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  1. #1
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    Sep. 17, 2003
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    Default Mare still not pregnant

    I was reading some great information in the Hcg vs Desorlorin thread. Maybe someone will have some advice to help our mare.

    We have a 13 y/o maiden Hannoverian mare who refuses to get pregnant. The vets are doing everything by the book in terms of getting the semen in at the right time. Lots of ultrasounds to track the progress. Followed the oxytocin protocal. Used mezipristol (spelling?) to relax the uterus so more fluid will get out.

    So far I had multiple attempts at fresh semen and 2 attempts with frozen semen. One of the frozen semen attempts was with Jazz semen which I have heard good things about for getting maiden mares pregnant. NO Pregnancy. It is getting very frustrating.

    Is the embryo not bonding to the uterine wall?

    It has been 2 years now. I am ready to quit. Can someone give me reason to hope the mare might get pregnant.

    Thanks,
    Dan



  2. #2
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    Dec. 14, 2007
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    Wilsonville, Ontario, CANADA
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    Default

    Is she pooling fluid post breeding?

    Have you done a culture / biopsy / cytology on her?

    The embryo wouldnt be bonding to anything that early - it would still be free floating around

    Are the vets good repro vets that have done a lot of repro work before on other mares with good success?



  3. #3
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    Default

    Agree with True Colors about the biopsy. And from our experience, we've never gotten a mare with a cervix that doesn't open (or barely opens) to get or stay pregnant (our vet is a great repro vet and has never had one), which sounds like an issue your mare has. We have two mares that have this issue and one won't get in foal and the other gets in foal every time but loses it repeatedly at about 15 days - in foal 6 of 8 breedings, frustrating!! We are using her for ET now which is working great.

    Both have a IIA biopsy that shows some fibrosis, which is likely why the cervix won't function properly. One is 19 and has had 6 foals, and one is 7 and has had 2 foals. We have done the oxytocin like mad, tried everything else in the world and just can't get them to carry. They both pool some fluid. But, we have a couple other other mares that pool some fluid too, but their cervixes open readily and the oxy does the trick, and they are in foal. There is something critical about the cervical operation, maybe Equine-Repro can expand... you'd think even with misoprostol (sp?) it would work but I think the lack of operation says something about the quality of the uterine tissue?
    Signature Sporthorses
    www.signaturesporthorses.com



  4. #4
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    Nov. 28, 2003
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    MO
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    Default

    Older maiden mares can be a nightmare. It sounds like fluid is a problem, hence the misoprostol. It would be worthwhile doing a culture/cytology and biopsy if you haven't already. However, I've had mares whose cervix just wouldn't loosen up and they are very, very difficult to get pregnant. Sometimes by flushing with saline after breeding, getting very agressive with the misoprostol and oxytocin (and even using some prostaglandin post breeding to clear fluid) you can get a pregnancy but I've certainly seen very well managed mares just not get pregnant.

    FWIW a uterine biopsy will not tell you about the condition of the cervix, and a IIA biopsy (mentioned by someone else) is actually a good biopsy score and those mares (if they don't have other issues) do go on to get pregnant more often than not.
    Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm."
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  5. #5
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    Wynnewood, Oklahoma
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    I was reading some great information in the Hcg vs Desorlorin thread. Maybe someone will have some advice to help our mare.

    We have a 13 y/o maiden Hannoverian mare who refuses to get pregnant. The vets are doing everything by the book in terms of getting the semen in at the right time. Lots of ultrasounds to track the progress. Followed the oxytocin protocal. Used mezipristol (spelling?) to relax the uterus so more fluid will get out.
    It sounds like, your mare is probably having issues with fluid clearance more than anything. While at 13 she is certainly not old, as a maiden mare, it can be more difficult getting her in foal. I would probably avoid the use of frozen semen on her at all. Misoprostol can be effective at assisting in the relaxation of a tight cervix, but often requires repeated applications. We will often manually dilate the cervix in mares that have a really tight cervix.

    As others have noted, a uterine biopsy, culture and cytology may be appropriate if they have not been done. One other thing that may be an option is that OCCASIONALLY mares will have anti-sperm antibodies to a specific stallion. Try changing stallions. Use one that is well known for having phenomenal fertility, as well, just to hedge your "bets".

    With a mare that is retaining fluid, the oxytocin protocol "is" effective, but it MUST be followed and those middle of the night shots are imperative for success. I find that's where most failures occur - people just blow off the middle of the night shots. Anyone that talks with us during the height of breeding season KNOWS that sleep deprivation is an UGLY thing <lol>. But, it's also probably one of the biggest reasons that we "do" have as much success as we do with some of the mares we deal with. We end up, especially this time of year, with a LOT of problem mares and often it truly is just a matter of managing them closely and being diligent with the oxytocin. Giving one or two injections a day won't cut it with a mare that is pooling fluid badly. You might get away with it if the mare has a little issue, but with one that is having a huge inflammatory reaction, nope.

