I have an 11 year old TB who maybe carrying twins. Not really looking at this as "It could happen to me" I'm looking for information on the delivery we may watch and the afterward special needs the runt may require. She is Due in June, has a great history of easy foaling and is also a great milk producer.
Posted on Monday, February 05, 2001 - 03:24 pm:
As your mare is not due for another 4 months and is therefore at about the 7th month of her pregnancy, you should be aware that she is right now at the stage when the majority of twin pregnancy's that were not lost within the first 35 days are aborted. The mare's uterus is not designed to support twin placentas, so what usually happens is that one or other (or both) of the foals die of placental insufficiency and are then aborted. Sorry to be pessimistic about this, but live twin foals are very rare - fewer than 1% of those conceived arrive live.
To give a more specific answer to your question, you will really need to be present at the foaling in case of malpresentation or a premature placental separation, both of which can occur with a twin foaling. Once the foal(s) is/are on the ground, you must ensure that both get colostrum that is rich in IgG - one or both of the foals will commonly be weak and therefore failure of passive transfer is a big danger. There is an article about FPT on this site available by clicking here.
On the Swedish WB email list at yahoo, there is a person whos swedish mare delivered unexpected twins, a healthy sized colt and a small filly. They are about a week old and doing well. Everyone on the group who's a breeder says she was very fortunate not to have lost one or both.
Posted on Friday, March 09, 2001 - 03:40 pm:
I am In the race horse bussiness. My friend just lost a set of twin stud colts out of his good mare. The vet told us that if she had of kept them for another two weeks they would of survived. This should never have happened. The mare was ultra sounded 4 times early in her pg. The vet said the one twin was just a cyst and would not pinch it off. Please be sure to have a vet that is looking out for your best interest and your mares at breedind season. No one should have to go through that heart ache.
Posted on Monday, June 04, 2001 - 09:27 am:
Our 14 y/o brood mare just delivered stillborn twins although we had her ultra sound done early on and had discussed the size she had become with out vets wife whom is also a vet we were told that just becuase of her size that didnt mean she was carrying twins.. you can imgine the heart ache is caused our daughter as we were there when she foaled and delivered twins and both were stillborn.. And when we called to let our vet know what had happened and to see what if anything we needed to do he just said "get her back to the breeder within the next 7-10 days and have her rebred that would be the best thing for her...
Posted on Monday, June 04, 2001 - 12:26 pm:
I feel so sorry for your daughter and mare, it is heart breaking to watch something like that happen.
She should be examined before rebreeding. Her foal heat should come on in 5 to 10 days. She should be ultra sounded at about day 17 for pregnancy, and then again before day 30. It is easy to miss twins early on. If she is carrying twins again, one can be "pinched" off, allowing the other to thrive and grow.
I would make sure that the vet is familiar with this proceedure and has successfully completed more than a few. Most large animal vets are very competent with common care. An Equine Reproductive Specialist would be more likely to have experience with this. They see more mares,foals, and the problems associated with breeding, than most other vets will. After all, it's their specialty!
Better luck this time. I hope the next 11 months fly by for your duaghter.
I have an 8 year old TB mare that is in foal for the 3rd time. She is just beginning her 7th month gestation and is very big. Due to circumstances beyond my control she was not ultrasounded until approximately 60 days. The vet confirmed her in foal and was "pretty sure" she only saw one feotus, but the bladder was full and finding the feotus was difficult. I have also read that with this late of an ultrasound is very difficult to determine twins. As best as I can determine she had a one huge follicle (43mm) and a few smaller ones (around 30)at the time of breeding. My concern is her bag has still not dried up since weaning her foal in June (she is dripping milk) and she is very large this pregnancy. I realize they show much sooner with each subsequent pg, but she is bigger now at this point of her pg than the day she foaled last time. Is there any way to find out if she has twins at this point? Is there anything that can be done to promote a good outcome if she does have twins? Also, any ideas on why she didn't dry up this time....the vets here say they have never seen it, so I don't know whether to be concered or not.
