Help - Search - Members - Calendar
Full Version: Any Experienced Breeders Or Vets Out There? Forum > Overview - ‹bersicht > Discussion - Diskussion
This is quite a long story and has been an on going topic on another forum but I have been advised to post on here as there are alot more experienced people here.

My mare went to stud in May she was covered twice the last date being the 15th May, I have to add up until this point my mare had cycled regulary and every month had come into season. 20 days later we had her scanned, she hadnt returned in season so we thought things were looking good but unfortunately the vet said she wasnt in foal. 10 days later she still hadnt returned in season so we had her scanned again, a different vet this time and he said the same she is not in foal.

My mare up until this point wasnt the easiest of mares to scan needing double sedation and still extremely tense inside making it difficult to look around.

The second vet advised I put her on a short 14 day course of regumate and inject her with Prostaglandin to bring her in, he seemed to think that she wasnt producing big enough follicles in order to ovulate.

So we did this and 7 days after the course she returned in season and was covered 3 times last date being 11th July, I decided to bring her home and have her scanned here.

20 days from last covering I had her scanned in foal, I have to mention at this point too the vet kept asking if this was 20 days, she said she would come back in 10 days time just to take she was holding as she wasnt happy with the shape she said it wasnt as round as it should be.

She scanned again still in foal but by this time she thought she had detected twins, I can only describe it as a small sac inside the embryo, only one clear visible heartbeat and the other sac was completely empty she said she was quite sure there was only one but since I needed her out 6 days later for vaccinations she said she would bring her scanner and just double check for me.

So I have her out again this time she is certain there are twins and sees two visible heartbeats, she doesnt feel experienced enough to seperate as its quite unusual it appears they are completely ontop of each other and attached.

A more experienced vet came out the following day to examine her, by this stage the foetus should be roughly 37 days, well when he looked he said it was really bizarre he didnt beleive the foetus to be this young it was so well developed. He had a really good look found what appeared to be the sac attached inside but could only see one heartbeat again he said it could be if the foetus was conceived from the first covering which would make it at this stage roughly 93 days old, that it could be just be where it is growing and changing shape.

So anyway by this stage im even more confused than ever, im still not 100% sure I dont have twins and now face the possibilty of the foal being older than expected. This is my first time breeding I might add, I have been trying to do my own research and find explanantions. I asked the vet why then at 20 days was no heartbeat visible he said its possible the other vet because she thought it was only 20days had no reason to go looking for a heartbeat.

I wanted to know why if she conceived the first time did the prostaglandin not abort the foal, I have since learnt that the foetus would of been about 41 days by the time she was injected and by this stage the endometrial cups would have also formed. The vet told me the injection doesnt always work in aborting either.

I had the vet today to scan again as he wanted to double check for twins as the other vet was sure she had seen 2 heartbeats, he said something about its possible she was looking at it from an angle where it was showing the same heartbeat from a funny angle and had she of known she was looking at an older foetus she might not have thought it was twins.

Well today still only one foetus, could only see one heartbeat, he felt alot hapier that it had all come together and appeared neater, the sac that was causing the confusion was no longer visible, however he couldnt get as clear picture as last time it had moved position so it was harder for him to be certain how old it was.

He took a picture for me anyway and for any of you experts maybe you can make more sense of this than I can, this picture is either of a 41 day or 97 day foetus blink.gif


The number one rule you have to remember when it comes to equine repoduction is that there are no rules! I can completely understand your plight and hope this website will help you. Since i'm not familiar with that particular US and it's settings it's difficult to tell, but if you have a look a these pictures it may help you. Also, as far as learning this website and forum are extremely helpful and have some incredible informational articles that are very easy to follow.

Mary Ellen
I would send that scan to Jos at They also have a Yahoo group you might want to join.

I suppose it's possible that she was bred the first time and the Prostaglandin did not cause a reabsorbing of the embryo. I find it silly they had you put her on Regumate because mares will ovulate even in the face of high progesterone levels...this is why P&E is used over Regumate.

And that perhaps she had conceived twins and what you've been seeing this whole time is her body taking care of the twin on its own....just because a mare conceives with twins does not mean the body allows this to happen and more often then not the body takes care of that extra embryo on its own.

The only thing I can add is that usually, after about 90 days of pregnancy the fetus is too large to pick up on ultrasound...having dropped over the pelvic the fact that you have it on ultrasound "might" mean it is not as old as everyone thinks it is.

Personally, if I had to guess I would tell you that that is not a 90+ day fetus....

This will help you.
Thank you Mary Ellen I did in actual fact come across this website earlier on today in my search for other pictures so I could compare. The picture of the foetus at 50 days is what I could clearly see when the vet scanned the time before it was possibly even more developed than this, which would make sense as it would of been 93 days this is what made him say it was not 37 days old. It was just unfortunate that today we couldnt get a clear visible picture, I guess the only thing I can do is wait and see when it pops out rolleyes.gif
Thanks McKulley, the vet today did have a hard job finding it as he said it had started to go over the pelvic rim like you mention, although when she started to relax it hadnt gone over as far as he had thought.

