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Update: Helen the blind/pregnant mare

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  • Update: Helen the blind/pregnant mare

    I know a bunch of you were following the epic saga of Helen when her situation was questionable and aksed I give updates.
    I have now had her with me for a month and her progress towards foaling is basically unchanged.
    This week I had an equine reproductive specialist from my vet clinic ultrasound and palpate her to see if everything was normal. Given that we have no breeding date and as far as we know, she could have been exposed to a stallion as late as January 2011 when she was removed from her property, we cannot guess at when she is due. She is quite large and has a sizeable, very active foal in her belly. However, the foal is still hanging very low and is small enough to flip around quite often. Helen shows no physical signs of preparing to foal and the baby is not even close to getting in position.
    So, we are guessing Helen is going to wait at least another month, definitely weeks away. We will still monitor her progress daily, looking for any changes.
    She is now all shed out, very black and shiny. She is super sweet, easy to handle, gets around very well with her disabilty.
    I will be sure to let you all know when any changes occur! Again, if you want to see the latest news and pictures, please visit our facebook page at Begin Again Horse Rescue and feel free to look up our website at www.beginagainrescue.com. We have been approved by this site to ask for donations to our cause. Any help is so greatly appreciated for Helen and the others in need. If you do not choose to contribute, that's ok too. Your kind words and advice are also welcome.
    Thanks for all your support here.

  • #2
    Thank you so much for the update.

    FYI: I think this is the correct link to your organization:

    http://www.beginagainrescue.org/
    The virtual "woodshed" seems the only remedy for willful fools .

    Comment


    • #3
      I will admit I have not followed this, and hate to be a ßitch, however, shouldn't a repro specialist be able to give you a date within a week or so?? Sort of the way a human Ob/gyn can make a guess based on the ultrasound.

      Good luck with her, make sure to take extra care with her. Expect extra foal vet bills with a blind and anxious Momma.

      LBR
      I reject your reality, and substitute my own- Adam Savage

      R.I.P Ron Smith, you'll be greatly missed

      Comment


      • #4
        Thanks for the update on Helen. I was wondering about her just this week. Seems to me that if she is still a month from foaling, that gives Helen and the foal more time for good groceries, development, and adjustment to the new surroundings before the b'day. Looking forward to seeing pix of the wee one when he/she finally makes it into this crazy world.
        "And I will be an embarrassment to all
        Who have not found the peace in being free
        to have a horse as a best friend."

        Comment


        • #5
          Is she at Bristol Valley Training Center or at Begin Again Rescue? i have seen her pix on both facebook sites (and/or the websites). Or has Begin Again moved to Bristol Valley?

          And how are her eyes? I saw one of the new pictures again on the site, and that right eye looks swollen, just like an active case of ERU. (A draft pony at one barn arrived with eyes just like that and untreated. When he got here the vet examined him and put him on medication to control the ERU.) I know it's a picture, but that eye looks bad.

          I know it's not your fault BV (which I presume stands for Bristol Valley?) but how could someone experienced with horses have said that mare was "about to foal" in February and now you say she was "exposed" to a stallion in Jamary? Do you mean the stud at AC in Walker Co.? Then she'd have only been in foal one month when she went to NY? It's confusing that someone could confuse a mare in foal for one month with a mare who was "about to foal."

          There have been a lot of contradictions concerning the health and all the circumstances surrounding Helen, none of them OP's fault.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ladybugred View Post
            I will admit I have not followed this, and hate to be a ßitch, however, shouldn't a repro specialist be able to give you a date within a week or so?? Sort of the way a human Ob/gyn can make a guess based on the ultrasound.

            LBR
            The short answer to your question is "NO". Without a breeding date it is really a guessing game. Even WITH a breeding date, mares can deliver normal healthy foals between 320 to 365+ days.

            Mares often go in their own sweet time, and can go from no signs of preparation to foaling in just a few hours. If you don't believe me, go over to the breeder's forum and ask! This happens all the time and one of the reasons breeders are so stressed out during foaling season.

            Good luck to Helen and her wee one. I really hope she lands on her feet.

            SCFarm
            The above post is an opinion, just an opinion. If it were a real live fact it would include supporting links to websites full of people who already agreed with me.

            www.southern-cross-farm.com

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by ladybugred View Post
              I will admit I have not followed this, and hate to be a ßitch, however, shouldn't a repro specialist be able to give you a date within a week or so?? Sort of the way a human Ob/gyn can make a guess based on the ultrasound.

              Good luck with her, make sure to take extra care with her. Expect extra foal vet bills with a blind and anxious Momma.

