Mare dies after foaling. What happened?

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Mare dies after foaling. What happened?

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  • Foal died in mare
  • Mare in foal dies

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    03-29-2009, 06:43 PM
Mare dies after foaling. What happened?

We had a 14yrs old broodmare who has had two foals previous to this one without complications. For the past week she had developed her udder and her belly dropped. Usually a solid 24 hrs before she foals she becomes very restless, agitated with other horses and her teats wax up.

This morning my mom went to the barn and she had already had her foal, which shocked us seeing as the usual signs were not apparent. I got a phone call saying the mare was not good.

Basically to describe the scene, she was lethargic. She had no idea where she was (stall walls etc) sweating, shaking, shallow and laboured breathing. She couldnt walk,best description is that she resembled a drunk. We hurried to get the foal out of the way seeing as she looked like she was about to collapse.

When the vet finally arrived he said for sure he thought it was a ruptured artery but seeing as she was still alive he doubted his first thoughts. He then checked her and said nothing seemed wrong internally. He played with the idea that maybe she hit her head while foaling and gave her an anti-inflammatory.

Long story short, we rushed to get the foal to a surogate. Our mare had dried up so obtaining colotrum was near impossible. Just before we loaded the foal things went bad. She started what looked like convulsing, frothing at the mouth, eyes rolling. We knew she was on her way out. By this time the vet had already left and said "Call me if she's still alive when you get back."

I watched her for a minute. She fell against the wall, than to the ground, where she stayed. Her gums and tongue were white as snow. Before she went down she was running into the stall walls, unable to coordinate herself.

While we were with the foal and the surogate mare, my aunt called saying she stayed with her when she died.

This whole experience is utterly painful and bewildering. I've had this horse for 14 years. She has never been ill nor lame. She was a trooper. Period.

The foal is doing well. He has lots of spunk and the surogate took him no questions asked.

I'm just wondering if anyone has any idea what could have happened? Her condition went from iffy, to bad. Stayed bad, than spiraled down hill all in the span of 5 hours(ish). The last we were told by the vet, he called a specialist who said that her blood pressure may have sky rocketed while foaling causing something to burst.

Any insight into what caused this would be very much appreciated. Thank you.
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    03-29-2009, 06:50 PM
Placenta? Did the afterbirth come?
    03-29-2009, 06:52 PM
Originally Posted by BluMagic    
Placenta? Did the afterbirth come?
Yes. All the after birth was out.
    03-29-2009, 06:55 PM
All I can think of is something rupturing(sp?) in the birth canal. Or possible poisoning or something from the afterbirth. Hmm...
    03-29-2009, 06:57 PM
Oh kate, i'm so sorry to hear what happened to your mare.
    03-29-2009, 06:58 PM
Originally Posted by BluMagic    
All I can think of is something rupturing(sp?) in the birth canal. Or possible poisoning or something from the afterbirth. Hmm...
See the first thing the vet did was examine her for internal injuries. He said as far as he could tell nothing was seriously wrong. Im just so... I don't know, flabergasted? I almost believe it had something to do with maybe her hitting her head or injuring her spine while foaling. I don't now, everything route just doesnt add up to the end result.
    03-29-2009, 06:59 PM
From those mare signs it is shock of some sort. The usual cause is blood loss. I suspect what the vet suspected at first. Just because he could not find a rupture doesn't mean it didn't exist.

If that is the case and is my best guess there would be nothing you could have done and you did everything you could.

Sorry for your loss. Are you planning on having the mare examined?
    03-29-2009, 07:10 PM
I agree with spyder, the fact that her gums/tongue were white signifies a great amount of blood loss.

I am terribly sorry you lost her and had to see her go through all she did.
    03-29-2009, 07:26 PM
Im very sorry for your mare. I hope the foal is doing well.
    03-29-2009, 08:31 PM
I am so sorry to hear and sorry about losing your mare. How scary and what a tragedy. I hope the baby is doing well.

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