Never thought I'd have to post in this section with Stella, but here goes. Have had three beautiful foals all in a row, bred virtually on the same day every year, April 7th, April 6th, April 7th. This year she foaled a bit later and was bred on April 11th. Came up empty on scan 16 days later. Mare had all her post foaling swabs done, all clean, no bruising, no tearing, perfect health inside. When we scanned for a foal mare was coming into heat(last Thursday the 27th) Vet went away and came back Wednesday to scan, she had a 2.5cm follicle. Vet said will come back Friday to scan again. Now here's the kicker, vet can't get to me until about 6:00pm and I had to order the semen to be here on the weekend. So we scan and we still have a 2.5cm follicle. She's stuck. What the heck is this. She is always great with her cycles and I'm stumped. We don't have Repro vets here only GP's. My vet is very good, but I'm not really getting the answers I'm looking for. What could be causing this? The weather has gotten a bit crappy the last week, mare is now out 24/7, the grass is lush in her paddock and she put on a bit of weight, but she's not huge. Not getting any calories outside of grass, just Grow N Win. I'm blaming myself for not having my mare in peak condition, vet is telling me relax your breeding sporthorses, you have til August. Well I'm sorry I don't want a July baby. Don't want to wean when the weather is dreadful. He wants nature to take it's course and I want some action. Please any help would be great. Thanks Terri
What made you think the mare was coming into estrus (heat) on the initial scan? If you scanned the second time 6 days later, and the first scan was done on day 16 post-ovulation, then that second scan was done on day 22 post-initial-ovulation, which would typically be the day after the next anticipated ovulation (21 days from ovulation to ovulation is the average). Hence that 25 mm follicle could well have been a secondary follicle, not a primary follicle that was not growing.
I think you need to scan again, and follow a little closer. Note too that follicular presence or size alone does not indicate the right time to breed, but other factors such as uterine edema per ultrasound need to be present.
Maybe you guys are doing this, but be sure keep track of which ovary is developing. I had my mare checked on a Monday with a 3.5cm and then on Tuesday with a 2.5cm--the vet ran to check her notes, and the 3.5 had been on the left and the 2.5 was now on the right. We had just missed the ovulation by a few hours. She found the start of the CL when she went back to look again at the left.
Did you go ahead and inseminate? You might have caught it in time if you did. Insemination within 8 hours of ovulation has a pretty good shot of settling.
I think is was a secondary follicle like Jos indicated. I'm sure she will settle for you.
O.K. today, Sunday, we scanned again. Mare had a 2 cm follicle at 26 days post breeding. He doesn't seem to think anything is happening and wants to leave her until Wednesday. No we did not inseminate. He thinks her cycle is regressing. I'm not an experienced breeder as most of you are, and I don't know what a secondary follicle is so I'm going to check the archives now. Oh yeah the follicle is in her left ovary, the 2cm one. Maybe we did miss her, but I will know more Wednesday. I have had him out several days, but he is the one deciding when to come, I'm not trying to breed on the cheap as no good comes of that. So basically we have nothing again, but will be asking about edema next time and try to be more informed.
Yeah, I try to have someone else around so I can get in there and discuss the U/S with the vet. I always bring out a calendar as well, to help the vet count days and visualize where we are at (I keep teasing notes on it as well.) I'm getting pretty good at reading an U/S!
So on the 11th, you had a follicle ready to go (like a 4.0-4.5cm)when you bred? She didn't settle. A 2.5cm on Thursday the 27th sounds about right.
Then I'm with Jos I think your next ovulation would have been Tuesday the 2nd, so your next ovulation would be the 23rd. The 22nd I would be hoping to see a 3.5cm follile that was losing spherical shape.
According to my breeding bible: Equine Breeding Management and Artificial Insemination by Samper. Follicles develop in 'waves'. A 'dominate' follicle is chosen to ovulate. It is not considered a dominate follicle until it is 3.0cm. The other secondary follicle then regresses. If the vet looks for it, the depression the in the ovary where the follicle ruptures can usually be seen. This is what forms the CL (corpus luteum). So, it actually sounds like she's doing what she's supposed to!
So on U/S by Wednesday the 10th. You are looking for a fully mature CL. Firm cervix. Minimal edema, and a thick, firm uterus with minimal visible folding.
On the 22nd, by U/S you are looking for a regressed CL, a follicle of around 3.5cm, relaxed cervix, decreased tone in uterus with a lot of visible folding (made visible by edema).
