I purchased a 11 year old Trakehner mare late in 2004. Previously she had 5 foals in 6 years (foal,barren,foal,foal,foal,foal). Her last foal was in 2003, and she was left open. The previous breeder used Regumate during the last pregnancy for 10! months, they said due to low progesterone.
We did pre-breeding vetting in late Feb., no infections and a uterus consistent with having had 5 foals. She was on 10 days of SMZ for a horse bite on her nose in April. She was having very reuglar strong heat cycles since February. Lovely follicles 4.2-4.5mm.
May AI breeding. She was started on Regumate the day she was bred, no fluid. She was pregnant at day 16 but had lost it by day 22 and was developing a follicle. Her progesterone was at 1.7. She was then retaining a small amount fluid in her uterus. She was levaged and given oxytocin. The levage resulted in her producing a large amount of fluid in her uterus.
Late May AI breeding she still had some fluid in her uterus but was bred anyway. After breeding she was levaged and given oxytocin, which again she filled up with fluid after the levage. She was pregnant at day 16, still on Regumate. Day 23 she was checked by ultrasound, and still had a vesicle, but no heartbeat. Day 30 no heartbeat, and no folicle development. She was given LH and taken off of Regumate. Still has a fluid in her uterus. No levage because of her previous reaction, but 2 shots of oxytocin.
Early July AI breeding. Still has fluid in her uterus. Given 6 shots of oxytocin after breeding. Put back on Regumate at day 5 post ovulation. Same deal pregnant at day 16, losing it at day 28. No folicles developing. Still has fluid.
So this season is shot. I am worried about this small amount of fluid we can't seem to get rid of. My vet doesn't feel it is an infection. The previous owner said she's never kept fluid before. She is concieving in spite of it's presence, but we aren't keeping the pregnancy.
She gets good grass hay (no fescue), due to the stabling she is on paddock turnout and gets about an hour of grazing a day. She gets an 11% protein sweet feed (about 2lb a day), and is on a mare/foal vitamin supplement. She is an easy keeper, glossy, alert and energetic.
I am arranging for a post season culture and biopsy. I am going to have the horse chiropractor look at her. I am moving her to my farm and a 5 acre paddock. Anything else to do before next season? Any suggestions on why we aren't keeping the pregnancy?}
I know her cervix after the second failed breeding was still closed tight at day 30. I don't know if it relaxed after the LH ect. The vet didn't mention anything except the fluid (it looks black ((clear)) on U/S) four days later.
I don't know how much fluid there is. From the U/S I've seen from the last two breedings, it is less than the U/S picture on the oxytocin therapy article that has been referenced on this site.
Would exercise, other than her at liberty in the paddock/pasture, help move the fluid out?
She's my first broodmare, and she's giving me a crash course in breeding. I really like this discussion group, I've read others and this is the most consistent and helpful.
I learned that Teasing helps the mare release her own endongenous oxytocin...so adding a stricter teasing regume next year might help (I finally put my old mare right across from the stallion, about 12' away and also lengthened my teasing sessions and teased 2x a day, although that might have been overkill)
It could be (i'm not exactly sure how it works) that once she's bred, her cervex closes up tight and there is no way for her to expell the excess fluid?
My mares fluid looked cloudy on the US, and her uterus was filled about 3/4 of the way.
You realize Regumate helps mares who normally retain fluid retain more fluid don't you? I would put her on P-4 injections every week to 5 days. Also we don't lavage mares who retain fluid just give them oxytocin 6 hours post breeding then the next day also.
It's not Regumate specifically that encourages fluid retention, but the hormone group progestins of which Regumate is one (a synthetic one), and progesterone - including P4 - is another. In other words, giving the mare P4 weekly (or daily) will also encourage fluid retention in susceptible mares.
There is a full oxytocin protocol laid out on this site (follow that link) that will work well for clearing fluid in most delayed uterine clearance mares.
