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Equine-Reproduction.com - Cheer us up!! :)

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  • Equine-Reproduction.com - Cheer us up!! :)

    As I read about horrible experiences some of our breeders go through with pregnancy, births and premature deaths I start getting worried. I'll have two mares foaling next year.

    I was wondering if there were any stats that would help cheer us up!? Such as in which percentage of cases are foalings, pregnancies and so forth absolutely normal and what not?

    www.EquusMagnificus.ca
    Breeding & Sales
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  • #2
    Originally posted by EquusMagnificus View Post
    I was wondering if there were any stats that would help cheer us up!? Such as in which percentage of cases are foalings, pregnancies and so forth absolutely normal and what not?

    98% of all foalings will be completely normal with no issues and no problems. Pregnancies? Well...the live foal rate is around 65% overall. But, that figure is from attempting to get mares pregnant to early embryonic death, mares losing pregnancies due to placentitis, twinning or just plain old idiopathic reasons.

    Not sure that cheers you up or not, but if you manage to get the mare pregnant and make it to the final days of the pregnancy, chances are very good, you'll have a bouncing, healthy foal with no issues. Then you gotta start worrying about KEEPING the foal alive. Do the basic early foal care, make sure the mare was vaccinated around day 310 of gestation, have an IgG test done on the foal, treat the navel, attend the foaling, etc., you'll increase your chances of a happy outcome.

    Hope that helps!

    Kathy St.Martin
    Equine Reproduction Short Courses
    http://www.equine-reproduction.com
    Equine-Reproduction.com Now offering one on one customized training!
    Leg-Up Equestrian Assistance Program, Inc. A 501(c)(3) non-profit charity

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    • #3
      I don't know where the statistic is on this one. My mare had clearly indentifiable twin embryos at 14 days, one in each horn. Pinched one, no problem. Ultrasound at 28 days showed she lost the other one. Dang!!! I know it happens, but how often?? Back to square one. Sigh . . . .
      Martha Haley - NeverSayNever Farm
      2009 KWN-NA Breeder of the Year/Silver Level Breeder
      www.angelfire.com/ns2/our_horses/
      https://www.facebook.com/pages/Never...01844536521951

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Dutch View Post
        I don't know where the statistic is on this one. My mare had clearly indentifiable twin embryos at 14 days, one in each horn. Pinched one, no problem. Ultrasound at 28 days showed she lost the other one. Dang!!! I know it happens, but how often?? Back to square one. Sigh . . . .
        That is a bummer; I am sorry!

        Just out of curiosity, was the mare given banamine and/or regumate when the twin was pinched?
        Roseknoll Sporthorses
        www.roseknoll.net

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Dutch View Post
          I don't know where the statistic is on this one. My mare had clearly indentifiable twin embryos at 14 days, one in each horn. Pinched one, no problem. Ultrasound at 28 days showed she lost the other one. Dang!!! I know it happens, but how often?? Back to square one. Sigh . . . .
          There is a 97% recorded success rate of reducing twin pregnancies down to a singleton pregnancy. Obviously, the competence of the technician doing the reduction, location of the twins, and difficulty in reducing the twin is all going to play a part in the success rate. And, there are occasions when there is an embryo and a cyst that has not been recorded in the pre-breeding exam and the embryo gets reduced, leaving a cyst that obviously isn't going to be anything but a cyst <rolling eyes>. It happens.

          Say hello to Jos for me, Martha. He's in your neck of the woods <smile>.

          Kathy St.Martin
          Equine Reproduction Short Courses
          http://www.equine-reproduction.com
          Equine-Reproduction.com Now offering one on one customized training!
          Leg-Up Equestrian Assistance Program, Inc. A 501(c)(3) non-profit charity

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Equine Reproduction View Post
            98% of all foalings will be completely normal with no issues and no problems.
            That number seems a bit high to me. If I look at the last 100 foalings I have done, probably 10 have had a leg or head back, a bit of placenta previa, a really big foal that the mare just needed some help, etc. Maybe ALL of those would have gone on to be ok, if the mare rolled a bit, or had just been left alone to wait and see, but I prefer to fix a problem early, before it becomes a serious one.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Fairview Horse Center View Post
              That number seems a bit high to me. If I look at the last 100 foalings I have done, probably 10 have had a leg or head back, a bit of placenta previa, a really big foal that the mare just needed some help, etc. Maybe ALL of those would have gone on to be ok, if the mare rolled a bit, or had just been left alone to wait and see, but I prefer to fix a problem early, before it becomes a serious one.
              <smile>...Not my numbers, but in going through all of my own foalings, it pretty much is spot on. I also don't dive right in. I'll check to make sure I have a normal presentation and then step back and allow nature to take it's course. But, after doing literally 100's of foalings, it works out to be right on the money. With that said, I know of one breeder that literally had a less than 50% normal foaling rate - to the point I would have thrown in the towel and given up! Not just little problems like a leg back, but major dystocias. Sad. But, the flip side is I know of some breeders that have never had a problem at all. So, you're just one of the "lucky" ones, Darlyn <smile>....Don't buy a lottery ticket just yet.

