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Breeders I need your help or anyone for that matter... Bulletin Board » General Mare Questions - Volume 2 » Breeders I need your help or anyone for that matter... « Previous Next »

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Melissa Santarelli
Username: Friesianlover18509

Post Number: 1
Registered: 03-2008
Posted on Wednesday, March 19, 2008 - 07:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi guys,

I am awaiting the birth of my first Frieisan. The mare is a maiden and the breeder keeps updates on her web site (she has a forum on there). The breeder has had many mares and this one (Lori) is puzzling her. Her due date is April 1st (not sure if it matters). Okay here are her posts and PLEASE if anyone can give insight or has had similar experiences can you post to this thread or PM me. I am trying to understand what could be the problem (if it is one).
I am going to post her updates in order so the bottom one is the latest.

FYI: This mare was kept on regumate for a longer time frame due to being a high risk pregnancy. She had an ovary removed due to a Granulosa tumor.

Here goes....

Lori Update March 18
Well, there are some new but slightly puzzling changes.

First off, today is the first day Lori will be off Regumate, so things should progress quickly now overall.

She's a little more relaxed in the back and tailhead, but trust me, she can still clamp that tail down hard

Her "milk" is MUCH MUCH thicker, and really really sticky. It's freer flowing now.

Here's where it gets a little odd......the milk was definitely still very yellow (normal) and the calcium level had dropped (somewhat normal, but you usually don't have that thick milk serum without having elevated calcium levels). She didn't even register on the Chemetrics tests, and I tested her 3x to be sure. And (this is weird) it had a little blood tinged in it. I plan to call Amy and ask what she thinks.......of course, not many of her clients use the mare milk test as religiously as we do. The amazing part was HOW thick the serum was. I mean, it could practically stand up! It was the hardest thing to clean out the collection cup, crystallizing in the bottom and thickening to the point that it got into the corners of the cup and no matter how much I cleaned it out with paper towels and distilled water, I couldn't get it all out. Odd.......

Just an observation. Doesn't mean too much to me right now (short of that I might be running somewhere to get colostrum if it doesn't pass muster!!) Hey Devinne....can you get your hands on some Seramune etc if we need it in a jiffy? Remember, we only have a 12 hour window for foal gut absorbtion, but I don't want to have a useless, expensive, perishable bottle of Seramune hanging around if it's not necessary.

Update #2 later that day (March18th)
Ok, I've been doing some research using some experienced equine repro groups I belong to. Not too worried about the couple drops of blood anymore. It's what I thought--even though I've been VERY gentle and even lubed my fingers with a little spit (gross, I know..... ) or some of Lori's own milk to strip the milk from her udders, she likely has a nicked small blood vessel broken inside that teat. I plan to test her again tonight using the other teat, as there was such a dramatic change in the milk viscosity, and test for taste (as per usual) as well. I think even that small drop of blood (it seriously was like 1 drop) could have prevented the color change in the Chemetrics test kit. Plus, with her only registering at 90ppm and showing no other outward signs, the reduction in calcium content for the past couple tests (it was 70ppm on Saturday, down from 90) just means she's likely just still cooking the kid FYI, sometimes the milk can get sweet without the actual color changing from that yellowish thick stuff. Happened with Gaby........

I do expect that stopping the Regumate as of today and the change in the opaqueness and thickness of the milk serum means it's not long, though. Lori seems much quieter in her demeanour too......more serious, subdued, and focused. She seems to know she's getting ready for a big life-changing event.

Today's update March 19th
Ok, well, ask your repro team about this......

I started a temp chart on her and have been checking her vulva color nightly. She's still just a shiny middle pink color consistantly so far, and no "triangle" pointy shape at the bottom of her belly. I saw some kicking by her flanks last night. I don't think she's going to give us much warning, and I don't think I'll be able to really guage by the Chemetrics test unless I see something significant change now. I'm not sure she's going to produce calcium much before the kid is born. Some mares have good colostrum, but not much calcium in them. Some mares (i.e. Gaby) don't get "white" until almost 12 hours after! It's rare, but hey, so far Lori's been, well, um, special.