Hello all, Thanks for helping me with all this by the way. Vet was back yesterday and mare now has a size 3 follicle on the left side with some edema present as well. Vet saying follicle was still hard and not soft yet. He is coming back on Saturday. Here we go again with the weekend stuff. Do I gamble and get my semen sent up overnight? Also could semen that's collected on Friday still be good on Sunday in the proper container. This is fresh chilled by the way. Thanks Terri
That's a rough one. I think that the follicles grow 2-3mm/day. So Sat. would probably be 3.5.
I would call and talk with the stallion owners. They might be able to help you out. Some stallions last longer than others chilled. My contract sepcifically states that it has to be used within 24hours of reciept.
Maybe consider short cycling next time to get her off the weekends. She's got great timing this mare of yours. Good luck!
Well, Had my vet out yesterday morning again to see progress and because we had to drop a mare off to stud in the vicinity of the warmblood stallion. So low and behold she had a 3.5 already. My vet said we would breed her late in the evening. By the time he came back she had progressed again and had very good edema. Vet was actually very happy with breeding her yesterday evening. We had really good weather in Ireland for 2 days straight(warm and sunny-a miracle!) This I think helped her. Is getting colder and wet this weekend so will be keeping her in at night just to help her. Vet coming back this weekend to check her and see what's happening. Will keep you updated. Thanks, Terri
I'm updating here. Mare was bred on May12. Everything was good with my mare when bred and 16 days later she's empty and supposedly coming in season again. Should I be taking blood tests? Mare has had all swabs done, clean, and no fluid in uterus. I have to be honest here, when you breed and everything goes right, you don't really learn anything do you. So what else should I be looking for? My conspiracy therorist of a husband thinks the semen is being done properly. Last time he went to pick it up they took a cup from the fridge, filled to vials and put it into a warm styro box and then added the ice things. He thinks the sperm gets warm and isn't anygood. This is another thing we could look at. Mare never has a caslick as she has great conformation and never has any problems in this department. Quite frankly I wasn't going to try again, but my vet is just as frustrated so he is making us a really good deal to try again. WE are scanning on Thursday to see where she is, any suggestions or comments are greatly appreciated! Thanks Terri
I scanned above, and didn't see it, but may have missed it - did you have a cytology smear prepared in conjunction with the culture? There are pathogens that may not be identified on a bacterial culture, and it is also possible that a bacterial culture missed a pathogen. The cytology smear should indicate inflammatory cell presence if there is a problem, and may even physiscally show yeast preence (which a bacterial culture may not).
The semen handling sounds somewhat less than optimal, unless the semen was cooled slowly befire (or during) it's time in the 'fridge. There should be a controlled cooling curve that is maintained until the time of insemination. What did the semen look like under the microscope at the time of insemination? Your veterinarian should have evaluated it.
As Sharon said though, do not hit panic buttons yet though. The average number of cycles before conception is achieved is over 1!
If there was not a cytology smear prepared in conjunction witht he culture, you may wish to consider doing that. If the semen was not evaluated at the time of insemination, it should be (and note that is must be warmed on a slide warmer for correct evaluation).
What is the mare's reproductive conformation like? Does she require a Caslick's procedure? Despite the apparent lack of fluid in the uterus, some mares seem to benefit from undergoing an oxytocin protocol, which is cheap and easy to do.
Alright, here's my update. Mare was checked yesterday and shows a 3.5 on the right ovary. He's coming back today to check her again. She has some edema, but not a lot and is not relaxed enough yet. It looks as though we will have another weekend covering. The crap thing is my vet is stuck at Tattersalls for the international 3 day event on Saturday. He is doing this covering at a very reduced rate for us so this kind of screws that up. All the vets in the practice are very good so not worried about that. Anyway discussed all the above with him (very impresses with my slide warmer info)and we are going to do an oxytocin protocol too. Keeping fingers crossed this time. Our weather is finally getting better which will be a help. All the mares in our area found it hard to get in foal with the weather. We just had the wettest and coldest May on record. Everyone had their summer coats and started to get fuzzy again. Don't think this helped. And to add insult to my vet who is doing this as a favor to us, my terrier climbed into his car and ate his breakfast while scanning my mare. Nice dogs I have!
Here's the final outcome. Vet came back on Friday and mare hadn't made any progress. Said he'd be back Tuesday. Tuesday she had regressed and doing nothing. He left me a PG injection for Monday, but have decided I'm not going to bother. It's late in the season and maybe she needs a year off. I'm just fet up with this ongoing saga. I've asked my vet if we should be doing any tests and he said he doesn't think so. So we will regroup and try next year. Terri
Sharon, Thanks. Really it isn't that far away and she owes us nothing. This mare has paid for herself ten fold with her foals so she deserves a break. She throws a beautiful foal every year and I always said if she wasn't right I just wouldn't push it. I did push it and she said no way! Terri
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