Sunday, March 1, 2009

Ruth's Foal

Ruth is an 8 year old clydesdale mare who foaled (gave birth) at the Arthur Veterinary Clinic on Friday February 27th at 9:45pm. Ruth is owned by Dr. Linda Harmon Dodge who is a veterinarian at the AVC. She gave birth to a very large stud (boy) foal who Dr. Linda has named "Ford". Ford weighed 200 pounds and was approximately 11 hands (44 inches) tall.

For those of you unfamiliar with horse lingo, a hand equals 4 inches. Horses are measured for height from their withers to the ground. The withers on a horse are located at the base of the neck.

Dr. Lisa passing a stomach tube.

Ruth gave birth easily and Ford was a strong foal from the start. He was standing within an hour of being born. However, he has not mastered the art of nursing from his mother or a bottle. Because of this, a stomach tube had to be passed to provide Ford with his mother's colostrum. As you can imagine, this is both frustrating and exhausting since a foal should nurse every 2-3 hours.

After 12 hours of passing the stomach tube, we discovered that Ford would drink his mother's milk from a bucket. And while this is not ideal, it is better than the stomach tube.

Dr. Linda bucket feeding Ford. Ruth is making sure she is doing it right!

So, all day yesterday and last night, we took turns bucket feeding Ford every two hours. Today, he is finally starting to get the hang of nursing from a bottle. Hopefully by this time tomorrow he will be happily nursing from his mother!

Dr. Linda bottle feeding Ford

"Hmm.......what am I supposed to do?"



  1. Great looking blog. I loved the story about the foal. Good luck with him.

  2. Way to Go, Wonderful Blog Lisa