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Severe contracted tendons?

Equine-Reproduction.com Bulletin Board » Foaling and Immediate Post-foaling Issues » Severe contracted tendons? « Previous Next »


Author Message
 

Julianna Diaz
Neonate
Username: Khalshek

Post Number: 1
Registered: 07-2010
Posted on Friday, July 30, 2010 - 05:51 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Last year I bred my 5 year old maiden TB mare to a nice stud at Harris Farms- The barn owner fed hay twice a day oat/alfalfa. I fed her Stable mix pellets with a broad spectrum vitamin/mineral supplement and fish oil. In April the mare tried to foal at 341 days but we were presented with a nose and face only. We got the vet out asap and he could not bring the legs forward- he called another vet to try but to no avail. The mare was hauled off to the clinic for an emergency c-section with only the hope of saving my mare. My miracle mare survived 5 hours in labor and even more time in surgury, today not even the vet who performed the surgury can tell her life was ever in danger. I am left though- with so many questions with no answers. I have spent hours on the subject with my vet and it is his opinion that my mare received too much alfalfa in her diet- and he offered that he has seen more foals with contracted tendons born from mares fed too much alfalfa- my concern is about the contracted tendons part. When they brought me my foal, the ankles were somewhat flexible(compared to the hinds) however the knees were IMMOBILE. I have never seen this before- can't find any pictures of it or any text about a foal's knees being literally stuck and causing dystocia. My vet feels this is one in a million and I could breed her again without worry of this happening twice. I have to know though, has anyone else ever seen anything like it? There will be a next time in the years following- with obvious changes to diet. I am including a photo of my dearly departed "Khalshek" to show the knees.
http://s618.photobucket.com/albums/tt263/khalshek/?action=view&current=Pictures9 31.jpg
 

Cathy
Breeding Stock
Username: Cathy

Post Number: 361
Registered: 04-2005
Posted on Tuesday, August 03, 2010 - 12:35 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I had a foal born with the same problem with one front leg only. She was not on alfalfa and I doubt that was the reason. It is a birth defect that can happen just like in humans that have defects one in a million with no reason.
My mare had many normal foals before that one and many normal foals after.
Yes it was heartbreaking to put that little girl down.
 

Kristen B.
Neonate
Username: Kristen_b

Post Number: 5
Registered: 06-2010
Posted on Wednesday, August 04, 2010 - 11:32 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have heard too much protein in the mare's diet can cause fetal tendon contraction. I assume that was what the vet was talking about as alfalfa is so high in protein.
 

Diana Gilger
Senior Stallion or Mare
Username: Kdgilger

Post Number: 3538
Registered: 01-2008
Posted on Wednesday, August 04, 2010 - 11:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I assume it's pretty high in calcium as well, as it has been proven to throw off milk testing results! I have no idea if that has anything to do with the tendons or not though...just FYI
 

Holly
Senior Stallion or Mare
Username: Bonny

Post Number: 2174
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Thursday, August 05, 2010 - 09:54 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The thing about alfalfa is, it can or can not be high in both protein and calcium depending on the source. Alfalfa doest store very well were I live because of the humidity. You DO NOT know what your alfalfa is unless its tested.
The reason I use alfalfa pellets, they are much more reliable on content. Depending on the quality you can get a 14% or 17 % protein. And its high in calcium.
Diana and I did check how it effects milk testing ( with the pellets) and it does raise calcium levels in mares milk within 12-24 hrs of feeding, this is using the alfalfa pellets, didnt test with the hay. Levels also subside with in 12-24 hrs of stopping feeding. The pellets were a 17%. And test was done on my shetland mare feeding her 1 cup alfalfa pellets 2 times daily. And calcium level raised significantly. I can calculate how much but havent.


It does make me wonder though about feeding alfalfa to a mare that is not producing an udder close to foaling, as well as mares that are dripping to soon.
 

Julianna Diaz
Neonate
Username: Khalshek

Post Number: 2
Registered: 07-2010
Posted on Thursday, August 05, 2010 - 02:44 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thank you all so much for the responses, it means so much to me. What kind of hay do you all feed? The only thing I didn't have control of in this mare's diet was hay- hard way to learn that lesson. I won't be breeding this mare again until she is boarded at home with me, where I can make all the decisions. Dealing with losing that foal has been very difficult- I was very attached even before his conception- I had even guessed correctly his gender, color and markings :-( To combat all these sad thoughts I try to focus on what I learned both about foaling in general and about my own mare's personality. I spent a full month on foal watch and it was the happiest time of my life. I kept my mare in an indoor arena and slept in there with her on a sleeping bag- most nights she actually slept only feet from me, sprawled out and snoring loudly. I also got to learn about her pregnancy habits (how soon she bagged, waxed, time of day to foal. This one was a daytime foaler, and she was extraordinarily textbook, which will surely come in handy next time.
 

Holly
Senior Stallion or Mare
Username: Bonny

Post Number: 2176
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Thursday, August 05, 2010 - 08:17 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I am sorry you lost your foal. Its very sad. I honestly dont know if it was or wasnt hay/ feed related.
 

Kristen B.
Neonate
Username: Kristen_b

Post Number: 8
Registered: 06-2010
Posted on Friday, August 06, 2010 - 07:07 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

We feed Burmuda to our pregnant mares in their last trimester. It has it's drawbacks too though. It is very fine and can cause ileal impaction...we have never had any problems with it though.

I'm so sorry about your foal, we lost one last year, I had guessed his sex and color and markings exactly right and had already named him. It is heartbreaking I know :-(
 

Pam Romjue
Breeding Stock
Username: Pammysue

Post Number: 104
Registered: 03-2010
Posted on Friday, August 06, 2010 - 09:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I feed alfalfa to all of our horses - mares open and bred, stud and our colt. All seem to thrive on it and I've never had any problems with it. I'm so sorry you had such a terrible loss this year. God seems to know when somethings not right with them and therefore doesn't let them suffer. I hope this gives some comfort to you.
 

Cjskip
Senior Stallion or Mare
Username: Cjskip

Post Number: 1374
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Sunday, August 15, 2010 - 10:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Julianna, two colleges I know of (one a university and the other a two year college) have horse production programs and all the broodmares are fed all the alfalfa they want for the last three months of their pregnancy. This is due, in part, at least, to the risk of fescue in grass hay.

I followed the same plan with mares (3 pregnancies) with no problems at all. I don't let them get more heavy than what a broodmare ought to be (heavier than the average horse-of course). I worried a bit about laminitis, since I also gave some grain, but there has been no problem.

I'm really sorry that happened and have no expertise to advise you. I'm sorry. I just wanted to add my experience.

Why not try to contact a well known veterinary college, such as Davis University Veterinary Program, in Davis, CA? Perhaps they could answer your questions. They have an equine breeding program there.

I hope you get your answers, and if you do, perhaps you could let us all know what they say? Good luck anyway.



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