Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History

Interview with M.C. Toby, Dr. E.W. Thomas, Col. Floyd Sager, December 17, 1979

Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, University of Kentucky Libraries
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00:00:00 - Veterinary vaccines

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Partial Transcript: Uh, I'd only been here about three years and I had a run of post-partum hemorrhage.

Segment Synopsis: Sager discusses his stance in favor of preventive medicine, specifically vaccines.

Keywords: Intestinal parasites

Subjects: Horses--Health; Medicine, Preventive; Vaccination of animals; Veterinary vaccines

00:03:49 - "Best" horses

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Partial Transcript: Now I would like for you to tell me and describe in your words the best horse you've been around, and then the next horse would be the most intelligent horse you've been around.

Segment Synopsis: Sager lists some of the so-called "best" horses he has worked with in the racing industry over the years. He also remembers a mare from his time in the army that he trusted with his young daughter, Charlotte. He spends a good bit of time talking about Nasrullah's intelligence and headstrong personality, including several specific anecdotes.

Keywords: Breeding sheds; Charlotte Sager; Equine restraints; Horse grooms; Mr. Arthur; Secretariat (Race horse); Sires; Studs; Twitch

Subjects: Blenheim II (Race horse); Bold Ruler (Race horse); Daughters; Double Jay (Race horse); Horse industry; Nasrullah (Race horse); Personality and intelligence; Princequillo (Race horse); Race horses; Secretariat (Horse), 1970-1989.; Sir Gallahad III (Race horse); Thoroughbred horse

00:17:22 - Foaling--Approaching parturition

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Partial Transcript: This chapter will deal with the foaling barn.

Segment Synopsis: Sager recounts the behavior of mares who are in the pasture and approaching their time to give birth. He talks about the visible bodily signs that signal a mare is about to foal, but also talks about the impossibility of veterinarians being able to tell exactly when it is going to happen. Sager also cautions that veterinarians should be patient and not overly quick to invasively examine mares who are in labor pains, even though it's tempting.

Keywords: Foaling; Labor pains; Placental fluids; Red Shoes (Horse); Water breaking

Subjects: Mares; Medical examinations; Parturition; Pregnancy; Veterinarians; Veterinary obstetrics

00:25:35 - Foaling--Fetal malpresentations

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Partial Transcript: Alright now, in that regard, are there any outward signs or signals that a mare will give you that she is in difficulty or serious difficulty?

Segment Synopsis: Col. Sager discusses how to handle the most common malpresentation during delivery, upside down foals. He also discusses how to approach a delivery in which the forelegs are coming out first, the head is not in the correct position. He talks about breech presentations and twin presentations.

Keywords: Abnormal presentations; Breech presentations; Difficult labors; Fetlocks; Foaling complications; Foaling problems; Forelegs; Hind legs; Labor difficulties; Lateral head; Malpresentations; Snares; Twin presentations; Upside down; Vaginal tracts

Subjects: Breech delivery; Fetal presentation; Foals; Forelimb; Hindlimb; Mares; Pelvis; Uterus; Veterinarians; Veterinary obstetrics

00:43:17 - Foaling--Foal deformities

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Partial Transcript: Now, Col. Sager, we get an occasional, uh, deformed foal where the shoulders and, uh, are locked, uh, and contracted knees and tendons and whatnot and they have no flexion of their joints.

Segment Synopsis: Col. Sager discusses how to approach foal abnormalities and whether or not Cesarean sections should be performed in these instances.

Keywords: C-sections; Difficult labors; Embryotomy; Foaling problems; Labor difficulties; Malformations

Subjects: Animals--Abnormalities; Cesarean section; Foals; Mares; Veterinarians; Veterinary obstetrics

00:47:34 - Foaling--Barn setup / On-call surgeons

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Partial Transcript: Alright if--(coughs)--if, if you were asked today by a farm owner or the farm you work for is building a new foaling barn, and this barn contemplating being used for the next fifty years for foaling, would you have one stall or two stalls put aside for a emergency surgery...

Segment Synopsis: Col. Sager discusses whether emergency surgery areas are necessary in foaling barns as well as whether it is necessary for farms to pay a surgical veterinarian to be on call for such emergency situations.

Keywords: C-sections; Emergency surgeries; Foaling barns

Subjects: Cesarean section; Horse farms--Kentucky; Horses--Surgery; Mares; Veterinarians; Veterinary obstetrics

00:56:47 - Foaling--Difficulties for mares

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Partial Transcript: Would you discuss the bag development in a mare where no bag forms?

Segment Synopsis: Sager talks about various difficulties that mares may face either during or after delivery. First, he talks about mares who don't produce milk. He also discusses mares who suffer from edema, or swelling, after delivery and suggests they must be forced to get up and move. He addresses mares who become aggressive either to humans or to their own foals after delivery. Finally, he talks about torsion of the uterus during delivery.

Keywords: "Making bag"; Aggression; Foal rejection; Foaling; Labor pains; Maiden mares; Nurse mares; Nursing difficulties; Premature parturition; Protective mares; Udders; Uterine torsion

Subjects: Edema; Uterus; Veterinarians; Veterinary obstetrics

01:09:05 - Foaling--Placenta and afterbirth

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Partial Transcript: Uh, one of the important things about a foaling barn is the placenta.