    Is the embryo not bonding to the uterine wall?
    Is the mare conceiving at all? Fixation does not occur until around day 16/17. does the mare have multiple cysts? If they are large and there are lots, that "can" impede the movement of the embryo during the early stages of pregnancy where the embryo needs to travel throughout the uterus to establish early pregnancy recognition in the mare. When most pregnancy checks are done (around day 14) the conceptus is still traveling around the uterus. But, it is quite easy to locate via ultrasound.

    It has been 2 years now. I am ready to quit. Can someone give me reason to hope the mare might get pregnant.

    Thanks,
    Dan
    Without knowing all the details and some of the questions that have been asked, that's a million dollar question. Heck even having all the answers, it's still a million dollar question <lol>.

    Good luck!
    Equine-Reproduction.com Now offering one on one customized training!
    Leg-Up Equestrian Assistance Program, Inc. A 501(c)(3) non-profit charity



  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hillside H Ranch View Post

    FWIW a uterine biopsy will not tell you about the condition of the cervix, and a IIA biopsy (mentioned by someone else) is actually a good biopsy score and those mares (if they don't have other issues) do go on to get pregnant more often than not.

    I agree, we thought with a IIA we would not be bad off ("50 to 80% chance of pregnancy")... but even with all the oxytocin in the world it just hasn't happened. Now the one mare gets in foal every time but loses it religiously at ~14-16 days (we can see it at 12 but by 14 it's fading). Why would that be I really wonder? We flushed an embryo from her about a month ago easily but the recip did not keep it.

    Kathy, what kind of luck have you had with mares with tight cervixes? Just plainly curious.

    Sorry to hijack! Just trying to share experiences if that helps at all. We have been through similar money hemorage and frustration for sure. Keep us posted!
    Signature Sporthorses
    www.signaturesporthorses.com



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov. 21, 2007
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    Eastern PA
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    884

    Default

    I have a TB mare that was just confirmed in foal on day 19 that I'd been trying to get pregnant for over three years. To say I'm ecstatic is an understatement, but still I'm holding my breath until there's a heartbeat detected.

    Her "issues" are multiple. She's (now) a ten year old maiden who has completely silent heats, has a massive inflammatory response to being bred, AND a very tight cervix. She HAS checked in foal twice in the past (before the embryo would have fixed), but was empty at the 30 day check. Her biopsy score is a IIA, but she has had uterine infections in the past -- my guess caused by the massive inflammatory response she gets to being bred. Last year, we cleaned up the latest infection via lavages with saline & antibiotics.

    So, this year comes around, and I decided to throw everything but the kitchen sink at her. First, we did a culture (clean - yay!) and a DMSO lavage on her in order to clean out any biofilms there might be in her uterus from past infections hindering embryo implantation. Then we put her on the P&E protocol to make life easier and pinpoint ovulation, as her heats are completely silent. At the time of breeding, we gave her a good dose of IV Dexamethsone (in hopes of preventing the inflammatory response), and rubbed Misoprostol cream on her cervix to loosen it up and aid in clearance. Five hours post breeding, we gave her a saline lavage in order to clear out surplus semen -- which is the cause of the inflammatory response, and more Misoprostol cream on the cervix. (From what I understand, the sperm are where they need to be within 4 hours of breeding, so flushing after that point will not hinder conception). I then did the Oxytocin protocol religiously, every six hours, until a day past ovulation.

    When we ultrasounded her a day after breeding, there was NO fluid. NO inflammatory response at all. I honestly believe that by preventing the inflammation from happening in the first place, it keeps the whole thing from snowballing. There is less fluid to clear -- which is difficult for my mare due to her tight cervix. But I also think that using the Misoprostol at the height of her potential reaction, coupled with the oxytocin protocol, helped immensely.

    Now, from what I understand, the fact that we had a positive preg check on day 19 means the embryo has successfully implanted, so we made it over that hump, but I AM still holding my breath, however!

    I hope this gives you hope!
    Last edited by jdeboer01; Jul. 13, 2010 at 12:08 PM. Reason: fix
    www.sauconycreeksporthorses.com
    Dedicated to breeding Friesian Sporthorses
    with world class pedigrees and sport suitability



  8. #8
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    Sep. 17, 2003
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    Howell, Michigan
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TrueColours View Post
    Is she pooling fluid post breeding?

    Have you done a culture / biopsy / cytology on her?

