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Day 18 - No Baby.. Suggestions? UPDATE: 6/20

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  • Day 18 - No Baby.. Suggestions? UPDATE: 6/20

    Hey guys. I bred my mare on May 26th. Shes a madien, 12 yrs old, TB. We did all the cultures, brought her into heat with the shot, checked her folicle size, made sure the moon and the stars were aligned, and bred her. Gave her the shot to make her ovulate, and checked her 48 hrs after breeding to make sure she did not retain any fluid.

    Vet came out yesterday. Day 18. Nothing. She said the mare will come back into heat 19-21 days later IF shes not pregnant, which she does not believe her to be.

    So Im thinking.. well Ive read where they didnt show and then they were. But Im wondering if I should just go ahead and bring her back into heat and plan to breed her next week instead of waiting and seeing what shes going to do.

    What are your experiences with this sort of situation? This is my first time breeding personally and Im learning a lot and my vet is an excellent repro vet. But Im wanting other stories and thoughts. Thanks!

    BTW, we checked her the Friday before we bred her. She had a 35-36mm folicle and "real good edema" as the vet put it.

    Member of the ILMD[FN]HP Clique, The Florida Clique, OMGiH I loff my mares, and the Bareback Riders clique!

  • #2
    So, a lot of the things you are doing are good. I'm assuming that when you checked her 48 hours after breeding that she had indeed ovulated?
    Personally, if it were my mare I would short cycle her and try again, instead of waiting for her to come in on her own. It will save you a little time, although not a lot since it is already 18 days post breeding. And, if your repro vet is very experienced it is unlikely that she would miss an 18 day pregnancy. Sometimes even when everything goes perfect you still don't get a pregnancy-one of the joys of breeding. I'm assuming also that the semen was good quality, etc. Did she get palp'd or ultrasounded right before breeding (it looks like she was checked on Friday and bred on Saturday)? I suppose it is possible that she ovulated before you bred her; that could certainly make a difference.
    Best of luck!
    Already excited about our 2016 foals! Expecting babies by Indoctro, Diamant de Semilly, Zirocco Blue and Calido!


    • Original Poster

      I gave her the shot to make her come into heat the Friday before the breeding, on May 18th. We checked her on Monday, and she was indeed in heat, but only had a 17mm folicle on the left and a smaller one on the right. Vet came back out on Friday to check her, the 25th. She ultrasounded her rectally and then also palpated her and checked her cervix (since shes maiden it was tight which is why we made sure to check after breeding for retained fluids). She had a 35-36mm folicle on the left and a slightly smaller one (30-32mm) on the right. Really good edema she said. She gave her the shot to make her ovulate 36-48 hours later (I believe thats the time frame she said). She came out Saturday afternoon, and bred her, aiming for the left folicle. Gave me a shot to give her 4 hours later to make her cervix contract to expell any unused fluid to prevent infection. However, 3 hours after breeding, I checked the mare, and she was expelling the fluid on her own but I still gave her the shot. Vet came out Monday and checked her for fluid and everything looked great. Waited the days and she came yesterday and said "Nothing."

      I left a message with her last night to let her know that I was thinking that we should go ahead and bring her back in and plan to breed next weekend. Havent heard back from her (today is her day off) but my friend is going to their office today to get her kittens shots and shes going to talk to the vet tech and see if the vet is there and see what they think.

      Vet did keep small amont of semen and took it with her to look at the mobility and everything. She said everything looked great. So who knows.

      Let me ask this then:

      If mare is about to come into heat, does it do any good to go ahead and give her the shot, or should we just check her folicle size and see when we should plan to breed? She has very obvious heats so I can def tell when she comes in, etc.

      Member of the ILMD[FN]HP Clique, The Florida Clique, OMGiH I loff my mares, and the Bareback Riders clique!


      • #4
        im sorry layla didnt take

        granted this is my first year breeding my mare, and shes not a maiden, but we just let her cycle on her own, then gave her the shot to ensure she ovulated when the u/s said she was about to go. though her follicle was HUGE, somewhere in the 50's if i remember correctly. i must be lucky in that she took on one cover. i know everyone has different opinions, but the breeder i used prefers to let them cycle on their own.

        if shes 18 days post, shouldnt she be showing signs of coming back into heat? that is, if she has a regular 21-day cycle. i know my mare goes about 4.5 weeks, though this year she started having silent heats.


        • #5
          By day 18, she should be in heat, and starting to build a follicle. I would wait. The vet may have missed a pregnancy.


