Jos, we had a filly born yesterday morning and I need help figuring out whether it is a 311 day foal or a 400 day foal. Here is the history:
17 year old TB mare, excellent health, has had four foals. Bred live cover to my WB stallion last May 28 and 30. Ultrasounded at 16 days, 23 days, and again at 52 days when she still hadn't come back in heat. Vet, who is experienced and has never missed one for me, could never find an embryo. The mare never did come back in heat, so we just thought she might be at the end of her breeding career. Then on Aug 31 she came into a strong standing heat. At first we weren't going to breed her, but she persisted and we finally thought that a late foal would be better than no foal if she was nearing the end of her breeding career. She was bred on Sept 2, 4, and 6, by the 8th she was not showing. We did not have her ultrasounded because, frankly, we didn't think she'd get in foal. Two months later she started showing. Independently four people thought she looked pregnant, but we all thought we would be thought crazy and didn't say anything, then found out we all had the same thought. This is a rather fine,sleek mare, definitely not fat. Still, we expected a mid August foal. This mare, by the way, has always foaled at 334 to 335 days.
Forward to March when the mare, obviously pregnant, started showing to a gelding, then to the stallion. I truly believe she would have stood for the stallion. She did this for several days, once in March and once in April. She was looking very large for a mare carrying an Aug. foal, and believe me, I know this mare like the back of my hand. I began to wonder if she had already been pregnant when she was bred in September. If so, the foal would be "due" around early May. Vet said impossible due to ultrasounds, and I had to agree, but when palpated the foal was well up over the pelvic ridge and large. In April mare started to bag up, got about halfway bagged up and stayed that way. I was concerned about placentitis, but vet said no, she would be dripping milk. She stayed about halfway bagged until about a week ago, then started to bag more. I noticed on the night of July 16 that she was bagged extremely tight and the vulva was red, milk was sweet. I brought her in. At 1:30 the milk appeared to be a little cloudy. At 5:30 we had a foal. The filly is very mature, robust, not at all wobbly on her legs, and has huge amounts of hair in her ears. Very, very mature. I can't imagine that she is a 311 day foal.
So Jos, do I have a 400 day foal from the first breeding, or a 311 day foal from the second breeding? The registry may not believe any of this! Thank you for the help - I need to tell them something when the foal goes for inspection.
Could be either, with about equal probability, as each duration is at the extreme end of the gestational duration.
There are a variety of possible scenarios, ranging from the vet missing the pregnancy on the first breeding period, through to embryonic/fetal death from the first breeding after 35 days of pregnancy, which would typically result in the mare not coming into estrus again until regression of the endometrial cups around day 90-120 - which would about jive with the second breeding period.
I would have thought it was somewhat academic from a registry point of view though, and the thing to do is record the mare being "exposed" May 28, 30 and Sept. 2, 4, 6.
DNA testing is not going to indicate when the mare got pregnant, as it was the same stallion at both breeding periods...
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