HI everyone, I would GREATLY appreciate input becuause I am so freaked out.
Mare is a 7 yr old Arabian and a couple of months ago a few friends started commenting on her big belly, and looking pregnant. I dismissed it because though I had an Arab stallion on the property, I never bred them, and they had never been together. There was one incident in which I was aware - December 13th I found the top rail of fencing torn down and the mare had both hind legs scuffed and scratched up like her butt had been in the fence. I took pictures of the legs because I photograph every little injury she gets. This mare has always had very strong apparent heat cycles and was a real hussie about the stallion.
A couple of weeks ago I noticed the mare's belly looking SO huge I thought something was up. She had a total estrogen count blood test done at the vet's office and it came back with a value of 7.2. Apparently it should be 300-750 after about 110 days. However, the vet said she looked as pregnant as could be to him. Her flank is hard and filled, he said her vulva looks to be starting to elongate and soften, I've noticed changes in her tailhead and dock area. That vet has been a QH breeder for 30 years so I'd think he would know what a pregnant mare looks like??? In fact, he wasn't even going to waste the money on a palpation OR the blood because he was SO sure just by looking at her. But I wanted the test done just to have a "for sure" confirmation to put in her file. She was trying to run around with the herd the other night and after 5 minutes she was panting and exhausted. She has not shown any signs of estrus since last fall.
I have another vet coming this Friday to do a palpation but of course if the foal is low in the abdomen, it might be missed. This 2nd vet said that while the test is 98% accurate, if the blood was mishandled, there's a chance she really is pregnant.
Last night I noticed two fairly large bags of fluid on her belly just before her udder, but the udder is still small and tight.
I've read on this site that after about 300 days, the estrogen test may not be as accurate. Correct? Also that Egyptian mares can foal up to a month earlier than other horses - and that's what she is. Mostly Egyptian.
So maybe it is possible that he bred her through the fence earlier than the day the top rail was pulled down? It is a 3-rail polytape electric and the stallion never ever challenged or went near the fence but perhaps I forgot to turn it on one day??? I don't know.
Anyway, what is your experience with the blood tests, and their accuracy?
You need to have the mare checked by a competent veterinarian using ultrasound. Although the fetus might not be visible, other indications should be apparent if the mare is pregnant. Playing guessing games is a waste of time and you will still not have a definitive answer at the end of it!
If the mare was bred in December, she is only 8 months (~240 days) pregnant, so unless she were aborting mammary development would be unlikely to be related to pregnancy.
Well, it's possible she was bred earlier than December 13. That was just the day I noticed some fencing damage. It's possible they did something if I'd forgotten to turn on the fencer at an earlier time. Can't remember seeing any damaged fencing but maybe they just didn't damage the fence. Who knows. I talked to a friend yesterday that breeds Arabs and one of her Egyptian mares has always foaled at 9 months!
A new vet is coming on Friday to do a palpation and ultrasound.
Have you ever heard of these blood tests being inaccurate? If the blood was mishandled or something?
A routinely occurring 9 months of pregnancy with a successfully produced live foal is unheard of in the equine with the rare exception of miniature horses as the foal's lungs do not develop adequately until around 300 days (~10 months) to enable breathing. Your friend needs to contact a veterinary teaching university if it is true, as it would be of interest to them because it would be a world first and worthy of publication.
My guess however is that your friend is mistaken.
Glad that you are getting the mare checked again. Blood tests do have potential for false positives or negatives.
Vickey, We breed Egyptians and routinely have them go over their "due date". I have never heard of Egyptians foaling prematurely as a whole...hope all turns out well!
Please note that opinions, product information, advice or suggestions posted on this bulletin board are not necessarily those of the management at Equine-Reproduction.com nor does the maintenance of the post position indicate an implicit or any endorsement of that information, opinion or product.
Further, although we have the greatest respect for the posters offering assistance here, you are advised to seek a consultation with your veterinarian prior to using information obtained from this board if it is of a veterinary nature.Proud to be sponsored and supported by: