Foaling time is just around the corner, and it’s time to get ‘Mum to be’ up to date with all of her preventative health needs to ensure a healthy happy foal.
Mares are pregnant for about 11 months. Good nutrition, deworming, light exercise and vaccinations during this time will help ensure a healthy foal when the time comes.1
Foals are born with an incomplete immune system and receive their initial immunity from the mare via the first milk.2 It is from this colostrum that the foal receives antibodies from the mare that were boosted by vaccines during the pregnancy. This might include tetanus, strangles, Hendra virus, rotavirus, herpes viruses and salmonella. Foals can also be infected by parasites at a very early age, so in order to give them the best chance at a healthy start, we need to keep Mum in tip top shape.1
Did you know that all horses are at risk of developing tetanus, an often-fatal disease caused by a bacterial spore that is present in the soil? Spores in the environment can survive for many years resulting in an ever-present risk on horse properties.2
The bacterial spore gains access to a wound (such as a foaling injury in a mare, or the umbilicus of a new-born foal) and rapidly multiplies, producing a powerful toxin that causes muscle spasms and can be fatal.2
It is essential that all mares are vaccinated against tetanus during every pregnancy
Previously vaccinated mares
Mares with unknown vaccination history
1 dose Equivac® 2 in 1 or Equivac T at 10 months gestation
1 dose Equivac 2 in 1 or Equivac T at 9 months gestation PLUS
1 dose Equivac 2 in 1 or Equivac Tat 10 months gestation
It is very important to have a good plan in place for internal parasites in pregnant mares, as the mare is a possible source for infecting her foal with parasites, both from her milk, and from her manure.1,4
Mares should be wormed in the weeks prior to foaling with a product primarily aimed at small strongyles, that will also help reduce the transmission of Strongyloides westeri (threadworms) via the mares milk.4 Equest® Plus Tape is an excellent choice due to its additional control of the dormant ‘encysted small strongyles’ and longer suppression of egg shedding onto the pasture. Equest Plus Tape is safe for pregnant mares and foals and is effective against all major species of internal parasites.5
Equest Plus Tape, Equivac 2 in 1 and Equivac T are available from Tuckers.