Tiny Twin Horses Fight to Survive

By Eric S. Page
|  Wednesday, Mar 31, 2010  |  Updated 1:46 PM PDT
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Twin Foals May Not Survive

Helen Woodward Animal Center

The folks at the Helen Woodward Animal Center are caring for a rare pair of twin foals that were born this week to a 9-year-old mare named Lena.

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The folks at the Helen Woodward Animal Center are caring for a rare pair of twin foals that were born this week to a 9-year-old mare named Lena.

Sunny (a colt) and Angel (a filly) were born on Sunday to the registered quarter horse.

"Most horse owners don't want their mares to have twins," said veterinarian Rodrigo Vazquez. "It can be extremely dangerous for the mare and the foals.”

The foal's owner said that prior to the foaling, she didn't know the Lena was carrying twins.

"Twin birth for horses is so rare that it's hard to find accurate statistics," said animal center spokesman John Van Zante. "In round figures, the chance of a mare and both twin foals surviving birth is around one in 10,000. Sunny and Angel may have as little as a one in 15,000 chance of surviving more than two weeks."

The twins were both carried full-term, which should increase their chances of survival. The animal center is live-streaming video of the horses, which are being monitored around the clock a the center's equine hospital.

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