My mare still hasn't foaled. She is enormous, but being very strange. She bagged up fully over 5 weeks ago (no more fluxuation being am and pm bad). Has been waxed for 8 days now. Her vulva is elongated, muscles ligatures soft ect. Every sign except lying down and having it. She is usually early , but very clear with her signs. Not this year though. Everyone who has seen her has thought she is going to foal any minute and still no baby. We've done the Predict A Foal strips (went to all 5 over a week ago), the temperature thing. She has been lower at night than in the am for 4 days now ect. So who knows. I am ready for it all to be over so I can quit worrying....I will keep you posted.
Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2002 - 10:41 pm:
Just a comment, We bred a client's QH mare the 2000 breeding season who ended up aborting twin foals during her 9th month. He had also had the mare ultrasounded early in pregnancy and vet detected only one fetus. It is very sad that we cannot have a more efficient way of knowing when these mares are carrying twins early on. We re-bred the client's mare in the 2001 season, and she is doing very well, is due to foal this May. She was ultrasounded once again with this pregnancy early on, and only one fetus was detected. We can only hope.... this was approx. the time she aborted last year. To Sabine... best of luck to you... looking forward to hearing what your mare has.
Posted on Wednesday, January 29, 2003 - 03:22 pm:
I'm just curious if anyone knows whether or not there is a higher percentage of twin pregnancies in TBs than there are other breeds? I have heard that this is the case. I ask because I have four mares that are all due to foal within approximately two weeks of each other, 3 are Appaloosas and one is a TB. The TB mare's belly is much larger than the other three. She has had one previous foal and aborted her second pregnancy at approx. 4 1/2mos. so this his her third pregnancy, she is due May 8, '03. She was confirmed in foal at 40 days by palpation, but has never been U/S'd. She is in foal to the same stallion that she was bred to the previous two times, and her first foal by this stud was not overly large and I don't remember her being this large during her pregnancy either. Any info on the whether or not TBs are known to have a higher incidence of twin pregnancies or not would be appreciated.
Posted on Tuesday, March 25, 2003 - 11:56 pm:
Yes TBs have a higher twinning rate (I have seen stats of 25% and 30%) so TBs should always be checked for twinning.
We are heartbroken here. A mare we just bought in March delivered twins at 324 days early on Mother's Day, which is a bitter irony to me. I think they were stillborn. She did not look to be carrying two babies. Everyone was surprsied. The former owners did not have her ultrasounded early on because they did not think she was bred. It was only this spring that they had her checked and I'm pretty sure she was palpated for that, so I suppose they would have missed twins. We had her under surveillance and thought we noted foal movement the night before she delivered. The babies were small, with one being quite a bit smaller. They looked perfect though. The bigger was a palomino colt and the little one was possibly a buckskin or bay filly. We did not see the actual delivery, but the foals look like they never moved once born. They were both still completely in their sacks with their heads bowed and their front legs folded up. I feel at fault for not being awake for the delivery, because of course I wonder if I could have saved the bigger one. We consider ourselves lucky that the mare didn't get into trouble delivering them. I had the vet check her yesterday and he thought she didn't retain anything and should recover quickly. He wanted me to give her bute for 4 days. Now this morning she has a brownish discharge. He's coming out again this afternoon, probably to flush her. I wonder why he didn't do that yesterday. Is there anything else I should ask to be done to head off further trouble? I would like to avoid having him out yet again. It would be the absolute worst to lose the mare!
Sorry Molly. Not your fault. Lavage and keep an eye out. All should be well, infection can be dealt with at this early stage, and most severe problems should have been evident by now. I would have opted for cleaning her out right away considering it was an abortion, but that is just my opinion. Your vet may have his own reasoning.
She could be clean and ready to rebreed if you can think about that at this time.
