Oh, the joys of spring… fresh grass, spouting flowers, and (my personal favorite) FOALS! Foaling season is one of the most exciting times of the year, with precious bundles of joy joining the world. For many barns, foaling season is in full swing… THE BABIES ARE COMING!!
There is so much to do to prepare for your foal to make it’s appearance… believe me, this mare knows a thing or two about the stress of bringing a baby into the world. There is so much preparation to do and so many precautions to take that it can literally make your head ache and your stomach churn. Of course one of the more serious maladies, foal pneumonia, can really do a number on you if you are not dialed in on safeguarding against it.
Tom Menner took a few minutes out of his day to briefly walk us through foal pneumonia,”Obviously a foal’s immune system is different and more fragile than that of an adult horse. This makes them more susceptible to some pretty serious respiratory system infections. Typically their system is up to the task of recognizing and quickly eliminating the uninvited pathogens. After all, the foal’s immune system is well built and set up to give them protection from the moment they awkwardly spring to life in their cozy, comfy stall. Nonetheless, they can also be immediately exposed to a multitude of pathogens and disease causing bacteria and viruses. These microscopic and ruthless invaders are in attack mode from the get-go, and they do not typically take prisoners. A matter of fact once they have invaded they like to reproduce and make more and more infection-causing bacteria that in turn run amuck until they overpower the immune system.
And when that happens, what you will see is heartbreaking. The foal will struggle with their breathing. They will become lethargic, be feverish, have increased mucus discharge and by in large be miserable beyond belief. Thankfully various medications and treatments do exist, but the road to recovery is always rough. That said, the most meaningful and proactive approach to safeguard your foal from pneumonia is to eliminate the environmental immune and respiratory stressors in their world. Irritants and toxic invaders such as ammonia, dust, moisture and urine in their stall environment all contribute to breaking down the hygienic conditions of your stall and barn. Be proactive in setting up and maintaining a healthy stall environment for your new baby, by maintaining dry and fresh bedding and using Sweet PDZ Horse Stall Refresher to remove noxious ammonia and waste odors. Also be diligent in not exposing them to other creatures that may expose them to their viruses and interloping pathogens.”
So please, keep those precious babes safe, sound and breathing clearly… after all, we want their lives to be as “Sweet” as possible.
Signing Off Now!