Foaling may clash with major heatwave - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 35 Old 01-06-2013, 08:09 PM Thread Starter
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Foaling may clash with major heatwave

Hi all,

Was hoping someone may be able to assist. I have an 18 year old Mini here that is heavy in foal. While I dont know her actual gestation dates Ive been told she is "due" on the 21st of Jan but foals usually a week or so early. This will be her 6th pregnancy.

She is bagged up to the point where the center crease in her udder at the back is completely gone and she has been somewhat waxy for a few days.

Last night at around 9pm I noticed sticky discharge from her Vulva. This again was noticed at around 1am and again 3am. At around 4am this morning she went down and certainly had contractions. Every few minutes she would tense up and was even streaming out of her udder.

5-5:30am this morning everything just kinda suddenly stopped.

Since then it seems in the last hour or two (Current time here is 12pm) the foal has moved considerably with the "v" in her belly moving right back. Foal seems fine and active however she isnt acting her usual self and is literally struggling to walk. She doesnt seem to be in pain but rather "laboured" with her walking. Huffing and Puffing have been noticed for the last day or so.

While this is my first pregnancy Im fairly certain that the discharge I seen was her Mucus plug and that foaling is likely going to be either tonight or tomorrow morning.

This could not be a worse time for her to foal.

Tomorrow here in Australia we are to suffer a major heat wave. Where I live we are expecting 45 C+ (113 F+) temperatures and we have very little shade here.

My concern is the foal tomorrow with the heat. Being so small and so young how can I tell when its just too hot for her? Is it too dangerous to hose her a little bit or bath her and how soon would it be safe to remove her from mum to do so?

If anyone could please give me some advise, especially in relation to dealing with the foal in this heatwave. I would really appreciate it. Thanks
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post #2 of 35 Old 01-06-2013, 08:14 PM
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First of all, breathe and try not to worry so much. I would make sure that Mum has access to as much water as she can possibly drink, as she will be hydrating the two of them. I would not separate the foal from the dam at any point - if you think it's hot enough to merit bathing the foal, I bet Mum would appreciate it too. Make sure they have access to somewhere shady with a cool breeze - if it's stuffy in their shelter, they won't want to be in there. Try to relax, and enjoy the experience without freaking out too much lol.

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post #3 of 35 Old 01-06-2013, 08:34 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Chiilaa View Post
First of all, breathe and try not to worry so much. I would make sure that Mum has access to as much water as she can possibly drink, as she will be hydrating the two of them. I would not separate the foal from the dam at any point - if you think it's hot enough to merit bathing the foal, I bet Mum would appreciate it too. Make sure they have access to somewhere shady with a cool breeze - if it's stuffy in their shelter, they won't want to be in there. Try to relax, and enjoy the experience without freaking out too much lol.
Hi Chiilaa and thanks for the quick response. Mia (Mare) has plenty of water available to her and I have water bottles freezing incase the water gets too hot tomorrow.

As far as shade and breeze goes we dont really get that here on hot days lol. Her only shade at the moment is a 2.5mx2.5m/8ftx8ft stable that we built for her. Unfortunately we rent here and the owner has let us down as far as shelters and shade are concerned. Have a gazebo that I may be able to relocate into Mia's yard if need be.

Will do my best to relax however as a first timer I am freaking out! I had a cow calf for me last year that I had spent 3 weeks watching. Went down the road for 15 minutes and missed the birth. Reluctant to watch Mia as closely as I dont want to disturb her too much but I dont want to miss anything incase something goes wrong.

Ive been showing more signs of imminent foaling than the bloody Mare! Off food, agitated, lack of sleep, stressed, bagging (under the eyes) and general crankiness!

I dont know how some breeders do this every year!
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post #4 of 35 Old 01-06-2013, 09:19 PM
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A misting system will work. I bought an inexpensive one that just hooks up to your hose when my mare foaled during the summer here in AZ. I was told anything over 104f and the foal would need help keeping cool. It worked great. I fastened it around the top of their stall with zipties, turned it on before noon and off before dark.
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post #5 of 35 Old 01-06-2013, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Whisper22 View Post
A misting system will work. I bought an inexpensive one that just hooks up to your hose when my mare foaled during the summer here in AZ. I was told anything over 104f and the foal would need help keeping cool. It worked great. I fastened it around the top of their stall with zipties, turned it on before noon and off before dark.
Something like this would actually contravene water restrictions in just about every part of Australia...

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post #6 of 35 Old 01-06-2013, 09:57 PM
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Freeze a used milk jug full of water and hang it from a fence/tree/building? They could snuggle up to it for the cold, and it's reusable

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post #7 of 35 Old 01-06-2013, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Chiilaa View Post
Something like this would actually contravene water restrictions in just about every part of Australia...
Oh haha, guess that won't work for you then. I was also told a fan would work too but livestock fans are so expensive. The barn I was at for a while used regular floor fans attached to the stall doors, but I was under the impression that that was a fire hazard.
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post #8 of 35 Old 01-06-2013, 10:06 PM
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Where about do you live? South East Queensland has lifted water restrictions, totally.
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post #9 of 35 Old 01-06-2013, 10:27 PM
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Originally Posted by midnightdreary View Post
Where about do you live? South East Queensland has lifted water restrictions, totally.
I am just taking a punt, but rural NSW is the only area in Australia with 45 forecast, from what I can see.

Mods, grant me the serenity to see the opinions I cannot change, courage to change the ones that should change, and the wisdom to spot the trolls.
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post #10 of 35 Old 01-06-2013, 10:34 PM
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Ah, yeah, I didn't think of looking at the weather map. Western Queensland is also going to be hot tomorrow too, but they are still on water restrictions as well :S
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