              Kathy St.Martin
              Equine Reproduction Short Courses
              http://www.equine-reproduction.com
              Equine-Reproduction.com Now offering one on one customized training!
              Leg-Up Equestrian Assistance Program, Inc. A 501(c)(3) non-profit charity

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              • #8
                I lied - About 96% of foalings in light horse mares are without complication (90% in heavy horses). But, in my defense, EM wanted news to cheer her up! I was just trying to do that <smile>.

                Kathy St.Martin
                Equine Reproduction Short Courses
                http://www.equine-reproduction.com
                Equine-Reproduction.com Now offering one on one customized training!
                Leg-Up Equestrian Assistance Program, Inc. A 501(c)(3) non-profit charity

                Comment


                • #9
                  I have had 2 of those horrible dystocias, one with no head or legs within (my) arms reach - thank God for 6'2" husbands with LONG arms! The other one horribly stuck. Both we saved, but lost one a day later.

                  My luck makes up for it with healthy foals, after foaling, so I won't complain.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Equine Reproduction View Post
                    I lied - About 96% of foalings in light horse mares are without complication (90% in heavy horses). But, in my defense, EM wanted news to cheer her up! I was just trying to do that <smile>.
                    I bet the minis are not included in that <eek>

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      It was definitely an embryo. No cyst. So that puts me in the 3% category. We were using frozen and the mare was well ultrasounded to pinpoint ovulation. I wasn't around at the time of pinching, being away at a show with my daughter and her horse. Trying to combine breeding/foaling and showing is hectic sometimes. My vet has plenty of experience. He had four other clients' mares that twinned this week alone. He told me it is three years since he has had a mare lose the other embryo. I chided him that he pinched the wrong one. If I run into Jos, Kathy, I will be sure to say "Hi".

                      YankeeLawyer, she did not get regumate. I'm not sure about the banamine. The embryo was easy to access and free floating. The mare has no history of absorbing or problems retaining pregnancies. She does, however, often double ovulate. If she twins again, I will at least use the banamine.
                      Last edited by Dutch; Jul. 16, 2008, 06:47 PM.
                      Martha Haley - NeverSayNever Farm
                      2009 KWN-NA Breeder of the Year/Silver Level Breeder
                      www.angelfire.com/ns2/our_horses/
                      https://www.facebook.com/pages/Never...01844536521951

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Fairview Horse Center View Post
                        I bet the minis are not included in that <eek>
                        We don't consider those "horses" <lol>. The incidence of dystocia in mini's is off the charts. Close to 30%. But, also one has to consider that the incidence of dwarfism in mini's is off the chart and that contributes to the dystocia.

                        Kathy St.Martin
                        Equine Reproduction Short Courses
                        http://www.equine-reproduction.com
                        Equine-Reproduction.com Now offering one on one customized training!
                        Leg-Up Equestrian Assistance Program, Inc. A 501(c)(3) non-profit charity

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I guess I'm in the all-or-nothing category. The last 3 foals have been textbook, like making popcorn - well, one of them took 10 years off my life, but that was due to his escaping into the next pasture while standing up after birth, which the sneaky mare put in in broad daylight on my breakfast break and foaled right next to the fence. Silly mare. Anyway, no foaling problems at all with those, easy delivery (even clearly on the one I missed, from the speed of her sneak-in), healthy foals.

                          On the other hand, before I bought the Golden (though Ditzy) Broodmare and was trying with my schoolmaster, bought as my first broodmare but made much better of a schoolmaster once I quit trying to breed her, I had DOA foals, tough delivery and died in it foals, resorbed the pregnancy foals, just didn't get a foal foals.

