I have a healthy six year old mare, has had two foals. I do my own AI, as a result of your seminars, JOS.
My vet palpated the mare for pregnancy (no ultrasound available) at 30 days and did not feel a pregnancy. Since this is the mare's third breeding for the year (this cycle not induced by hormones), he cultured her again to check for an infection we may have missed.
On a routine visit, he checked the mare for follicle size, as we have been following her closely since March. She had no follicles, but was showing strong signs of heat (squatting, urinating, etc.), and had what felt like a pregnancy on the right side.
Ultasound confirmed a normal 40 plus day pregnancy.
I am very concerned about the culture that the vet did on this mare when she was already pregnant. At 30 days, this would surely punture the mucous membrane. My vet told me stories of mares having lavages, etc, while pregnant and still delivering, normal healthy foals.
What is the likelihood this mare will carry to term, and what should my ultasound monitoring schedule be?
This foal is eligible for a large futurity, and I am worried my mare may abort, leaving me with a re-breed in October, or worse, a lovely mare with complications.
I really would appreciate your advice and any recommended readings,etc.
While it is not an ideal situation and abortion would be a common sequela, you may get lucky. The fact that the mare has gone 10 days past the culturing and has maintained the pregnancy bodes well.
The concern you probably should have is the possibility of the vet having introduced a pathogen into the uterus at the time of culturing. This could result in a problem.
The other concern you now have to face is that if the mare does lose the pregnancy, as she has gone past the time when the endometrial cups are present, it is quite likely that she would not return to estrus for another 100 days or more - resulting as you say in a rebreed in October. Damage to the mare is unlikely, although the infection risk is present (which typically can be cleared with appropriate treatment if necessary).
I would pregnancy check the mare again somewhere around 70-80 days using ultrasound - shortly after that the weight of the pregnancy pulls the fetus over the pelvic brim and out of reach, so checking after then may be more difficult until about 150 days or so.
There is a lesser chance of the mare developing placentitis, but the most likely sequela would be an abortion. Placentitis is more likely to be seen after about 120 days, and the threat is immediate.
Pregnancy confirmation after 150 days using some method - of which estrone sulfate assay is one - is generally desirable if there is any doubt about pregnancy status (with some mares there will be no doubt).
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