For all of you out there that are expecting babies… please remember to get your selenium supplements at least 8 weeks before the due date (12 weeks is best)! This will help with selenium deficiency retained placenta syndrome.
If you have ever had your mare retain her placenta… you will know how important this simple remedy can be for the life and fertility of your mare!
Here’s my story:
MAMA TESS AND HER RETAINED PLACENTA(S) STORIES! – and how we fixed it!
(Originally posted 4/18/10)
Well, I know we are well into foaling season. Sorry I’m so late in thinking about this. But, if you have a mare that retains her placenta, I have a great remedy. Vitamin E and Selenium at least 4 weeks prior to birth and 8 weeks is better.
My mare retained the placenta on her first three births. Ugh. The first time, it was a nasty infection and it was awful – we almost lost her. The vet told me to have an oxytocin shot available to administer the next time she gave birth – to expel the placenta through contractions. The second time I was prepared with the oxytocin. Poor girl. After she didn’t pass the placenta I gave her the injection. It worked but I hated to see her go through labor all over again. The third birth was a repeat of the second.
Yuk. I hated having to do that to my mare. It seemed so artificial and ‘after the fact’. Wasn’t there something I could do to help her that was nutritionally based? A friend told me to give her daily Vit E with Selenium 3 months before she’s due. I asked my vet at the time. After all, we know that selenium can be toxic. Well, he said that there is no scientific proof that Vit E and Selenium helps with passing the placenta. Hmmmm. My friend, who runs a large mule operation, swears by it.
(*Since I wrote this article, I’ve read two studies done on equines – one linked here. Both said that it is true that selenium deficiencies are a cause of retained placentas. Also, it is known to be true in beef, dairy, sheep and swin)
The next pregnancy, I read up on selenium and decided to try it. Three months before her due date, I started her on a daily dose. As time passed, she didn’t explode or anything. In fact, her coat and feet looked great!
When she foaled, I was there holding my syringe just in case and wondering if all would go differently this time. Lo and behold, out pops baby and immediately afterward, out pops placenta. WOW. I was amazed. I put my syringe back in the fridge and set about my business making sure everything else was OK. And, to be honest, my mare was in such better shape for not having to give birth twice in one night that I swear she looked at me with the, “Wow that was easy!…” look of amazement! She has given birth two more times and each was a breeze with the selenium. So, I’m a believer.
I got the Farnum brand like this. But, I am sure you can find other brands that might have other additives that you might also need for your mare. Or, while I was searching about, I saw some that looked really interesting . But, I only tried the Farnum, so far.