Hello, I have a 21years old mare. I bought her, when she was 17, she was bred via AI, got in foal on the first try, but absorbed the foal. Wasnt bred again that year. When she was 18, she was bred natural cover, on the ultrasound on 18th day, the embryo already didnt look well.. came back to heat few days later. She was not bred on that cycle, but a bit later and carried that foal to term. She was bred on a foal heat natural cover and had twins. One of them already was smaller, so they were let untouched, on the next ultrasound one was gone, second doing well. Few weeks later the second was gone also. Mare didnt come back to heat herself, was treated and bred, but didnt get in foal for the rest of the season. Last year she was under lights, was bred in February, didnt get in foal, was bred again in March and is "due" now. From this known breeding history, I would say that there is not so big problem to get her in foal, but she regularly absorbs. Now, my question is: Would you breed her on foal heat (would you want to delay the foal heat?), or wait for the second heat? Is there some special care one could provide post foaling? What is your routine post foaling care? My vet mentioned flushing. Yes or no, when, with or without antibiotics? Sorry for so long post, a lot of questions and my bad english
I Marina, I've got one problem mare like this, she's aborted three times. This is what we do with her. Firstly on the day after foaling for three days we give her oxytocin mostly because she usually has fluid on her foal heat scan and because due to poor weather we can often only get the mares and foals out for an hour a day so she isn't moving around much.
We scan her between 7-10 days for foal heat, usually 8 days. If she has fluid we flush her for 3 days, the vet will also swab her and if that shows a bacterial growth she is treated with antibiotics.
We usually don't cover mares on their foal heat unless they are young mares, with no trauma/ bruising or tearing post foaling and it's late in the season ie May for us in the thoroughbred breeding world. If necessary we will PG them after their foal heat and short cycle them.
Another thing to consider is the vulva conformation of the mare. Has she been caslicked/ stitched. As she is an older mare she has increased risk of having poor vulva conformation/ sinking in of her vulva. She may need to be stitched if this is the case. If a mare has been previously stitched, we stitch them again at foal heat and open them up for covering.
We never cover a mare if she has a dirty swab or fluid on her scan. If she has fluid when scanned along with flushing, antibiotics (if necessary) we will also give oxytocin.
If the mare is clean she is covered, we give oytocin 4 hours after covering and again twice more at 6 hourly intervals. We scan the mare for ovulation. Usually we try and get the mare exactly right or as right as possible for covering. We might have to scan the mare for 3 or four days to be exactly right. The vet also specs her and monitors oedema. He charts all this in a chart so we can compare each day. The mare is given ovuplant or LH either before covering or afterwards (depending on when he thinks she needs it). We do this for a number of reasons * We have to travel up to eight hours round trip to stallions and we want to avoid having to go back for a cross cover if she does not ovulate * We have to book mares into stallions, most stallions will breed at 7am, 12pm, 4pm and 8pm, depending on how busy they are we might not get the ideal covering slot * Avoiding cross covering reduces number of covers therefore reduces trauma to the mare
The mare will be stitched again on her ovulation scan.
Another scan at 14-16 days after covering. Vet will also take a pogesterone level. If progesterone level is low the mare starts on Regumate for 120 days. Our problem mare usually is on Regumate for her whole gestation, she aslo gets intramuscluar antibiotics, Neopen for 5 days every month for her entire gestation.
We scan her at 14-16 days, 21 days, 30 days, 45 days and then once more in October (just so we know ourselves as if aborted we need to start thinking about the following years stallions).
I hope this helps, It might be more difficult with the mare because she is older. This is the way we do things and we have an excellent vet. I'll be interesting to see how other people do things. I'm sure there are lots of different things to do.
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