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Foaling ripping the sac open at birth

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LC Farm

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I have a question for you breeders. How often do you have to get the foal out of the sac? I have a mare that when she foals I always have to get the foal out of the sac no rips at all. Are some mares just like that and have to be watched extra close? We use both breeders alert and cameras. I keep reading about all the foals people find in their stalls and I think I would find a dead foal with this mare. This is her second foal for me. It was a colt and all legs. I love those day births. Wish i wasn't puter stupid so I could show him off. My other mare has had a rip in the sac so just wondering since this has happened twice with her if that will always be what happens with her foaling. Thanks for your answers can't wait to see what you tell me.
 

kaykay

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I have only had 2 I had to open the sac on. I would think since your mare has done it twice that you are right and will always have to watch her because of it. I watch all of mine anyway because you never know when they will get in the wrong position, get stuck etc. I have a mare that has had 2 foals for me and both needed help being pulled out.
 

Genie

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I always like to be there for every birth, because in our experience we seem to be required to assist more than not.

I feel that minis have more of a problem with babies not getting out of the sac, than a full size horse.

I also think that your point about some mares being more prone to not having the sac tear, has some truth in it.
 

Suzie

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We always try to attend and always open the sac once the feet and head are out, just in case the placenta detaches too soon and the foal needs to breathe sooner than when the mare stands up and breaks the cord. We have seen a lot of foals start to whinny in the sac and we just don't want them getting all that stuff in their mouths.

Older mares seem to understand to break the sac and most beat us to it. Maiden mares seem a bit confused sometimes about what is going on.
 

wildoak

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I am always there and break the sac for them as soon as head and front legs are delivered, like you I've heard too many stories of full term normal babies found still in the sac. If possible I'm there and help them along.

Jan
 

Laura

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Older mares seem to understand to break the sac and most beat us to it. Maiden mares seem a bit confused sometimes about what is going on.
[SIZE=12pt]It also often seems to me like mares who have never had an unattended birth, may become pretty lax about "natural behavior of the foaling mare". I have observed that my mares who are the most comfortable/dependant on me being there at foaling are the ones who tend to rely more and more on me caring for the foal during & after foaling. [/SIZE]

I've started interfering MUCH less and leaving the mare on her own to take care of business, as long as there isn't an issue requiring life saving intervention. Those few really dependant mares (who I've always broken the sac for) DO tend to lose their babies in the sac if I miss a birth
 

Joanne

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Every year we hear of people that have lost their foals because they were caught in the sac. We have too.

I do believe that minis have more problems getting out than full size horses. It may be because they are smaller.

We want to be at every birth and do break the sac, strip the nostrils, treat the umbilicus and dry the foal. We are also coscience that the mare needs to bond with her foal and do get out of her way so she can do this. She too has waited a long time fo rthe new foal.
 

LC Farm

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Thanks so much for your replys. I am always there for the births. I was wondering if this mare would always need my help with the sac. I even keep this info in her file. Was interested if some of you that have bred the same mare for years had this happen.
 

Relic

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l'm a bit different some years l've found sacs are a lot toughter then others for the foals to get out of and sometimes some foals are just weaker then others getting out...l try not to help but if right there l do rip the thing once l see the head is out and everything seems to be coming normal..l fed raspberry leaves one year because l was told that makes for a thinner sac and found we had the opposite effect with them being very rubbery and thick that year so now stay away from that stuff..to be safe always be there to help easy to say a bit harder to do sometimes because they can and have foaled as soon as you leave the stall to walk back to the house a hundred feet away turn on the cam and the mares down and pushing out her foal...
 

Kim~Crayonboxminiatures

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This is a tender subject for me because I lost my very first foal ever from missing the birth and it never broke out of the sac, that was very hard and I still have regrets about it. I try really hard to be there for each birth. I have missed one or two births over the years and thankfully both were fine, one was a maiden and one an experienced mare.

I like to rip open the sac as soon as the head is delivered in case the foal takes an early breath so fluid won't be aspirated and cause infection later. I have had some foals who had very thick sacs and I don't think then would have broken on their own because it took some effort for me to rip it (more than some that tear easily). I've never thought about it from mare to mare though, I will have to pay more attention to that.
 

Miniv

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I do think it's important to be present for their births if at all possible -- just because of the possibility of them not breaking the sac, if nothing else. However, this year for us is being weird and we've had two mares pull sneaky ones on us. Talk about feeling GUILTY.

