Evaluating Neonatal Foals and Post-Partum Mares at Foal-Heat

Have a vet ensure your foal is developing well and your mare is ready for her next mating at her foal heat.
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Evaluating Neonatal Foals and Post-Partum Mares at Foal-Heat
Dr. Morresey advocates that the mare’s foal heat—which occurs about seven to 15 days after foaling—might be the best time for a veterinary examination to make sure the foal is hitting his marks and the mare is ready for breeding. | Photo: iStock

Newborn foals have big jobs. They must transition from developing in a totally protected environment to doing everything on their own. They have to make huge physiologic changes to simply survive—by beginning to breathe, digest milk, move around in a world where diseases lurk, and keep up with their dams.

At the same time, the mare must recover from foaling and eat enough to provide nutrition for a growing foal, and her reproductive system must rebound to prepare for another pregnancy.

That’s a lot going on in a short time. Peter R. Morresey, BVSc, MVM, MACVSc, Dipl. ACT, ACVIM, CVA, of Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky, advocates that the mare’s foal heat—which occurs about seven to 15 days after foaling—might be the best time for a veterinary examination to make sure the foal is hitting his marks and the mare is ready for breeding

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Written by:

Maureen Gallatin is a freelance writer, founder of Horses on a Mission, and author of the inspirational devotional, An Extra Flake.

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