What you see. The starting point for addressing any equine health related issue is your observation.


Foals, Twins Born Alive


Rarely are twin foals born alive and well. In most cases, late term abortion occurs. But if both appear normal at birth, the same considerations apply as for a normal foaling of a singlet. Both foals should be up and nursing by 2 hours.

  • Code Red

    Call Your Vet Immediately, Even Outside Business Hours
    • If one or both foals appear to be having difficulty.
  • Code Orange

    Call Your Vet at Their First Available Office Hours
    • For a routine post-partum examination of foal, mare and placentae.

your role


What To Do

Monitor both foals to ensure strong suck and that the mare is bonding to each. One or both foals may need to be supplemented with milk replacer, depending upon the amount of milk the mare provides.

Both placentas should be expelled by the mare within 3 hours, or they are considered to be retained which can lead to a life-threatening infection. Even if both foals and the mare appear healthy you should contact your vet.

your vet's role

Your vet will perform a postpartum exam on the twins and the mare. Newborn twins may show signs of dysmaturity (born at term but suffer from abnormalities associated with a premature birth), and are more at risk than singlets for failure of passive transfer and malnutrition.
Questions Your Vet Might Ask:
  • Were both foals up and nursing within a few hours?
  • Are both foals continuing to be bright, alert and nursing?
  • Has the mare passed both complete placentas?
  • Will a veterinarian perform a post-partum exam on mare, foal, placenta?

Treatments Your Vet May Recommend

A way to resolve the condition or diagnosis. Resolving the underlying cause or treating the signs of disease (symptomatic treatment)

Very Common
more treatments

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP