Please be sure to visit our sponsor, Total Health Enhancement, Inc.
Let them know you appreciate their support of these articles!

The Complete Foaling Kit

Your foaling kit should be handy and completely stocked well before the actual foaling date. 

A large, secure plastic box and tight lid make the best foaling kit container. It can be left in the barn and will stay dry and clean until needed. 
  • tetanus shot
  • tetanus antitoxin
  • IGG 
  • selenium
In the refrigerator in bags along with the needle/syringe for the tetanus shot and a long nose bulb syringe for the IGG, if  you need to give it. The tetanus antitoxin, in case the mare's colostrum didn't furnish enough immunity for the foal. Manure is a habitat for the tetanus spore. 
IGG, is a commercial substitute for colostrum, from equine serum. Selenium is often recommended as a precaution in areas that have selenium deficient soil, consult your vet.
  • sealable container with a extra clean tail wrap in it 
 to wrap the mare's tail prior to foaling. 
  • Mild, non detergent liquid soap in a squeeze bottle.
to wash the mare's hindquarters
  • disinfectant  (betadine) 
  • regular exam gloves
  • clean medicine dose cup (the kind that comes on medicines like nyquil)
  • 4 x 4 sponges
Disinfectant to clean off the mare's perineum, along with  regular exam gloves so you won't get it all over your hands. Cup is to pour disinfectant in to dip the cord. 4 x 4 sponges to put on the disinfectant 
  • A large, heavyweight trash bag 
to remove the placenta from the stall. (Your veterinarians may ask you to save the placenta so that it can be examined to see that all the pieces are present, ensuring that infections and problems will not crop up later.) 
  • Sharp, clean scissors 
to open a thick placental sac, cut the umbilical cord, or cut suture material to tie off the cord. 
  • Hemostats or clamps
  • Suture material
to stop bleeding from an umbilical cord or torn blood vessel.  in case a foal gets separated from the placenta too fast and starts to hemorrhage from the navel. Suture material, to tie off bleeding vessels or the umbilical cord if needed. 
  • Clean blunt topped scissors 
in case the little foot doesn't break through the veil
  • a small bulb syringe 
to help aspirate the foal if the fluids don't drain by themselves
  • At least two fleet enemas
to be used if the foal seems to have trouble defecating after it is born. Contact your veterinarian prior to using them, but having them on hand will shorten the time to treatment. 
  • A few large towels and a few small hand towels. 
These are used to grasp the foal's feet and legs if you need to help pull and to dry and clean the foal after birth. 
  • a clean bucket 
cleaning your hands and arms or the foal and mare. 
  • Sterile lubricant such as Vaseline
  • long OB gloves
in case you have to go in and "Help" the position of the foal.
  • sharp knife
in the case that the placenta a has detached and the foal cannot get any oxygen either from the blood or from the outside air so they have to get out as quickly as possible. 
  • A flashlight with fresh batteries. 
This can be a small light.
  • A watch
to keep track of time during foaling. 
  • a cordless phone
never hurts to be able to call a vet without having to LEAVE the mare!
  • two sets of OB straps
 NOT chains. Nylon straps can be disinfected and reused for years.
  • a thermometer
  • syringes, proper size needle(s) for mare/foal
  • a stethoscope
Make sure that the thermometer is used with caution on the foal, perforation of the bowl can result very easily, resulting in the death of the foal.
  • Mare's halter and lead
In case the mare must be encouraged to stand.
  • Colic mixture
To relieve colicky pains in the mare after foaling, ask your veterinarian what he recommends to have on hand.

Also not a bad idea to  have another box set up for the vet in which you have oxygen, IV fluids and administration kits, those long OB gloves, Rompun (Xylazine), and Oxytocin. You can always administer the oxygen, the tranquilizer or the oxytocin on his advice over the phone so as to improve a situation prior to his arrival.

BACK to List of Articles