              LBR
              To add to what LLDM mentioned, when a woman sees and OB, one of the questions asked is when her last period is. This is a good indication of when she got pregnant. It is not just about the ultrasound, it is about a conversation between doctor and patient and the multitude of doctor visits during gestation, compared to a horse. My horse saw a vet at 45 days and not again until roughly 10 months. Even with all this, OB's can still be wrong.

              Some examples:
              My brother was three weeks late
              I was two weeks early
              last fall, a client had a healthy baby almost a month early
              my sister-in-law was a bit over a week late

              I am not sure 'accurate' is the most appropriate term.

              Comment


              • #8
                I have only followed this saga sporadically. Glad to hear the mare is doing well.

                As to the foaling date, eh it can be hard to tell. How many horses are named Surprise because nobody knew the mare was pregnant. And much like people I'm sure there are horses that can look further along than they really are. The old saw "when are you due" wouldn't be a staple of so many bad comedies if it didn't have some truth to it.

                C&C - why don't you give the second guessing a rest? The mare is seeing a vet - the rescue is doing the best they can. You're in Georgia, right? If you are so concerned why didn't you just take the mare in the first place?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by lcw579 View Post
                  ...
                  C&C - why don't you give the second guessing a rest? The mare is seeing a vet - the rescue is doing the best they can. You're in Georgia, right? If you are so concerned why didn't you just take the mare in the first place?
                  Thank you! Every time something is posted about Helen, C&C needs to pipe up with some BS. Give it a rest already, or are you hoping to turn this into another trainwreck?

                  She is safe, being looked after, and has seen a vet a few times, her eyes are as good as they are going to be as per this post.

                  http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...&postcount=110

                  For those of you concerned with Helen's eyes, the vet took a look today. She agreed with me that there is nothing actively going on in there, no pain, no inflammation, and she has had this condition a long time. There is absolutely no reaction to light in either eye, so she has no vision. She has some very unusual cataracts that might warrant further investigation with the specialist at a later date, as they could indicate glaucoma. At this time there is no reason to treat her for anything. If there is a change we will definitely take action.
                  Stink- the mare is not being turned out, so fly mask is not needed. She has an indoor arena for exercise. I would prefer she is in a safe area with no fences, other horses or bad footing to contend with.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Why is it when anyone asks a question, as long as it is a logical question, someone jumps all over them. LadybugRed asked a question, but as soon as C&C does...bamm.

                    Why even bring up that Helen could have been exposed to a stud in January? Says who? So what. That would mean that no one would have possibly thought she was pregnant. That would make her due in say, December.

                    More controversy. I think OP was thinking out loud, but on this board, it's best not to make guesses. Some will take them and run with them. Just like politics.

                    Good luck OP. I hope Helen has an easy birth and a healthy foal. By the way, what is the update on her eyes?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by BVhorses View Post
                      I know a bunch of you were following the epic saga of Helen when her situation was questionable and aksed I give updates.
                      I have now had her with me for a month and her progress towards foaling is basically unchanged.
                      This week I had an equine reproductive specialist from my vet clinic ultrasound and palpate her to see if everything was normal. Given that we have no breeding date and as far as we know, she could have been exposed to a stallion as late as January 2011 when she was removed from her property, we cannot guess at when she is due. She is quite large and has a sizeable, very active foal in her belly. However, the foal is still hanging very low and is small enough to flip around quite often. Helen shows no physical signs of preparing to foal and the baby is not even close to getting in position.
                      So, we are guessing Helen is going to wait at least another month, definitely weeks away. We will still monitor her progress daily, looking for any changes.
                      She is now all shed out, very black and shiny. She is super sweet, easy to handle, gets around very well with her disabilty.
                      I will be sure to let you all know when any changes occur! Again, if you want to see the latest news and pictures, please visit our facebook page at Begin Again Horse Rescue and feel free to look up our website at www.beginagainrescue.com. We have been approved by this site to ask for donations to our cause. Any help is so greatly appreciated for Helen and the others in need. If you do not choose to contribute, that's ok too. Your kind words and advice are also welcome.
                      Thanks for all your support here.
                      its very difficult when theres an uncertaincy of her foal date, if hes saying as alte as january 2011 then shes no even half way through which might explain how the foal is active and turns a lot horses do get big when pregnant lol , so shes either half way or as near as through her pregnancy or due in may or shes over due which can happen my own mare went six weeks over due she was surpose to have foaled on april fool day way back when, but foaled on may 11th way back when haha so she was actually nearer 13months pregnant rather than 11ish- ish being a couple week before and couple weeks after lol

                      keep us posted - shea nice mare and need this time to be settled like wise when the foal is born, shame i dont live usa i would have had her like i said
                      and i have just got in a new rescued mare with high and low ring bone skinny unwanted aged 14yrs and in foal and due anyday now shes tb the foal is irish cloured warmblood but more likely to be irish common cob i have called her isabel so issy for short

