Foal Care From Birth to 30 Days (AAEP 2003)

Foal care from the first few hours of life to one month can be critical in the overall health and welfare of the newborn foal.

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Foal care from the first few hours of life to one month can be critical in the overall health and welfare of the newborn foal. With experience caring for 300-500 Central Kentucky foals per year since 1985, Scott Pierce, DVM, MRCVS, of Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital, summarized his knowledge on "Foal Care From Birth to 30 Days" in his presentation at the 2003 American Association of Equine Practitioners' convention. He provided a basic review of the most common problems and how they are handled in his practice.

First Exam

"The immediate post-partum examination is very important," said Pierce. "Early detection of problems and prompt veterinary care are critical to the overall outcome of the compromised foal."

Farm personnel are usually the first to examine the foal, and they should be able to recognize abnormalities, he said. All farms should have an emergency kit, and foaling staff should have basic knowledge of pulmonary resuscitation of the newborn. "Many times, a brief administration of nasal oxygen will make a great difference in the immediate health of compromised foals," said Pierce

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Written by:

Sarah Evers Conrad has a bachelor’s of arts in journalism and equine science from Western Kentucky University. As a lifelong horse lover and equestrian, Conrad started her career at The Horse: Your Guide to Equine Health Care magazine. She has also worked for the United States Equestrian Federation as the managing editor of Equestrian magazine and director of e-communications and served as content manager/travel writer for a Caribbean travel agency. When she isn’t freelancing, Conrad spends her free time enjoying her family, reading, practicing photography, traveling, crocheting, and being around animals in her Lexington, Kentucky, home.

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