My 10 year old QH mare who has never foaled has had 2 instances of where she appears to check pregnant when being hand palpated. In the latest instance we AI'd her and the following day flushed her and gave her oxytocin as we knew from the previous year attempt that she had fluid reaction to insemination. We checked her at 18 days and her cervix was tightly closed but he ultrasounded and saw some fluid in her uterus. He ultrasounded at 32 days and he said the fluid was gone but there was no pregnancy. However, her cervix was still tightly sealed and no follicular activity. At 38 days, we gave her a shot to bring her back into heat. There was no response or activity at 42 days palpation, so we gave her another shot. At 46 days, the cervix is still sealed, no follicular activity, but we also ultrasounded and now see fluid in the uterus again. She also has a very large doughy uterus, my vet describes it as the uterus of a 20 year old mare with multiple pregnancies.
My vet at this point is saying that there is not supposed to be false pregnancy in horses. However, he says all the signs, other than the uterus, make him think the mare thinks she's pregnant. He thinks the fluid is a possible cause of this. He is now giving Estrogen shots every other day to relax the cervix, so we can flush out the fluid and bring her back into heat. He is also going to take a biopsy to see if there is some sort of scarring or other infection that could be causing the fluid. What else could cause this mare to exhibit pregnancy like symptoms? If her biopsy comes back ok, what are the odds of getting a mare that has a fluid reaction pregnant? By the way, this mare had a uterine infection at 5 years of age after a live cover. We think that this may be the reason for her poor uterine tone and fluid reactions to breeding.
It could be a persistent corpus luteum, which secretes Progesterone and keeps a mare form coming back into heat. Of course, the Lutalyse should have taken care of that. If the endometrial cups had already formed when she reabsorbed the pregnancy, then that would prevent her cycling back in. Lastly, assuming she can be brought back in heat, you can use oxytocin in mares that retain fluid. It is the retention of fluid, not necessarily the breeding itself that causes the inflammatory response. Give 1-2 cc oxytocin in the vein or muscle 6-8 hours after breeding--it can help. Good luck!
We have a 15-year-old Paint mare who has had three or four foals, but the last two years she has been bred she has not produced a foal. The first year in this instance, she came back into heat about three or four days after what would have been her due date. This year, she was due on May 28th and is obviously not pregnant, but is not coming into heat. She was originally bred by A.I. with a veterinarian in attendance to palpate, etc. When ultrasounded following the first breeding (18 days), the vet determined she was not in foal and gave her a shot of Prostaglandin. She was subsequently bred on the next cycle by A.I. and did not come back into heat; we did not ultrasound again. Should we wait a full year just in case there is a tiny foal in this big mare. It is still early in the year to have her bred again. We have a Quarter Horse stallion. Should we breed naturally once we get her cycling again? What product should we use to get her cycling. Thank you.
Posted on Sunday, June 17, 2001 - 02:19 pm:
I suggest that you routinely ultrasound again at 30 days, which insures a fetal heartbeat. In a 15 year old mare, there are many alternatives for achiveing and maintaining a pregancy.
You can ultrasound this mare at any time to determine just where in her cycle she is. Your vet should have explained all of this to you. I would be looking for a different vet. It is not too late to breed this year.
#1. contact a different vet #2. ultasound the mare #3. determine what if any reproductive problems she might have.( She may need infusing or flushing. She may need a caslick after being checked safely in foal. She may need Regumate to maintain the pragnancy. Ask Questions )Good luck, don't waste another year!
LINDA NELSON (188.8.131.52)
Posted on Wednesday, November 07, 2001 - 04:44 pm:
I WAS WONDERING WHAT THE INCIDENCE IS OF A FALSE NEG. WHEN AN ULTRASOUND IS DONE BETWEEN 30-45 DAYS POST BREEDING. I HAVE A MARE THAT WAS ULTRASOUNDED FOR OVULATION THAN BRED AND THEN WAS ULTRASOUNDED AGAIN 30-45 DAYS POST BREEDING AND THE VET SAID SAID HE DIDN'T SEE ANYTHING BUT THERE WAS NO INFECTION OR ANYTHING ELSE WRONG. BUT THE MARE NOW LOOKS AND ACTS PREGNANT. SHE HAS NEVER HAD A BREEDING PROBLEM BEFORE. COULD THE VET HAVE ACTUALLY MISSED IT?
