Krista Estellwith Krista Estell, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM – Clinical Assistant Professor of Equine Medicine

Foaling season is the most highly anticipated time of the year for professional horsemen and backyard breeders alike! In most cases, foaling is a joyous event that goes as expected, however, foaling can quickly turn problematic and both the mare and the foal can be at risk.

Risk factors can be detected by comprehensive examination of the mare and fetus including ultrasonography, ECG, and blood tests. For high-risk pregnancies, including mares subject to placentitis, post-partum hemorrhage, dystocia, or foal complications such as neonatal dysmaturity or septicemia, early diagnosis and effective intervention are key to ensuring the best possible outcome. This requires advanced planning between you and your veterinarian.

Foal Care - EMCIf it is determined that it would be in the best interest of your mare and foal to deliver in a hospital, the Equine Medical Center is ready to help. Mares are monitored using 24-hour video surveillance, a Foal Alert system, and physical observation by hospital staff and trained volunteers. Each delivery is attended by a faculty veterinarian in addition to the hospital’s complement of veterinary residents, interns, technicians and nursing staff.

In the event of abnormal delivery or post-foaling complications, interventional steps are taken without delay. Although every effort for a safe vaginal delivery will be made, EMC is staffed with anesthesia and surgical services, which are immediately available if a C-section is required. Critical care for the mare and foal is available after delivery in our neonatal intensive care unit, featuring comprehensive resuscitation capabilities, oxygen and blood pressure monitoring. In-house diagnostic laboratory blood testing and on-site blood donors are also available.

After months of anticipation, there is nothing more rewarding than seeing a healthy mare deliver a strong and frisky foal. The EMC is ready to assist you in every way possible to ensure the best outcome for your mare and foal.

For more information about neonatal or mare care options at the EMC please call Kathy Ashland at (703) 771 6875

(sponsored content; originally appeared in the March  2018 issue of The Equiery)


The Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center (EMC) is a premier, full-service equine health facility conveniently located at Morven Park in Leesburg, Virginia. As an integral part of the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine and Virginia Tech, the EMC offers an array of cutting-edge diagnostic and therapeutic technologies and veterinary expertise to provide innovative and cost-effective care for your horse. The EMC offers a broad range of general and advanced specialty services by appointment as well as comprehensive 24/7 emergency services. State of the art technology with cutting-edge expertise…

Serving you, your vet and your horse. Ask your vet about us, or visit us yourself!
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