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One to two weeks prior to delivery the mares hips will drop This occurs when the muscles in the mares hindquarters relax and loosed in order to allow wasy passage of the foal The mares udder has been fillling with milk the past few weeks before delivery in order to feed her foal as soon as it is born During this period her udder and nipples will also harden Within 24-48 hours before delivery there will be a small ball of wax-like material on the tip of each nipple This waxing is a signal that the delivery is near Due to the pressure within the udder the mare may also leak colostrommilk Just before the mares water breaks woull see an exposure of the amniiotic sac or membrane filled with amniotic fluid It looks just like a water balloon The foal has grown and lived in the sac throughout the pregnancy The amniotic fluid has provided nourishment lubrication of tissues and provided protection from injury and infection to the foal In a normal delivery the first parts of the foal to come out will be the two front hooves pointing downward followed by the nose then the head the central part of the body and finally the hind legs The foal comes out of the amniotic sac which is an extensio of the placenta The placenta is attached to the inside od the mares uterus It has been the foals source of oxygen and nourishment throughout the pregnancy If the foals head has not broken through the amniotic sac during delivery the sac must be removed from the foals face to allow for breathing After thee foal is out and the sac is offf the face you want to dry it off As soon as the umbilical cord breaks away from the mother apply iodine to the cord stump to prevent infection The mare will lick and nuzzle the foal and encourage it to its
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