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HorseGirlLovesHorses 02-07-2012 01:42 AM

I am confused about my mares pregnancy
My mare is a pure thoroughbred mare and, according to the people I bought her off, has good blood lines. Basically she was pasture bred without my knowing. This occoured a few times from April-July last year as far as the owner has told me. (As I said I had no idea that this was happening while I wasn't there and the owner didn't bother to contact me about any of the incidents). As soon as I found out I immediatly moved my horse off the property and had her checked for pregnancy. The vet palpated her and said she was definitaly pregnant and he could only feel one foal so there was no need for sonogram. (We questioned it but he said that it was almost impossible that there was twins from what he felt would cost a fair bit of money to get a scan done. He also didn't have the equiptment on him). Since we found out she has been on special pellots and her food has increased and is up to date on her shots, farrier, worming and just general health. The vet said it was hard to tell but he thought the foal was due around the end of May- June from what he could tell. Yesterday I had my mare checked by a different vet. (My vet was on holiday for a month and I thought I would get a check up for her and the foal to make sure everything was running smoothly with the pregnancy). Yesterday she couldn't tell how old my mare was, wanted to palpate her through the fence cause she was scared of my horse's height (she is a perfectly behaved horse and has never behaved poorly. She is 16.3 hands)and generally seemed to be unexperienced and not sure what she was doing. The thing that got me worried is, during the exam she said she is not sure if my mare is having twins and she is in the middle-late part of third trimester. First she said we were looking at my mare foaling around end of Feb- March. Then she said she thinks around May after we said what the other vet said but over all she thinks somewhere between the end of this month and the end of May.( Which is not very helpful with a 4 month margin and when we told her what the other vet said she basically just repeated it) She said the foal is fully developed and she definitaly won't foal in the next couple of weeks but after that she is not sure when and she didn't have the equiptment to do a scan to tell us. I am freaking out with the new date and not having time to prepare if it really is coming that quickly. If it is twins what do I do? Is it likely? And how do I go about getting my mare ready especially since I am not sure when she is due? I have checked too and her stomach has "dropped" low compared to her normal stomach but there is no milk in her teats yet.(before the pregnancy she was full of muscle) I have also felt the foal kick quite hard about 2 weeks ago. She hasn't been moving around much lately either and has been more solitary then when she usually talks to the horses in the paddock next to her. I have got a foaling stall but I thought that I had a few more months to fully get it prepared and do more research for the birth and signs but I am not sure. And I can't get my vet back out for at least another month and if it really is the end of Feb- Mar she may have already foaled! Getting another vet out is not an option too unless their is change in her or she looks like she is about to foal.

My questions are
* How do I properly prepare the foaling stall?
* When do I put my mare in the foaling stall?
* What are some other signs to look for that my mare is getting close?
* Are there any good web pages or books that anyone could reccomend for this?
* Is there anything in particular that I should be doing now or looking for?
* Some tips for after the birth?

All help is appreciated. I know it may be a bit hard to understand some of what I am saying and I may have left out some parts but that is because I am really sick in bed with an upper respitory infection and possible whouping cough so please bare with me. Thankyou for all comments too and for all criticisms. :-)

SorrelHorse 02-07-2012 02:01 AM

Okay. First off, do some research through some books and I'm sure youtube will have some visuals for you. Get your normal vet to tell you what you will need to prepare, or better yet, as him to come out near the time of the foaling or find someone who does know about this to help you.

As far as prepping the foaling stall, it needs to be bigger than a normal stall. Lay down a bunch of straw and make sure there's no sharp edges on the floor/walls/door the momma or baby could get hung up on. I don't know the dimensions of the foaling stall we have and I am not an expert on this, but I would say it is easily twice as big as our normal box stalls.

Get someone who knows what they are doing to show you everything. I can describe to you the foaling process with ours but in all honesty my Mom has always just kinda taken control and hasn't explained much to me so I only know what I've looked for myself. Good luck - Maybe go down to your local bookstore and sit around to read for a couple hours.

