I have a yearling ( coming 2 year old ) filly that I'm am beginning to get concerned about. This spring she was with two other yearlings (one of whom was still a stud colt). The colt began to show great interest in the other filly in the pen so we removed him and had him castrated a short time later. The filly I'm speaking of is now starting to get a bit of a round belly on her, she was not in season at the time we removed the colt from the pen so at the time I wasn't too worried. Now I'm second guessing, I don't recall having seen her come into season this year (not unusual for a filly her age) but I'm wondering if he could have bred her BEFORE we caught him in the act. What would be the safest method of checking this filly? I'm concerned because of her small size that palpation could rupture her, if she is bred, she would have to be well into her 6th month by now.
You don't indicate what breed this filly is, so it is difficult to comment on the validity of your comment of her being of a "small size" for palpation. Be aware though, that it is routine to palpate ponies, and indeed some practitioners are comfortable palpating miniature horses, so the size may not be an issue. Undoubtedly confirming pregnancy status is important, and if possible an ultrasound would be valuable - consult your veterinarian as to the practicality of this with this animal.
If an ultrasound is not feasible, a blood test after the estimated 100 day of pregnancy mark for total estrogens or estrone sulfate would be best. The trouble is that you don't know when that 100 day mark would be, and prior to that time, it would not be reliable.
I'd consult with your vet if I were you.
Posted on Tuesday, November 01, 2005 - 11:11 am:
Jos, my son in law is a vet (mostly cattle, swine and small animals) he is learning about horses since he's been in the family, but not completely proficient yet. My understanding of the ultrasound is that once they pass the 90 day mark it is very difficult to utilize for the determination of pregnancy. The filly in question is a registered quarter horse, really, she's good sized to be coming a two year old.
My concern with the palapation comes from an experience when we had a small horse checked (by another vet) about a year ago and he made it clear that being as small as she was that palpation could result in a tear. ( maybe that particular vet wasn't comfortable with doing smaller horses? )
I was also under the impresstion that blood testing was only accurate in the early stages of pregnancy ?
I have to be careful not to step on the toes of my son in law, but I really would like to know if this filly is pregnant and whether we should terminate the pregnancy or if it's feasible to let her try to have the foal.
Your vet should easily be able to tell if her hymen is ruptured without risking a tear. If her hymen is ruptured then you should look at confirming pregnancy.
Posted on Tuesday, November 01, 2005 - 01:44 pm:
Good idea Rooty, but I think I'm going to load her up and take her to a vet that we've used in the past who has a lot more experience with equine breeding. What my son in law doesn't know, can't hurt him.
Thanks to all for the advice, once I get her checked, I'll let you know how things come out and what the vet has suggested we do if she is bred.
Hind site says I should have gone ahead with an injection to prevent her getting pregnant when we took the colt out of that corral. Two things kept me from doing that #1. I listened to my spouse who said, "there's no way that colt could breed those fillies, they are too tall. and #2. the vet tells me that less that 60% of two year olds will even breed at that age so I doubted that even if he did cover her a pregnancy would result.. in retrospect, I think I'll listen to my own instict next time around.
Posted on Wednesday, November 16, 2005 - 11:37 am:
Good news, the filly IS not pregnant and actually is now in season. (whew) Lesson learned, seperate those yearlings BEFORE spring arrives !
Posted on Wednesday, November 16, 2005 - 12:19 pm:
Yep, that's how I learned about checking to see if the hymen is intact... I was pretty sure the filly wasn't preggers but she did pack on the pounds later that summer and that's how the vet checked her.
Posted on Wednesday, November 16, 2005 - 01:47 pm:
it was a huge relief, I was feeling SO guilty over letting it happen and worrying about what would have to be done if anything. ( I didn't really want to abort a colt at that stage of the pregnancy and I wasn't sure she'd be able to have it or even mother it as young as she is ) We are taking our weanling colts in January to K State to be gelded, this year, it won't be a conern.
I've got a weanling colt and filly together right now, and they'll be separated in March unless I can get him gelded earlier. Unfortunately he has only dropped one testicle right now, I hope that other one will drop before the beginning of spring. I hate to separate them because the filly has jumped out of a 4'6" fence when I have separated them in the past. I guess it's got to happen sooner or later, but I don't want her to get hurt! Mind you I don't want her pregnant as a yearling either.
Rooty, I might be able to give you some good advice on this one. I had an incident this summer where I purchased a two year old QH stud that had NOTHING showing, I bought him very cheaply because he was not stud material and it was obvious that it would require surgery to castrate him. (he didn't act at all like a stallion before I bought him but upon bringing him home he "woke up" and smelled the mares) To make a long story short, I scheduled him for surgery at K State Vet hospital the following week and even on his admission they were pretty sure he was a crypto.(i.e. $500 surgical fee) Once they put him under and rolled him over.. big as life, there were both testicles. They called it, "high flanking" if I remember correctly. The head surgeon said that there really are very few true cryptos. If my local vet had just laid the horse down, he could have been castrated at home.
Because of this, I took a chance on a palomino yearling at a sale that only had one testicle showing, I had our vet put him under on the chance that he would be able to find the second one, sure enough, when the horse was relaxed, it was visible and he's now a nice gelding that I have a whopping $380 invested in.. he'll sell well next spring when I get him riding and he's a real sweetheart.
If you don't see the other testicle dropped next spring, spend a few $$ and have your local vet put the horse to sleep before you invest in expensive surgery or sell the colt off too cheaply, you might be glad that you did.
Posted From: 22.214.171.124
Posted on Thursday, November 17, 2005 - 03:03 pm:
I guess we must just be lucky then because we have had two true cryptos! Totally different bloodlines and 4 years apart. Sedating them does sometimes get them to let down though so I agree its a good thing to try.
I'd have to be a little suspicious about having two in 4 years. There are two places in this area that deal with crypto surgies, the one will tell you up front that regardless what they find, if they put the horse under, you are being charged for a crypto surgery. We were fortunate that K State is honest, they well could have gone ahead with the surgery and charged me the $500, I would have been none the wiser. Having seen this occur three times in the past 6 months, I'm inclined to believe what that head surgeon told in August.
E Watkins, Where are you located? I love K-state staff, too--they were great with my stud. Just wondering if you knew a good vet around Central Kansas for gelding. Dr. Schmidt in Great Bend is out for medical reasons, and I need to get my colt gelded. Thanks!
Posted From: 126.96.36.199
Posted on Saturday, November 19, 2005 - 03:36 pm:
Well one we actually seen the procedure done and the other had to be done twice(long story)because they didn't get everything the first time! I'm glad to hear that it is rare though. Hopefully that means we will never have another one!
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