I worry a bit about my mare foaling in my dirt floored pens, because I worry about the baby getting an infection through the navel. If I am present, I will get iodine on the navel as soon as it breaks, but if it is born overnight and I don't catch it happening, then it might be several hours before I get iodine on the navel. I can put down some straw when foaling looks imminent, but should I be doing anything else?
I could put Isabelle in a "new" pen I plan to make (I just ordered some more panels), but then she wouldn't have any shelter, and she would still be peeing/pooping in the pen so it would be contaminated anyway. But not as "contaminated" as where they are currently kept. (The current set-up also allows them access to a 3-sided metal barn.)
When I asked my vet, he actually told me it was good for the baby to be exposed to things right away, but I guess I worry that if I miss the birth I will miss putting iodine on the navel right away.
Do you guys worry about navel ill a lot? I can keep the pens somewhat dry/clean, but they still have had horses peeing and pooping in them for years, so it's not exactly sterile conditions if you know what I mean.
I don't have pasture, just a "dry lot" situation (as is common here in Arizona).
Thank you guys for all your thoughts!