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Need Experienced breeders thoughts PLEASE!!

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  • Need Experienced breeders thoughts PLEASE!!

    First my vet has already been out to see her and deems we can go forward as is, but I'd like to hear experiences from my fellow breeders.

    My mare 8 yr old TB second pregnancy (first went 341 days normal delivery) now this one is 348 days, all signs except waxing.

    All 4 legs extremely swollen and a large edema between her front legs.

    Vet did a rectal exam, she is one dilated.

    Has anyone induced at this point? Or just keep waiting it's really OK?

  • #2
    Seriously? 348 is way well within normal. Induce? Heck no. Let nature take its course.

    Norm/standard gestation is 320-340. All sorts of variances beyond that although before 320 lungs not developed. Once had one go 25 days past her norm to 356. Patiently waited no cause for concern. No vet out. No freaking out that she was "late". Mares dont have a due date. Mares foal when they are ready.

    Nothing about what youre saying is of any concern all with norms. Ventral edema can be normal. Is horse getting turned out?


    • #3
      Do not induce. Not good for mares (even if common for people), and should only be considered if the life of the mare/foal is definitely at risk.
      Unfortunately, 348 days is not "late" and mares can have significant variability from one pregnancy to another (my mare's record is 28 days variable).
      I'm always impatient though, and understand how hard it is not to keep calm through the wait. (I'm starting that "wait" on 2 of my mares now, and must keep reminding myself to stay relaxed)
      Best wishes, Kathleen
      Sunny Days Hanoverians


      • #4
        i have one at 363 days today and still not quite there yet. i've had them go longer. no worries, just not letting her out of sight.

        swelling isn't fun, and i agree that turnout could help this, as long as she stays within view. we try to make sure not to miss being there when they drop.
        Hidden Pearl Farm


        • #5
          Are you asking about inducing because of the edema? Does it go down with movement? Is she just standing there? If so, it would help to hand walk her a few times a day.

          I'm obviously not an experience breeder, but I have read enough from those who are who say inducing is a very last resort, to be done only if the mare and/or foal's life is seriously at risk.

          348 is nothing. Up to about 375 is still quite within the normal 320-375 range. 340 or 343 just happens to be an average.
          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


          • #6
            Do not induce. It can cause huge problems, unless the mare is ready in every way. Some mares get edema and some get stocked up late in pregnancy. Try to get her to move a bit - hand walk if necessary. As has been pointed out, the "normal" range for gestation is large and your mare is well within the norm, with quite ordinary sounding physical condition. Patience is a virtue.
            Mary Lou


            Member OMGiH I loff my mares clique


            • Original Poster

              Thank you so much for the replies, when I wrote the post it seemed like whats the problem, but what has got me stumped is she shows all the signs, except waxing, and no birthing, can signs go on this long?

              Yes she has 24/7 access to pasture yet she is not going out there like she normally does, she is staying in her stall or close by the barn, she wonders in and out.

              Also thanks for letting me know that all pregancies are not alike in one mare, as I'd been told individual mares pregnancies tend to be similar.

              PS. Do ya think its safe to fo to my dentist apt today!???


              • #8
                Every induction I have heard about has been a total disaster and resulted in loss of at least the foal and sometimes the mare too. If there is a serious health concern for the mare, that is one thing, but I would be prepared for the worst in that case. We have mares that stock up badly in the last few days. But I agree that 348 is very normal. We have a mare that ranges from 330 to 355 depending on the year. Good luck!
                Signature Sporthorses


                • #9
                  Can't imagine why he'd suggest inducing just because of time's sake, is it the edema that's of concern?'s (which it shouldn't be if it is "just" edema) I will say this "freak of nature" issue with a mare who developed CHF due to myocarditis and lost her a few months after foaling. Her edema wasn't "just edema" though.... I don't share this to scare you because I'm sure your mare is just fine!


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Summit Springs Farm View Post
                    Thank you so much for the replies, when I wrote the post it seemed like whats the problem, but what has got me stumped is she shows all the signs, except waxing, and no birthing, can signs go on this long?
                    How long is a piece of string? She could go tonight or 2 weeks from now.

