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REO

UPSIDE DOWN FOALS

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I'm not saying everyone needs to do as I do, but I'm sharing what works for me. I don't have a vet that will come flying out to help me. He will come but by then the foal and/or the mare might be lost without fast help.

 

I have been foaling out mini mares only 17 years but I have had to deal with a few hairy situations in that time!

 

Many tight maidens, 3 standing up births, one foal came poll first. No nose or feet, just the poll. Got her out alive. Some folded under legs. Two where one leg & head were all I had because the 2nd foot was in the foal's crotch! I've had about 4 upside down foals now. And some red bags.

There are many situations that I have not yet (Thank God) dealt with, but I get my foals out alive and healthy and the mares come out great & wonderful shape too.

 

I CAN'T sit there and watch my mare push for 15-20 mins and then call a vet.

I know that if a mare is pushing and nothing comes out, that that's BAD.

 

Since many years ago where I had my first redbag and I was right there & got that foal out so fast he had no idea he was a redbag! I now ALWAYS peek in there to see what I have coming.

 

My THING, my trick is, check inside the mares and feel & see what you have coming BEFORE the foal is crammed into the canal, making it hard to try to correct dystocias.

So yes, I always break into the white sac and check. Most of the time all I have to do is pull one foot forward to make it easier for the mare.

 

A foal is breathing through it's cord attached to the mare's lining. It isn't breathing the fluid in the white sac. The white sac acts as my glove since I'm only putting my hand inside that sac to get to the foal. (Yes, I make sure my hand is clean!)

 

Here is my writing about my latest tight maidens.

 

My maiden mares were so tight! Their vulvas didn't get longer or puffy or bigger. They stayed small and tight. Trying to foal them out, I could hardly get my hand just inside! When your mare's opening is squeezing your wrist, you know you're in for a hard time!

 

When mares are THAT tight, you usually just get the nose and one foot beside the nose. There is no room to reach in and pull forward the 2nd foot. The legs should be out ahead of the nose, as you know. (One slightly ahead of the other)

 

With Mysti, I pulled the one foot I had forward ahead of the foal's head. We progressed until the nose was just out. Couldn't get my hand in past the head to try to get the 2nd leg. I have to get the head out to make room to go in and get it.

 

But they get stuck and can't get the forehead out. That is always the hang up!

Here comes the part I hope is not misunderstood!

I have my hubby OF COURSE GENTLY pull back (towards the anus) the skin of the top of the vulva. To gently stretch it upward. While I work to YES GENTLY pull downward & out on the foal's nose & foot. It's like trying to get a big head through a tight turtle neck sweater!

Once the head is cleared, I reach in and gently pull the front legs forward (since being tight causes the 2nd leg to be shoved back as the foal comes forward and makes elbow lock) Then the foal can be delivered easily. Since I have the sac back and the nose cleared the foal is fine and the mare takes a breather before finishing the back half of the foal.

 

Remember, a foal is triggered to start breathing air once it's brisket is cleared so it is important that it not be in the sac.

 

With Kismet, she was even tighter than Mysti! OMG!

She was pushing & pushing. No water broke. Nothing. I get down there and look inside. All I see is velvety red. I've learned that some times THAT is the mare's lining or something and not a redbag. I don't just cut into the first thing I see! Good thing because that moved aside! Then it really was a red bag! So guarding the tip of the sissors I knicked the red bag. Whoosh! Water. Then there inside but not coming out any further was the white sac. It was thick! Because no foal feet was pushing on it. I had to really tweek it to break it. I reach in and find a nose and foot. The foot was at the top and nose at the bottom.... the foal was UPSIDE DOWN!

 

I don't know what a vet does. But this happened to me as a fluke one time and I've done it 3 times since and it WORKS!!!

 

This can be done if you're alone. But I have hubby get the mare up. Then I reach in. On Kismet all I could reach was the foal's ankle! I gently but firmly held the ankle in my hand and I told hubby "let 'er go!" Following the mare around while holding the foal's leg. ALL I DO IS.....

I hold the leg in place while the mare goes back down. If I see she's going down to the right, I slightly put leftward torque. So all I really do is hold the foal the way it is and let the mares going down action work for me!

Just THAT EASY and BAM, the foal is right side up! Sounds dumb? Well, it has worked each & every time for me! Saved those foals & mares!

 

After the foal was right side up, then the getting the foal out of the tight mare started. But we got it done and have the filly to prove it!

 

I hope this lets people know you CAN do some things yourself. Read books (that's how I started) By all means, call the vet! But if you check your mares early on, foals can & will be saved!

You don't have to agree with me, but I'm sharing what works for ME. :)

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Thanks so much for posting this. Will get printed out and in my foaling kit (once the tornado passes - yes, it is our turn in New England).

Mary

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And it's so easy, it's almost crazy!

 

IT WORKS! Let the mare do the work :)

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OMG.........and I just had breakfast............just kidding.

 

It must be tremendously satisfying to be able to help your mares and foals when they are in trouble. Maybe you were a vet in a previous life. :)

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Very very well written - what a wonderful explanation - such that a person feels they are right there experiencing it with you.

I think your tips will help lots of us. We too have some extremely tight maidens that make it a work out but so far no upside down issues. But if we ever do - this will be a tremendous aid. Thanks for sharing!

 

 

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Reo,

Thanks for posting this and letting people know you can save the foals! I've did the same as you described many time over the years and it does work! The key is to get in early and find out how the foal is coming! I've delivered several upside down and few breech over the years! Wanalynn is always there to assist me on every delivery! :yes

Great post!

Bill

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First I admire you so much for foaling out maidens, I don't like to do it! Your descriptions are perfect, I do like to check early and know what's coming. Your turning trick sounds great! My vet told me you can deliver the foal upside down, they do that sometimes, but I haven't had a chance to try it since the first time I had an upside down foal. I don't know if it would work with tight maidens!

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wonderful info Reo thanks so much for sharing your know how

It will hopefully help some of us 1 day

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