I would appreciate any knowledge or thoughts on when I can re-breed my Maiden Mare (foaled April 4th) that tore during delivery.
She had ripped pretty severly during delivery but with 10 days of antibiotic therapy and some well deserved recovery, she has healed up very nicely. There is no signs of infection, she looks good (pelvicly speaking) and is otherwise back in good health.
Would you say that she is ok to breed on her first regular cycle or should I give her another cycle through for extra assurance?
What does your vet say? My mare tore the first time she foaled but it wasn't too bad so we got the go ahead to breed back on the foal heat. Does it look healed? If so I would think you would be fine to breed back with this next cycle but if it still looks sore, I would wait.
She was (in my opinion) severly torn. When the vet was out, we discussed the treatment option, which was to not suture. We put her on 10 days of antiobiotics, scrubbing the area around the "rippage" with betadine scrub, washing well, letting granulation occur, and then the prognosis was that we may to possible do some minor surgery to remove the scar tissue around her urethra if we found that after healing she was still not able to pee properly. (She was peeing sideways down the leg where the ripped tissue was.)
Jos: She was ripped through the vulva and it extended down the skin/membranes of her left inside leg, almost to the back of the udder and included some damage/tearing to the urethra. She even appeared for the first 3-4 days after foaling to have black nectrotic tissue on the inside of her vulva (??).
She is now looking quite healed...and healed very nicely, I'm rather shocked actually that it looks this great! I was lucky and no infection ever developed and once granulation started, it was just a matter of days before everything sealed up.
My vet is wonderful but he has basically thrown it back in my lap by saying, "If she looks cleared up and fairly healed, you make the call."
I personally don't breed back on foal heat (just my crazy hang-up) so foal heat was never in consideration. But boy, I sure don't want to breed back on the first heat if there is the possiblity that it will irritate anything and perhaps encourage any re-introduction of infection.
I've never had a mare rip this bad (of course my vet says that some do rip that bad...and he certainly wasn't as concerned as I was. He had only initially started a 3 day antiobiotic treatment and when he came out at day 3, he chose to continue it to a full 10 days with 2 different antiobiotics at that time...I think it was worse than he thought it was by phone, but still didn't seem that overly concerned) so this is new territory for me.
She was showing signs of being in heat this weekend and I just want to get a game plan in mind for the next time around or if I should hold off another cycle.
Jos: I uploaded some photos that I took on Day 1 and Day 2 of post-foaling (not for the mare but rather for the foal). I know it doesn't show much in detail, but picture one shows a little of the redness in the back and a little of the tear line, its just not gaped in this picture and looks like a "fold" but at least it gives you an idea of the amount of blood and fluid she lost (tail was soaked with blood/fluid for days, even with having it washed twice a day).
Second photo shows the swelling of the vulva area from the side. Again, it shows the amount of blood/fluid that was continuing to come out for days with what appears on her rump area from swishing her tail, again with having the area cleaned and washed twice a day. Sorry, I wish I would have had the insight to have photographed the damage and the healing process.
Jan Owen Senior Stallion or Mare Username: 1frosty1
Post Number: 1434 Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Monday, April 21, 2008 - 07:17 pm:
Bobbi~First off, I am so glad that she is healing so well! Second~hopefully this will be an AI breeding right? I would be concerned about breeding trauma if it was live cover...also there might be "clearance" issues if there is scar tissue built up and maybe a look at the oxytocin protocol might be in order...just some thoughts...Will be following what you decided to do! Good luck!
She will likely be ok to breed if the vet gives the go ahead. My concern however, would be foaling next year. I've seen them get torn pretty badly, but never BELOW the vulva. I can't imagine how that was caused unless a foot caught her at an angle or something on the way out. Most of the tears I've seen were lateral tears below, and sometimes involving the rectum.
Wow...I appreciate your thoughts. No, it would not be AI, unfortunately our stallion is not a candidate for AI. That's not to say that I can eliminate my own stallion and choose another route and opt for AI if necessary. Just not sure if I want to even go through the AI process if in the end, it is going to further traumatize my mare to foal again.
Tim & Jos: It was definately NOT a lateral tear...it was certainly a tear through the bottom of the vulva, then the tear continued to the left through to the inside of her left "thigh" and stopped about 6 inches diagonally from the back portion of her udder. It was not pretty.
Unfortunately, this was our mare that decided to deliver without our human presence and within a matter of 2 hours, we had left with no signs only to come back home to the foal already up, dried, walking/trotting, etc. My vet thinks that she breached this baby. Pretty determined mare to get it out is all I can say. She tore bad enough that there was a "bleed" for 2 days. In otherwords, she had a great deal of red blood and bright red blood clots soaking her hindquarters and tail. It was very bizarre because from the vulva up (including the rectum) there was no damage.
You have a possibility Tim with maybe a foot caught on the way out rather than a possible breach. This by no means was a giganuous foal. She was a real interesting mare for a maiden though as she NEVER elongated, NEVER gaped, NEVER got loose in the backend. She was my "clincher" that I had spoke about. As she got nearer to her foaling date, she actually got tighter in the vulva rather than relaxing. Strange, strange.
I would hate to disqualify her from breeding as she certainly has a stunning foal, but I also don't want to take a risk of loosing my mare.
I will take some photos this evening and upload them. Quite frankly, I am completely amazed at her recovery. I thought it would be quite a long time before I saw the results that I see just within the past few weeks. You really can't tell that she was ever torn!
