Okay, where to start? I'm thinking of re-buying an old mare that I used to own. I traded her for the mare I own now and I have a 2 yo gelding out of her.
The people who own her now tried desperately to breed her this year, starting in Feb. She went to the breeders twice-was there for about 3 weeks each time. She didn't get a culture or ultrasound or any sort of vet check before she went off the first try and the breeders didn't have a working ultrasound machine (was being repaired, apparently). First time she came back-no surprise, she wasn't pregnant. Still no ultrasound, he just "felt around for it". So they send her back, breeders still have no machine. She stays for another 3-4 weeks. Comes back home and something odd happens. She becomes incredibly swollen in her legs and they make an emergency trip to a large equine clinic nearby. She's got a huge infection, he called it a fungus, inside of her utuerus-so she's flushed for a few days, tons of anti-biotics and after a week she's back home and doing okay. She was pregnant, but he didn't think it would be viable so they decided to abort it. Now they are in to late April. She's doing okay, they bring her back after 19 days and want to AI her, she's there for 6 days, doesn't ovulate and the follicle she's got stops at a 31(ish)-won't grow and she won't ovulate. Vet says give her some time, he's not sure if she'll be breedable on the next cycle, next year or never...Her problem? The fungus that was never cleared up before she was bred multiple times.
So, given this information is factual and nothing is left out-what's going on? I haven't yet spoken to their vet, I'm going to call first thing Tuesday (as they are closed Memorial Day) and see if he can tell me exactly what it is he found. I don't want to buy her right now to breed her, I simply want my first horse back. However, I'd still like to know 1) If it's a possibility in the future, and 2)What she's going through. Has anyone ever heard of such a mess? She's 19, has had 3 previous foals without complication, and has always taken on the first try...
Her only other breeding history I know of is that she was owned by a breeding ranch and she had two foals there. The first time we bred her she took on the first try but then had a very hard summer, she had a heat stroke in July and was diagnosed with anhydrosis and lost the foal (43 days pregnant at the time). We then bred her the following March, took on the first try and foaled without complication the next February.
Oh, and she was apparently tied in a roping chute with another mare, who was in heat, and was kicked several times in her flank. She was not taken to a vet. Not sure if this could have caused any damage, but I thought I'd mention it just in case.
Also, if anyone has any suggestions on specific questions I should ask her vet, I'd really like to get some ideas before I call.
Oh! One more thing, if anyone can give me their opinion I'd be so greatful. Our other mare had some issues foaling (well, rather, we had some issues getting a vet out on Easter morning to help with the foaling) and she ended up losing her colt and heald on to her placenta for 7 days. We waited for a regular cycle (she kept going in and out of heat for 4 weeks, still not sure what that was all about..?) and did a culture, came back clean and bred her on a very nice follicle--she didn't take. My vet said she'd probably need a bit of time to heal after her ordeal and suggested we do a biopsy of her uterus. I trust his opinion so we decided to wait until next year. He said mares that hold on to their placenta, like she did, have a bit of a harder time breeding...Has anyone else had this problem? Is there a name for this or research I can check out? Just wondering, thank you in advance!
OMG, that mare held on to her placenta for 7 days? Did you not get the vet out to give her a shot to help her pass it? I would imagine a mare that retained a placenta for 7 days would be a bit challenging to breed...
What had happened was she went in to labor and after about 5-10 minutes of her water breaking we knew something was wrong and started calling vets--Not one vet would come out or tell us what to do over the phone. I've had only 1 foal prior and nobody else that was there had any experience foaling horses. Well, after about an hour and a half my main equine vet became available (he's the vet for the Houston livestock show and rodeo and it was the last night of it, so he didn't get home 'til late). We took her and he was able to pull out the foal who was, amazingly enough, breathing. However because of the trauma we had to put him down 5 days later...
But no, she was at my vet from the moment Pip was born until we took her home 8 days later. He was giving her oxytocin, flushing her 3-4 times a day and doing everything he could to get her to drop it and she just wouldn't. Her uterus wasn't shrinking properly, but once she dropped it everything started, rather quickly, going back to normal so we decided to see if maybe AI would work. It didn't, so we're going to wait until next year and see how everything looks.
Okay, that makes since. That is very odd that she held onto it for 7 days even with oxytocin and flushing.
One of my mares took about 5 hours to pass the placenta, we gave her oxytocin after two hours. She did retain a peice, she was flushed twice and put her on antibiotics. The vet said that it would wouldn't be a bad idea to let her have the year off, so we did. After 10 months without being in foal, we bred her (in Feb of this year), took first time, no issues. Very normal pregnancy so far
So I am an advocate for giving mares with retained placenta issues a year off.
I would suggest a breeding soundness examination of the mare before purchase - including a biopsy - and making absolutely certain that she's not pregnant before doing the biopsy!
FWIW - antibiotics are contra-indicated for treatment of a fungal infection, and would actually make things much, much worse. Indeed, most uterine fungal (yeast) infections come about as a result of treatment of the uterus with an antibiotic - it's the same situation that some women face when they develop a vaginal yeast infection when being treated with an antibiotic.
At 19, her age is also going against her reproductively. Ignore how many "easy" pregnancies she's had previously - they have just added wear and tear to the uterus! Think about it like a tire on your car - if you've driven safely on it for 80,000 miles, you may be very happy with the past miles travelled, but the tire could blow out at any moment because it's worn out!
So - a good pre-purchase BSE is called for, performed by a veterinarian especially trained in reproduction - if she's going to be expensive, perhaps consider taking her to Texas A&M at College Station.
Placental retention for 7 days? Phew! You're lucky to still have a mare, or at least still have a mare with feet!
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