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Sorry for not posting responses sooner, I only check this board every week or so.
                        Helen belongs to Begin Again Horse Rescue. She has been residing at Bristol Valley Training Center until she shows signs of foaling when she will be moved to a foaling facility. I own BVTC and have fostered her during this time, paying for her care out of my own pocket. After foaling she will move to the Begin Again Rescue farm with her foal. Helen is generally very calm and relaxed. She is happy as long as she has hay in front of her. If she doesn't have hay, she asks for more! She gets brushed daily and enjoys the attention. She leads nicely, does not get spooked easily, does not care if she is alone or with a companion. I have tried both.

                        Cloudyandcallie- Helen's eyes are not painful Her left eye is atrophied, her right eye is of normal size. There is no outward signs of uvitis, but she does have obvious cataracts. She has seen the vet twice in the month we have had her and there are no abnormal concerns. She was obviously pregnant when AC Walker took her in, she was not bred there. As for the vets who previously predicted she was full term pregnant, I cannot say how that was ascertained since I was not there.

                        When there is no breeding date, the vet asks when the last exposure to a stallion was. Since Helen was picked up in January by AC, we have to assume that was the last exposure. From the size of her, it is obvious she is further along than 5 months, although since the foal is visibly still very active we can assume she is far along but not imminent in foaling. Unfortunately, that is the best a vet can do in predicting her stage of pregnancy. It is still a waiting game.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Human babies have a very, very reliable developmental schedule. That reason is why humans have so many routine (and successful) c-sections. If the fetus is at x days, it is at x on the development chart.

                          Horses, interestingly, don't develop on a specific timeline. You can have perfectly healthy foals born at 320 days (and a few of them sooner than that) and you can have foals born at day 340 (the "average gestation" period if there is such a thing) that are dysmature. That's why no vet worth his/her salt will ever induce labor on a mare unless the mare herself is in danger. There is no possible way of knowing if that foal is ready to be born just because of it's number of days inutero.

                          Isn't that fascinating? I've always thought so.
                          "No matter how cynical I get its just not enough to keep up." Lily Tomlin

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            When I brought Helen in tonight and checked her over, I saw the beginnings of a bag! Hurray! Of course at this point it might just be some edema, but it is more than she had yesterday! I would take pics, but with her being black, it is hard to see anything down there.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I'm glad to see that she's doing well. I do have a question though: is there anything you can do to prevent the mare from stepping on the foal? A freind of mine bought a blind pregant mare from New Holland, and everything seemed to be going very well for the first month or so. Then one day the baby was sleeping and the mare stepped on it's neck. SOOO sad. I just don't know if there could have been anything done to prevent it.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                There were suggestions on another thread re Helen. I remember a rescue with a pregnant blind mare who also stepped on her foal, but once they built a wall to separate mare and foal, with a blanket over the opening, everything worked out. They could smell each other, touch each other, but the foal could only go to the mom's side to nurse under supervision. It worked! I don't have time to search for that thread though. I think Windsor ?? posted about it.

                                I am so happy to read the updates on Helen. And if the questions are asked by posters w/o an ulterior motive... it's one thing, but we know that C&C and LKY are always trying to cause a train wreck... supposedly innocently.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Dang, since her date is so up in the air I was going to suggest we start a pool.

                                  Could it be you're mistaken? Is there still time to start a pool?

                                  Originally posted by BVhorses View Post
                                  When I brought Helen in tonight and checked her over, I saw the beginnings of a bag! Hurray! Of course at this point it might just be some edema, but it is more than she had yesterday! I would take pics, but with her being black, it is hard to see anything down there.
                                  Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
                                  Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
                                  -Rudyard Kipling

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I too am glad for the updates. Helen could really use a break and I really hope she gets it. Hopefully she's gone long enough for the baby to get the proper nutrition and for her to be off of any fescue.

                                    But seriously, falseimpression, that's YOU doing the baiting. Why not just leave it alone? If it starts now, you have only yourself to blame.

                                    SCFarm
                                    The above post is an opinion, just an opinion. If it were a real live fact it would include supporting links to websites full of people who already agreed with me.

                                    www.southern-cross-farm.com

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Thank you for the updates. I hope all goes well for Helen when she foals and that the foal is normal and healthy. Would like photos after the foal is safely here. Nothing is cuter than a little new foal.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Sorry, FalseImpression, not biting. Good luck with someone else.

                                        Here's hoping for a safe and uneventful foaling for Helen.

                                        Comment

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