hello everyone, thanks for reading this, any advice appreciated...
this is the story: purchased mare specifically to use a breeding i had coming - stallion is 23 years old and i needed to use it NOW before it is too late. mare is 14 years old, has had one foal before, about four years ago.
mare AI'ed may 23, 2007. vet said she two follicles ready to go, was concerned about twins. sure enough at 16 days there were twins. one pinched at that time. 14 day follow up (30 days post breeding, second ultrasound showed her open. i was out of money for the breeding budget, decided to try again in 2008.
mare looks kinda 'thick' in september. so i have this mare ultrasounded along with several others to make sure nothing was missed. ultrasound shows the mare open at 120 days. mare is turned out to pasture with the other open mares for the winter. i have them right next to the house and watch them every day, do visual checks all the time.
fast forward to march 21. i notice this mare is going off by herself all week, does not want company. i go and check for injuries or whatnot and happen to glance under her belly. HOLY FLYING HORSETURDS, we have HUGE teats and the beginnings of a bag. i step back and really 'look' at the mare. looks fat, but not huge. from behind, does not look pregnant. from front does not look pregnant. now i am totally confused.
vet cannot come out until next week to ultrasound again.... i checked with mare's original owner, they said the one time she foaled, she went at day 327 - small bag, no teats, no other signs. was thick looking but never showed that huge broodmare look. this mare would be at day 304 today, so i cannot order a wee foal.
could TWO ultrasounds possibly have been wrong? do surviving twins hide? or do you think this is a false pregnancy? i am beside myself now and watching her belly for movement and am afraid i am fooling myself when i see something moving around.
any experiences, comments, advice welcome. waiting until next week will be HARD
Ultrasounds - which are a reliable tool in themselves - are only as good as the person performing them... The pregnancy should not have been missed at 30 days - it's pretty darned obvious at that point - but in mitigation, between about 60-90 days and 150 days of pregnancy the weight of the fetus can cause it to drop over the pelvic brim and out of reach of the ultrasonographer (the start of that occurrence varies in the time frame of 60-90 days), so the check performed at 120 days might have more understandably missed the pregnancy - although there should have been intra-uterine fluid visible, which should have been suggestive of possible pregnancy. The other possibility is that the mare is having a full-term "phantom" pregnancy. Unusual to go to "term", but not unheard of.
Ultrasound is probably unnecessary at this point - if a pregnancy (or lack thereof) cannot be determined by rectal palpation alone, then the person probably shouldn't be doing palpations!!
thank you jos. we are going to palpate on monday, but at this point i am treating her 'as if' pregnant. if she is, it will be a very pleasant surprise!
and best of all, no extra breeding costs this year. stallion will be 24, i was very worried about his fertility as he is aging, so if she IS in foal that is on less thing to worry about, about 1000.00 in savings and a lovely foal!
will update on monday
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