The basics are still important and with a pregnant mare, you are taking care of the mare as well as the foal. This means the mare should be in a safe paddock with adequate fencing and be checked daily. With a pregnant mare, it is important to check for any signs of early udder development or vaginal discharge. If any of these are seen, contact us at the veterinary clinic right away as it could be an early sign of infection and or abortion.
This time of year is a relatively easy time for nutritional management. Usually, autumn pasture is adequate and that is all the mare needs. As long as the mare ‘looks good’ she is fine, this means she is about a Body Condition Score (BCS) of around 5.5-7 (out of 10). However, if the mare is overweight this is a good time to bring her body condition score down to where it needs to be. If the mare is overweight and it is not corrected, it can lead to difficulties later on in the form of angular limb deformities, lactation problems and foaling difficulties. If the mare is underweight or she is on poor pasture, she will need a feed supplement such as a balanced broodmare feed.
Finally, vaccination with a vaccine for Equine Herpesvirus Type 1 is important. Equine Herpesvirus Type 1 is the single most important infectious cause of abortion in horses. Vaccination is especially important if the mare is going to foal at a stud or is on a property where horses come and go a lot as she will be at risk for exposure to this virus. The vaccination protocol is three vaccinations started at month 3, 4 or 5.
If you have any questions about your pregnant mare and her management, please feel free to contact us at your local Franklin Vets clinic.