Segment Synopsis: Sager discusses afterbirth, the passing of the placenta, and related veterinary concerns. He specifically talks about what is referred to as the "tongue pad" of the placenta.

Keywords: Afterbirth

Subjects: "Tongue pad"; Antibiotics; Antiseptics; Infection; Placenta; Uterus; Veterinarians; Veterinary obstetrics

01:17:46 - Foaling--Post-delivery treatment for mares

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Partial Transcript: Col. Sager, you make a procedure of giving a lot of these mares approximately a gallon of mineral oil a day following foaling. Are you still inclined to do this?

Segment Synopsis: Sager discusses standard post-delivery treatment of mares with mineral oil to prevent constipation. He also talks about the resuturing of the vulva if necessary.

Keywords: Foaling; Maiden mares; Sutures

Subjects: Constipation; Defecation; Mineral oils; Veterinarians; Veterinary obstetrics; Vulva

01:21:13 - Foaling--"Dummy foals"

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Partial Transcript: Now we, we have, uh, here with regularity, uh, a, uh--foals that, uh, are classified mainly as dummy foals.

Segment Synopsis: Sager talks about so-called "dummy foals" and the treatment for them. He speculates about the cause of this not uncommon syndrome.

Keywords: Barker foals; Dummy foal syndrome; Dummy foals; Equine neonatal maladjustment syndrome

Subjects: Animals--Abnormalities; Horses--Health; Infection; Nursing; Veterinarians

01:27:26 - Foaling--Common difficulties for foals

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Partial Transcript: We have, uh, Col. Sager, about eighty, I'd say eighty to eighty-five percent of these foals have a, a situation that, uh, is present, usually occurs the first few days following foaling...

Segment Synopsis: Sager talks about various complications that foals may face early on, including skin abrasions that are often present after delivery. He also talks about umbilical hernias and broken ribs that sometimes occur in foals. He discusses how he treats abnormal eyelid development issues. He also talks about blood conditions such as anemia and jaundice. Finally, he addresses contracted tendons in foals.

Keywords: Broken ribs; Contracted tendons; Entropian; Exotropia; Flexural deformities; Hocks; Skin abrasions; Umbilical hernia

Subjects: Anemia; Animals--Abnormalities; Blood--Examination; Eyelids--Surgery; Foals; Fractures; Jaundice; Mares; Navel--Hernia; Pregnancy--Nutritional aspects; Veterinarians

01:42:07 - Foaling--Colostrum

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Partial Transcript: In a foaling barn, uh, do you routinely maintain a colostrum bank?

Segment Synopsis: Sager talks about colostrum, including the small colostrum bank that Claiborne Farm maintains.

Keywords: Antibodies; Claiborne Farm (Paris, Ky.); Colostrum banks; Foaling season

Subjects: Colostrum; Immunity; Immunoglobulins; Mares

01:45:46 - Foaling--Emergency medical care for foals

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Partial Transcript: Col. Sager, uh, for a newborn foal, occasionally we have to give an emergency blood transfusion.

Segment Synopsis: Col. Sager talks about emergency blood transfusions for hemolytic foals. He also revisits the earlier conversation about jaundiced foals. Finally, he talks about ruptured bladders in foals.

Keywords: Emergencies; Veterinary nursing

Subjects: Bladder; Blood--Transfusion; Foals; Hemolytic anemia; Jaundice; Mares; Veterinarians; Veterinary nursing

01:52:17 - Foaling--Newborn foal routine examination

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Partial Transcript: Col. Sager, would you just outline your procedure on what you do at looking at the newborn foal the next morning where everything has gone normal?

Segment Synopsis: Col. Sager describes his routine procedure for newborn foals who are born healthy. He talks about why he does not give healthy foals antibiotics or vaccinations immediately.

Keywords: Navel; Newborn foals

Subjects: Antibiotics; Enema; Foals; Horses--Care; Infection; Medical examinations; Vaccination of animals; Veterinarians; Veterinary vaccines

01:56:58 - Foaling--Postpartum hemorrhage in mares

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Partial Transcript: Would you discuss postpartum hemorrhage in a mare, uh, for us?

Segment Synopsis: Sager talks about how to treat postpartum hemorrhage in mares.

Keywords: Blood clots; Hemorrhages

Subjects: Blood pressure; Blood--Coagulation; Eclampsia; Horses--Care; Mares; Tranquilizing drugs; Uterine hemorrhage; Veterinarians; Veterinary hematology; Veterinary obstetrics

02:02:20 - Horse people

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Partial Transcript: Uh, you mentioned a term to me one time, uh, let's see... "top-heavy." Would you describe that for us?

Segment Synopsis: First, Sager responds to a question about a term he uses, "over topped," for horses whose legs don't quite support their bodies. And finally, they spend some time talking about those who are known for "talking horse," including Arthur B. (Bull) Hancock Jr.

Keywords: "Feminine" mares; "Masculine" stallions; "Over topped"; "Talking horse"; Arthur B. (Bull) Hancock Jr; Claiborne Farm (Paris, Ky.); William Lee "Bill" Shoemaker

Subjects: Animal communicators; Horse breeders; Horse owners; Human-animal communication; Jockeys; Stallions