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When do you give up trying?

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  • When do you give up trying?

    We have a 15 yr old Trak/TB mare who was a simply lovely amateur packer in her day. We retired her at the end of her 12 yr old year (injury), and bred her in the spring of her 13 yr old year. She took the 2nd time, had an uneventful pregnancy, foaled out well, and was a fantastic mom. We bred her 2x that year after foaling, each time shipped AI, and did it just prior to her ovulating. Vet (very exp'd repro) said everything was perfect, and no real reason why she didn't take, but was willing to give the benefit of doubt to the semen, as it was from an older stallion (although motility looked very good when checked). So we lost last year, when she was 14.

    This spring, we re-bred her to the same stallion we tried last year, and again, everything went perfectly, and she didn't take. We then switched to Silvio. Things didn't go quite so well this time, as the vet gave her a shot on Monday, and we were anticipating ovulation Wed/Thurs, and she didn't ovulate until the following Tuesday! She was inseminated 5x in expectation of ovulation, but did not take again (perhaps the follicle was infertile by the time she did finally ovulate).

    We bred her again last week. She was cultured Tuesday, flushed Wed, bred Thursday, she ovulated a bit later Thursday, and vet said she did not retain any fluid, and everything looked perfect, and again there should be no reason why she wouldn't take.

    Obviously, we're hoping that she took when she gets checked in a couple of weeks. However, if she didn't take, yet again, when do you give up? Do we give her another try in October? It doesn't bother me to have an early fall baby vs. a spring one. The problem is that she doesn't have any other job except to be a mom, and she is so good at it, and her foal is just lovely. But we can't keep spending thousands on her not catching, and she's certainly not getting any younger. Sigh.
    Cherry Blossom Farm - Show & Field Hunters, Side Saddles

  • #2
    Has she had a culture/cytology and a biopsy? That would be my starting point.
    Already excited about our 2016 foals! Expecting babies by Indoctro, Diamant de Semilly, Zirocco Blue and Calido!
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hills...h/112931293227

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      She's been cultured 2x this year, and has been clean both times. I don't believe she's been biopsied except for once 2 years ago.
      Cherry Blossom Farm - Show & Field Hunters, Side Saddles

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      • #4
        If she's not pregnant this time, I would reccomend a biopsy.
        I also notice that she was bred 5 times on one cycle, which is a lot! The more inseminations that you do, the more inflammation that you get and that can be detrimental to conception. Using an oxytocin protocol may help, but if she isn't pregnant this time it may be a good idea to stop for the year and try again early next year. There is a good chance that after being bred so many times this year that her uterus is inflammed and she needs some time off.
        Already excited about our 2016 foals! Expecting babies by Indoctro, Diamant de Semilly, Zirocco Blue and Calido!
        https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hills...h/112931293227

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          She had been on oxytocin. We gave her a cycle off in between the "marathon" breeding and this one, so *hopefully* inflammation won't be an issue.

          Do some mares just not take again, even if everything looks good?
          Cherry Blossom Farm - Show & Field Hunters, Side Saddles

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          • #6
            Until you do a biopsy, you don't know that everything was "good". I can't believe that a good repo vet didn't tell you to have a biopsy done the first time. With older mares, that is protocol.

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              I'll talk to my vet later this week about it.

              For my own information, what will a biopsy be able to tell me about her condition?
              Cherry Blossom Farm - Show & Field Hunters, Side Saddles

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              • #8
                Originally posted by SidesaddleRider View Post
                I'll talk to my vet later this week about it.

                For my own information, what will a biopsy be able to tell me about her condition?
                A biopsy is going to tell you the extent of any inflammation and any fibrosis. It will be "graded" and based upon the grade you will get a rough idea of your chances of this mare carrying a foal to term.
                Already excited about our 2016 foals! Expecting babies by Indoctro, Diamant de Semilly, Zirocco Blue and Calido!
                https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hills...h/112931293227

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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by Hillside H Ranch View Post
                  A biopsy is going to tell you the extent of any inflammation and any fibrosis. It will be "graded" and based upon the grade you will get a rough idea of your chances of this mare carrying a foal to term.
                  Thank you.
                  Cherry Blossom Farm - Show & Field Hunters, Side Saddles

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                  • #10
                    She may a lot of scarring on her uterus making it either difficult for the embryo to implant on the uterus wall or, if able to implant, not being able to get enough nutrients do to the scarring to keep the embryo alive.

                    I bet she has a grade II or worse and she could still have a perfectly clean culture. With older mares, the possibility of scarring in the uterus goes up considerably. That is why it is so routine to do a biopsy on an older mare...especially if you start having the kind of trouble you are describing.

                    I just can't believe that a good repo vet would not tell you this before you spent thousands of dollars......

