"Athena" is our little miracle filly. She is named after the Greek Goddess Of War, due to her huge fighting spirit.
This is "Athena's" story.........
At 6am on the morning check, her mother "Sara" was seen to be passing some fluid that looks suspiciously like her "waters" however it was just a small amount and upon watching for a while, she didn't appear to be in labour, so the vet was contacted as a precaution and we were advised to just keep her under observation.
At 7.30am, "Sara" sat down and began to push a little. The amniotic sac appeared, and then Sara got to her feet and went and stood in the corner. 20 mins later, more calls to vets, one was on their way, but we needed to check which way baby was presenting and if we could, to assist as the vet was still 40 mins away and if there was any chance of a live foal, we needed to get it out quickly. Upon checking, we found 2 legs and a mouth. Broke the bag, started pulling the legs, but there was no head coming with them, so we had to give up and simply wait for the vet. By the time the vet arrived, the legs had retracted completely into the mare, and she was still standing calmly giving absolutely no sign that she was actually in labour or having difficulty. Had she been checked at that point, there would have been no clue of what was going on.
The vets ascertained that the foal was upside down, and her head was twisted back. It took 3 men to pull her out. Until she was half out, we all believed we were pulling a dead foal and our only thought was to save her mother - until she blinked at her saviours.
After her mother got to her feet, the hanging placenta unfortunately caught in the wind, panicking the maiden mare who promptly trampled her baby.
Upon reflection, it was most likely Sara's waters breaking at 6am, making it 3 and a half hours from that point to "Athena" being born alive. It is the vet's opinion, that "Athena" had been somehow compromised inside her mother, and had put her into spontaneous labour in an attempt to get out and save her life. Sara had no milk, only the wax like yellow substance that sits on their teats before foaling, so was impossible to milk and what little we did get, Athena point blank refused to drink, so she was bottle fed until 3.30am when her mother's true milk came in, at which point she promptly began feeding from her mother without assistance and rejecting the bottled milk. Sara also was not fully dilated, which also caused problems getting Athena out.
Her dam has had a rough introduction to motherhood and will be left empty this season to recover before reassessing whether to rebreed her.
On Day 5, Athena crashed and was rushed to the vet. She was given Plasma, IV fluids and antibiotics and soon bounded back - this girl has such a strong will to live, she is amazing.
"Athena" has a huge personality and is an exquisite little creature. She truly is a little miracle. She has been DNA tested and is carrying the Frame Overo gene, which means she can produce loudly marked foals to solid stallions.
Athena will be retained.