Dystocia is a situation in which normal delivery of a foal is hindered or delayed. It requires quick, decisive and correct action to preserve the life of mare and foal. It is relatively easy to injure mares by using excessive or incorrectly delivered force in pulling a foal.
Dystocia can be a result of a relatively large fetus versus a mare with a relatively small birth canal. It can also relate to abnormal presentation (breech), or presentation (head or limbs back, for example).
Ninety percent of mares foal without difficulty when left alone. Once fetal membranes appear, the foaling should progress quickly. The foal should be born in 20-30 minutes.
Normal presentation is front feet first, pointing downward, with muzzle right behind and in between. Anything different than this may mean mal-position or presentation. In this case, repositioning of the foal may be needed.
Treatments May Include
Prognosis & Relevant Factors
Depends on underlying cause of the dystocia.
I Might ObserveRelated Observations
Skills I might need
QUESTIONS TO ASK MY VET
Helpful Terms & Topics in HSVGWritten, Reviewed or Shared by Experts in Equine Health
Helpful Outside ResourcesCredible Equine Health Information on the Internet