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UC Davis Equine Specialists Ready for Foaling Season

February 4, 2015

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UC Davis can assist with your foaling needs.

To anyone in the horse world, spring means foaling season. The UC Davis Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital can be of assistance throughout the entire process. Equine specialists are available 24/7 should any complications arise. They provide a full range of foaling services with the highest quality of care anywhere in Northern California. Whether it is for high-risk pregnancies or pregnancies anticipated to be normal, the VMTH can keep a watchful eye on expecting mares to give owners peace of mind.

Mares are personally monitored around the clock by a highly-trained veterinary technician staff, as well as by video monitoring and the Foal-Alert™ system, allowing for veterinarians to immediately come to the scene.

A team of board-certified specialists From the Equine Reproduction Service and the Equine Medicine Service monitor every case. Working together, they ensure the best care for the pregnant mare, as well as both mare and foal during and after the foaling event. Veterinarians from both Services are present for every foaling. Should any problems arise, the VMTH’s board-certified surgeons and anesthesiologists are on call to assist with dystocias and C-sections.

Post-foaling complications are handled by the Equine Medical Emergency, Critical Care and Neonatology Service in the hospital’s world-class Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), headed by a board-certified critical care specialist. The NICU is equipped with customized stalls to support sick foals, allowing intensive management under the watchful eye of the mare in an adjoining stall.

Sick newborns are very critical and if not treated early, can have severe complications and high mortality. The NICU’s team is experienced in successfully handling post-birth complications that require the high-level intensive care a sick foal needs. The VMTH’s intensive care technicians provide around-the-clock monitoring, oxygen, IV fluids, IV antibiotics and nutritional support.

Critical conditions the NICU treats include colic, diarrhea, dummy foal syndrome, failure of passive transfer, NI (neonatal iserythrolysis), orthopedic problems (i.e. contracted legs, crooked legs), prematurity, ruptured bladder, sepsis, septic joints, and kidney or liver failure.

Additionally, post-foaling procedures performed by the NICU include: providing physical therapy for foals with leg deformities; evaluating the mare’s reproductive tract with the Equine Reproduction Service; retaining placentas in the mare; and milking mares to feed foals if necessary.

The NICU has three mare/foal stalls, with ample overflow space into the nearby ICU barn. Whatever your need may be, the VMTH is here for you to help you welcome healthy foals into the world.

PDF of Foaling Services Available

PDF of Intensive Care for Foals Available


About the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital
The William R. Pritchard Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital at the University of California, Davis—a unit of the School of Veterinary Medicine—provides state-of-the-art clinical care while serving as the primary clinical teaching experience for DVM students and post graduate veterinarian residents. The VMTH treats more than 47,000 animals a year, ranging from cats and dogs to horses, cows and exotic species. To learn more about the VMTH, please go to Timely news updates can be received on its Facebook ( and Twitter ( pages.

Rob Warren
VMTH Communications & Marketing Officer