I have a feeling we're going to be overly cautious from now on!
 

Witts Mini Horse Ranch

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Older mares seem to understand to break the sac and most beat us to it. Maiden mares seem a bit confused sometimes about what is going on.
[SIZE=12pt]It also often seems to me like mares who have never had an unattended birth, may become pretty lax about "natural behavior of the foaling mare". I have observed that my mares who are the most comfortable/dependant on me being there at foaling are the ones who tend to rely more and more on me caring for the foal during & after foaling. [/SIZE]

I've started interfering MUCH less and leaving the mare on her own to take care of business, as long as there isn't an issue requiring life saving intervention. Those few really dependant mares (who I've always broken the sac for) DO tend to lose their babies in the sac if I miss a birth
I had a conversation with my vet much like what you are saying. We started out talking about dogs...he said that dogs that are dependent (spoiled) on humans need more help then dogs that are not...the other dog will do what she has to to get the job done. I told him I think my mini mares are that way. The mares that have not been handled much (b4 coming to me
) do what they have to, to get the job done. My little Divas that are spoiled rotten.......lay there like they are totally out of it and depend on me.

Of course I do my very best to be there for every birth....just in case...depending on the mare on if I stand outside the stall or am in the middle of it. JMO I am not qualified to give advice........just always better safe than so very sorry.
 

KAYO

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We've had four foals born this spring, 3 were out of the sack by the time we got to them and one was dead in the sack. The sack on this one was especially thick and it was tough to tear. This foal was very tiny, but I believe that the mare had something in her diet that maybe caused the extra thick sack. I know that there is a type of grass called fescue (sp) that is made into hay in some areas and/or is pasture and it can cause the thick sacks and early foaling.

The three that were born alive were with us during the whole gestation and I was very careful to try to buy hay that didn't have fescue. The third mare we picked up in November and may have been on fescue in her pasture.

I think miniature foals don't have a lot of strength and require help. I think possibly our 3 mares may have had to help them, I don't know for sure.

The one that died, didn't even look like it had struggled....and the mare was one that has had several live babies with no problems.

If you can be there for the births I think that is your best bet.
 

Ridgerunner

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I have a mare that I have to watch like a hawk every year! She's had 7 foals for us, and not one would've gotten out of the sack on it's own! Almost missed a couple, and found both struggling to get out! Now that's a scary sight!
So, to answer your question, yes, some mares are just prone to thicker sacks.

Melba
 

Magic

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Older mares seem to understand to break the sac and most beat us to it. Maiden mares seem a bit confused sometimes about what is going on.
[SIZE=12pt]It also often seems to me like mares who have never had an unattended birth, may become pretty lax about "natural behavior of the foaling mare". I have observed that my mares who are the most comfortable/dependant on me being there at foaling are the ones who tend to rely more and more on me caring for the foal during & after foaling. [/SIZE]

I've started interfering MUCH less and leaving the mare on her own to take care of business, as long as there isn't an issue requiring life saving intervention. Those few really dependant mares (who I've always broken the sac for) DO tend to lose their babies in the sac if I miss a birth


I do agree with you that this may very well be the case, but for me I'd much rather let the mares be dependent on me. I simply can't stand back and wait to see if the mare is going to be able to jump up and rip the sac off a foal if the sac hasn't broken on its own.
I've always read that it's best for the mare to rest just after giving birth, so that any remaining blood in the umbilical cord will go to the foal, and so I am right there making sure the sac is torn open and removed, foal is lying upright, nostrils are cleared, etc. Even my maiden mares trust me to do all this, and then have no "protection issues" with me and their foal, I can do whatever I like with the foals, which is sure helpful when one needs an enema, etc.
I still give them plenty of time alone to bond, once the navel has been dipped and I know everything is going well. The foals recognize that I am a trusted part of the "family" after all of that.
I'm just a "hands-on" midwife, what can I say.
 

Joanne

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There are too many minis that once they stand up the placenta comes out. If the foal was still in the sac it would suffocate.

Anyone that has been doing this any length of time has lost foals because they were not there to break the sac. For me this is a constant nightmare until foaling season is over. Especially on those minis that foal earler than expected and with no warning.

I too have reache dthe barn at a dead run to find the foal struggling to get out. There is a very small amount of time they have to do this. If they are exhausted from the birth, getting out might not happen.
 

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