                    Yes she has 24/7 access to pasture yet she is not going out there like she normally does, she is staying in her stall or close by the barn, she wonders in and out.
                    Sounds like some hand walking is in your immediate future
                    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances. - ET


                    • #11
                      In my experience, the very best indicator for foaling is milk chemistry. Get some spa strips and test her milk. That will give you some indication of how close she is. There are many threads on the forum giving directions for testing milk.

                      In 1999 I had a mare stock up, go off grain, refuse to get out and move around for her last couple weeks of gestation. When she foaled, she had a pinched nerve that temporarily paralyzed her hindlegs. In hindsight, my vet thought the foal had been lying on the nerve for a while and that the lack of willingness to move and the stocking up were attributable to that. She was given a large dose of bute and we gave the foal colostrum by bottle until the mare recovered her use of her hindlegs. That took about 8 hours. Once she got up, all was fine and she recovered fully.
                      Mary Lou


                      Member OMGiH I loff my mares clique


                      • #12
                        I wouldn't worry too much. She's only a week later than her first. One mare I know foaled @ 366 (colt was named A Year And A Day), another mare (older broodmare, lots of babies) went @ 325-330 with her fillies, and 355-360 with her colts. And yes, they can show signs for quite a while. I'm convinced they do it just to keep us hopping.
                        Different Times Equestrian Ventures at Hidden Spring Ranch


                        • #13
                          I'm laughing at the dentist appt. thing. I wouldn't go but don't know your mare. She doesn't have to wax to foal by the way. She seems to want to stay close by so I'd say she thinking about it. Like others have said do not induce and there can be huge number differences in days with the same mare.

                          I remember after my mare started foaling at 6pm, after her dinner of course, my vet saying well isn't that a reasonable time. You had to get plenty of sleep. Um no, she's had me on the go for 48 hours never mind the 6pm foaling time! And then the after foal is born stuff, and then the camera watching, and then probably another run down to the barn because you're just not sure things are right! I find the time they foal has little to do with tiredness.

                          FWIW, this day last year my mare kept me guessing as to when she'd foal. I was so tired and hungry and had zilch to eat in the house. Me and the car touched the roads in spots as I ran down to the chipper for pizza and loads of other junk. Man it was so worth it. Mare let me eat all that and watch Desperate Housewives before having Lila!

                          Good luck!
                          COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

                          "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.


                          • #14
                            "When the apple is ripe, it will fall" is what I was told, long ago, when my first foal was born.

                            NOT what I wanted to hear! But, they do come along- usually when they are sure you are not watching!
                            When someone shows you who they are, BELIEVE them- Maya Angelou


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Signature View Post
                              Every induction I have heard about has been a total disaster and resulted in loss of at least the foal and sometimes the mare too.... Good luck!
                              i've had one induction done and it worked great, but i admit not being familiar with further stats on the success of its use.
                              Hidden Pearl Farm


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Home Again Farm View Post
                                In my experience, the very best indicator for foaling is milk chemistry. Get some spa strips and test her milk. That will give you some indication of how close she is. There are many threads on the forum giving directions for testing milk.

                                The criteria for induction is that the mare must be at least 340 days, her milk must have come in and she must be partially dilated (I think I have all that right). There is a vet who has done alot of inductions, all of which have ended well, but he insists on those three things being in place.

                                You have only one of those three, so even this "expert" would not induce.

                                Again, you say your mare as "all the signs," but she doesn't.

                                Until the milk/pH testing came along, breeders either missed foalings or spent many night in the barn, 'cause mares have such a wide "normal" gestation range and they are tricky little buggers.

                                348 days is nothing. I had 385 days on one mare!! The little gal just needed to bake longer..... Next time the mare cut me some slack and produced at 355. I think the last one was a casual 360 days or so.

                                Test the milk, relax. As for the edema, ask most of the human mothers on this board how much edema THEY had when they were pregnant. Pretty much part of the package.

