Breathing Problems For Newborn Foals
Newborn Foals and Breathing Issues
Friday 22 January 2010
A newborn horse foal is always a wonderful addition to any family. Most of the time there will be few problems when beginning to raise a new horse. However, there may be occasions when your foal’s health will be affected. Foal breathing problems can occur, and if they do it is worth knowing what to do to help the situation. For a guide on foal breathing and any issues that might arise, see the following information.
Foal breathing problems can be caused by tricky births, premature births or general sickness.
When a foal is born, breaths will be more gasping. After around half a minute or so horse foal breath should be at a rate of about 40 to 60 breaths every minute. This can be counted by the number of times you see a flare in the foal’s nostrils, or chest movement. This should slow down to around 30 to 40 breaths each minute after about 3 hours.
Nose or Mouth
Horses only breathe with their noses. If your horse foal shows signs of trying to grasp breath with his mouth, this is a foal breathing emergency. At this point, take a look at the horse’s gums and make sure they are pink. If the colour of the gums is purple or yellow, or any other shade, this is not right. Call the vet immediately.
While you wait for a vet to arrive, rub the horse foal’s chest using a towel firmly and quickly while he is sat up. Use a suction bulb to clear the nostrils, and hang the foal’s head over the edge of a hay bale is possible. This assists in releasing any fluids that could be causing the problem.
To help prevent any foal breathing problems in the first place take the sac away from his head as soon as he is born. This will stop any unnecessary obstruction to the foal breathing.