Caring for a Pregnant Mare

A good preventative medicine program can be the key to a normal, healthy foal.

A normal healthy pregnant mare should be able to be used for most average activities up until the last 8-10 weeks of pregnancy. After this time, most mares tire easily. Jumping, racing, and strenuous rides are considered too stressful and should be discontinued when the mare is four months along in pregnancy. Do not make the mistake of allowing a mare to become idle just because she is pregnant. Moderate exercise is good for all pregnant animals.

Nutritional needs increase during the last 3 months of pregnancy when the fetus is doing the majority of it’s growing. Calcium, phosphorus, protein and energy requirements increase at this time. Feeding a supplement, increasing the quality or the amount of feed are ways to meet the dietary requirements. Some of the products we recommend are: Buckeye, Grow & Win, and Tiz Wiz.

Equine Viral Rhinopneumonitis (Pneumobort) is the leading cause of infectious abortion in mares. The Pneumobort vaccine recommended during the 5th, 7th and 9th months of pregnancy.

Mares should receive all their vaccinations at 10 months of pregnancy ( see “Caring For Your Horse’s Health”). This is the best time to stimulate the mare to produce antibodies and ensure that he colostrum or “first mile” will have high levels of antibodies. When the foal ingests the colostrum during the first few hours of life, it will provide protection to the foal until 4-6 months of age. It is important to do an FPT test on your foal to ensure he has gotten adequate colostrum.

All pregnant mares should be on a regular deworming program. We recommend deworming every 6-8 weeks with an oral dewormer ( see “Caring For Your Horse’s Intestinal Health”). Daily dewormers can also be used. We recommend deworming the mare with Ivermectin within 12 hours after foaling – this has been found to help with foal diarrhea during the mare’s 1st heat cycle.

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