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FoalGuard Foaling Alarms Proudly Australian made and owned.
FoalGuard Colostrum Meter
If you are planning on breeding a foal a colostrum refractometer is the most important tool you can have to check your mares colostrum quality.
Poor colostrum quality is far more common than breeders realize and it can mean the death of what seems like a perfectly healthy happy foal in the days and weeks after birth. Over 30% of mares have poor quality colostrum and over 40% of foal deaths are the result of failure to gain adequate immunities from colostrum to protect them from bacteria, viruses and disease. Maiden and older mares have an even higher risk of poor quality colostrum.
The FoalGuard Colostrum meter ( refractometer ) is so easy
to use, you
simply collect a few drops of colostrum, place it on the colostrum meter
window and read the results.
Many breeders that have lost a foal due illness and infection are unaware that it is often preventable and one of the major causes is detectable and preventable prior to symptoms becoming visible.
Foals becoming suddenly lame (Joint ill), acquiring respiratory infections, bowel and blood infections and prolonged scouring can often be attributed to a very simple but deadly cause called FPT, which is the Failure of Passive Transfer of antibodies most often the result of poor quality colostrum (first milk).
Up to 30% of mares have poor quality colostrum and the risk increases with maidens and older mares, even when in perfect health. Mares that have suffered from malnutrition and it is also possible that mares who run milk for extended periods prior to foaling have a much higher risk of poor quality colostrum.
Colostrum quality can decline quickly after birth and newborn foals will often be a little slow at getting their first drink especially if they are a little weak or the mare is nervous and won't stand still for the foal. If the foal takes too long to suckle the mare's colostrum antibody levels may already have declined to an undesirable level. Early and regular testing as essential to determine how to manage the mare and foal, if the foal is not suckling and the colostrum quality is in decline the mare can be milked and the colostrum administered to the foal via a bottle or stomach tube.
Many foal deaths within 3 months of birth are caused by FPT. Early detection is essential With the use of a FoalGuard colostrum meter, colostrum testing is fast, simple and affordable, attendants can easily perform the test on site, before your foal’s life is compromised.
Passive transfer of antibodies is the most crucial part of your foals start to life. All foals are born with little to no immune defence system. A mare’s antibodies are unable to pass through the placenta to the foal. The foal receives these antibodies from colostrum which protect the foal from infection and disease that can result in death. Foals can only absorb antibodies from colostrum within the first 12 to 24 hours after birth. Early detection of poor quality colostrum and supplementation of good quality colostrum is essential during this time to avoid costly vet bills and the possible loss of a foal.
Foals that have ingested low quality colostrum can often thrive in the days and in some cases even months after birth, until they are exposed to a bacteria or disease that they are unable to defend themselves from as they don't have adequate antibodies to do so. Often by the time the owner recognizes the foal is ill, it is too late, treatment is costly, prolonged and often unsuccessful. Early testing of your mares colostrum with a FoalGuard Colostrum meter is a quick and easy way to check the colostrum has adequate antibodies to support her foal, if the antibody levels are low, you can source alternate good quality colostrum often available from local breeders or your Vet and supplement your foal before the window of opportunity closes for natural colostrum absorption. If a foal has not received enough good quality colostrum, it may need plasma transfusions and prolonged intensive care for the foal to have a chance of survival.
Being able to test colostrum quality is also a fantastic way of identifying good quality colostrum suitable for storage and emergency use on an orphaned or deficient foal. Colostrum can be stored frozen for up to 12 months.
It is recommended that all foals be tested by a vet for IgG antibody levels between 16 and 36 hours after birth to ensure the foal is absorbing the antibodies from the colostrum so it has the best chance of a good start to life.
Investing in a colostrum meter is a very small price to pay to ensure your foal is getting the antibodies it needs, call us today.
© 2007 COPY RIGHT PROTECTED BY FOALGUARD ALL RIGHTS RESERVED FoalGuard Foaling Alarms Proudly Australian made and owned.
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