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Twins

Once the mare is in foal the question period should be over, right? Wrong! It's only just beginning! Discuss ideas and tips here for management techniques for the pregnant mare, and the new born foal and it's mother.

Moderator: Jos

Twins

Postby wolfwoman » Thu Dec 20, 2012 11:48 pm

Jos, we have a fairly new American Mammoth Jackstock jennet (14.2 hh) that will be 8 years old on Christmas day. She started looking pregnant so we had her ultrasounded yesterday. The result was twins. :( Our vet (who specializes in equine reproduction) said one twin was very small and either dead or dying. The second twin is alive and kicking (literally - it kicked the vet during the rectal US). The jennet is healthy - no evidence of infection, etc., and the live twin is active. The vet thinks Daisy is about 9 months pregnant. I do not want to abort the pregnancy unless Daisy's life is in danger. That does not seem to be the case at present. Please advise as to the chances of a good outcome for the live twin and jennet. I know you cannot predict, but statistically what are the chances?
Brenda Weddle
Forever Home Farm
wolfwoman
Breeding Stock
 
Posts: 500
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 4:41 pm
Location: Gleason TN USA

Re: Twins

Postby Jos » Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:08 am

One can't really put a number on it, but "low" is the word that comes to mind...

There is an increased abortion rate with twins from about 7 months on, as the maximal amount of fetal growth (60%) occurs in the last 3 months of pregnancy. The placentae are incapable of providing adequate nutrition for the fetuses and they (or one) quite literally starve[s] to death in utero.

The fact that one of your fetuses is allegedly already compromised does increase the chance of survival for the second fetus. In many cases where one of the fetuses is dead, it mummifies and will be born along with the live foal. There are instances however where a pathogen is already present in the uterus and decay occurs. In this latter case, depending upon the point of gestation at which it happens, abortion is more likely.

You should be on the lookout for inappropriate mammary development - enlargement of the udder - as well as inappropriate milk presence/release. Those are both indicators of impending abortion. You are however almost out of the time frame for "inappropriate".

You need to be present at the foaling. There are a lot of legs to get sorted out in the right order to achieve a successful foaling without at dystocia. If you see one or more legs presented, but no movement, make absolutely sure that the legs are both from the same foal before applying traction!!!

Finally, I will note that it is notoriously difficult to identify twins per rectum at a late stage of pregnancy such as this, so one could possibly hope that perhaps an error was made...

Good luck!
We're always happy to try and help, but don't forget to check the articles section
of the website too, which has a search engine to help you look for answers!
:)
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Jos
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Re: Twins

Postby wolfwoman » Fri Dec 21, 2012 10:28 am

Thanks so much Jos. I value your opinion and knowledge. I spoke with the vet further this morning and she said her estimate of gestational age was based on mineralization of the bones of the live fetus seen during the ultrasound. Further, she said the fetus is small for gestational age (not unexpected in this case). She said she is certain the other smaller twin is dead. We are watching Daisy very closely for any signs of illness, but so far we have not seen any. I do hope there is a good outcome for at least Daisy, but preferably Daisy and her foal. :< Thank you again for the info. I will be sure I am there when she foals if I have to stay with her 24/7.
Brenda Weddle
Forever Home Farm
wolfwoman
Breeding Stock
 
Posts: 500
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 4:41 pm
Location: Gleason TN USA

Re: Twins

Postby Jos » Fri Dec 21, 2012 11:07 am

I would feel that a measurement of orbital diameter would produce a more accurate estimation of current gestation duration...
We're always happy to try and help, but don't forget to check the articles section
of the website too, which has a search engine to help you look for answers!
:)
User avatar
Jos
Senior Stallion or Mare
 
Posts: 3948
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 12:11 am

Re: Twins

Postby wolfwoman » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:28 pm

Daisy had her follow up US yesterday. The smaller, non-viable twin has apparently been reabsorbed. There was no evidence of it. Jos, I asked her about the orbital diameter. She replied that "my arms are too short unless the baby is facing me". To me, it is very important to know when Daisy is due to foal, so I can be there with her in case of problems. We are going to have her ultrasounded by another vet who has "longer arms" to get the orbital diameter. The surviving twin is active with a strong heartbeat, so fingers crossed.
Brenda Weddle
Forever Home Farm
wolfwoman
Breeding Stock
 
Posts: 500
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 4:41 pm
Location: Gleason TN USA

Re: Twins

Postby wolfwoman » Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:05 am

Daisy had another ultrasound today and the baby is really growing! We would like for the baby to stay in utero another month or two. So far so good. Everything is fine. Every time the vet ultrasounds Daisy, the baby kicks the vet! :lol:
Brenda Weddle
Forever Home Farm
wolfwoman
Breeding Stock
 
Posts: 500
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 4:41 pm
Location: Gleason TN USA

Re: Twins

Postby wolfwoman » Sun Oct 27, 2013 8:33 am

As everyone probably knows by now, Daisy gave birth to live, healthy, same-size twin jack foals on May 21, 2013. Because of all the issues, we had her foaled out at Tennessee Equine Hospital. The first foal was born, and as they were observing Daisy and the baby, the second twin was coming as a red bag delivery. The vets saved the babies' lives. Due to Daisy's forceful rejection of the twins, they have been raised on milk replacer from a pail. They are now 5 months old and newly weaned. Both are thriving and healthy. I know that we were VERY fortunate that things turned out well for both twins and Daisy. I realize this is very unusual and I am extremely grateful that we didn't lose anyone. Interestingly enough, the second twin was not discovered until birth. Despite several ultrasounds by our vet and several by the vets at TEH, no one discovered the presence of the second twin, even by heartbeat. He was a complete and total surprise. :o :D
Brenda Weddle
Forever Home Farm
wolfwoman
Breeding Stock
 
Posts: 500
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 4:41 pm
Location: Gleason TN USA


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