My vet really was not very concerned at all, even when he first saw her after the foaling, he was pretty much like..."it will heal, we just need to ensure that we keep the infection out and address any scarring issues with the urethra once it heals. If, after she heals, she is urinating normally, we'll just leave it as it is." His reasoning for not stitching her up in the beginning was, "She'll just rip again on the next foaling if we stitch her up. By leaving it to heal as it is, it will allow her more room the next time."
I've always thought that when there is scarring, that area becomes strengthened but the areas that butt up to the scar are now at risk for trauma. Would that be a safe assumption that she could indeed tear again but it would involve a different area?
Just thinking out loud and looking for others to help me reason this out in my head.
Poor Miss Echo. Good gosh, that sounds absolutely horrific. I too, wonder if she breech birthed that baby? WOW! She is one tough gal if she did. Hats off to her.
I am glad everything seems to be healing up okay. I would probably be a lot like you in that I wouldn't believe something that horrific would heal up that fast and well.
Sounds like your vet is a good one and the fact that he is "non-plussed" by all this is good. Probably wouldn't instill much confidence in his clients if he was like "WOW! That is REALLY BAD, WHOOOO-HOOOO, WOW! SHEZAM! Mind if I take some pics for the vet journals?"
Honestly, I had a horse slice a tendon on a stall door at a horse show years ago and I swear this little "30ish" vet was about like that. Didn't give me much confidence. But he did stitch it up well and get the horse to where we could take him to another vet (I guess I'm funny, I like white hair and EXPERIENCE, or at least I THINK they are old enough to have seen a lot). Story had a happy ending.
Back to your girl, maybe just sit out this year with her? Let's face it if you wait another month or so, you are going to be running into the end of May to June and then the baby will be later. Maybe try embryo transfer?
If she heals up well and has adequate time to recuperate, she may very well not have another problem again. May go on to have 10 more foals and never turn a hair. But I would definitely give her time to really heal fully.
Catherine: Thanks for your input too! You are so funny and I don't get too "plussed" so I guess my vet not getting too "plussed" makes for some non-plussed folks who are now having a second "aha" moment questioning our "non-plussed" reaction. (How about that for confusion?!)
My husband is trying to get me to skip a year with her also, more for his sanity through the foaling process rather than for the mare.
I'm being somewhat selfish in wanting to breed her back...she's such a CRAB when she is not pregnant. She has the easy going personality when she is prego and you can ride her throughout her pregnancy and she is a dream. Not prego, she is a terror. She's one of those "every ride's a different ride" mare where one day she's great, the next day, you're picking yourself up off the ground saying what the heck just happened and did I make the 8 second buzzer?
She also, doesn't process her sugars well and is prone to laminitis/founder concerns. It seems that this pregnancy really controlled her excess poundage ability and she did not get heat in her legs/feet as she has done in the past when she overeats herself to kingdom come. She was a healthier animal as a pregnant animal.
Why is your stallion not a candidate for AI? I would have concerns with live cover with the possibility of opening something up again - and blood can be spermicidal, so that would be a cause for concern as well.
I doubt it was a breech delivery, but rather a posterior presentation. The difference is that with a true breech, not only is the foal backwards in presentation, but the back legs are not engaged but are still down in the uterus tucked under the foal. With a posterior presentation, the foal is backwards, but the back feet are coming out first. I have never seen a true breech deliver by itself - indeed, most times you lose the foal and often the mare if there is no C-section option available. I have however seen posterior presentations foal unaided (not desirable, but it can happen). The foal is however at risk for NIE (what used to be called "dummy foal syndrome") as a result of oxygen deprivation during the foaling process.
I would still encourage AI at this point, but see what your vet says after she's healed a little more.
Jos: I agree with your "breech" statement and I should have worded it as you did with posterior presentation. As with our cattle, a true breech results in a dead baby and usually, a dead mother as well. If Echo would have truly breeched (baby butt first and legs still under and forward) we wouldn't be having a conversation about re-breeding that's for sure.
As for my stallion not being a candidate for AI, in a nut shell, we bought him as a 5 year-old from a couple who were in their 80's and had no business trying to deal with him. He's never been taught anything (and I do mean anything) in his life. Handling him for AI would be nothing short of a disaster.
What am I doing with such a beast you may ask? That's a different story in and of itself. Let's just say I'm a firm believer that there are plenty of good stallions out there to mess with a rank one. I ended up in my own mess by helping a person help their elderly parents and am trying, for this horse's sake, to give it a one time shot in trying to work with this guy. However, we don't promote him outside of our own herd, he has some fantastic bloodlines, and we are working with him with hope that he will become somewhat more manageable-never safe-just manageable. He's very smart and learns quickly...we're just giving him his chance right now. If things improve with him over the next year, AI would be the number one method, if we can't improve his manners, he won't live here anymore. Unfortunately, this year is not an AI option year. (ie: We still have to fully anesthetize him to trim his feet.)
Thanks Jos for all of your help and insight. I hadn't even thought of the blood issue, glad that you pointed that out.
I think what I am going to do at this point: Vet will be out within the next 2 weeks to rabies/west nile everyone, float teeth, pull an abcessed tooth on prego Lena and some other annual "stuff." I'll have him also do a thorough check on Echo and if he feels she can pull this foaling thing off again without a major risk, I believe I will find a different stallion to AI her to. We'll just keep her split off from everyone else (as she is now) and we'll just breed the other mares to our own. That gives her at least another year without any further trauma and we'll see how it goes. If he doesn't feel that she should foal again next year, then I've got a problem on my hands. Although I have the ability to seperate everyone, as you well know, there is no guarantees when you have a stallion on the premises and you have mares that come into heat, that everyone follows the rules.
Thanks again. Your insight always helps bring up some facets of the issue I haven't even thought of.
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