Hello All! Welcome to our first blog post, and Happy New Year! Now that we are at the start of foaling season we have gotten a lot of questions about what our clients need in their foaling bags. What is useful? What is critical? What are things used for? So, we wanted to share our "Go-To" foaling bag items, and a few reasons why we need these items in our bags, along with some general tips for when your foal arrives:
-First thing is your veterinarian's phone number (TRUST ME- even if you call him/her every day for weeks, you will forget it in an emergency!! Write it down!)
-Ivory Soap (to wash udders before baby nurses and to put a squirt into the vulva's pre-wash water)
-Banamine injectable for crampy mare
-Bailing twine (old kind, not the new plastic stuff) for tying up the placenta to keep it from flapping around the mare's feet (cut two, 3' sections)
-Scissors or roaching shears in case you need to cut the cord if it is too thick or doesn't break on its own (or in the unlikely event that you have a redbag birth- the redbag is very thick to cut without strong scissors)
-Umbilical clamp for foals to keep out bacteria (Can tie off umbilical tightly with 4 inches of rough natural jute bailing twine also- same as what ties up the placenta)
-Acepromazine for encouraging milk let down in the reluctant mare
-2 fleet enemas and have warm water/ivory on hand if vet says is needed for meconium encouragement
-Clippers, and plastic bag for desensitizing (within mama's acceptance parameters)
-10 cc sryinge and a 60cc helps foal find mamas udder if it is a little slow or if it is a colt- lol!
-Vetwrap for mama's tail
-Chlorhexadine and a stainless steel bucket with warm water for washing vulva pre-foaling
-Roll cotton torn and split between plastic baggies for easy access in a quick timeframe for udder washing and vulva washing
-Twitch for mare, if needed
-Extra 10 foot lead rope
-Washcloth or hand towel sized clean towels for extra cleansing around nose and face of new foal
-Foal blanket if cold outside
-Iodine for umbilical treatments (make sure it is 7% tincture)
Trailer should be hooked up and ready to go- best to be ready and not need it then not ready and need it!
Communicate with your vet when mare breaks water or you see she is imminent. Your vet will appreciate the heads up so he/she can plan for your well baby check.
The best book I recommend to new (and even seasoned) mare owners foaling is: Blessed are the Broodmares. It is good for all mare owners who are planning babies, and I typically re-read it at the start of the foaling season every year because every year we have something new cropping up. I read this book with new eyes every year!
First call your vet for any immediate foaling issues, then feel free to contact us if you have mare issues and/or foal issues post-foaling or pre-foaling you need advice on!
Good luck and best wishes for a successful, uneventful, and happy foaling season!!