We have an 11 year old maiden mare that was bred by AI July 23, 2005. She was ultrasounded at day 14 and vescicle seemed a little small and irregular. She was checked again a week later and vescicle had caught up and seemed fine. She was then checked again at day 47 all was well then. She is a large bodied mare and we assumed that her rotund appearance the last couple of months was due to pregnancy. We started having doubts and had her checked yesterday at day 349. She is no longer pregnant. We want to try breeding again but want to know what we should be doing to improve the chances of carrying a foal to term. The ultrasound yesterday showed no infection, scarring or anything unusual and the vet also palpated and found her usterus to be tight and seemingly in good shape. The vet has suggested cytology and possible use of Regumate. Given the fact that this was her first pregnancy loss should we just try breeding again without use of drugs and take this first fetal loss as just "one of things that happens" or should we be more aggressive. We really would like this to work out this time but don't want to go overboard with unnecessary interventions. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
A single pregnancy loss, as noted, is not necessarily an indicator of a problem. Remember that the average live foal rate among all equines is 60% of mares bred, so there is a huge loss rate during pregnancy in the best of situations.
One point I would like to comment on - one cannot determine uterine pathogenic presence status by ultrasound. If there is anechoic fluid there, then it is indicative of an inflammatory response, but an absence of such fluid does not mean an absence of pathogen. It is only a rough guideline. As a consequence, I would encourage you to have a cytology smear performed, and if indicated (or even in addition to anyway) a culture of the uterine smear. In my opinion, all mares to be bred would have a better overall conception and live foal rate if those diagnostics as a minimum were performed pre-breeding and suitable treatment based on the results performed.
The article on this web site about Regumate use about covers my thoughts on that topic...
Thanks so much for the information, we've gone ahead and done the cytology smear and cuture and all was fine. Pur mare was checked on Thursday late afternoon and was found to have 2 follicles one at 31mm and the other at 34mm. Vet recommended we AI on Saturday(yesterday) late AM. When US/palpation was done prior to AI she was found to have already ovulated and both follicles were gone which was a surprise to us and the vet based on past history and the fact that the follicles did not seem that close on Thursday afternoon. The vet went ahead with the insemination anyway as the ovary still had soft spots where the follicles had been released and the cervix was still quite open and she felt that there was a good chance that the mare ovulated within the last 12 hours. Could both follicles have been released at different times(giving us a greater chance of sucess) and if both follicles were released within the 12 hours what are the odds of conception of twins?
If the follicles were on the same ovary, then it is not surprising that they ovulated, as multiple follicles on the same ovary will often ovulate on a smaller diameter than a single follicle will.
If they were on different ovaries, remember that mare is a four-letterd word...
Post-ovulation breeding after six but before twelve hours post-ovulation sees a slight increase in EED, although the initial pregnancy rate will be about the same as breeding pre-ovulation. After 12 hours post-ovulation, the EED levels rise and the pregnancy rates drop significantly.
Double ovulations are going to increase your chances of both pregnancy and twins. Make sure to check her well (i.e. throroughly) before 16 days and again no later than 28 days with ultrasound. For more information, read the article on this site about twinning.
The follicles were on the same side, does that mean that we likely missed by more than the 12 hours? In the past she ovulated at approx 44mm to 48mm.
Our vet will be away on vacation and her first day back is day 17 or 18 post AI, should we be concerned about delaying US until then? If so, we may need to think about having someone else come and do the ultrasound. Also, if AI was done on Saturday is that day 1 or is day 1 today?
Had our mare US at day 16 and she not in foal. We have since changed vets to an old friend of yours, Helen Douglas!! She was here this AM and the follicle we've been watching has not changed much. She's given our mare half a prostaglandin shot and the other half will be given tonight and we'll hope that things move along. This is our last try for this year as it's getting too late in the season. Any other suggestions?
(Message edited by brickmoir_farm on August 09, 2006)
Give Helen my best regards, and tell her it's really hot here in Oklahoma at the moment!
I am sure that Helen will do an admirable job, and will have some excellent suggestions for you if they are warranted. One thing that we will do with "problem mares" is use the oxytocin protocol as a matter of routine, even in the absence of uterine fluid. It's cheap and easy, and does seem to have a positive impact - but as I say, I'm sure Helen will have some good ideas for you, so go with what she says!
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