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Seeking Opinions: Maiden mare pregnant or not?

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  • Seeking Opinions: Maiden mare pregnant or not?

    I know it can be tough to tell, because every mare is different, but I have very little experience with breeding and am looking for opinions. This is a 6 yr Anglo mare, 15.2hh, maiden. She was difficult to tell if she was in heat, so the vet ultrasounded and timed the breeding including a shot. She was bred once in June on a perfectly timed cover (ultrasounded and given a shot by the vet) and checked at 21ish days as not pregnant. At that point the vet said she looked reproductively immature. She didn't come back into noticeable heat, so she was never re-bred. However, her personality changed late summer and she has been somewhat witchy since. She was always sweet including to other horses. She actually went after my gelding a week or two ago who is by far the alpha. He looked at her like she lost her mind and then proceeded to put her back in place. These are some pics from today. Please excuse the dirt. Also, the dropped fetlocks in back are due to a serious injury as a youngster not conformation. The question is Well Fed or Pregnant???

    http://equus-webdesign.com/sadie/sadie1.jpg
    http://equus-webdesign.com/sadie/sadie2.jpg

  • #2
    What does your vet say?
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    • #3
      The only way you can tell 100% if a mare is pregnant by looking at her and seeing feet coming out the back end . With that said, behavioral changes in late summer/winter are not unusual. Mares typically will go through a period of winter anestrus, so there are no circulating levels of progesterone. Consequently, they may appear laid back, more companionable with other horses, no witchy moments, etc. And, to make things more difficult, maiden mares, because things are not stretched out and relaxed, may not look pregnant all the way until the end of pregnancy and older, multiparous mares may ALWAYS look like they are ready to drop at any moment!

      I will say that some practitioners just are not good at identifying early pregnancies. So, my suggestion would be to have her checked again by someone that is well known for their reproductive breeding skills! Good luck!
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      • Original Poster

        #4
        The vet was out early last month for fall shots and didn't mention she looked different and I wasn't really thinking about it. Lately, she seems to be expanding, so it has crossed my mind that maybe the pregnancy was missed. I could be seeing things though due to wishful thinking. I tried breeding a different mare for 3 years that would not take and ended up thoroughly disappointed.

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        • #5
          Definitely not something that we can tell from a couple of photos. Time to call the vet and have another discussion.

          Comment


          • #6
            You should have the vet check again. You just can't always tell with a maiden, and that is no old wive's tale. I had one mare bred and when checked, the vet said to me, "read my lips, no baby". When she was about 5 months along, I noticed a kick while she was eating. I called the vet, who sighed.., checked her reluctantly..voila...in foal.

            Another time, I had a mare checked by ultrasound by a really well-known vet, who told me she was absolutely not in foal. I gave her away and...voila..she foaled, but because I had signed her away..I could not get the foal.

            So, have her checked just in case.

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Thanks for the feedback. I was planning on sending her to the breeder in late Jan; we can get an early start here in AZ. If she still looks suspicious, I'll have the vet out before heading to the breeder. I would think I should start seeing signs, foal moving, etc. by then. The plus is my property is isolated and I have no horses coming and going.

              The other part that is confusing was the vet's comment about her being reproductively immature. I find it odd that a 6 yr old would be immature. Anyone have insight into this?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Sporthorse Shop View Post
                Thanks for the feedback. I was planning on sending her to the breeder in late Jan; we can get an early start here in AZ. If she still looks suspicious, I'll have the vet out before heading to the breeder. I would think I should start seeing signs, foal moving, etc. by then. The plus is my property is isolated and I have no horses coming and going.

                The other part that is confusing was the vet's comment about her being reproductively immature. I find it odd that a 6 yr old would be immature. Anyone have insight into this?
                None of us can tell you if the mare is pregnant; your guess is as good as ours! That being said, I would have a vet out to check her, and I would find a different vet that is more experienced at repro. There were some red-flags from your previous post; i.e. it doesn't sound like your mare was checked for ovulation. Also, was the 21 day check the first preg. check? Why so late? As far as what is meant by "reproductively immature", I would definitely ask your vet what was meant by that, but I think a second opinion is in order
                Already excited about our 2016 foals! Expecting babies by Indoctro, Diamant de Semilly, Zirocco Blue and Calido!
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                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Originally posted by Hillside H Ranch View Post
                  None of us can tell you if the mare is pregnant; your guess is as good as ours! That being said, I would have a vet out to check her, and I would find a different vet that is more experienced at repro. There were some red-flags from your previous post; i.e. it doesn't sound like your mare was checked for ovulation. Also, was the 21 day check the first preg. check? Why so late? As far as what is meant by "reproductively immature", I would definitely ask your vet what was meant by that, but I think a second opinion is in order
                  The 21ish day check was the first check. This was due to miscommunication somewhere between the breeder and the vet's staff. I was swamped with work and was not staying on top of everything. They actually called me to say she was pregnant and then called back to say that was the wrong horse and that my mare was missed in the farm visit. They are normally a very good office to work with, so I think they just had a lot going on that day. The reproductively immature comment worries me and makes me wonder if I have another difficult mare on my hands. I have been trying for years to get an Anglo foal and was hoping to finally have success.

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                  • #10
                    Your vet should have determined her reproductive maturity, whatever that is prior to breeding. Agree with the vet check as my gelding looks farther along in his pregnancy than she does!
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                    • #11
                      I am suspicious of one of my mares as well.
                      She was bred in early July and preg checked not in foal in late August. I think it was 40 days after breeding or so.
                      Since then she has put on a lot of weight. More than she has while being a pasture puff the last two winters. She's also acting very strangely; the other day she put on a big display of mounting, kneeling next too, rubbing her neck on and overall molesting the round bale I had just put out for them. Maybe she's just hungry?
                      She has had one foal before and is a petite mare so I would expect that she'll start showing a lot more if she is in foal. Can't decide if I should have the vet check her again or not. He is a very experienced repo vet. It would be a nice surprise if she were in foal!

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                      • #12
                        There must be something going around! I have one who checked open at 16 days that is getting quite chunky.........

                        Maybe we all just have a big ol case of wishful thinking! I'm still having her rechecked :P

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                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          Going into the holidays. We are all hoping for a surprise gift...lol!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sporthorse Shop View Post
                            These are some pics from today...The question is Well Fed or Pregnant???
                            As others have mentioned, unfortunately, no one is going to be able to give you a yes or no based on photographs. (Especially with a maiden mare) I had a mare last year who has had multiple foals and up until one month before she foaled, she did NOT look pregnant at all. So much so that I had a bet with our vet as to whether she was pregnant or not. I knew she was, and she had been ultrasounded multiple times, but the mare just chose to hide that baby. That being said, I have another mare that we left open this year and she looks like she's carrying twins...and I know for sure she is open...and not fat

                            The only way you are going to know for sure is to get a knowledgeable equine vet to ultrasound her.
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                            Home of Welsh Cob stallion Goldhills Brandysnap
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                            • #15
                              I have nothing helpful to say other than echoing the posts above, but since I hadn't seen anyone else comment on it- your mare's facial marking is adorable! It looks just like a ribbon!
                              The very existence of flamethrowers proves that sometime, somewhere, someone said to themselves, "You know, I want to set those people on fire, but I'm just not close enough to get the job done".

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                              • #16
                                Several years ago, a friend of mine tried to get her mare in foal. She was bred twice with fresh semen but the follow-up ultrasounds showed not in foal.
                                My friend didn't try again after that but by springtime the mare was huge.
                                She had her vet check her and sure enough there was a foal in there.
                                So it can happen.

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