Please help! Surprise pregnancy! I have no idea what to do!
I purchased four ponies from a stud in Golden Bay about 10 weeks ago.
Three of the ponies (Dawn, Kanuka and Cornflake) are rising three yrs and Flicka is only a yearling.
I broke Dawn to saddle and sold her to a loving home a week ago, the owners had a vet check done and the vet came up with the very surprising information that Dawn is heavily pregnant and is due in a couple of weeks!!
Now I noticed that lately Dawn and Cornflake were growing very fat, despite my efforts to keep their weight down. As Dawn has been confirmed pregnant, I am thinking that Cornflake is probably pregnant as well.
I feel really bad as I had been restricting her grazing to slim her down as well as starting to lunge her/work her under saddle once a week at a walk and trot for no longer than 20 minutes. Is this likely to have hurt the foal?
How can I confirm that Cornflake is pregnant? How can I find out her due date? Photos below.
Also, I think that I should probably start feeding her a broodmare mix so she gets all the vitamins and minerals that she needs, can anyone suggest anything?
Lastly, I lease land for my horses and I am only around the property for 2-5 hours each day so the chances are that Cornflake will go into labour when I am not on the property. Is she likely to have trouble?
A little bit of exercise for momma isn't likely to hurt the foal. Actually, it may make labor easier when the time comes.
As for checking whether or not Cornflake is pregnant and when she might be due, a vet can say for certain if she is and can give an educated guess on due date.
You need to get the vet out anyway so that she can get any pre-birth vaccinations she might need...and if she does have trouble, it's better if the vet is familiar with you and your horse.
It would be wise of you to get all the ponies pregnancy checked for your vet. Including the yearling.
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I second (third) the idea of having a vet out. The vet can rectal and ultrasound the mare to determine foal size assuming your mare is large enough (ie not a mini). The yearling and all others should be checked because its really better to know. In addition certain vaccinations are prudent to give the mare about a month before she is due so she can pass antibodies to the new baby in her milk.
The foal is only viable for about an hour once birth starts. Horses are actually pretty cool in that the foal initiates birth. The mare can delay labor for a few hours but the foal decides to be born and its game on. Which is why there is such a range in due dates. Most of the time labor goes well for mares; however, when it goes badly it goes very badly. With dogs and cats you might have a difficult labor and still save the babies. Mares and foals that does not happen. So, unless your veterinarian is within 15-20 minutes from your house (does not cover emergencies and is not at another appointment) than your chances of saving a foal during labor problems are slim. That said its not a big a shot in the dark as it may seem. You can purchase these sticks (I am blanking on the name) I think they are a common house hold product, anyway they change color when the hormones in the mare drop which changes milk composition (I think its PH and they are pool strips). Which means everyday you go and put some milk from the mare on these strips and a color change indicates when birth is likely. There is about a 24 hour window but it gives you a day or two to clear your schedule if you are worried about complications.
The biggest thing to do is once the foal is on the ground make sure its up and nursing. Foals need to nurse in order to get an immune system and fight off infection. So, its best to within the first 24 hours after foal delivery to have the vet out to draw blood for an IgG test which is a immunoglobin in the blood. The level of this indicates the status of the foals immune system.
They are pH strips. You can buy them anywhere that pool supplies are sold.
Unfortunately ponies are more prone to birthing problems, especially minis (red bag deliveries). If they are pregnant it might be worth finding a place experienced with birthing out ponies and having them keep her when she is close to due.
Thanks for all the help guys!!
BTW, do you really think the vet needs to check the yearling?
I mean, how likely is it that the yearling is pregnant? She certainly doesn't look it! My trouble is that I am not rich and if I can avoid it a vet visit I will try too.
However, if the horses really need the vet I have some money in the bank saved up for vet visits so I can do it.
I'd have the yearling checked for sure! They can get bred at that age. Good luck!
Yeah check the yearling, I had an arabian that was the result of a yearling stud being turned out with a mare. If they can try to get the job done they will.
If the vet is coming out anyways to check on mommy it probably won't cost too much more to have her check out the yearling as well.
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