Managing Foal Rejection
Your long-awaited foal is almost here. You can’t wait to watch your mare lick her youngster dry, gently nuzzle his rump as he nurses, and graze next to him in the pasture. But when he makes his entrance into the world, your mare wants nothing to do with him. She pins her ears, tosses her head, and moves away as he wobbles towards her. She’s rejecting her foal, and it’s now up to you to manage the situation.
At the 2014 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 6-10 in Salt Lake City, Utah, Charles F. Scoggin, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACT, reviewed with veterinarians how to manage foal rejection. Scoggin is the resident veterinarian at Claiborne Farm, a Thoroughbred breeding and racing farm in Paris, Kentucky.
Scoggin said that while uncommon, foal rejection is a documented behavioral phenomenon that can have significant adverse effects on the foal, the dam, and the
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