Thank you for your response, TX Breeder. She started running a fever Monday night. We put her on antibiotics and continued with the bute. We took her to get flushed Tuesday and she got oxytocin. The fluid didn't look too bad. By Tuesday afternoon her temp was back to normal and has been since. Do you think it is likely I will need to have her flushed again? I'm a bit upset with my vet for not putting her on antibiotics in the first place. He was just so confident on the state of her uterus.
This mare is a 14 year old palomino Foxtrotter and she has been the best patient. She is a sweet, sweet girl and I feel so sorry that she has had to go through this. She has required no tranquilizers for any of the procedures and doesn't even flinch for all the injections, though I know she will be glad when all that is done, as will I.
As for rebreeding, she will have the year off before we think about it for next year. In Indiana, Foxtrotter stallions are few and far between anyway. So I'll need some time to select a stallion, or to pick one for shipped semen. If we rebreed next year, you can bet we will have her ultrasounded early on to prevent this sort of tragedy from happening again.
You are doing all the right things for your mare. How fortunate that she is such a good kid about all of this.
Keep an eye on her temp. and any further discharge. Make sure that the antibiobics are given through to the end of the protocol.The antibiotics are in pill form I hope,for her sake!I do not like to inject antibiotics when I can push them down the throat by mixing with syrup and then using a syringe, squirt them down.( just grind up the pills, mix with syrup, cut out a thumb-size hole in the end of a syringe and squirt back into mouth like you would a paste wormer.)After all, injections can make them sore, as well as open them up to abscess.
The least amount of times that you use antibiotics, the better of course. Some vets are ready to push them at anything, and other are more conservative, perferring to use them only when needed. If she is doing well, then he did his job.
We all hate to see our horses in any discomfort, I understand how you feel. However,know that you will not be in this siuation again, and instead will playing with a beautiful new baby.
I HAVE SEEN SEVERAL SETS OF TWINS, SOME THAT SURVIVED AND SOME THAT DIED. THE ONES THAT SURVIVED WERE EXPECTED. THE MARE WAS PALPATED AND/OR GIVEN AN ULTRASOUND EARLY IN THE PREGNANCY AND THOROUGH VETERIANARY ATTENTION AND MONITORING WAS GIVEN THROUGHOUT THE PREGNANCY. MOST OF THESE SUCCESSFUL TWIN BIRTHS WERE MONITORED DURING THE LAST MONTH OF PREGNANCY IN AN EQUINE HOSPITAL WITH ROUND-THE-CLOCK CARE AND REST. FOR TWINS TO HAVE ANY CHANCE OF SURVIVAL YOU MUST DETECT THEM EARLY AND IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT THE MARE RECEIVES THE BEST PRENATAL CARE AS WELL AS CLOSE VETERIANARY SUPERVISION.
TWINS TO HAVE ANY CHANCE OF SURVIVAL YOU MUST DETECT THEM EARLY
Unfortunately, I strongly disagree with this observation. The mare's uterus is not designed to support twin pregnancies, and although some may go to term, one is looking at less than one percent of them surviving. Most twin pregnancies - detected early or not - will be lost, many during late term when the fetal growth rate is such that the placentas (which will be too small as a result of the relatively small size of the uterine attachment surface) are no longer able to provide sufficient nutrition and the fetuses essentially starve to death and are aborted.
I will agree that there is a greater chance of survival of one or both twins if the mare does make it to term and delivers in a veterinary neonatal care facility. It is not uncommon for at least one of those few twins that make it to term to present with premature condition requiring intensive care.
Again though, I have to stress that the equine uterus is not designed to support twin pregnancies, and they should be identified by ultrasound early (around 15 days after conception) and one terminated to increase the likelihood of survival of the other. We have an article about twinning on this site that may well be of value to those reading this (follow that link).
The other downside of twins is that they can, and often do, leave you with a mare that can no longer carry a pregnancy to term. As we intervene and pinch one twin off everytime we come across them, I have never seen twins born, but have heard of them, and in most of the cases, the mares have never had a live foal since. The ones that have rebred succesfully aborted the twins months early.