                          On mares actually bred (didn't ever get to actually breed last year) versus healthy foals, I'm running about 35% rate of foals. But I seem to either have a healthy foal or a dead one. I haven't come up with anything in between. Nothing that died was possibly salvageable. But my luck did turn after giving up on the first mare. Some of them are just jinxed. And she was a marvelous schoolmaster. If they had realized she'd go sound and have that many miles left, the price would have been more.

                          Bred two mares this year, the Golden (though Ditzy) Broodmare and my maiden dressage horse. Scans Friday. We shall see.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            With that said, I know of one breeder that literally had a less than 50% normal foaling rate
                            How is that possible? Are there environmental factors that can help obtaining an average closer to the statistical average?

                            I am wondering how often are difficult foalings affected by human intervention. Ie, how often would they have been fine if a human hadn't intervene. I am one to believe that Mother Nature knows her stuff so much better then we do that I am wondering how often does our intervention actually do more harm then good?

                            It would be interesting to see. Lots of questions I know and plenty of research opportunities!!

                            BTW, ER.com, are you coming up to Canada anytime soon for a clinic or something?
                            www.EquusMagnificus.ca
                            Breeding & Sales
                            Facebook | YouTube

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by EquusMagnificus View Post
                              I am wondering how often are difficult foalings affected by human intervention. Ie, how often would they have been fine if a human hadn't intervene. I am one to believe that Mother Nature knows her stuff so much better then we do that I am wondering how often does our intervention actually do more harm then good?
                              I think more often lack of intervention will cause problems more so than intervening too early. While there are definite risks with being too proactive and pulling on a foal's delicate legs can cause issues, not stepping in soon enough can have devastating results, as well. If I have a normal presentation, I rarely pull. I give the mare time to deal with things herself. If one intervenes too early, some mares will just come to expect that and won't bother pushing at all! Not cool! One doesn't appreciate just how much the mare pushes until you deal with uterine inertia <groan>. Also, some mares really resent intervention and by doing so it actually can create issues with the mare rejecting the foal. Sometimes less is more.

                              BTW, ER.com, are you coming up to Canada anytime soon for a clinic or something?
                              We have cut wayyyyy back on the number of courses we are doing. With fuel costs going through the roof, we've just gotten really, really careful on where we go and hold courses. We will go to certain locations if hosts wish to hold a course with a guaranteed attendance/fee. But otherwise, check out the website for a list of locations that we are scheduled. We have two this fall - Northern California and North Texas.

                              Hope that helps!

                              Kathy St.Martin
                              Equine Reproduction Short Courses
                              http://www.equine-reproduction.com
                              Equine-Reproduction.com Now offering one on one customized training!
                              Leg-Up Equestrian Assistance Program, Inc. A 501(c)(3) non-profit charity

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by EquusMagnificus View Post
                                How is that possible? Are there environmental factors that can help obtaining an average closer to the statistical average?

                                I am wondering how often are difficult foalings affected by human intervention. Ie, how often would they have been fine if a human hadn't intervene. I am one to believe that Mother Nature knows her stuff so much better then we do that I am wondering how often does our intervention actually do more harm then good?

                                It would be interesting to see. Lots of questions I know and plenty of research opportunities!!
                                This year we were expecting to foal out 4.

                                1st one..........stillborn filly with cord twisted up like a phone cord and purple. Then the mare bled out and died.

                                2nd one. No issues. Beautiul colt.

                                3rd one. Elbow/Shoulder lock, easily corrected as we were standing right there. Beautiful colt.

                                4th one. Undiagnosed placentitis. (we got the mare imported 40 days before foaling). Filly was HUGE (140# when we got to MSU). Easy delivery, but foal was septic. 5 days in NICU and large healthy filly! Yea!

                                Sooooo, is that 75%??

                                Last year we had 4 pregnancies and 4 uneventful foalings. (However one mare stepped on her foal and luxated his hock at 48 hours old - now a sound yearling)

                                2006 we had 6 pregnancies and 6 uneventful foalings, but again, one ended up at MSU with low Igg and then an umbilical abscess.
                                Holly
                                www.ironhorsefrm.com
                                Oldenburg foals and young prospects
                                LIKE us on Facebook!

