I need some honest advice on a older mare that I have. I've owned her for over 11 years. So she's very much a part of my family. In 2002 we bred this mare at 16 years of age by AI. The vet come out and preg checked her at 4 weeks and confirmed a pregnancy. I had her re-checked at 6 months, still there. Her due date come around, she bagged up, got the milk veins, etc, but no foal. I had the vet out to figure out why. Somewhere between 6 months and her foaling date she had absorbed the foal. Huge disappointment. I let it go for the rest of the year. I breed her to one of my studs the following year. Had her preg checked and confirmed the pregnancy. She slipped that colt between 3-5 months. We had a biopsy done on her last year. She come back with the best rating you can. We figured out it was a hormone imbalance. Ok, so we got locked and loaded for this year. Vet come out gave the mare a hot shot. She come in and I took her to the vet as we are going to do AI. This mare is now 20 years old. Her last foal is now 10 years old. The rest is a shock to us all. My vet done an ultrasound on her the day I took her in. She was already at a 48 follicle and found a dozen cysts. However, her cervix wasn't open and there were no swirls in her uterus. She held a 41 follicle for the next week and a half, never coming into full heat. My vet gave her another hot shot, which brought her into full heat. Talking to my vet this morning, she said that she's at a 46 follicle right now. My question is this, if her last few foals have been aborted and she's showing signs of abnormal cycling what are my true chances of getting a foal out of this mare? What about the cysts? I'm lost and confused. I've used the same vet for this mare the whole time and she's scratching her head as well. Any breeders know of SOMEthing I can do? Do I have a 50/50 chance? Am I wasting big amounts of money? Should I just do a embryo transfer?
Somewhere between 6 months and her foaling date she had absorbed the foal.
Sorry - this doesn't happen.
Somewhere between 6 months and her foaling date, she aborted. By 6 months, the fetus is the size of a small dog. To give you an idea, here is an aborted 7-month Morgan fetus:
If the mare is out at pasture, then it is quite possible that predators are going to find the aborted tissues long before the mare owner, but in a stall it is going to be quite obvious.
Cysts are rarely a problem in themselves, and the rule of thumb with cysts is "if they're not bothering you, don't bother them" - in other words, if they are not causing the pregnancy loss, leave them alone. Tey rarely are causing pregnancy loss - about the only time is if they are so large as to interfere with embryonic mobility during the early stages, or cervical competence. You could repeat the biopsy if you are continuing to experience problems, as although they are generally quite accurate, there is the possibility of a rare instance when the only good piece of uterus is sampled...
Without knowing the cause of the last pregnancy losses, you cannot predict likelihood of reocurrence. Were there necropsies performed? What were the results? Was the mare vaccinated against EHV-1 and EVA? There are a variety of questions that need answering before being able to predict outcome of this attempt - and even then it would only be a guess at best, albeit somewhat more of an educated guess...
I will have to go back over all the vet records I have as for the vaccinations she's had. I've always kept her up-to-date against WN, strangles, etc. In the record I have from the vet saying that she aborted the first time (between 6 months and her due date) states there is a basketball size "something" still there. There was no tissues, as she was stalled during that time. My vet said she would absorb what was there. I'm lost, I feel like I never get explained the full story. So, I'm really dumb on this matter. On the cysts, that makes me feel better. My vet is quite dramatic and sometimes it makes me feel like my chances are less then what realistically they should be. We are supposed to AI her tomorrow. Should I take my vets advice and start the Regumate right after we breed her? I was also reading on the board that there is another type called P4? Is that better then Regumate? Also we live in the high desert in California. Our temps can reach 120 during the summer. Anything I can do to make her more comfortable other then fresh water, proper feedings and shade?
I'm assuming there are no culture and no cytology problems, so yes, start the Regumate as soon as your vet told you. If she's an average size mare (1000 lbs or so) put her on 10CC daily for the duration of the pregnancy. And good luck!
Thanks for the advice! We AIed her yesterday. My vet said she ovulated the day before, which I was told gives us now a 10% chance of a pregnancy. I get to bring her home today. She's a big mare, 1310 lds. How much does that change the dose I'm supposed to give her? I'm not sure if I should even go with the Regumate now, or are my chances of a pregnancy higher then what the vet said? Thanks again!
Ok, so here's the new scoop. Vet done a culture on my mare before she done the AI. To everyone's surprise (being sarcastic), she come back dirty. I don't understand why my vet went through with the AI, if she seen signs of infection, etc. Biopcy was done as well. She's a grade A. Still lost....Am I missing something? Over-looking something that could be really minor or am I in for a heck of a rude awakening? Either way, no foal next year...I'm doing an embryo transfer. As you can tell, I really want a baby out of this mare, but I would like her to have it if possible.
On another note. I'm looking at a 19 yr old Tenguiry Gin daughter (AQHA). Her last foal was in 2005. The lady said that she was exposed her her stallion from March to May. She has not preg checked her because she can't afford to. Should I pay for the ultrasound? If she's not in foal, what should I have the vet do to ensure my peace of mind on her breeding soundness?
Thanks and sorry for so many questions! I love horsey talk, good or bad!
Maybe just maybe and this is my guess as to the history of my mares. Older mares sometimes have issues with producing progesterone, and Reguamte may help her retain the foal You did culture her post abortion didn't you?
What did the cytology show? That evaluation can be performed stall-side if an experienced vet is involved, or at the very least back at their lab, and immediate results forthcoming that can indicate whether to breed or await culture results.
On the second question, if you are interested in whether the mare is in foal, and you are therefore aware of the additional need for pregnant mare management, the yes, obviously, an ultrasound is required.
If the mare is not pregnant, a breeding soundness examination performed by a theriogenologist or a veterinarian experienced in equine reproduction should be performed. This will include a variety of diagnostics ranging from basic ultrasound to uterine biopsy, as is indicated at the time of the exam.
Cathy - Yes, we've done a culture on her every year that we've intended on breeding her. She's come back dirty once before, had to flush her, the next month she was ready to breed. I'm still lost on why my vet would AI her if she was showing signs of infection. Is that normal?
Jos - I didn't ask what exactly the culture showed. Vet just said dirty. I left a message and will update when she gets back to me.
Congrats Margo. I hope she carries this one for you. I know how hard it is to lose a foal. I've lost two in three years, one at 6 1/2 months, size of a small beagle,out of my BS paint mare and one between 3 and 5 months out of my homozygous tobiano mare, which we never found any sign of. My tobi mare is pregnant again this year (this is the one that lost the foal between 3-5 months last year) and at 60 day ultrasound the vet said the foal was smaller than expected. ughh... so, the vet is coming out 20th September for her first Rhino shot and I will have her rechecked at that time to make sure shes holding onto this foal. I walk her paddock twice a day, when she goes out, and after I put her in, and I also walk around her 1 acre pasture as well looking for anything suspicious. Call me paranoid, but after no foals for the past two years Im really hoping she holds onto this one.
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