Excercise does seem to help. I learned this last season when we had quite a few mares that were confined for various reasons and would hold fluid. When these mares were finally allowed back in the paddock, voila....pregnant and fluid free. Not saying this is the problem in your case, but it certainly can't hurt! Teasing is also important!!!! Very. And definitely follow vet advice on other methods. Also, before next season, I would let her get a little light on in condition (not too thin) and then up her feed just prior to breeding. A rising plane of nutrition is another important facet in ensuring optimum fertility. Fat mares are often difficult to get in foal. Good Luck!
I learned how to gallop thorougbred when I was 6 years old on barren mares. My grandfather would have me take them all 1 1/2 miles a day so they would be ready to breed. His famous saying for barren mares was put them on the rocks. He had a field in KY with no grass and a big rock ledge and he would put them in there so they would all lose weight. He never fed a barren mare.
So tell me, what do you do when you have both problems? My mares have to be kept penned up a lot of the time because of limited acreage. We do it to give the ground a rest. They have pens with sheds for shelter. So because of what i am reading , it sounds like this may be one of my problems in getting my mares in foal.
Then the other one is that they are all fat. They get one scoop of grain in the morning and one in the afternoon. They get good quality hay with a handful of alfalfa , which they love.
I do not have the time to take each one of them and exercise them regularly, besides, it is august (hot). How can i cut down on their food? They look forward to feeding time and it is about all they have to do? I did recently change my feed mixture. I was mixing 2 bags of sweetfeed to 1 bag of crimped oats. I am now mixing it 1 to 1. I think that this cuts down on the concentration of feed without cutting down on the bulk.
So are there any suggestions? It is defeating my purpose of having them if i can not get them in foal.
From what I've read and heard, I thought you wanted a mare on the fleshy side (although not obese) when getting ready to breed, increasing their feed in preparation for breeding, and that thin mares were harder to catch?
Ideally you should start them thin and be feeding them up as you come to breed. It mimics the natural thing of breeding when the feed is coming good in spring. Of the dry mares I've dealt with, the fat ones are very often problematic. The thin ones take easily if they are on good feed at the time. I know it's hard to look at thinner mares, when you like to look after your horses, but if breeding is your goal, then it's something you may have to put up with. Can you just feed them hay? I don't know what you'd call it there, but in Australia, we would use meadow hay(assorted grasses), oaten hay (from oat crops) and only a small amount of lucerne hay. If you want to give them vitamin and mineral supplements, make the feed you mix it in very tiny.
Actually, "flushing" - the name for the practice of starting thin and gaining weight prior to breeding - has been found to lower pregnancy rates in the equine. There are several significant problem:
When many mares get thinner, their [already] poor reproductive conformation gets worse - the "tipped" mare. This leads to an increased number of pathogens gaining access to the vagina and uterus, with the end result that when breeding time arrives, she is a "dirty" mare;
Reduced weight to the point where the mare is starting to become thin draws on other bodily functions, including the immune system. This coupled with the above issue will tend to result in a higher number of infected mares;
thinner mares tend to start cycling and ovulating later in the season, so the entire season is shorter (i.e. fewer chances to breed), which when dealing with a problem mare is an issue;
Thinner post-foaling mares will be more likely to ovulate after ten days post-foaling (which is good), but will also have a higher incidence of lactational anestrus;
Finally, from a financial aspect, it costs more to put weight back on a mare than it does to maintain a level plane of weight.
An obese mare is more likely to be difficult to get pregnant, but a fat mare has the same pregnancy establishment rate as a healthy-weight mare. There is however a slightly higher incidence of EED with a fat mare.
Overall therefore, the best pregnancy establishment and maintenance rates have been found to be achieved by breeding a mare with a body score of 5 or 6 (Henneke Scoring System).
Thanks for that link Jos. I shall have to take more care with my words. What we find ideal and call 'thin' is actually a 5 or moderate. Our post foalers are usually around 6 or 7 after foaling, depending on age, etc. I guess things work a little different here, too. Our pasture is really good from the middle of winter, so when we start serving mares in September, they're already well on their way. Most of the dry mares are cycling well by the middle of August and we have a great success rate this way. Mares with very poor conformation are usually caslicked to prevent infection, at least on our farm. Not to brag, but we have a very good reputation for getting difficult mares in foal. I'm sure it will get even better with some of the things I'm learning from your articles.
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