My warmblood mare has been bred 4 seasons to 4 different stallions. The first 2 were normal, healthy babies and grew up to be super horses. In 2002 my mare foaled a full term filly who was normal from her ears back, strong and vigorous but had to be put down due to several facial deformities. I struggled to find a reason - to my mind the most likely being that our area was aerially sprayed with Dibrom (a pesticide) twice during her 7th week of pregnancy because of the West Nile scare that year. Now I have been told by a vet at U of Florida that Dibrom (also known as Naled) is not supposed to cause birth defects. My mare also had the then brand new WNV vaccine during her 2nd and 3rd month of pregnancy. Also, we live downhill from a peach orchard which has been heavily sprayed (I assume with pesticides and fungicides). I waited a year after that experience to rebreed my mare, she took on the first try, had an uneventful pregnancy, easy foaling but this baby has a deformity in his neck right behind the ears - one axis joint is further forward and more pronounced than the other (x-rays and ultrasounds ruled out an injury). So my question is, do I risk breeding this mare again next year (she is only 12 and has produced 2 very good foals, and she loves being a mother). Any advice will be appreciated.
Did you give this mare any shots or worming the first 2 or 3 months of this last pregnancy? It has been found that it is very important that no chemicals be entered into the mares body the first 100 days after conceiving. That is why I give my mares their booster shots about 2 to 3 weeks before foaling and then worm them between the time they foal and the time they are bred back. Check around and see if anyone else with horses in your area has had problems, check with people who feed the same hay or grain you do. It could be something in that. Become a detective and search out reasons. The first year I gave West Nile to pregnant mares I had a filly with a cleft palate and a colt with a very relaxed lower lip. I have not given the shots again. I have done all kinds of other things to reduce the danger of West Nile to my horses instead.
Carole Dalton Posted From: 18.104.22.168
Posted on Friday, June 11, 2004 - 08:03 am:
I was very careful with this last pregnancy and did not give the mare anything during the first 3 months (also did not give the WNV at all during this pregnancy). When I have asked various vets their opinions, I mostly get the "just a fluke" response. I have not found any information about other breeders having similar problems in my area so I don't think that it could be the hay or grain. I do worry about whether my pasture could be contaminated (from the orchard nearby) and may send my mare to a friend's to board if I decide to try breeding again.
Mary Lou Posted From: 22.214.171.124
Posted on Tuesday, June 15, 2004 - 03:24 pm:
My guess would be that the peach orchard could very well be the culprit. I would send the mare away at least for the first 90 days of gestation which is the most critical time for organ formation.
Hi Carole to answer your question about deformities I think I found the answer. Fort Dodge that makes the west nile shot could be the culprit. One day I was searching the net for info on foal health and run into this site. Be advised this site is very desturbing but I fill it will answer your questions. http://lost-foals-group.4t.com/ Good luck and best wishes.
Jos Posted From: 126.96.36.199
Posted on Friday, November 05, 2004 - 11:29 pm:
The original poster wrote they: "...also did not give the WNV at all during this pregnancy", additionally, you may want to read the thread that appears on this site here. Essentially, there is not any scientific evidence presented on the site you provided the link for, and is regarded as histrionic at best by all knowledgeable breeders and experts.
Of interest to you might be the article that was recently presented by The Horse magazine on congenital hypothyroidism. The article can be viewed at this location. Note that The Horse has recently taken to charging for article viewing, so it may not be free for an indefinite time. In essence, the article says that the WCVM has determined "a link between congenital hypothyroidism and the presence of nitrate in the feed or water supply of pregnant mares, and a less-than-adequate supply of vitamins and minerals in the pregnant mares' diets". The result as far as what you will actually see is "foals [that] often have umbilical hernias, contracted front legs, occasionally contracted hind legs, which is considered a flexural deformity, their lower jaw sticks out beyond their upper, and they are poorly muscled" (italics indicate direct quotes from the article).
This, I think, may be worthy of further investigation for you - and others who are perhaps blaming similar results on the WNV vaccine.
In 2003 i had given my mare the west nile shot. i attempted to breed her by AI and she never took. i did not try a third time due to it was getting late in the season to breed. In 2004 i bred my mare live cover to my stallion. she settled on the first time. when i had my mare rechecked at day 54 she was still pregnant. at that time my vet gave her the new WNV and stated it was killed vacine and it would not hurt the mare nor the foal. My mare had her foal on 1-11-05 and the foal was deformed. It had a hump on his back like a camel on the right side of the spine. He did not have a penis but only a hole. I was very upset and never thought that it was the vacine until my friend had told me she had lost one of her foal to abortion and she too had given the shot on the same day I did with the same vet. I strongly believe that this was the cause of the west nile vaccine. If anyone of you readers hear of this happening to someone have them report it their vet and also USDA. make sure you complete the form or e-mail USDA yourself and not the vet. That way you know it gets done. You will hear back from UDSA. They too need to know so more research can be done on this vaccine..........carol in Texas
Jos Posted From: 188.8.131.52
Posted on Tuesday, February 08, 2005 - 11:49 pm:
Recent research released at the AAEP meeting indicated no correlation between pregnancy loss in mares with administration of the WNV vaccine. This correlates with what large reproductive practices have observed.
Have you investigated congenital hypothyroidism, which sounds a more likely cause? Did you did have an autopsy performed? What did the autopsy results show?
I stumbled across this site in search of answers to a foal my mare just had (full term). It was hideously deformed like nothing I have ever seen, and I did not give this mare WNV. I wanted to pass this along to show that WNV is NOT the cause of these deformities. Hopefully, someone will start doing research on these deformities and not just pass it off as a "fluke" because they are not. I have a 1982 horse genetics book that also shows a photo of a severely deformed aborted foal that has similarities to the one from my mare: twisted body, almost no front legs, ventral midline not closed (eviscerated). My foal also had additional deformities: Half a head (no mussle, and protruding exposed bone), no eyes (just sockets), inflexible neck and hocks (fused?). This foal was not linebred. I gave the mare her normal vaccinations excluding WNV, and she was wormed with Ivermectin. It was not her first foal but it was her first in this state.
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