Care After Foaling

Protect your newborn foal from disease with these simple precautions.

A newborn foal’s navel is the road of choice used by disease- and infection-carrying organisms. Put up a roadblock to these troublesome critters immediately after your foal is born by dipping its navel in 0.5 percent chlorhexidine diluted with water in a one-to-four solution. Repeat two to three times a day during the first few days of the foal’s life. Avoid strong iodine solutions that are irritating, as they can cause tissue death and lead to other problems.

Learn more ways to prepare for and care for your new foal with AQHA's free booklet, A Horse Owner's Guide to Foaling.

Alert the Vet

Call your veterinarian as soon as your mare foals. He or she will want to do a thorough examination of the mare and foal some time during the foal’s first day of life to ensure the two are healthy. Your vet will also administer a tetanus antitoxin injection and a blood test to your foal to guarantee it has received adequate amounts of colostrum. The mare will be checked to confirm she has adequate milk and was not injured during the birthing process.


Consult your veterinarian on an appropriate vaccination for your new foal. Use the American Association of Equine Practitioners' foal vaccination chart as a guide. AAEP is an AQHA Educational Alliance Partner.

Can you recognize foaling signs? Do you know all the foaling lingo? Do you know what red flags to be aware of that need immediate veterinary attention? Get the answers with this FREE report, A Horse Owner's Guide to Foaling.