nostrils and a struggling foal with its legs still inside the mare can cause trauma to the mare's uterus. So I hurried into the stall to assist the foal being careful to walk quietly past the mare. I didn't want to spook her and have her jump up.

As I got to the foal and reached to tear the amnion from its face, the foal leaped forward pushing itself totally through the membrane.. Aana didn't care if I was being careful or not, she didn't want me there. She leaped to her feet to protect her foal, pinning her ears and snaking her neck at me.

The abruptness of the act tore the umbilical cord prematurely from the foal and blood spewed from the still pulsing lifeline. Normally, you try to not separate the foal from the cord until it ceases pumping. That way the foal receives the last vital resources from the mare. But with Aana jumping to her feet, that was no longer an option as the blood splattered around the stall.

I checked the stump on the foal to be sure that it was closed. It was important that it not lose anymore blood. While I was checking, I also looked to determine the sex. I reallly wanted a filly but instead I found a slick, smooth bottom, Frowning, I looked again wanting to confirm I had not looked too quickly and missed the vital plumbing I wanted so badly.

At the same time my eyes were taking in the other pertinent details about this colt. He was obviously as strong as an ox. His launch from the amnion had sent him what seemed like 3 feet forward. (You'd have to ask the MareStarers what it looked like to them, but I think they'd concur.) His heart and respiration looked good, Temperature seemed to be good too. The colt's tendons were contracted to the point that his legs were curled backwards a little. Both the first and second joints were obviously compromised. Standing would be difficult.

The mare was disturbed by our intrusion. We tended to business as quickly as possible so we could leave them for a little while for her to settle. I pulled the foal to a dry spot in the stall and began drying him off while Dave worked at cleaning the wet straw from the stall. Lindsay went off somewhere as I dried the foal and worked at keeping the mare out of Dave's way. Aana's used to being moved around a stall to accommodate cleaning and the procedure actually settled her a little.

I helped Dave find all the wet spots at the same time I monitored the mare for strength of contractions, temperature, heart rate, breathing and the blood still dripping from the umbilical cord.

I was concerned about her passing the placenta because at least half of the sack stayed on the ground torn by the foal and there wasn't the usual amount of weight hanging down providing pressure on the placenta. It also appeared to me that the mare's contractions were not as strong as they should be to dispel the membrane. The other thing I was concerned about was the size of the mare's udder. Aana had had 4 foals before this and her udder had always been much larger than this. I needed to be prepared for the mare not having enough milk.

About the time we were finishing up, Lindsay came back carrying the sign she had made for the MareStarers showing the sex of the foal. She handed it to me, grinning from ear to ear (after all, Aana has Lindsay's heart and Lindsay has Aana's). I encouraged her to come into the stall and hold the sign up for them to see. You should have seem her, she was so proud!

To be continued......

Watch Bey Aana and her colt on our Mare Stare Webcam Bey Aana. If this link doesn't work for you, try going to the Mare Stare live cams page and then click on the Rising Rainbow Arabians link. I know from the chatroom that sometimes that will work when a direct link like this doesn't.

You can see some of her previous foals on our website, Rising Rainbow Arabians .

1 comment:

  1. Lordy lordy. I came to thank you for your visits and comment and saw your post and read it and got all excited myself and now I am up for the rest of the day and anxious to find out what happens next.

    You are not only a great photographer under trying circumstances but also an excellent story teller under stress.

    Bravo for you and the mare and the foal. Wow.

    Abraham Lincoln
    Brookville Daily Photo
    My Photography