    The embryo wouldnt be bonding to anything that early - it would still be free floating around

    Are the vets good repro vets that have done a lot of repro work before on other mares with good success?
    She is pooling a small amount of fluid. Seems persistent.

    We did the culture and biopsy. Both came back good. Did not do a cytology.

    The vet is very good. Getting a lot of other mares pregnant.



  9. #9
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    Sep. 17, 2003
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    Howell, Michigan
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Signature View Post
    Agree with True Colors about the biopsy. And from our experience, we've never gotten a mare with a cervix that doesn't open (or barely opens) to get or stay pregnant (our vet is a great repro vet and has never had one), which sounds like an issue your mare has. We have two mares that have this issue and one won't get in foal and the other gets in foal every time but loses it repeatedly at about 15 days - in foal 6 of 8 breedings, frustrating!! We are using her for ET now which is working great.

    Both have a IIA biopsy that shows some fibrosis, which is likely why the cervix won't function properly. One is 19 and has had 6 foals, and one is 7 and has had 2 foals. We have done the oxytocin like mad, tried everything else in the world and just can't get them to carry. They both pool some fluid. But, we have a couple other other mares that pool some fluid too, but their cervixes open readily and the oxy does the trick, and they are in foal. There is something critical about the cervical operation, maybe Equine-Repro can expand... you'd think even with misoprostol (sp?) it would work but I think the lack of operation says something about the quality of the uterine tissue?
    Yes this sounds like my mare. The cervix does not want to open all the way.

    Dan



  10. #10
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    Sep. 17, 2003
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    Howell, Michigan
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    Default

    Thanks Kathy, I was hoping you would respond.

    Quote Originally Posted by Equine Reproduction View Post
    It sounds like, your mare is probably having issues with fluid clearance more than anything. While at 13 she is certainly not old, as a maiden mare, it can be more difficult getting her in foal. I would probably avoid the use of frozen semen on her at all. Misoprostol can be effective at assisting in the relaxation of a tight cervix, but often requires repeated applications. We will often manually dilate the cervix in mares that have a really tight cervix.
    I had not heard about manually dilating the cervix this is new. Our vet did repeatably apply the misprostal as well as the middle of the night oxytocin.

    The vet did not mention any cysts.


    Quote Originally Posted by Equine Reproduction View Post

    Is the mare conceiving at all? Fixation does not occur until around day 16/17. does the mare have multiple cysts? If they are large and there are lots, that "can" impede the movement of the embryo during the early stages of pregnancy where the embryo needs to travel throughout the uterus to establish early pregnancy recognition in the mare. When most pregnancy checks are done (around day 14) the conceptus is still traveling around the uterus. But, it is quite easy to locate via ultrasound.
    No embryo. We have been repeatably optimistic because timing for the semen was perfect. Ultrasounds have been on day 15 to 18 and nothing is there. There are usually signs at this point that the mare is cycling again.

    Our vet did recommend having an endoscope done on the mare to make sure everything was in working order. Dr. Bennett in Kentucky was recommended.

    Thanks,
    Dan
    Last edited by Dan; Jul. 13, 2010 at 05:49 PM. Reason: no cysts



  11. #11
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    Sep. 17, 2003
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    Howell, Michigan
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hillside H Ranch View Post
    Sometimes by flushing with saline after breeding, getting very agressive with the misoprostol and oxytocin (and even using some prostaglandin post breeding to clear fluid) you can get a pregnancy but I've certainly seen very well managed mares just not get pregnant.
    .
    Our vet did do the post breeding saline flush.

    I have never heard of using prostaglandin post breeding. I thought this stopped the pregnancy. I may be confusing my drugs.

    Thanks,
    Dan



  12. #12
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    Default

    Interesting about the prosti being given post breeding. I'd like to know more as well. The prosti acts on an active CL right, so if there is no CL yet due to recent ovulation, it can't "hurt" anything, or can it? Does it just cause some contracting of the uterus as well, like the oxytocin?
    Signature Sporthorses
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    Our vet did do the post breeding saline flush.

    I have never heard of using prostaglandin post breeding. I thought this stopped the pregnancy. I may be confusing my drugs.

    Thanks,
    Dan
    <smile>...No, you're not confusing your drugs. Prostaglandin is used to lyse a corpus luteum, but it can also have other benefits when dealing with mares with "issues". Cloprostenol (Estrumate) is extremely effective in dealing with uterine clearance issues and can be used up to one day post ovulation (some will use it two days post ovulation) as it works much like oxytocin but is much longer lasting. And remember, that prior to ovulation, there is no CL so any prostaglandin isn't going to stop a pregnancy that's not there yet. Make sense? Prostaglandin causes smooth muscle contractions (remember your mares cramping when higher doses of prostaglandin?) which of course is going to cause the uterus to contract and hopefully assist in uterine clearance.