I asked my vet about the regumate and he said if it was him he wouldnt, but then after to speaking to the other vets who advised I do it as he said chances are the PG injection on its own wouldnt work, I took his advice over my own vet as I only planned to try one more time before I brought her home so thought it best I try everything I can.
You did mention that she was very tense...perhaps she is very tense and very compact inside and her fetus' may not fall over the rim quite on time.

Still, I'd pass it by Jos.
There are lots of things it could be. Will give a couple of OPINIONS.
In general competent ultrasound techs can age a fetus by size and shape and should be able to tell conculsively between a 20 day vessicle and a 40+ day embryo. The only confusion might be between a large cyst and a vessicle prior to the hearbeat being detectable or if a cyst or cysts were right beside the pregnancy giving the appearance of twin. This is why you should have the repro tract scanned before breeding so you know if there are cysts present that could be confused as a pg or a twin To answer your question on the prostaglandin shot- they do not always work if given after a hearbeat has formed and especially after cup formation starts, and I wonder why they would have given her the progesterone prior to the prostaglandin if the goal was to start over as it just gave the cups time to get further along in development. Ideally you want to use prostaglandin prior to 30 days. . It is entirely possible she had a retained cl which would have caused her not to cycle back which the prostaglandin would have fixed on its own. Its not the way we would do it at any rate. But without all the facts, I can only say that I find it odd, not that your vet was wrong.

Its also possible that the second "sac" the vet saw was a cyst- and the ultrasound tech would normally have been measuring and recording the size of both to determine if there was growth of both to help determine if it was a twin or cyst or cysts beside the pregnancy. The tech should also definitely be able to tell the difference between a 90 and 40 day pregnancy. A 90 day pregnancy usually will not fit on the ultrasound screen in its entirety, even on the small view. I am familiar with this model of ultrsound and have never gotten a 90 day pg to show up on the screen. That saying the pic you posted is not a good shot, very hard to see anything conclusive in it.
There is also a possibility that the second sac was a twin that didn't make it and all that remained was the empty sac. Twin pregnancies often result in one fetus regressing on its own. Its really hard to say without more detailed info.

Hope this helped. I have a BS in Equine Repro and 15 years as breeding manager, so have some experience. But you should always follow your vets' advice over internet advice, it can be a great way to educate yourself but never replaces your vet. If you have any doubts seek a second opinion from another repro vet.

Michelle Salmon
Interesting really - I can't see that it would be a 90-100 day old fetus myself.

Regumate is used a lot in the UK for mares who are not cycling. The idea is to put the mare on regumate for 14 days, prostaglandin shot half way through the course, causing a surge to make the mare ovulate - which was done in this instance.

Kirsty, i think you should send the story and scan pic off as sugested here. Personally I can't see how two experienced breeding vets would have missed the embryo at approx 20 and then 30 days, but it does happen, then I can't see how another vet cannot determine even an approx age - seems odd.
Thank you Sandy, I did have her scanned before I decided to breed from her because I wanted to make sure everything was ok, she is an older mare being 15 and had her only foal 11 years ago. Everything appeared fine and no cysts at the time before sending her away.

I think to be honest it will just remain a mystery as to what really happened and whether there was a twin or not, I am satisfied with my vets decision that there was only one so im happy to leave her be now and let her enjoy her pregnancy, I dont want to hassle her anymore by having her scanned, she has been through enough already.

I only ask just to educate myself more and try to have a better understanding I find it all quite fascinating.

Must have posted at same time Michelle, I know it doesnt make sense does it, although in all fairness to my vet he was sure it was older than 37 days but wasnt sure he would of aged it at 90+ he just said well if the dates are correct and it is older it must be blink.gif
I know someone who now takes blood samples and sends them into a lab so that she doesnt have to have the vet palpate her mares.

She said she gets the results back pretty fast, not sure "how fast" and that the test cost about half of what shes charged for a palpation.

Something to consider from now on getting when getting your mare checked for a foal.

Personally, if I had a mare whod been showing a regular heat cycle then stopped coming into season after being bred, NO MATTER what the vet said, Id consider the mare in foal anyway but thats just me.

I bet your mare has a more mature fetus than you initally thought she did.
I think the only problem with a blood test though is you cant tell if the mare is carrying twins.

We have had some strange weather here in the UK which has caused alot of mares to not cycle properly and a number of people have had troubles getting mares into foal, my mare can sometimes be quite stressy and before going off to stud hadnt been anywhere for several years so it did cross my mind that the changes had played a part in her not coming back into season.
This is a "lo-fi" version of our main content. To view the full version with more information, formatting and images, please click here.
Invision Power Board © 2001-2016 Invision Power Services, Inc.