                                As others have said, movement will help.


                                • #17
                                  Many mares that aren't moving around much late in pregnancy get edema. Hand walking as often as you can should help with that.

                                  Definitely would not induce. There is no reason to if the mare appears otherwise healthy. It will happen when it happens.

                                  If it makes you feel any better we had one mare go 363 days this year.
                                  Fox Haven Farm, Inc.
                                  Home of 2002 JC Registered stallion Artrageous

                                  Artrageous has his own Facebook page!


                                  • #18
                                    LOL - yup she'll go when she is good and ready.

                                    I have mare who when she started "showing all the signs of foaling" I double checked her breeding dates and even penciled in her original breeding date "just in case" she had had a false heat the next month when we had down that she finally took (2 cycles before we confirmed pregnancy). But now I'm thinking the date I have down for the 2nd breeding is correct and she just wants to keep us on edge for a month (she foaled at 357 days 2 years ago - which won't be until May 4th). If her rearend gets any looser the foal is going to literally slide on out, she's got about 3/4 of an udder, starting to have some stocking up in her rear legs and not real interested in moving around any faster than she needs to - she knows the food wont hit her bucket until she gets there and her pile of hay will be waiting for her when she is done... but her pH is sticking around 7.2 and has been for the last two weeks.

                                    And our first mare we are waiting on is "ready to go" whenever she decides to have that baby (she's my only maiden mare this year). She is at 357 days today (same as when the other mare foaled last time) - pH was 6.2 yesterday, no waxing, loose tailhead, eating like a pig, grazing and chasing the other horses around like normal.
                                    [Told everyone who is potentially in & out to keep an eye on her as I figure she will go any time from now through the weekend. So the poor mare is being checked just about every 2 hours around the clock (the owner of the property's son is staying in the barn apartment, there is a renter in the front apartment, and the owner's other son lives next door) - they are checking on her because *they* can't wait for the baby to be born.... the pasture she is in is right next to the barn and visible from the upstairs apartment through the windows.]
                                    Crayola Posse~ on the bus in Mahognany


                                    • #19
                                      Not all mares wax and some that do walk around enough and get up and down enough that they knock it off so you never see it.

                                      348 days is well within normal....had one big ole QH mare that routinely went 368 (and didn't have a foal heat! so every year we moved out a month or slightly more on her foaling dates!).

                                      Ventral edema is not abnormal....some will go down with some exercise but she probably just doesn't feel like moving around a lot. Had one mare that did this every time...and peed like a racehorse on Lasix for the first 10-12 hours after foaling and got rid of all of it within a day or two. Have seen women with legs that looked like elephant legs due to edema as well.

                                      Have had mares without a lot of signs of impending foaling that I watched for hours.....kind of fun.....about every 8-10 minutes the head would come up and a "far" gaze kind of look on their face, a bit of tail swishing, a shift from one hind to the other and back, maybe a pick up a hind and tuck it up tight for a second or two, lasted about a minute and then all relaxed and head back in the grass....early labor....took up about 7-8 hours doing this (very unobtrusive watching though...if she caught me watching she'd walk off) and then more obvious for about 3 hours and voila'....water broke, down she went and foal arrived.

                                      As I remember from talking induction with one of my mares... had to have milk in, cervix at least partly dilated and had to be over the "normal" average due date of 340 days. Shoot, at that point all inducing was going to do was save a couple hours or maybe a day or two at most. I wouldn't.

                                      To be guaranteed a foal within a particular time frame...yep...head to town. It'll be there when you get back. If she's not wanting to go out in the pasture and hanging around her stall she's likely thinking about it....stall may be her "safe place to go".
                                      Colored Cowhorse Ranch
                                      Northern NV


                                      • #20
                                        Another vote in the HELL NO category! Get yourself a lead rope and get walking! We had three feet of snow on the ground for three weeks when my mare was late term last year. I ended up having to jog her up and down the driveway. I was afraid if she laid down in the snow in the paddock that she wouldn't be able to get up again.
                                        McDowell Racing Stables

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