Foaling Down

Foaling Down

Have your mare foal down at Rouse House Horse Hospital.

The safest and best option for the health and safety of both mare and foal is to have a vet present during foaling. Rouse House Horse Hospital offers a foaling down service, to ensure the best possible outcome for your mare and foal. You’ve invested a lot of time and money in the care of your mare – stud fees, ultrasounds, worming, feeding and your emotional investment. Don’t leave the foaling to chance!

  • Mares are monitored with electronic foaling alarms.
  • Large, roomy foaling boxes are video monitored 24/7
  • Vet on site
  • Resuscitation equipment

All mares and foals at Rouse House Horse Hospital are monitored carefully before, during and post foaling. All foaling is assisted – with the vet on site to ensure things are progressing as they should. Many issues can arise if your mare is left to foal unassisted.

Some of these problems can include:

  • Dystocia (malpresentation of foal)
  • Feto-pelvic disproportion (very large foals) Common in warmblood and embryo transfer foals
  • Problems with maiden mares (not letting foals nurse/aggressive behaviour)
  • Oxygen deprivation (foal not breathing)
  • Red bag delivery (premature separation of placenta – before the foal has been delivered)
  • Retained placenta/uterine infection
  • Early separation of the umbilical cord
  • Overcontracting – which can cause problems including patent urachus (ruptured bladder)/hernias.
  • Premature delivery – requiring extra care for the foal

Many of these problems require immediate veterinary intervention. If problems present during foaling they need to be addressed immediately. Even if you are present during foaling, a vet may not be able to attend in time to assist the mare and foal.


Maiden mares can be unpredictable new mothers. Some mares are so fascinated with their newborn babies that they don’t allow them to nurse. Others can be aggressive towards their foals, so supervision and intervention if required is essential to ensure the health of both mare and foal.


When your mare foals down at Rouse House Horse Hospital, the service does not just cover the actual foaling. It also includes:

  • The care of your mare prior to foaling
  • Every mare is given an individually tailored diet
  • Every mare is given calcium supplement
  • Vaccination 2-4 weeks prior to foaling
  • Assisted foaling down
  • Placenta examination
  • Post-foaling health check of mare and foal
  • Post-foaling worming for the mare
  • Immunoglobulin (igG) level check (if required)

It is preferable for your mare to arrive between two and four weeks before her expected due date. This is so she can become familiar with her surroundings and the daily routine. Mares are stabled at night, and turned out in day yards or private paddocks during the day.

Our foaling down service provides a controlled environment for foaling – with assisted delivery and full surgical facilities on site.

After birth, it is important to ensure that the foal is standing and drinking within the correct time frames. Some foals have problems nursing – the foal must nurse within the first four hours of birth. If the foal does not receive colostrum it can result in failure of passive transfer (not receiving vital nutrients and antibodies). At Rouse House Horse Hospital, mare and foals are closely monitored.Conformation problems are common in newborn foals, and can be rectified if they are treated early, and can include:

  • Lax or contracted tendons (must be corrected within 72 hours of birth)
  • Windswept hocks
  • Carpal malformations
  • Club foot
  • Varus/Valgus deviation – at knee, fetlock, hocks (must be treated within first 6 weeks)
  • Carpal malformations
  • Carpal malformations

All of these problems can be easily corrected (usually without surgery) if they are addressed in the first 72 hours.


Some post-foaling problems in mares include:

  • Laminitis post-foaling
  • Uterine infection
  • Colic

Post foaling, mares and foals are closely monitored. Any problems that may be present are able to be treated immediately.


Post foaling, mare and foal must be monitored to ensure no abnormalities are present. When your mare foals at Rouse House Horse Hospital, both mare and foal are stabled and monitored after foaling. This is done to ensure the foal is in good health and free of any neurologic or central nervous system irregularities.Foals also receive basic handling and are used to human contact.