My daughter has a 10 year old mare that we are trying to breed by AI this year for the first time. For the last year and 1/2 she has had fluid in her teets. 5 different vets over that time have looked at her and said that some mares do that and just express the fluid every once in a while and as long as it is clear it is nothing to worry about. About 2 weeks ago suddenly her teets were much fuller and it the swelling went way up into her utter (especially on her right side). I was told that it looked like she was bagging up. The vet that is doing the AI came and looked at her and said that she did not have mastitus and didn't really think that there was even an infection (she did say that she has a deformed sphyncster on the left side, which is the less swollen side), but she put her on bute for 2 days and Tribrissen (960mg) for 7 days. She also told me to milk her out for a couple of days (my regular vet said not to because you are opening her up to infections). Now I noticed that she seemed a little fatter, but didn't really think to mention it because she is not in steady work. Well, we got another cold period and I went to put her winter blanket on and it was not even close to fitting her (it had been fine one week before that). I spoke to our normal vet and he said that she was probably having a false pregnancy and that that was very common this time of year. The I spoke to the vet that is breeding her and she said that she has never seen a false pregnancy and it is very rare, especially since she has never been breed before. I'm not sure whether to be concerned that something is really wrong or not with the conflicting answers I am getting. Are these signs of a false pregnancy? The weight gain was so sudden. She was shipped 31 hours home from my daughter's college 2 months ago and has not been cycling since even though she was when she left there and has been under lights and being teased to the studs and every other mare in the barn has been in heat. She is very used to traveling for shows, but this was very long and she was very tired when she arrived (it usually only takes about 15 hours), could this have caused these problems? I know nothing about this stuff, I am not even a horse person, my daughter sent her home to be breed because she didn't want her traveling once she was and we have a lot of knowledgeable people at the stable to help us, but somehow the mare seems to be making it very hard on us. I am considering taking her to a clinic or something for tests, but everybody says that we may never find out what is really going on so why waste your money. At this point I am very confused, and very nervous that it may not be a false pregnancy and something very serious is wrong (this horse is my daughter's life and I am very afraid for her). Sorry I am rambling on so much, but I am trying to learn as much as I can. If anybody can be of any help it would be greatly appreciated!!
Jos Posted From: 184.108.40.206
Posted on Sunday, April 11, 2004 - 08:29 pm:
Linda: False negative ultrasound at 30-45 days of pregnancy should not occur. The pregnancy is easily identifiable at that time. The experience of the ultrasonographer will play a large part though.
Gina: False pregnancies do occur. It can occur as a result of a hormonal imbalance, or may be related to a uterine infection. It is more probable however, that the apparent lack of cyclicity in this mare is because of a return to a "transitional phase" or even winter anestrus state as a result of the interruption of the lighting program or possibly (again less likely) the stress (if there was any) of being transported. Another quite possible alternative cause is that evne though she is cycling, she is not "showing" a regular cyclical manner at the new location - essentially a behavioural anestrus. Note also that inappropriate lactation is more commonly seen in fat (obese) mares than thinner (good weight) ones.
If this were my mare, I would perform a blood-progesterone assay in conjunction with an ultrasound examination of the reproductive tract to determine if she is cycling. If progesterone is present, then she is cycling but not displaying. If there is no progesterone present, then she may still be cycling (and in heat), and the ultrasound will assist in providing that diagnosis by reviewing ovarian strucutres.
Overall, I doubt that there is anything major wrong, but it would be a valuable investment to have a thorough pre-breeding evaluation performed on this mare (including culture and cytology) before breeding her. This should be performed in any event, but may assist in identification of any other problem if there is one present.
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