The first 16 hours…
So yesterday, Granite Glen added a sweet bay filly to it’s Cast of Characters.
And despite lots of worrying (mostly by me) in the weeks leading up to this EVENT… the birth itself went beautifully. Mr I watched it was astounded by how fast it happened.
By the time I go there with the camera, Holly had cleaned her little girl up and she was trying to stand…
Are you ready for the heartbreaking, breathtaking, awkward-making, delightfulness that is a foal trying to take it’s first step?
Don’t say I didn’t warn you…
You might have noticed the membrane hanging from Holly during this series – that is her birthing sac, the ‘afterbirth’.
And when we returned from the school’s Christmas Tree event, it was still there.
I began my worrying again, and decided to google ‘retained afterbirth‘. And that didn’t ease my worrying, I can tell you. So I read up some, woke my husband, we found some Ocytocin in the fridge (yes our fridges are a little like vet clinics out here!) and headed off at 1am to find Holly.
We administered the drug (which induces contractions) to help her expel the recalcitrant placenta. We also ‘tied up’ the afterbirth so it was not dragging on the ground and getting contaminated. She was distressed at being restrained with a disoriented newborn in the middle of the night, so we let her go and hoped the Oxytocin would work its magic.
At 6am this morning, the stubborn placenta was still there. A second dose was administered and despite clearly having some contractions, still no result. Our vet recommended a small intravenous dose (never the most fun thing to try), and if that didn’t work, she would attend. Our patient mare reacted almost immediately, with lots of lying down and stretching out.
After an hour we could still see the afterbirth and we made the call to get the expert in. Then, after a few minutes, we looked through the binoculars again. No afterbirth.
The following sequence was taken during Holly’s last (successful) contractions. I adore how the foal is nudging her Mum to ‘get up’ not unlike the sequence above where Holly nudged her newborn to get to her feet.
How sweet is that?
Poor Holly – nearly did me in watching her go through several labours to get rid of that placenta. But she managed to do it without tearing or retaining (the placenta appeared complete) which is just wonderful.
And yes, our little filly is quite unusual – she has two very different coloured eyes. One brown and one very pale blue! She appears to see fine from both eyes, is quite nimble already and has little fear of humans (see first pic in this series, as she wove her way between us while we were trying to do the intravenous shot for her Mama).
Hope you enjoyed these two slideshows… have to admit, that on about 4 hours sleep, I am a bit of a zombie today.
Methinks I will stick to babies I can leave with their (furry) mamas – I am officially too old for sleep-deprivation.