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Good morning, I am new here, new to mini's and new to foaling. I run a horse rescue in Manitoba and the mini's have come in like crazy this winter. We were shocked to find a foal on the ground yesterday, very cold and shaking but still moving. I brought her in the house and warmed her up with a blanket and snuggles. I took her out and tried to get her Mom to feed her but she would not stop kicking at the foal and me. I tried to sedate her with no luck at all. I got some calf starter into the foal because that is all I had on hand and then rushed to the vet and got some goat colostrum for her (that is all they had). She is in the house and eating fine from a baby bottle I had from my granddaughter. I of course would prefer for the mom to be feeding her but I don't know how to get her to stop kicking at us. The foal will eat no more than a couple of ounces at a time. Any suggestions would be great.
 

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Taz

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Oh poor baby!!
Do you know if the mare accepted her before you took her to warm her up? I haven't had any experience with a mare rejecting one that hard. I had a maiden who needed two people in the stall, one holding the mare one helping the foal for about 12 hours until the mare figured it out and wasn't scared of the foal. She only tried to kick once and mostly just wanted to move away. I think the longer you have the foal away from her the worse the chances are of being able to get them together. If it's been since yesterday I think you now have a bottle baby. My vet told me that at that age you need to be feeding then every 1/2 hour around the clock. Can you tell if any of the other mares are in foal? Did they come in together so there's more of a chance they are and are close to foaling? Do you have somewhere inside you can put them at night in case? If you do have any more before it gets warm try not to separate them from mom, wrap them up in an old sweatshirt or two if you have to to keep them warm enough outside. I don't know if you've done a bottle baby before. She won't have an immune system until she is a month old if she didn't get any colostrum from mom so you need to be VERY careful with her.
I'm sorry you're having to deal with this, it's lots of hard work, on top of what you are already doing.
Thank you SO MUCH for taking them all in and looking after them, we need more people like you ❤
 
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I don't actually know if the mare accepted her or not. Let me explain a bit. These ponies all came in from one place. They are completely wild and untouched, hooves never trimmed, refuse to be caught, you name it. They are all ages and it is my understanding this herd started with two, so I believe there is probably some inbreeding going on here as well. We have been working with them to try to get them at least catchable but had no idea if and when any of them were/got pregnant. They did not show at all. I found a dead foal on the ground about two weeks and was pretty devastated by it so when I saw this baby on the ground, alone, ice-cold and shivering, I immediately reacted as not to lose another one. The mother was interested in what I was doing and was actually nuzzling at me, when I was gathering up the foal. The foal was cleaned off and wet, laying on the ground. I made some assumptions that the mother had not fed her. I think the other two mares are too young to foal, hopefully. I have been bottle feeding two calves all winter, it seems pretty similar so far. I was hoping for some better news but I will bottle feed her, I am not losing another foal on my watch. The vet gave me goat colostrum so that's what she is getting right now. Any advice is very helpful.
 

Taz

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That's a hard situation. It does sound like the mare might have taken her but there's no way to know, hopefully she did and she got some colostrum. You did need to get her warmed up or you could have lost her too, good for you for reacting even if it didn't go as planned. It is not normal for the mare to have left her alone. If it happens again, and hopefully won't, try using an old sweatshirt as a baby blanket. Head through the head hole, front legs through the arm holes, cut off any extra and use a piece of rope or tape to close it around the belly IN FRONT of the umbilicus. It's probably been too long but you can try taking her out to the paddock and see if her being around without any pressure might get the mare interested again, maybe if you can separate the mare from the herd. That could go bad though so you have to play it by ear. I would probably raise her as a bottle baby and be safe but I'm not there and don't see what you do. Calves from what I know only need to eat a few times a day and eat quite a lot, foals eat little and often, sorry. Goats milk is a good substitute for foals, I don't know if the colostrum will do her any good but it won't hurt. Can you get powdered milk replacer? Foallac. Most feed stores should have it. With not knowing if she got any colostrum, can you take her to the vet for an IGg? It's a snap blood test that will tell you if her immune system is up and running or not. If it is you can work right away on getting her around other horses so she knows she's not a human and more importantly not have to worry about her so much. If her IGg is low your vet can do a plasma transfusion or you can wait it out for the month. You want to keep a really close eye on her this first month. If you notice her a little quieter than normal, not eating quite as much, a slightly swollen joint, swelling around her umbilicus, these are all red alerts that she is septic(sick) and you have to act NOW. Take her to the vet immediately, it's an emergency. Not trying to scare you, I've know some that were rejected and never had a problem, you just have to be aware.
I'm sure there's more to tell you I'm just not coming up with it right now. I hope that makes sense and helps some. Please don't hesitate to ask any questions. Good luck!!
 
