Hi Guys, this is the problem: 31 inch tall Falabella broodmare, 7yrs old, multiparous with no previous foaling troubles.
352 days into pregnancy Her pregnancy is measuring today 68.5 inches round but it has fluctuated up to a massive 75 inches She has breathing difficulty and can be heard to breath from several metres away, breathing 1 or 2 breaths per second Has a clear nasal discharge which steadily trickles On rare occasion she lays down, breathes like old man snoring Has ventral oedema and Mammary oedema also Has milk in but colostrum levels fluctuating Has Rapid heart beat, still strong Foal has been hyper-active throughout pregnancy but is now rarely seen to move. (could just be be its moving into birthing position) Mare often listless but does perk up Mare neither overweight or thin, in excellent condition, skin normal, coat glossy Mucous membranes slightly pale Mares appetite fluctuating; is sometimes seen to be in discomfort, other times is just tired
My vets have not run blood tests. Obviously I would much rather they do, especially to test for hyperlipemia which minis are very prone to; this just seems the way things are in the UK or perhaps its just my vet thinking I'm an under-qualified moron. The mare has had no problems throughout pregnancy and even went into first stage labor on June 21st at 324 days. This was a DEFINATE labor, unmistakeable legs rigid, mare straining, contractions. However, she stopped before waters broke and within two hours was completely recovered and back to normal. It was around this time that the abnormal breathing and large distension of the stomach happened. Measures were taken to ensure bedding environment wasn't causing an allergy. Vets were informed but they deemed a call out wasn't necessary re the excessive breathing. Mare continued in this way for several days, in obvious occassional discomfort and breathing hard. Vets were informed again as I was getting quite concerned - again a call out was not deemed necessary. I was informed that horses are diaphram breathers and a heavily pregnant mare will have reduced lung capacity and so it is to be expected. I was also told that the foal may have trapped an artery inside the mare which could be causing her heart/lungs to struggle and that this would be resolved on her foaling which was of course due anytime. I was instructed to restrict her to the (large) foaling box, keep her extremly calm to avoid heart attack, raise her feed and water to head height to prevent any further strain on her and to wait for her to foal. No call out was deemed necessary. 16 July 08 (mare at 349 days term), a clear fluid was seen to be streaming from the mare's nose. Vet was phoned and call out DEMANDED. Senior partner at vet surgery attended. Mare was found to have fluid in lungs akin to pneumonia. However, fluid clear (not tested) and deemed to not be infection. No answer given as to what was causing this fluid or what it is. Mares heart was found to be beating hard and fast. A slight milky-ish discharge was seen coming from mare's vagina: deemed normal. Distension of the stomach was seen. Mammary and Ventral oedema noted. Mare was given a broad spectrum anti-biotic; NO BLOODS TAKEN. Vet informed of hyperactivity of foal for several months - potential disability or dwarfism of foal considered. Mare deemed to be of perfect weight, neither fat nor thin so unlikely foal is stressed through lack of nutrients.
Mare has continued in this way (now July 19th) with fluctuations in pregnancy 'bump' measuring from 65 to 75 inches - currently 68.5 inches. (it must be noted that it is myself taking these measurements from the same position on mare - vet not vaguely interested that this is overlarge for her size) Nasal discharge has remained clear, vaginal discharge not seen since that one occasion, pulse taken (by myself) still rapid, breathing still audible from several metres away - dreadful if she lays down. She has been observed AND FILMED by myself to be laid with lips curled back, teeth bared on one occasion. I have taken measures to introduce higher sugar levels into her feed (which she has been picking at but a syrup is encouraging her to feed) and mint which is the only home thing I can think of which may help her breathing. Her strength is variable; sugars again seem to perk her up (possible diabetes?), she is picking at hay, anti-biotics still being administered. Ventral oedema still present, mammary oedema appears to have disipated some but still mildly present.
Has anyone had anything similar? What worked for you? WHAT AM I MISSING? I have queried conditions such as: Hydrops Hyperlipemia Pregnancy related Diabetes
with this stomach size, she is at risk of a ligament rupture which would be catastrophic. The vets are not prepared to induce the mare due to risk to mare/foal and are leaving her to foal naturally. I am at my wits end. The mare is being monitored 24hrs by myself and husband, her alertness changes several times during a day. Today she is picking at hay and seems a little duller than she was this morning. Can anybody give any further advice - have you ever had a difficult pregnancy regardless of the size of horse? It is predicted it is going to be a rough foaling, many helpful breeders in the USA have experienced hyper-active foals which cause Dystocia. I will appreciate ANY advice. I am obviously now trying to find a new vet who is willing to take her on. There are very few miniature horses in the UK and simply no research has been done into their quirks here. I am (as far as I'm aware but would love to meet others!) the only breeder of Falabellas registered in Scotland. Thank you for having taken the time to read this - if anyone wants to contact me direct, please email me: email@example.com and include a phone number I can contact you on. Please be aware of time difference and the fact that I am monitoring the mare so don't be offended if I can't get back to you immediatly - I will do as soon as I can. Naomi at the Saltires, in Scotland, UK.
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