HorseGirlLovesHorses 02-07-2012 05:13 AM

Thankyou SorrelHorse for your reply. The foaling stall is around 8m - 4m in width and length. It has it's own private paddock 10m -10m and is wooden.

rbarlo32 02-07-2012 05:31 AM

foaling signs
I found this very helpful when Molly was in foal they also have foaling diaries (however mos are shetland mares) to show how the mare changes during their pregnancy.
Hope this helps

ilovemyPhillip 02-07-2012 09:44 AM

I don't know if you said, but for the twins question I would get a sonagram (I feel like I spelt that wrong).

I'm glad you're a responsible owner, thank you.
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Joie 02-07-2012 09:50 AM

What country do you live in, HorseGirlLovesHorses?

Super Nova 02-07-2012 10:18 AM

I would call in a repo specialist as it does not sound like the last vet is very need to know if she is having twins as it could be critical to her surviving.....I know a mare that was not supposed to be having twins and no one was there to help her and she died along with both foals.

You need to be properly informed in order to be prepared.

Also you said as soon as you found out your mare was pregnant you increased her don't really need to increase until about 9 months it possible that your mare is just now fat or fat and only has one foal?

I know some one did live cover with their mare and just assumed she was pregnant because she did not come back into season and ended up increasing her feed from the beginning spring they had a fat mare and no foal.

Super Nova

trainerunlimited 02-07-2012 03:34 PM

Blessed are the Broodmares is a great book! I bought it when I was 16 having my first foal and will read it again about a month prior to my mare foaling. I would say it has all the information you need.

HorseGirlLovesHorses 02-07-2012 06:08 PM

Thankyou everyone for your replies. I live in Australia NSW. Thankyou for the book info too. I will see if I can buy it from my local bookstore. Thankyou for the feeding information too. I changed normal pellots to breeding pellots and have been slowely increasing the feed amount by about a quarter of a scoop a month but you could be very right. My mare might just be a bit fat. I will research reproduction specialists in my area and see when I can get one out as soon as possible. In the mean time any more info would be helpful. And I will also get a foaling diary. I have got some photos but I have to wait till tonight to put them up here. Thanks to the replies again.

Ladybug2001 02-07-2012 06:59 PM

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Well... mares will keep you guessing at every turn before giving up what they are holding. If you think that vet wasn't as experienced as the other vet, I'm not sure how much I would trust her. There are vets that should not be Equine Reproduction Veternarians. My question to you, is the second vet that checked her an Equine Specialist or mostly small animals? The reason I ask, is my vet is mostly small animals but does do equine. She missed my mares foal twice. Once from 16-30 days of age (on a sonogram) and then again at 120 days. Now... to my knowledge that can happen quiet alot. (Only reason I use her is the other Equine vet around here is pshyco and almost got one of my mares killed.)

Also I have a few questions to you... You said her feed changed. How much did you change it by? Normally you wait until the last trimester to change the feed of your mare.

Now to answer your questions.

The stall should be at LEAST 16 x 20. Bedded with straw or hay, not shavings as the shaving will stick to the mares vagina and can also stick to the foals nose and other things, also can cause breathing problems and so on.

This will be difficult but you should put your mare in the enviroment she will foal in a month before her due date. Now, if you choose to somewhat believe the second vet, I would start putting her as soon as you can at night.

Some signs that can give you a hint that your mare is close is a tough one. As all mares and pregnancy's can differ, remember the signs may not be exact in your mare.

A few signs that I know by heart-
  • A month prior to foaling she will "bag" up. Beginning to produce mammary glands.
  • 2 weeks to 2 days before she will begin to wax up. (Normally a good sign, but not always.)
I can't really think of any "good" sites. I've went through them all. Just google "Foaling signs" or "Mare close to foaling". Just play around and you will get a good website sooner or later.

A good habit to get into is checked her udder. Also, touching it. Some mares won't mind you touching it now, but when it gets full and hot they won't be to inclined to let you reach under there.

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