          • #6
            So before the vet bred her on Saturday, did she check her for ovulation? It isn't impossible for the mare to ovulate on follicles around that size, even though most get larger follicles. If she had already ovulated, then it is possible that she was just bred too late. Also, you are probably giving her oxytocin to help expel fluid, and we generally start that 6 hours after breeding, instead of 4 hours. Not sure if that will hurt anything or not.
            Hopefully it is just one of those crappy things that happen and she will settle on the next breeding.
            Already excited about our 2016 foals! Expecting babies by Indoctro, Diamant de Semilly, Zirocco Blue and Calido!


            • #7
              Personally, I would wait and let her cycle in on her own and follow things very closely with ultrasound. We currently have one at Day 18, seasoned broodmare, who notoriously cycles back in at around day 17-19. We are at Day 18 and at this time we cannot find a pregnancy, BUT, she has no follicle development. I am confident that the pregnancy is there, we just need a bit more time to find it because if she weren't pregnant, then she would definitely have follicle development beginning.

              I am also a firm believer, especially in the first few years of breeding a mare, that the cycles need to be followed closely with ultrasound so that you can get a basic idea of their cycle length and follicle size at ovulation. This gives you a better feel for your timing.............although some mares can be unpredicatable each cycle, many of them have a basic size that they tend to ovulate on and this gives you a great baseline to work around on each cycle.


              • #8
                Wait. The number one reason for mares not coming back into heat is pregnancy!
                7-Mile Ranch Paint Sport Horses


                • #9
                  Originally posted by 7up View Post
                  Wait. The number one reason for mares not coming back into heat is pregnancy!

                  I have to also say that I'm not a fan of short-cycling or any other hormonal manipulation, nor having the vet palp any more than necessary. I think it does more harm than good, a feeling also shared by my vet (his favorite thing is repro work) and my trainer (who's bred hundreds of mares). I breed live cover without constant vet checks so I have only a guesstimate of where a mare is in her cycle, but nine times out of ten my mares "catch" on the first or second heat. I realize with shipped or frozen semen the stakes are higher, but I still think less is better.


                  • Original Poster

                    Thanks guys.

                    I started monitoring her heat cycles back in the middle of March and kept a diligent calendar of her physical showings as well as her attitude, so she was on a very constant 21ish day cycle. She also is very apparent while in heat, so we will see. Today is Day 19 and I did not notice any signs of heat. Vet said to wait out this weekend and see if she comes back in b/c she knows shes very regular with her cycles and its very easy to tell shes in. If I dont notice anything this weekend, she will come back out next week and check again.

                    Since we cultured her, she did check her folicle sizes prior to breeding. She went through 2 heat cycles before we brought her back in for the actual breeding. Each time we checked (about 4-5 days into the heat) she had a 35mm folicle on the left and about a 30 on the right each time. Same sizes she had the Friday before we bred.

                    Mare was kind of reluctant to let the vet get really far to her overies but she did finally get the left one on the screen the other day. It didnt show anything and she didnt show a black dot, which is apparently the embryo?

                    I believe the shot we gave her was similar to oxytocin but it wasnt exactly that b/c I know the oxytocin is what women get to induce (or whatever it does but I know Ive heard of that before) and what she was giving her was similar to that but not called exactly that. It made her get very mild cramps to basically cause the cervix to contract and expell the unused fluids. No cramping like that shot that brings them into heat does. I felt so bad seeing her cramp and sweat.

                    Ill be watching Ms Thang like a hawk this weekend. My friend spoke to the Vet Tech today and she told her that my vet will be calling me tomorrow so we will see what she says. More than likely she will say to watch her and if she does come into heat, we can check her and see what size her folicles are and try to breed her without short cycling her on our own.

                    Thanks for the kind words and the information. Im learning as Im going.

                    Would you guys say its pretty common for a maiden to be more shy about showing shes pregnant or not? How often does it happen that they dont see anything at Day 18 but do further along?

                    Member of the ILMD[FN]HP Clique, The Florida Clique, OMGiH I loff my mares, and the Bareback Riders clique!


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by KrazyTBMare View Post
                      Thanks guys.

                      Would you guys say its pretty common for a maiden to be more shy about showing shes pregnant or not? How often does it happen that they dont see anything at Day 18 but do further along?
                      If a vet is ultrasounding for pregnancy, it doesn't really have anything to do with being shy; they either see the black blob or not. My maiden mares, heck, all my mares, are pretty subtle about showing any signs of pregnancy that early. Since I desperately want them to be pregnant, I spend time speculating about whether that dreamy look means they are, but I'm often wrong.

                      My vet has never missed a pregnancy at 18 days. I have so wanted him to be wrong, but alas, so far he is batting 100 %. I have them checked at 15 days, and he hasn't missed one of those, either.