Posted on Wednesday, November 16, 2005 - 10:41 am:
My mare gave birth to twin colts 3days ago. We were present at the birth and had no idea that she was having twins. She was ultrasounded which showed only one. Only one lived, the other died about 5mins after being born.. The second twin was born still in the sack and bag, we had great trouable opening this, and it took awhile. I think if we could have got him out earlier he would have lived. He was well formed, but very small. The first foal, still small could not stand with out help, has contracted tendons, and is a dummy foal, but beautiful. Mum and baby are in the care of the vet, who saw them with in 30mins of birth. The mare was one week early. The vet said tendon will straighten and the dummy foal sydome with go away by it self within approx 48hours He is now starting to drink from his mum he has alwayed tired but did not know what to do. Will being a dummy foal effect him later on, Is there anything that you should do when one foal is inside a bag and well as sack. Is there a right way to go about this. It is one of the most hearbreaking things to have to watch a baby die when it looks perfect, and you dont know what to do, apart from keeping him warm and waiting.
Posted on Wednesday, November 16, 2005 - 12:31 pm:
The foal that was born in the sack and placenta might have survived if you could have gotten it out fast, but it might have not either. In cases of detached placentas you must get the foal out ASAP as they are not getting any oxygen - you only have a few minutes. I always have both sharp scissors and a utility knife on hand just in case, we have had 2 detached placentas, and the only reason we didn't lose the foals was because we had the right tools on hand and were able to get them out promptly. The placenta can be tough to cut through. Don't beat yourself up for not being able to save the foal, it might have died anyway, and the chances of both twins surviving are small anyway. Congrats on saving the other!
Posted From: 22.214.171.124
Posted on Wednesday, November 16, 2005 - 02:08 pm:
I have a maiden mare that I'm suspicious could be carrying twins. We had her sonogrammed during the breeding season and the vet said she was open. She'd been covered during two heat cycles and as breeding season was coming to a close she gave her an injection to make her cycle again quickly. After that heat cycle (which she stood for the stallion 4 times) we had her rechecked and again the vet said she didn't breed. At that point we opted to wait till next spring and try again. Early this fall she started to "appear" pregnant so we had a local "youngster vet" come palpate her and sure enough, she's pregnant. Now comes the worry, she's a smaller mare, but we have a few that are her size and also maiden mares, none is as round as this one is becoming. I'm wondering what the odds are that she was pregnant on the 2nd breeding, and giving her the injection caused her to cycle and ovulate again, is that possible? I just can't imagine that this filly is going to wait until late April to foal given the size she is now. (we did have her palpated a second time and the young vet didn't believe she was carrying twins) Any advice on what to do next ? or do we just wait it out at this point?
All mares will carry differently. Is she a smaller frame mare than the others? If so, then they do tend to show alot more. Just because she is larger than the others, doesnt mean she's carrying twins (although it is possible). I have had a similar instance with my mare not settling, and being late in the season, we opted to give her an injection to bring on heat again. I dont know if you mare was given the same one, but if so, then if she was pregnant, she would have aborted (caused by the injection) as this is the same injection that is used to abort. Goodluck, and for both yours and your mares sake, i hope there is only one healthy happy foal in there!!
Posted From: 126.96.36.199
Posted on Friday, November 18, 2005 - 02:01 pm:
Thanks for the well wishes, I hope so too. She's a pretty little thing and this is the only foal we'll be getting out of her as we have her sold. She is very small framed but so are two or three of the others that we have bred this year. Their breeding dates are all pretty close but her size seems to be a good bit larger than the others. At this point, we'll just have to watch and wait. I do know that the stud she's bred to does produce some nice size foals, we can always hope she's just carrying a nice sized one and has more fluid than her fellow stall mates. With any luck, in about 4 months, we'll know. If there are two in there, we'll know sooner. I'll keep you posted.
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