1 month old foal's umbilical stump...normal? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 04-14-2013, 09:52 PM Thread Starter
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1 month old foal's umbilical stump...normal?

Wrecker is 1 month old today. At her 1 day old inspection, the vet said her !umbilical stump was nice and dry, but she did have a slight hernia. She said it sshouldn't cause a problem and would most likely heal itself.

ive been keeping an eye on it. But, there is not much change. My mom is going to call our vet tomorrow and talk to her about it.

is this "normal at 1 month?

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post #2 of 8 Old 04-14-2013, 09:58 PM
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They tend to close up later on some foals. I think as long as there is no intestines or anything hanging down in the pocket, it's ok. My colt's umbilical stump was almost like Wrecker's until he was a yearling. Might not been a big though, sorry can't remember, this was 20 years ago.
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post #3 of 8 Old 04-14-2013, 10:15 PM
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The dried up portion is normal, but the swelling around it *might* not be. A hernia feels like dough that you can indent and then there will be a definite ring. It is hard to tell from the photo, but swelling of the stump itself could mean infection. Just watch it for heat, discharge, or smell. If the swelling increases at all, I would have her seen immediately.

Not all umbilical hernias can heal themselves and you really have a small window, preferably by 6mo, but up to a year I think, in order to repair them with the best success. With a filly, you might want to consider repair if she might err carry a foal.

Don't freak out. Just be vigilant and taking photos is a great way to compare. It's easy when you see them everyday to have trouble deciding whether it is better or worse when the change is slight.
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post #4 of 8 Old 04-14-2013, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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im actually scared to touch it. hahaha. so, i havent...

if it needs to be repaired, it will be asap. which is why im contacting the vet tomorrow.

as she has grown, it has gotten larger, but its not huge or anything. its stayed about the same size compared to her growth. if that makes sense at all.

do you know what the process of repairing it involves?

we had one filly born here back in 2004, and i just dont remember see this on her. so im a little concerned. my vet said they are quite common and easy to fix...?
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post #5 of 8 Old 04-15-2013, 01:59 AM
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If it needs repair, they will do anaesthesia and surgery. They will tell you to wait until 4-6 months to see if it resolves itself unless it looks large enough that it wouldn't be possible to close on its own.
The area will be fully shaved and prepped. An incision will allow the abdominal wall to either be sewn shut or patched with a special mesh, then the skin would be sewn as well.

It isn't a horribly difficult surgery, but every one has its risks. I haven't had a foal get hernia repair surgery yet, but one of my show horses had several hernias repaired after colic surgery. He had to wear a hernia belt for months before they would finally do the surgery, so we were glad it was finally done.
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post #6 of 8 Old 04-15-2013, 10:36 AM
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My four year old looked like this. I posted online a question about it, and here's what I was told:


Hello, I have a 2 1/2 week old colt. Yesterday I noticed his naval stump is protruding along with a "pouch" type of skin sagging. I had not noticed this before, nor is it really visible in my video taken when he was six days old. I was able to touch it, and the stump seems to be hard. The surrounding skin is soft, but not swollen. There isn't any leakage, and he didn't seem uncomfortable with me touching the area. It appears to be healing nicely. Will this eventually go away or always protrude? It looks like an "outie" naval. How to you tell if there is a hernia? I cannot stick a finger anywhere. There is no "hole". More like a slight pouch.

Answer: Your description does not sound like a hernia Melanie, at least not one a complete hernia large enough to fit a finger in. However partial hernias that do not go all the way into the abdominal cavity are possible. If there is no hernia nor abnormal tissue, this will go away. But these are assessments that will require professional examination familiar with the possible underlying structures.

I don't have the pics, but it looked like yours. It completely went away, but I can't remember how long it took. I think it will be fine. :)
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post #7 of 8 Old 04-15-2013, 12:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the information you guys! I'll be sure to keep an eye on it. It doesn't seem like anything to get too worked up about. And she sure is a pistol. Healthy and happy otherwise.
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post #8 of 8 Old 04-15-2013, 03:56 PM
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They usually close up on their own. I had a mare with a pretty large one that closed up all by itself after 6 years. Was closely watched though
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