Possible for mare to be pregnant when the vet says no?
   

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Possible for mare to be pregnant when the vet says no?

This is a discussion on Possible for mare to be pregnant when the vet says no? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
  • When can a vet feel if a mare is pregnant
  • How to palpate mare

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    02-07-2013, 05:03 PM
  #1
Foal
Possible for mare to be pregnant when the vet says no?

I had the vet out a month ago to preg check my mare and she said no, I'm wondering if its possible for them to be wrong sometimes? My landlady said that they had a horse once who the vet kept saying no and that she wouldn't catch because she was so overweight. So everyone pitched in and took turns riding her out to try and thin her down and then one day we put her in the stall and the next morning she popped a baby out. So yeah, my mare was in with a stud for 2 months right after she had her baby that passed away a few days after he was born. She's always looked pregnant as she had 3 babies in 3 years but she was starting to slim down because I was riding her every other day and no her belly is starting to look more pronounced.

So can vets be wrong?
     
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    02-07-2013, 05:30 PM
  #2
Yearling
You can always get a second opinion. That would decrease the chances of an incorrect diagnosis.
waresbear likes this.
     
    02-07-2013, 06:05 PM
  #3
Trained
^^ What she said and it depends to on how she was checked. Palpated or ultrasound?
     
    02-08-2013, 10:25 AM
  #4
Foal
I had my <now> very pregnant mare palpated by the vet at 6 months gestation and the vet said, "Not pregnant."

Just to be sure I had her ultra-sounded two weeks later. The answer was, "Maybe pregnant."

I then did a blood test and the answer was, "Definitely pregnant."

Had I gone with the first answer I got, I would have assumed she was not pregnant and not given her any pregnant mare care...
     
    02-08-2013, 11:23 AM
  #5
Yearling
I think that if you presume a mare is pregnant, the best thing you can do is provide the extra care you would, exactly if you knew she was pregnant. THEN if you find out otherwise, no harm, no foul.
     
    02-08-2013, 11:28 AM
  #6
Foal
I just finished reading the thread, "Ooops there's a foal 2013" by FGRanch and that story is a prime example that even if a vet claims that the mare is not pregnant via U/S, surprises can still happen. A great story thread by FGRanch though!
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    02-08-2013, 12:52 PM
  #7
Green Broke
Yes it's possible for a vet to be wrong but in my experience they are right more often than wrong.
     
    02-09-2013, 05:32 PM
  #8
Super Moderator
Let me try to explain what happens when you try to check a mare past 90 days pregnant, especially if you do it by US.

I have palpated literally thousands of mares in the last 45 years. I have never had an US. I quit breeding for the public about the time I needed to get a US unit. Toward the end of my standing stallions, USing mares was getting very popular. But, I cannot tell you how many mares people had a Vet check (usually by US) before sending them to me to breed that were already bred -- usually that winter before to some yearling or the neighbor's stud or their own colts that had not been weaned yet.

After about 70 or 80 days, a mare's uterus has a big enough embryo in it that it falls over in front of the pelvic rim. This varies in mares with maidens taking longer and older mares with many pregnancies (especially if they are low backed and big bellied) happening earlier. Before that time, US is very accurate as is palpation because the pregnancy is right there. You can run the probe over it and can get your hand around it getting very close to exact date.

As soon as the uterus falls over in front of the pelvic rim, it is inaccessible to a hand or an is difficult to find with an US probe until the foal is big enough to run into and identify head and legs.

So, they can be pronounced 'open' by an inexperienced technician or Vet. I never missed them because I was very experienced and very good at palpations. After the uterus 'disappears', you have to go by the 'lack of a uterus' that you can cup your hand around and you can feel the 'tight' stretched ligaments that go from the ovaries to the uterus. You find an ovary (which should be 'active' size and usually has multiple small follicles on it in a Pg mare) and you follow the taught ligament down from it to where the uterus should be. Then you go across the center and go up the other ligament to the other ovary. The ovaries are lower than in an open mare because they are being pulled down by the pregnant uterus.

I actually have taught some Vets how to palpate mares in that time range because they had only been taught to US. Even today, unless I was doing Embryo Transfers or something like that and I HAD to chose between knowing how to US and knowing how to palpate good, I would chose being able to palpate mares. A good Technician can tell you a lot about a mare. I would rather palpate ovaries for a follicle than US the ovaries and can 'feel' if a mare should be treated or cultured or medicated before breeding better than most people that US them. I can 'feel' uterine tone and condition far better than an US can.
     
    02-14-2013, 01:46 AM
  #9
Foal
Yes! I had a mare that was examined by a vet at 7 months. He said the mare was not in foal. Four months later she gave birth to a filly. Never used that vet again.
     
    02-14-2013, 02:54 AM
  #10
Started
Vets are human too Yes most definitely can make mistakes & have known cases that they have.Some vets are just more skilled/experienced than others too I have Never had one missed confirming pregnancy but have had once were they missed twins.I had vets use both methods, palpation's & use of Ultrasounds for conformations. Lesson learned the hard way the missed twins was just a palpated confirmation of pregnancy,After that I have always had mares ultra sounded. Since then I have had twins detected by ultrasound{successfully treated} & also mares confirmed in early pregnancy but vet felt they may not hang on to it recommending recheck in week or 2 & sure enough they dumped
     

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foals, mares, pregnant, vets

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