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TihliLouise 08-02-2009 11:17 AM

Pregnancy Query - Veterinary
A friend of mine has a mare, hopefully in foal. They put her to the stallion while she had her previous (first) foal at foot last year, and the stud were very vague on covering dates. As a consequence, although the friend in question has had broodmares almost all her working life - she is a BHS riding instructor and owns her own yard - she is unsure as to whether or not the mare is pregnant, or exactly how far gone she is.

The mare didn't get very big in her first pregnancy, and we all know that size isn't generally a good external sign anyway, but before bringing in any veterinary tests or ultrasound, we were wondering if the foal's heartbeat could be heard upon use of a stethoscope.

I'm a first year veterinary student and as such, although I've not done reproduction in detail, I have my own stethoscope, so I thought I would at least have a go if it was possible, before bringing in the vet.

If it is possible to hear the sound of the foal's heartbeat, is it easily distinguishable from the mare's, and what would be the best placement of the stethoscope to be able to hear it? Would the intestinal movements be a problem when attempting to hear a heartbeat?

Thanks, I'm new to the forum, and I apologise if this question has been asked before, but I did search 'stethoscope' and apparently there were no posts.

If I've done something wrong in searching as I did, any pointers would be very helpful, as they would if anyone has any suggestions at all.

cayuseranch 08-02-2009 11:49 AM

My vet said that he would have to palpatate my mare, that it was too difficult to discern the mare's from the foals with a stethescope. If you have one though, I would do it just for fun lol.

TihliLouise 08-02-2009 12:42 PM

Thank you! That's what I thought myself, but I wanted to check just in case.

Hehe, of course I'll do it for fun anyway! I'm sure all my animals want to run away and hide when they see me bouncing along with my stethoscope - it never gets old!

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