PART 2
Tips for handling dystocias
Presentations that may need your intervention....or a nearby vet. 
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You will see only one leg and a nose.
 
Tie a clean shoe string around the visible pastern. Next, push the head and leg back into uterus a little ways. Slide your clean, well lubricated hand into mare, with palm towards center. Locate hooked leg, slip two fingers behind knee, pull up, then towards the middle of foal’s chest, then out. If the leg does not come, try grasping toe of hoof and bringing it forward.
 
(If the foal’s left leg is missing, use your left hand with the palm towards center of mare) Whenever you are moving foal’s legs inside the mare, protect her uterus from the sharp hooves by cupping the foal’s hoof in your hand. 
 
 
 
2. Both forelegs back (second most common dystocia)
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You will see the nose, but there will be no legs
 
If the foal has a blue tongue, don’t worry; that is normal in this situation
 
Enter with your palm towards center and do the same process as written above on both legs instead of just one leg
 
 
 
3. Head caught on pelvic rim
 
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The legs may or may not be in birth canal.
 
Tie string to visible pasterns and then reach in mare. Find the foal’s two mandibles, then run your hand down his face to his chin. Grasp under chin while having your helper push the foal back into uterus. (with each contraction, the foal’s head is being jammed harder and harder into the pelvic rim. That is why the helper must push foal back to undo the blockage) with your hand under the chin, gently but firmly pull on it and unhook from the rim. Once the head straightens, the foal will deliver without further ado. 
 
 
 
4. Head & neck turned to one side
 
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This presentation may look like the one above, but when you put your hand in, on one side of the foal will be a mass of neck. Tie strings to the pasterns, and, while helper is pushing foal back, slide hand along neck to chin. Grasp chin and gently straighten head.
        
 
 
5. Upside Down
 
You will see the soles pointing upwards, telling you that the foal is either upside down or backwards. Discern position by entering and trying to find head or hocks. If there is a head, the foal is upside down.
 
This position may correct itself. Allow time for the mare’s rotational contractions to turn foal. Allow time for mare to lay down and roll to position foal before getting worried.
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If intervention is necessary, first put hand in and re-check foal’s position to make sure that only 2 legs are in the birth canal. If hind leg is there, do not push foot directly back in!(Read section 6 on how to unhook a third foot) Foal will be tipped to one side. This is because the rotational contractions are trying to turn the foal that direction. Work with the pre-established direction of the foal. If foal is tipped to your left, grasp foal’s legs and cross right leg over left. Hold the legs crossed, and wait for mare’s contractions to pull. (mare should by laying down).  When she pushes, pull and twist firmly but gently. Rolling the foal happens gradually, not suddenly. Don’t pull when the mare is not having a contraction, but in between contractions, don’t let the foal slip back, hold all progress you have made.
 
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