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mandataylor84

Was Fescue The Cause Or Something Else?

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A little history first. Chanti had a foal 4-16-12. She carried him over pretty long because she was bred in March. She had just a week to go before it was in the danger zone. But she foaled a big healthy colt with no issue at all. He passed the meconium, nursed good, and grew very quickly. She passed the placenta within an hour. She was bred back to the same stallion, our solid sorrel QH in late May/early June. My cousin moved her two horses out with mine and she was supposed to buy hay every other time they needed it. During the winter hay was very hard to find so she settled for what she could get; it had a lot of mold on top that me and my husband always pulled off and it had broomsedge weed in it real bad. It was very poor hay but at the time it was all we could find. I also started feeding a good grain to mine to help them hold their weight until spring.

The previous summer we had been able to use the neighbors pasture and it does have some fescue in it but it hadn't gone to seed until the last month of her pregnancy and horses typically don't eat it when it's that tall. There's a lot of bermuda out there too. Her due date came and went so she did go over a little with this foal too but this time there were several problems.

I had gone out at 5:15 am on Wednesday and she was eating hay. Other than being a little restless she was ok, so I went back in. About 30 minutes later when my husband went to leave for work we looked out and she had just delivered minutes ago. So it was a very fast delivery. Within minutes the colt started trying to stand and after we had gotten him up it took a little while for him to find the milk. We assumed he was nursing good.

At 11 she still hadn't passed the placenta. I called around to the vets and talked to them. At about 2 she finally passed it all. At this time I noticed the colt was laying down a lot and wasn't up very long at all. he wasn't nursing very long either, he'd suck about 2 seconds then quit. About 5pm he started straining to poop and then he started rolling. He started presenting with severe colic and would stand, then lay down and automatically roll. His breathing was fast, heart was pounding. Chanti was extremely protective of this colt whereas with the first she had been ok with us going in and seeing the baby. We couldn't get close to him unless we lassoed her AND clip a lead rope to her and have someone holding her outside the gate. I called my usual vet and followed her directions and gave him an enema. Hubby had to keep him from rolling and he kept laying down in front of the gate then rolling into the gate and he wasn't even really aware of what he was doing. He was really out of it and I was scared to death we were going to lose him. He was straining so hard his umbilical cord started to bleed. We checked her udder then and got her milk going but he would not even try to nurse so we got a bottle and milked her and got a little down him that way. The enema seemed to help and he passed some liquid and I massaged his tummy. We stayed with him until about 11pm and then he started to relax.

Now he seems a lot better but I haven't seen him poop yet lol and he still seems very shaky on his legs. I am also going to check her udder again because he is nursing just a few seconds then going right back to trying to nurse.

The mare is in good body condition but has been squirting like she's already back in heat? :confused0024: It's only been 3 days. It doesn't have a bad odor but with her retaining the placenta so long I'm wondering if she may have an infection. She is eating, drinking, acting normal(except being very grumpy still). Also during her pregnancy she was HUGE, a lot bigger than with her first and he was a big baby, a LOT bigger than this colt, but this little guy is a lot smaller and she still actually looks pregnant.

So was this just one of those things that happen or was it due to the bad hay over the winter? I'm just worried about the next time I breed her(years down the road) and if this had any negative impact on her?

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There's a lot going on in this post, so I'll try to address everything the best I can.

First off, the mare: Endophyte contaminated fescue will typically lead to prolonged gestational lengths, retained placenta, red bag deliveries and lack of milk production. If she has milk, it was not fescue. Any number of causes for retained placenta, we don't know about a red bag delivery, and prolonged gestation in some mares is just normal (my own for example goes long normally....). As far as "squirting", its more than likely just the uterus cleaning itself out. A lot of mares will discharge a lot of fluid, especially with activity for a good week post-foaling.

The foal: Many concerns here too.....Have you had an IgG level checked? Is he passing yellow milk stools? By this age (3 days) the meconium should be long gone and the pasty, yellow milk stools should be normally passed. If he's still straining and isn't nursing well, you need a vet out. High meconium impactions are nothing to fool around with. Its not uncommon for them to only nurse a few seconds at a time, but very frequently. Especially as they're learning to nurse from BOTH sides of the udder while staying on one side of the mare. I would advise you get both mom and baby checked if there are any concerns.

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Thank you, that is somewhat of a relief...I am contacting my vet and going to try to get both checked out. I haven't seen the typical yellow stool yet.he hasn't been straining to pee like he had been but nobody has seen him poop either.

The discharge had me worried...but it has no odor.

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