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                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  I think more often lack of intervention will cause problems more so than intervening too early. While there are definite risks with being too proactive and pulling on a foal's delicate legs can cause issues, not stepping in soon enough can have devastating results, as well. If I have a normal presentation, I rarely pull. I give the mare time to deal with things herself. If one intervenes too early, some mares will just come to expect that and won't bother pushing at all! Not cool! One doesn't appreciate just how much the mare pushes until you deal with uterine inertia <groan>. Also, some mares really resent intervention and by doing so it actually can create issues with the mare rejecting the foal. Sometimes less is more.
                                  I was thinking more along the lines of human presence making the mare nervous and create problems... For instance, my first foaling, maiden mare, I was there and this was not a very trusting mare and boy, it was impressive. She would get down, up and walk/run around the stall with half a foal sticking out and ... It wasn't a pretty sight. Certainly not exactly as easy as I had expected for my first time!!

                                  The foaling itself was going well but the mare didn't seem very confident about it all. I always wondered if she reacted in such a "violent" way (very much in fear and not understanding what was going on!?) because I was there and if she would have been more calm and down to business had I NOT been there. Again, this was not a trusting mare and she, for instance, would not stay laying down if I was in the stall.

                                  My other maiden that year just got down to business and foaled without any apparent stress...

                                  Otherwise, of course, if you have a mare that is very confident and trusting, it is best to be there to intervene if need be and of course, the earliest the best...
                                  www.EquusMagnificus.ca
                                  Breeding & Sales
                                  Facebook | YouTube

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by EquusMagnificus View Post
                                    How is that possible? Are there environmental factors that can help obtaining an average closer to the statistical average?
                                    Because (and you will NEVER convince me otherwise) there is such a thing as "Breeder's Luck." You either have it or you don't.

                                    I started breeding about 12 years ago, although I haven't bred anything for two years. One year I had 7 mares bred. Out of that seven, six held the pregnancies. Out of those six one mare aborted six weeks before her due date with placentitis, one was apparently a dummy foal and died 36 hrs. after birth and one was born with such crooked legs we had to put it down 5 weeks later. And one colt was 15th in the NATION o/o all the RPSI foals inspected that year (some 500 foals per RPSI). The other two were healthy foals from normal foalings born without a major problem...I think I had to give one an oral supplement for low IgG.

                                    Then there is frozen semen...ohhh...talk about LUCK! I've had TWO pregnancies from frozen, o/o about 15 tries. One mare conceived TRIPLETS from one dose of Wolkenstein II. Two embryos were reduced...I was over the moon.

                                    Six weeks before the mare's foaling date, I had the vet palpate and check out the placenta (I always do that several times during the pregnacy...the one time I didn't the mare aborted due to placentitis -- see above). The vet said she heard the heart but couldn't feel the head...said it was because the foal had dropped down (BIG mare).

                                    Uhh...no, it was because the foal was breech. I didn't discover this till the mare started to foal, at 3 AM, no one to help me, dealing with a VERY distressed 17.1hh mare. The vet took 45 mins. to get here (I'm way out in the country) and brought no support when she came...that filly died in my arms shortly after we FINALLY got her out. The vet had brought no oxygen....

                                    The other "frozen" foal was a Weltmeyer who was born terribly contracted in front...long story there, but that filly was a total money pit who, by the time she was 5 months old, had had two surgeries, paste on shoes, etc. and still was a cripple with bone cysts, arthritis, etc.

                                    Last year I bought a breeding to a fine young stallion -- LFG with frozen. Man, I thought I'd robbed the bank because I got a super deal on it (WB registry auction). Now, one year later, I have tried three different mares, three different times and NO pregnancy. I follow all the frozen protocol, am an absolute stickler for correct technique, etc. Still nada.

                                    While I'm no "Equine Repro" I have done everything possible and affordable for me to do to become a successful breeder. I've read books, attended CSU's week-long course, visit boards like this one and ER's site, follow ALL the rules......

                                    There IS such a think as Luck in the breeding world and if you don't have it, things will go badly with you often enough to make breeding pretty scary and often totally heartbreaking.

                                    I guess that wasn't very cheery, was it?

                                    Hey, but, as the poem says, I'm bloody but unbowed. This year I'm waiting to hear if my Han. mare by Rubino Bellisimo is in foal to Rosenthal. If she will just give me a (healthy) filly I PROMISE I will never whine again.

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Well, it is easy to feel unlucky sometimes...but when your sample is small, your data can lack any statistical importance.

                                      For example, I had seven pregnanies between 2001-2007. In that group I had one simple dystocia, one horrific dystocia where I lost both mare and unborn foal, and one late term stillbirth of unknown cause. Besides that I had four textbook foalings with super healthy foals. I have four cooking for 2009, so I am hoping to stick closer to the average with those
                                      Whispered Wish Weser-Ems: Breeding quality German Riding Ponies!
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