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Standards Equine

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Oh best wishes. Too bad you can't milk the mare. That would still be natural antibodies to help the baby. You could try giving the mare a dose of oxytocin and doing a "uterine massage" by a vet and see if that kicks in the hormones to take baby. Alternatively, if you have another mare that you catch foaling (during labor) you can try taking the placenta and rubbing it all over this baby and see if the mare would accept both foals. It's possible and might be worth a try.
Everything you're doing and trying is good! You're incredibly kind to have taken in a whole herd of littles - especially in spring. If Manitoba had as dry a summer as Alberta did, you don't have the hay to spare!
<3
 

Dickel

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If they were here I would get a halter on the mare and tie her between two gates and start rubbing on her neck and head until licking lips. I would then work back to her rear stopping to rub her head and neck until you can rub her udder without getting kicked. Then you can try to get some milk. she should settle down quicker than you might think. When you are able to have her calm the foal can be placed where she can smell it and try to get the foals nose to the teats with milk on your fingers to wipe in its mouth.
I have stocks on wheels and Shirley half of a night trying to get a foal to latch on. I would milk a half ounce or less and
Shirley feed it to the foal and try to get it to latch on. The mare had become calm and we gave up exhausted about three in the morning. I put then both in the horse trailer and I went out about 5 in the morning and the foal had latched on.
Two gates might work better than my stocks.
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elizabeth.conder

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I agree she needs an IgG ASAP. Hopefully it’s high enough but early intervention is crucial if it’s low. I highly recommend the love drug routine to get the mare to accept and care for her foal. A friend used it a couple days ago on a mare that was ready to kill her foal with incredible success. Important to follow the steps and also change dosages to be mini appropriate.
 

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Hey folks it has been a whirlwind for the past three days and I am sorry I haven't been checking this because you guys have amazing advice that may have worked. We took the foal out yesterday and put her is a small corral with the mare tied up, we did start rubbing her and holding her until she would let me milk her. The foal, we could not get attached though no matter what we did. The mare would kick at her every time she tried to latch. We did get an ounce of milk from the mom. This morning the foal is very lethargic and I went to take her to the vet, they turned me around and said there is nothing they can do. I am not giving up though. I brought her home and tube fed her the colostrum the vet gave me the other day, plus the milk we got from the mom. I am not giving up on her. This morning her bottom lip was very lax and her entire bottom gum was showing and one eye is cloudy. Terrifying!!!! She now has her bottom lip back in place and is resting on a heated blanket. She is stretching and sighing every few minutes which is more than she was doing this morning. In two hours I will wake her up and do it all over again. I'm terrified but not giving up on her. Any advice welcome, sorry if I don't see your messages right away
 

Dickel

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Hey folks it has been a whirlwind for the past three days and I am sorry I haven't been checking this because you guys have amazing advice that may have worked. We took the foal out yesterday and put her is a small corral with the mare tied up, we did start rubbing her and holding her until she would let me milk her. The foal, we could not get attached though no matter what we did. The mare would kick at her every time she tried to latch. We did get an ounce of milk from the mom. This morning the foal is very lethargic and I went to take her to the vet, they turned me around and said there is nothing they can do. I am not giving up though. I brought her home and tube fed her the colostrum the vet gave me the other day, plus the milk we got from the mom. I am not giving up on her. This morning her bottom lip was very lax and her entire bottom gum was showing and one eye is cloudy. Terrifying!!!! She now has her bottom lip back in place and is resting on a heated blanket. She is stretching and sighing every few minutes which is more than she was doing this morning. In two hours I will wake her up and do it all over again. I'm terrified but not giving up on her. Any advice welcome, sorry if I don't see your messages right away

The foal I was talking about seemed to be past any return two times. After an ounce of the mares milk to would revive to the point it would stand. When we put them in the trailer I thought we had got enough mothers milk into him to last a couple hours. I was surprised to see it latched on when I went out to check. You are right not to give up. Moms milk is magic.
 

Dickel

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Sorry! I had a horse disaster in the night. One stallion got out and tore fence down getting in with three others then took out two more fences. Blind Star was on the other side of a very deep ditch. I took a short video of where he ended up. I have been repairing fence in the rain and never thought of taking pictures of the damage. I was just set on getting everything back in order without bothering anyone before chore time. Fence is just now repaired for tonight. I now need to get 5 horses back in the correct places to feed. I wish I could be more help with your foal.
 

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