    Signature, we have really good luck with mares that are prone to having a tight cervix. The biggest issue is trying to make sure that they cervix relaxes enough to deal with any fluid and to make sure that any fluid gets out before the end of the cycle. Manual dilation, misoprostol, oxytocin, cloprostenol, etc....all of them come into use. We also use judicious amounts of estrogen to increase the blood supply to the uterus. But, it does require diligence. Lots of it.

    Hope that helps.
    Equine-Reproduction.com Now offering one on one customized training!
    Leg-Up Equestrian Assistance Program, Inc. A 501(c)(3) non-profit charity



  14. #14
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    Default

    Thanks for sharing Kathy!

    Another piece of advice I got for next year was to use lights to get her ready for breeding earlier in the year. Don't want to wait till it gets hotter out.

    I am starting to feel better about giving it one more try. Just hope the money flow keeps coming in. Breeding is expensive.

    Dan



  15. #15
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    Yes, thanks Kathy! Very interesting! Will use your tips for sure.

    I am with you, Dan... breeding is not for the faint of heart OR pocketbook!!
    Signature Sporthorses
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    Thanks for sharing Kathy!

    Another piece of advice I got for next year was to use lights to get her ready for breeding earlier in the year. Don't want to wait till it gets hotter out.

    I am starting to feel better about giving it one more try. Just hope the money flow keeps coming in. Breeding is expensive.

    Dan
    We breed LOTS of mares and living in the heart of QH country, we end up with a lot of breeders wanting foals early in the season. You're bucking Mother Nature. Yeah...you can put them under lights and yeah, you'll get them cycling and yeah, many will have good success. BUT (and that's a bit BUT)...Mother Nature can be insistent that the optimal time for foals to be born, especially if you're in a colder, northern climate, is April, May and June! Lots of nice fresh, green grass, weather is more temperate, etc. While we have good success breeding mares early, we have better success when it's the natural breeding/foaling season. We don't even start messing with our own mares until April. We wait until they are completely shed out and that's usually when we can be pretty darn sure that they are cycling normally and regularly. Your choice <smile>...but if I were in your position, I'd probably be more inclined to not buck Mother Nature and attempt to work more in tandem with her! Good luck!
    Equine-Reproduction.com Now offering one on one customized training!
    Leg-Up Equestrian Assistance Program, Inc. A 501(c)(3) non-profit charity



  17. #17
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    I vigorously second Kathy re "natural breeding season".
    I no longer even attempt April inseminations (I live in Ontario, Canada), but hold till May. When the coats are shed out, usually the hormones are working too.



  18. #18
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    Thanks Kathy and Sunnydays.

    Sunnydays...loved seeing the video of all your foals. You have a first rate breeding program.

    Dan



  19. #19
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Equine Reproduction View Post
    <smile>...No, you're not confusing your drugs. Prostaglandin is used to lyse a corpus luteum, but it can also have other benefits when dealing with mares with "issues". Cloprostenol (Estrumate) is extremely effective in dealing with uterine clearance issues and can be used up to one day post ovulation (some will use it two days post ovulation) as it works much like oxytocin but is much longer lasting. And remember, that prior to ovulation, there is no CL so any prostaglandin isn't going to stop a pregnancy that's not there yet. Make sense? Prostaglandin causes smooth muscle contractions (remember your mares cramping when higher doses of prostaglandin?) which of course is going to cause the uterus to contract and hopefully assist in uterine clearance.
    Kathy,
    Do you also do the oxytocin regime at the same time?

    Thanks,
    Dan



  20. #20
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    Jun. 5, 2006
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    Default Plasma

    Dan,

    I know a saline flush was mentioned, but has your vet ever mentioned a plasma infusion post breeding?

    I have a mare that sounds just like yours. She was a maiden we had bred 13 times, over three years, to two separate stallions with no luck and no apparent reason for her lack of fertility. We cultured and biopsied and always did the oxytocin and misoprostol protocols. And I have a GREAT repro vet. I was completely ready to give up.

    Last year after a few tries we experimented with doing a plasma infusion post breeding and what do you know, we FINALLY had conception. The pregnancy and foaling was normal and this March she gave me a fabulous colt. We skipped the foal heat and rebred without using the plasma in April and she didn't take. We short cycled her, bred again this time using the plasma and again we have conception. This will now be the protocol for this mare every time.

    I know that this theory is considered a little old fashioned, but I can't ignore the results with my mare. Maybe Kathy can chime in here with some more facts on it....


    Karen
    New Blessing Farm
    Standing the Oldenburg stallion Legaczy
    www.newblessingfarm.com
    "The greatest oak was once a little nut who held its ground".



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