Today I went to see my horses and was told by the owner of the place that their Quarter Horse stud 'Slick' escaped from his pen last night and got into the pasture with my 4 mares...One of the mares is his daughter and was extremely sore and touchy about her withers and back today where she is usually begging for wither scratches. She also has something dried on her hocks and down the backs of her legs that isn't mud or manure. My question is this: How soon can I have my mares tested for pregnancy, and if the results are positive, are there any options like abortion or a 'morning after' type drug for horses? I don't want to create grade or imbred babies!! Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated...
While you can wait until she's 14 days pregnant and have the mare pregnancy checked by ultrasound, it is probably simpler to give her prostaglandin (you will need to get it from your vet) at least 6 days after she ovulated. If you're not sure when she ovulated, if you can tease her, count six days from when she stops "showing heat" to the stallion. If you can't tease her, give her the prostaglandin in 10 days, and then another dose 7 days after that. That timing should give you a time when she is receptive to the prostaglandin and the pregnancy will be lost when she comes back into estrus ("heat"). You can still have your vet check with ultrasound though to be sure if you like.
Posted on Wednesday, June 15, 2005 - 10:31 am:
For terminating a 49 days old unwanted pregnancy, how many days of Estrumate injections (once a day) is recommend to be sure?
Is it common to actually discover that the mare has aborted (like membranes hanging from the vagina) or is the tiny embryo easily expelled from the vagina when she urinates and disappears in the mud or straw?
If one isn't sure the mare has aborted, how many days after the last injection should the mare be rechecked?
By 49 days, you will be typically looking at having to use up to 2 or 3 doses of PGF2a a day for several days in a row to guarantee removal of the fetus. It is harder to achieve once the endometrial cups and secondary CL's have formed. You may be successful with 3 or 4 days of single PGF2a treatments, but you also may not.
You are highly unlikely to see anything discharged. The fetus at this stage is slightly larger than the size of a US quarter-dollar coin. She will not expel the fetus during urination, but as a result of uterine contractions brought about by the PGF2a.
Rechecking the mare by ultrasound about 7 days after treatment would probably demonstrate the outcome.
Posted on Thursday, June 16, 2005 - 10:08 am:
Thanks. What I meant to ask if the embryo perhaps would rest in the vagina after expelled from the uterus and must be removed manually from the vagina or if the mare would expel from the vagina while urinating.
Anyway here's what happened: The vet gave her one dose the first day and left another dose to give the second day and then went on holiday. The new vet gave her one dose the third day. The fourth day put her on oxytocin in saline IV drip for about one hour, then the embryo was expelled, and the mare scanned to be sure there was not another one left.
Now I am curious to know if there is any chance she will ovulate during the next couple of months. Not sure that when it is referred in the literature to mares not returning to heat before 120-150 days, if they mean from the conception date or from the abortion date. Big difference! 120 days from conception date is in August, still time to breed for a July foal. 150 days from abortion date is winter!
If/when she comes into a breedable heat, should that be a normal heat with ovulation, or may they mess up with follicles that regress and so on?
I don't plan to spend a fortune on montoring her with ultrasounds all summer, but may put her on pasture with a stud if it is reasonable chance she'll return to a breedable heat and ovulate.
Was it absolutely, conclusively certain that the mare was pregnant? i.e. you note above that "the embryo was expelled" - was the fetus (it's a fetus after about 36 days) actually physically observed after expulsion?
If the whole process was performed based on the presence of a large anechoic (fluid-filled) area in the uterus, and there was no definitive observation of the fetus, it is possible that what was being seen was simply intra-uterine fluid rather than a pregnancy. If the mare was given prostaglandin, and she was not pregnant, then a return to estrus would be anticipated in the time frame described, as well as expulsion of the fluid...
If however there was a definitive fetus, well "never say never"!! It would be unusual for a mare to return to estrus in those circumstances, as what commonly happens is that although the fetus is expelled (primarily as a result of uterine contractions), if there are multiple CL's present, they commonly are not all destroyed and therefore continue to secrete progesterone which of course prevents the mare from displaying estrus.
OTOH, if the prostaglandin did destroy the CL's, she could come back into estrus. If that is the case, a lowered level of fertility may be observed.
Posted on Monday, June 20, 2005 - 04:08 am:
Definitely pregnant. According to my husband who was at the clinic it was developed like the 50-55 days pregnancy shown at www.eagleridge-twh.com/fetus1.htm but looked longer than one inch, need to get that confirmed by the vet. The vet thought it was twins sitting tight together at the scan but it was a singleton. She was giving prostaglandin Mon-Tues-Wed, oxytocin and abortion Thurs, heat Sat-Sun-Mon (today). Waiting to hear from the clinic if we should do a scan to check if it is a good follicle. If it is, should she continue cycling, or would this be a one time chance to get her bred untill the endometrial cups are destroyed?
I read that at 40-120 days of pregnancy the mare build follicles and ovulates, could this be such a follicle that was started and then lysed by the first prostaglandin shot?
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