I always felt like she was still pregnant, and she is filling out in the flank area, although not tremendously. Her udder is not enlarged. She is now at 303 days.
Yesterday, I told my husband to have the vet perform the Estrone Sulfate blood test to confirm that she isn't pregnant, as it's now time to rebreed and I don't want to AI a pregnant mare. I specifically told my husband that I wanted the vet to draw the blood while the mare was in the trailer and NOT to do a palpation since I wanted to minimize any exposure in case she was still pregnant (based on negative US at 62 days, husband didn't give pneumabort vaccine).
Well, the vet looked at my mare in the trailer, said she wasn't pregnant by external appearance, pulled her out of the trailer and palpated her. I received a call from the vet at that time and he said she wasn't pregnant by palpation, but was winking at a gelding, and he palpated a 41 mm follicle. So he said she was ready to breed. He and my husband laughed at my suggestion to run the Estrone Sulfate test. By the way, she lives in the same pasture with 3 geldings, and she has displayed absolutely no indication of being in heat this year.
Here's where I need reassurance. I guess I have done too much research, because I have found numerous stories of pregnant mares being receptive to breeding, pregnant mares misdiagnosed as *open* by palpation one week prior to foaling, and pregnant mares having follicles.
The vet wants to see her again in a couple of weeks to assess for rebreeding. But I guess I am paranoid, because what if she really is pregnant and she's one of those maidens that just doesn't show until the last minute? What are the odds that a palpation at this time would be wrong? And if I AI a pregnant mare, will she abort?
If only my husband had just followed my instructions to perform the Estrone Sulfate test, I would feel much better about this.
WEll, i don't do AI, but feel it would be impossible to AI a prego mare. First of all, they'll have to do ultrasound to know which day to perform it....wouldn't they? Also, the semen has to be placed directly into the cervix, which would be closed up tight if your mare is prego. Honestly, i don't think you have anything to worry about. I have known many vets to miss late term pregnancy with palpation though. Maybe they can do a transabdominal ultrasound. It would be more conclusive than palpation and not as expensive as the lab work.
Thanks Diana. I didn't ask the vet, as it didn't occur to me at that time, but if he was really seeing an ovulatory follicle then he must have assessed the cervix too (right?) and it should have been soft and not closed tightly. But who knows since I didn't ask at the time.
He did do a trans-rectal ultrasound to assess the follicle, but I don't know enough to say whether he would have seen something different if she were really pregnant instead of ovulating.
I wish I had been more insistent about the details when I spoke with him, but I was too disappointed to think about much.
ahhhh, ok, if he ultrasounded and could state unequivicobly that he saw both horns of the uterus, then I'd believe him LOL. You didn't mention an ultrasound before, you said he palpated a 41 mm follicle (which i wondered about LOL) if he's in there with ultrasound and says she's unbred, he's probably right.
I would think it very hard to miss a pregnancy 303 days along, especially by Ultra sound. My guess would also be that the vet is correct and you can go ahead and AI your mare. Best wishes she takes this time.
It would be hard to miss a 300+ day pregnancy upon rectal palpation/ultrasound, but a diagnosis is only as good as the ability of the person performing it, so there have been instances where they've been missed....
It is possible to AI a pregnant mare. The cervix is tight, but a pipette can be passed (think of performing an ET - one is passing a Foley catheter into the uterus of the pregnant donor, and a Foley is significantly thicker than an AI pipette; and then one does the transfer into a diestrus uterus through a diestrus cervix, which again is closed), however a likely sequela of such an action would be abortion, or more commonly placentitis followed by abortion. It is therefore undesirable.
If you are uncomfortable with the current veterinarian's diagnoses - and it appears that you are - then get a second opinion. Then you'll have no doubts whatsoever.
He wants to recheck in ~2 weeks for new follicle/possible AI scheduling, so perhaps if there's anything weird going on (e.g. pregnancy) he will notice it at that time.
I have no reason to doubt his expertise, it's just that I've noticed subtle changes (behavior and physical) that makes me hesitant. Kind of a gut feeling. But I also can see where these changes may have occurred, pregnancy or no pregnancy, and facts (if correct) supersede gut feelings.
In fact, upon re-reading my OP, I can see why husband/vet believe I am crazy. lol.
Liz, LOL, if there is one thing I can share, its a room at the crazy farm. I spent an entire year trying to determine if my mare was bred.I had the vet out several times and he told me not preggers. The time he determined she was in fact pregnant, was by US rectally. That was in October, he told me she was due around Christmas, she foaled in April, lol. I can sympathize with crazy . Keep us posted hope all goes well!
LOL Holly, well I'm glad to share that room with you. Your experience was indeed crazy, but with a great outcome (eventually lol).
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