But this is.....well.....weird. I've milked a bunch of mares now. I know just what the color should look like. Heck I can usually tell you what they'll test at just by the color of the raw yellow secretions, before even going into the titers. I know when it looks like strawberry milk in the tube (once you've added the drop of testing agent) we're pretty close. And we seem to somewhat be there, as the yellowish stuff I'm getting out of her is SO thick and opaque that it LOOKS like it should register. But here's what's weird---you may actually need to drive down and see this if you can. It's hard to describe. It's still opaque yellow, but it's SO thick when I milk her that it can practically stand up all on its own. I can hardly get the testing supplies clean, because it's almost solid. It's consistancy is like butter when it's melted and then started to congeal again. It's SO hard to get off the testing cups and out of the sample syringe. I HAVE NEVER SEEN THIS. In retrospect, I don't think she is/was waxing up, I think the stuff coming out of her is so thick that it's just congealing on the tips of the udders.

And what's weirder? NO calcium content now. None. She went from watery yellow secretions (normal) testing at 60-70ppm, to the same viscosity at 90ppm last Saturday night. All normal, chugging along on schedule. Then BAM. THICK THICK THICK hard-to-milk stuff and NO calcium content. The stuff I'm getting out of her, well, just doesn't look....normal. And I'm wondering why the calcium content change. What has systemmically changed in this mare to reduce the calcium build? That's the catalyst for labor, and I am concerned about the viability of her milk and the reason for the consistency change. There may be no problem at all. Lori may just have the world record for thick milk. I'm not getting any heebie-geebies yet, I'm just concerned as this is definitely out of the norm.

Yes, if you can get your hands on some frozen colostrum it would be wonderful. Any way you can come down in the next couple nights and eyeball this????? And BTW, it has no taste to it. Not sweet OR salty.

Thank you for ANY help!!!!

Tracy Smith, Tali due 6/08
Senior Stallion or Mare
Username: Tracys

Post Number: 1005
Registered: 08-2007
Posted on Wednesday, March 19, 2008 - 10:36 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm a little confused. Is this your mare? Is she at the breeders and the breeder is giving YOU updates or are you giving the breeder updates? First off, I think she's being milked too much. I only start checking when the mare is 2 weeks before her due date or if she is showing significant changes and when I do check I only use a drop or two. Second, she sounds perfectly normal for a maiden :-) I wouldn't worry at all other than you may need some colostrum because of all the milking!!

Tim Popovitz
Nursing Foal
Username: Dystocia

Post Number: 12
Registered: 02-2008
Posted on Thursday, March 20, 2008 - 01:45 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't use milk tests to try to predict foaling therefore I am not familiar with all of the results. About the only test I do on milk pre-foaling is to check the specific gravity with a refractometer to give a bit of insight on the quality of the colostrum. Even then, the numbers are taken with a grain of salt. We do a much more accurate lab test to determine the actual IgG of the colostrum after the mare foals.

This is about the only insight I can offer:

Horses very rarely do things by the numbers. I've seen maiden mares with almost NO bag foal out THAT NIGHT. After the contractions of labor, the colostrum usually in it's "final mix". This is what should be examined to determine the quality of the colostrum.

Of course, there are several things that would make you suspicious that the colostrum was low quality after she foals, ie. The mare dripped for days before foaling, the colostrum was very thin, pure white, or clear.

At this stage, everything you describe is completely normal to me, other than the constant milking. As far as having some frozen colostrum on hand, I think everyone who foals mares should at least have access to donor colostrum and a plan if the need arises. The stuff is liquid gold!!!!!

Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 1772
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Thursday, March 20, 2008 - 10:59 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Points relative to the OP's post:
  1. A mare with only one ovary does not need to be kept on Regumate throughout the entire pregnancy unless there is another reason for it. In fact, mares with no ovaries can be used as embryo transfer recipient mares, kept on Regumate through to 120 days of pregnancy, and then taken off it and maintain the pregnancy through to term. Using it throughout the pregnancy in this situation was a waste of money - indeed it's very questionable whether it was needed at all, as the remaining ovary will resume full reproductive function and produce a primary CL and secondary CL's to maintain the early pregnancy just fine.
  2. There is no such thing as a "due date" in the equine! The average range of gestational duration is 320-370 days. A mare therefore has 50 due dates!!! If April 1st was being taken as 340 days, that would make the mare at 327 days at the time of the OP - and hence well within the range of normal gestational duration;
  3. Seramune has a shelf life of 3 years, and costs around $80. It is therefore far from "useless, expensive, perishable", but rather a valuable insurance to have on hand, which at a cost of under $30/year even if it's not used (or just over $50/year if one keeps two on hand which should be done in case of the need for two treatments rather than a single one), is cheap insurance!
  4. We don't use the commercial milk tests, preferring merely visual inspection of the milk - something that we have found to be very reliable and less cumbersome than using the commercial tests.
Overall, nothing sounds particularly unusual with this mare - especially as she is a maiden.

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