Parturition Behaviour - Mare
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- Mammary hypertrophy, waxing of the teats and possible escape of milk from the glands.
- Patchy sweating behind the elbows and around the flanks.
- Commences ~4 hours before the birth of the foal and increases as the stage progresses.
- No indication of pain.
- Food is taken readily
- Respirations are normal
- Pulse is ~60
- Body temperature may become slightly subnormal (36.5-37◦C).
- Restlessness, wanders aimlessly.
- Tail is frequently raised or held to one side.
- May swish the tail or slap it against the anus.
- Kicking of the abdomen
- Towards the end of this stage:
- Straddling of hindlimbs
- Going down on knees or sternum and rising again
- Glancing at flank
- This stage terminates with the rupture of the allantochorionic membrane and the escape of allantoic fluid from the vulva.
- No visible straining during this period.
- Abrupt onset, lasts~17 minutes
- Appearance of the amnion or commencement of forceful straining
- Not much delay between them, often coincide.
- Soon after straining begins, the mare goes down.
- Lies on her side with the limbs extended
- Generally remains in this position until the foal is born.
- Transperent blue/white 'water bag' (amnion) visible at the vulva
- Quickly followed by the appearance in it of a digit.
- Straining at regular intervals.
- Each comprises 3/4 powerful expulsive efforts followed by a period of rest.
- Generally 3 minutes long
- One forelimb procedes the other by 7-8cm
- One elbow passes through the pelvic inlet before the other preventing minimal obstruction.
- Head is usually in the oblique position, but may be transverse with the cheek lying on the limbs.
- Greates and longest effort is with birth of the head.
- After expulsion of the foal, the mare may remain on her side exhausted for up to 30 minutes.
- Umbillical cord is intact when the foal is born.
- Subsequently ruptures 5-8cm below the belly due to movement of the mare or foal.
- Foal is usually born within the amnion, which is ruptured by movements of the forelegs.
- Lower portions of the hindlimbs often remain within the vagina for minutes after the rest of the foal is born.
- Membranes expelled quickly after the birth of the foal.
- Usually within 3 hours.
- Duration of stage 3 is ~30 minutes.
- Afterbirth is expelled by myometrial contractions with no straining.
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