Well I am trying to breed my mare again this year, she is 12yrs old. Some history on he is that she had a foal about 5yrs ago no problems. The following year she aborted her foal at 9 months for "no apparent reason". I did not own her at the time but got her after losing the foal. I bred her and she carried a lovely colt to term for me. Then my problems really started... I bred her about 30 days after foaling via AI and she did not catch so I decided to leave her for the year. The next year we did a culture/cytology and treated her and bred her via AI. She was pregnant at her 14 day check so we put a caslicks in. Fast forward to day 270 something and she started bagging up so after an ultrasound confirming placentitis (which we then started treating her for) she unfortunatley aborted her foal ~ day 330. The foal was dysmature (very frail looking with a domed type head). We sent the dead foal off for tests and it came back that it had more than likely died a few days prior to being aborted but no infections cultured. Sigh... Anyways, we then decided to rebreed again after she lost the foal and had a culture/cytology done, she showed an infection so my vet infused her with the proper antibiotic and we also had a biopsy done which came back a IIB, not good :-( She also had quite a bit of fibrosis I think she said and her uterus looked more like an 18yr old mares uterus. We bred her anyhow and she was confirmed in foal at her 14 day check (she was rechecked at 17 days to make sure it was growing well) but lost the pregnancy probably not much after that though I didn't recheck her since it was so late in the year by now. Since she had a caslicks in and I never saw her abort and she never ripped her caslicks she must have lost it fairly early. Fast forward another year... We bred her the first time this year and she was confirmed in foal at 14 days but had lots of fluid (we never flushed post breeding but I had done 3 days post breeding every 6hr oxy shots). She lost the pregnancy around day 20. Next heat cycle we bred her again and flushed this time and I gave her even more oxy shots (every 3hrs for 3 days!), she came up open on her 14 day check. Third try of the year we did a culture/cytology (yes we should have done it first time) and it just came back that she tested positive for Citobactor (sp???). Atleast that is what it sounded like my vet said but my vet said she had never seen a mare come back positive for it. Anways, we bred her today and are going to infuse/flush her tomorrow morning with an antibiotic suitable. Is there anything else you can recommend doing (other than saying don't breed this mess of a mare ;-) She does seem to always have chronic infections though we have kept her caslicks in place and just opened it enough to "squeeze" our hand past to breed.
Citrobacter is almost always a contaminant, not a pathogen. What did the cytology show? Was there definitely a cytology smear prepared and read and did it show inflammatory cell presence? I would be sceptical of this organism requiring treatment, and putting unnecessary antibiotics into a uterus can create problems.
A Caslick procedure needs to be placed 2-3 days after ovulationnot after she's been checked in foal. The most critical period of pregnancy loss (or creation of causes for pregnancy loss) is the early embryonic period up to about 15 days.
You may also wish to review this thread if she comes up not pregnant again, and discuss the possibility of a DMSO and Betadine lavage with your veterinarian that has shown some degree of success in a situation such as yours, particularly relative to endometrial fibrosis.
Thanks Jos, I asked my vet about a culture and a cytology and she said they do a culture and a sensitivity. I was not sure if that was the same thing or not?? Anyways, the Citrobacter came back on the sensitivity not the inital culture results I believe since she had told me the initial culture results showed something but they were not sure what it was yet and she told me Citrobacter a few days later. We definately could try putting another caslicks in after ovulation. We only opened the one she did have JUST enough to squeeze a hand in and inseminate so she does have a partial one in. We are definately talking about a DMSO lavage if she does not catch. I have not read up on it so will as I did not know about the Betadine part. I know my vet is looking into it as well. Thanks for the help, I appreciate it!
A sensitivity test is used to determine what antibiotic an organism harvested with a swab is sensitive to. The trouble is that a culture and sensitivity of a swab alone does not demonstrate if an organism that was harvested was a contaminant or not - which is what Citrobacter almost always is as I said previously. Random use of antibiotics to treat organisms that don't need treating can lead to a yeast or some other opportunistic uterine pathogen infection, which is always worse than the original non-problem.
If you don't get a pregnancy this time, and decide to try again, I would strongly suggest finding a veterinarian that specializes in equine reproduction - preferably a theriogenologist.
Thanks Jos, I will definately keep it in mind. I had most definately asked her about a cytology with the culture as I knew the culture was useless without one. But she told me they do a sensitivity with it and I was thinking it was maybe the same thing. I guess not...I guess we can't do much at this time except wait and see what the 14 day check shows...
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