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                    • #11
                      Was a cytology done in conjunction with the culture? If not have another done with a cytology, a culture is not good enough alone.
                      Cindy's Warmbloods
                      www.cindyswarmbloods.com Cindy's Warmbloods
                      www.facebook.com/CindysWarmbloods Join Us on Facebook for latest updates!

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                      • #12
                        I would also look carefully at putting in a caslick. A few years ago I bred a young mare with absolutely no apparent problems through two cycles. I was going to give up, but then gave it one more try and a caslick was put in. She got in foal. Especially for an older mare, it could help. (And have a cytology done, too.)
                        Mystic Owl Sporthorses
                        www.mysticowlsporthorses.com

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                        • #13
                          I'm going through the same thing with a mare. She's had a few lovely foals, no problems. She didn't take the first two times (AI). Our timing was perfect, and 2nd time, we ultrasounded to ensure she had ovulated when expected AND was not retaining fluid. Results, ovulated day after insemination, no fluids. Semen was excellent. So we C&C'd - clean. Next stop - live cover (some mares do have reactions to extenders, rare, but it can exist) - timing again perfect, two covers, clean of fluid afterwards. No go. So, try again, this time, start her on Regumate 5 days after ovulation, check at 15 days - Nope... Four tries in a year is enough for me - mare is telling me she's NOT getting pregnant this year.

                          When to stop - well, that is really up to your repro vet and you, but if you've cultured and cytology - that should tell you if something is physically wrong. If it isn't, and timing is good and semen quality is good - well, it may not be your year
                          www.MysticOakRanch.com Friesian/Warmblood Crosses, the Ultimate Sporthorse
                          Director, WTF Registry

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                          • #14
                            Same situation here. Mare caught on the first try last two years, this year nothing after three tries. Clean cultures, perfect timing, good semen, everything textbook but NO Pregnancy! Isn't that the definition of insanity doing the same thing the same way over and over and expecting different results. LOL! The cost of trying to get her in foal has exceeded the stud fee by over $1000. That'is crazy! I quit but will try again next year!!!

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Mainiac View Post
                              The cost of trying to get her in foal has exceeded the stud fee by over $1000. That'is crazy!!!!
                              Oh my gosh, isn't it the truth? I've run into that problem more than once over the years... Decided the stud fee is such a minimal part of the breeding cost - unless you are breeding RACEHORSES!
                              www.MysticOakRanch.com Friesian/Warmblood Crosses, the Ultimate Sporthorse
                              Director, WTF Registry

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                              • #16
                                Biopsy, biopsy, biopsy! It sounds like several of you are in the same boat and a biopsy really, really should be done in these cases!

                                Also, re: reaction to extender; truly this is almost unheard of. Extender is actually calming to the uterus; semen, on the other hand always causes an inflammatory reaction. That is completely normal and in a normal, healthy uterus the inflammation is cleared up just fine. But in some mares obviously that is not the case, which is where oxytocin, post-breeding flushes, etc come. But I would not blame an extender reaction unless every other possibility had been completely ruled out-which means getting a biopsy!
                                Already excited about our 2016 foals! Expecting babies by Indoctro, Diamant de Semilly, Zirocco Blue and Calido!
                                https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hills...h/112931293227

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Is there anyone you like LC?

                                  I will not go to 'extraordinary' measures to get an older mare bred. Usually I figure she knows better.

                                  Agree 110% with biopsy before throwing any more money down the drain.

                                  Agree with trying a caslick.

                                  Very often though, we have bred mares who were 'problem breeders' very successfully live cover. Yes, it's dangerous, yes, it has it's minuses, but it has plenty of plusses to.

                                  Next best is to collect and use raw semen right on the same farm or very close. Mother Nature really does things pretty well on her own, and sometimes less is more.
                                  InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
                                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

                                  Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)

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                                  • #18
                                    Castlicks are a must in older mares, and in my opinion most TB mares. Also I would start her on Regumate 5 days post ovulation. Regumate is cheap compared to extra vet bills breeding etc. I put all my older mares on it and then wean them off at about 100 days. Just my thing, but I have plenty of babies to show for it..

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      I'm probably not the best to ask since I have been one to spend well into 5 figures on a mare.......I haven't read through all the posts, however my recommendation is to find a fantastic repro vet (which i know you said you have) are you using the same one as last time?? When did she take last time, early spring, or later?? Good luck, I know how frustrating it can be, and don't wish it upon anyone!!
                                      www.neighland.com
                                      Friend us on FB

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                                      • #20
                                        It's good that you changed stallions. I've had similar things happen... multiple GOOD cycles where there are no explanations for no baby. If that has happened 3 cycles, I always switch stallions. This has happened 2 different times over the years. Both times, the mare I was trying to breed caught first cycle with a new stallion and the new mare caught first time with the original stallion. I'd definitely get a biopsy done if she doesn't take this time with the new stallion.
                                        www.SovereignFarm.com

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