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April 04, 2009

Foaling: Tying Up Placenta

  2009 Cherry Hill   Copyright Information

 

Dear Cherry,

2 years ago my Draft mare delivered a healthy 200lb baby. Her placenta was HUGE, but I kept tying it up just by knotting it over and over and over.... It was so slippery, it was hard to tie and very heavy, so ultimately it ended up dragging on the ground. She ended up with a retained horn and even though I got her immediate medical attention, she got a fever and ended up at the vets for a couple days.

So I was reading about tying up the placenta, but cant find a picture or a good decription of how to do it with string. Do you tye it tight up by the vulva and then join it with a string at the bottom of the placenta? Will tying it tight so it doesnt slip cause any issues?

Please let me know.

Thanks, Julie

 

Dear Julie,

I suggest you talk with your veterinarian specifically for your mare's situation. However, in general here are some guidelines and tips about tying up a mare's placenta - you might know most of this, but I have included it for sake of completeness for other readers.

Horse Health Care by Cherry HillIt is normal for a mare to shed her placenta within an hour of birth, often as soon as she stands.

It is important to examine the placenta for any tears (except where the foal broke through) that might indicate a piece has been retained in the uterus.

When a mare does not shed the placenta normally, tying the placenta up prevents the mare from stepping on it and tearing it out prematurely or incompletely. It also keeps the membranes from being contaminated by the bedding or soil. The goal is to keep the level of the membranes above the hocks.

To tie up the placenta, tie a small loop in the end of a 3 foot piece of string or clean twine. Wrap the twine around the end of the placenta where is it hanging near the floor or ground. Thread the free end of the twine through the loop and pull snug.

Then draw that end of the placenta up by the twine to the portion of placenta that is just below the vulva and secure the two portions to each other by wrapping the twine around both and securing with a half hitch.

As the placenta continues to descend, you can repeat this procedure using another piece of twine.

Best of Luck, Cherry Hill horse trainer and author of 30 books and DVDs

 

Ask Cherry Hill

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