Maiden Mare: Ultrasound at day 17 shows a double ovulation and a twin! Vet cannot pinch as the twin and the 2nd ovulation are almost on top of each other with the 1st ovulation sitting close by. Vet recommends waiting a week and placing horse on diet to see if one or two cells are absorbed. Vet has seen this method work well for another client who's mare twins every year. My books say that double ovulations of different ages almost always settle in the same horn. What are my chances of saving the pregnancy? Has anyone ever seen this?
I'm a little puzzled by your observation that the vet "cannot pinch as the twin and the 2nd ovulation are almost on top of each other with the 1st ovulation sitting close by". The pregnancy should be in uterus and I am assuming by "second ovulation" you mean a second follicle (?), which is on the ovary and which even if it were present on the ovary really has nothing to do with a pregnancy anyway.
If I am missing something here, I apologise, but it might help you to take a look at the article on the website about twins and twinning, which I think may answer a lot of your questions...
Update: The twin from the first ovulation was absorbed by day 24 reducing us to 2 embryos. The vet came out to pinch the 2nd embryo at the same time. We had the vet come out on day 31 to double check that the pinch was successful. At that time we discovered that the 2nd embryo was still alive, however, does not look as advanced at the first. Vet performed another pinch but is very unsure if this will work. Vet is putting a call into Guelph Vet Hospital to see what they recommend. I contacted another vet at a local TB breeding farm who said that "it's too late and must abort the whole pregnancy". My vet said at day 31 we had 5 days left to make a decision. Today is day 33 and I'm freaking out. I want this kid and do not want to go through this process again next year. My reseach says that after day 36-40, you're screwed for the season and must abort. Does anyone have any advice or been through this before?
Unfortunately, by day 31, you really don't have too many options. What your vet is referencing at or about day 36 is the formation of the endometrial cups after which the mare will typically not return to estrus until about 120-150 days if treated with prostaglandin to cause her to abort. The trouble is that this treatment will typically take 4-6 days to work, so even if you treated the mare now she will probably still develop endometrial cups and not return to estrus for another 100 days or so. If you were going to use prostaglandin and cause the mare to come back into estrus to rebreed, that should have been done no later than day 28 for a more reliable result.
There are a couple of options available involving more technical later termination of one of the preganancies. One involves the intra-cardiac injection of potassium chloride or K-Penicillin. Another is a manual cervical dislocation process. The Theriogenology department at Guelph should be able to assist you with these techniques which are not commonly performed by the general practitioner.
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