                      I know you feel like your mare is a total sure thing as far as predicting heat, but I have a mare I felt the same way about, and the last heat she had, the one she got in foal on, she didn't show anything until the day she ovulated. I know that because we were monitoring with ultrasound, fortunately. I can't recommend too highly monitoring the progress of the follicle and confirmation of ovulation when you are going to breed her.
                      Mystic Owl Sporthorses


                      • #12
                        It is Oxytocin that is used to contract the uterus to remove fluid post breeding - same drug that induces labor (horses too)

                        Your mare does NOT have to cramp from Lutalyse/Prostin. Dose information has been available for a VERY long time, and widely accepted for at LEAST 5 years. The correct dose is .2 ml (that is 2/10s of a cc) for 2 days in a row, NOT the archaic dose of 2 ml that is so painful to the mares. I actually usually only use a single dose of 1/4 ml, and it works the SAME as the old dose, to bring them in heat with NO cramping, NO sweating, MUCH kinder to our girls.
                        Last edited by Fairview Horse Center; Jun. 15, 2007, 10:44 PM.


                        • #13
                          heres to hoping that the vet just missed the little black dot and youll find out soon that layla is pregnant


                          • #14
                            One thing you can discuss with your vet is doing a lavage/uterine flush at 4-6 hours post-insemination. I did a ton of research earlier this year since my mare was bred on two good heats last year with fantastic semen, given oxytocin, checked 36 hours later, everything.. and no pregnancy. She has a 2A biopsy score and a clean culture/cytology. The only thing I haven't been asking the vet to do is a uterine lavage.

                            There have been studies done on groups of mares (found it on the net) and research seems to show that the mares being flushed 4-6 hours post-breeding (no earlier though!) had higher pregnancy rates than those that were not flushed.

                            It's one more thing you can do to try and help the process along. And if your mare got pregnant but lost the pregnancy before the 18-day check, then perhaps she might need Regumate.. worth checking into as well.

                            I am pulling out all the stops this year!! I WILL have my Balta 'Czar baby, dangit!!


                            • Original Poster

                              I thought Regumate was to keep them from having a heat... like birth control for us?? I totally dont know anything about that stuff b/c I LOVE my mare in heat. Shes the most relaxed, agreeable, lovable thing ever.

                              We are on Day 20 and NO HEAT. Normally by this time she will have some crusty fluid on her *area* and be really happy and relaxed. Shes actually kind of snarky, which is her normal self not in heat. So we will see.

                              Ill keep yall updated.

                              Member of the ILMD[FN]HP Clique, The Florida Clique, OMGiH I loff my mares, and the Bareback Riders clique!


                              • #16
                                Day 20 and no heat would DEFINITELY make me think pregnancy, but it's been a strange season hasn't it??!

                                Could I semi-invade this post only because it goes along with a few of the questions asked and answered here.

                                My mare was bred Friday June 1 at 8:30 pm 37mm "ish" follicle on the left side. We horn bred one does towards that left side and then did second dose right in the center because there were a few smaller ones on the right. Gave shot of HCG. Good edema.

                                Re-scanned her early Saturday afternoon and she had NOT ovulated yet! Semen wasn't available that day and we could only hope for the best. Follicle was around 35mm and seemed to be breaking down.

                                Scanned on Sunday June 3 and she did indeed ovulate already most likely that previous evening. So ok good bred 24 hours or less before ovulation. Edema gone.

                                Culture came back with small staph infection and we had her flushed on Monday June 4 gave shot of oxytocin that night, next morning and afternoon and stopped. Vet felt what she flushed out was nice and clean.

                                Soooo here we are at day 14 and we scanned her this morning and she couldn't see that cute little black dot! She didn't have edema in her uterus, thought everything looked good and had a few follicles on her left side (one was 34mm) which she said was the "after" ovulation follicles to help her hormones along if she indeed were pregnant. I "thought" I saw her winking during the exam, but...........????

                                So my ?'s are, could she still be pregnant? Is 14 days too early? Is that 34mm follicle really after ovulation follicle or the start of her new cycle?

                                This is SO darn hard! Her filly is just over a month and IF she had a foal heat it was completely silent and I missed it........or this cycle was her FIRST cycle since foaling.

                                Sorry to invade, I just felt it went with the going topic. I don't mean to be intrusive!

                                Thanks in advance!
                                Mountain View Farm
                                Diva 5-7-07, Dolce 5-19-08, Devo 6-10-09

                                When handling yourself....use your head. When handling your horse....use your heart!<3


                                • Original Poster


                                  No problem! Jump on in. Reading these answers really helps me learn as well.


                                  Day 21, no signs of heat. Shes still her snarky mare self (like she always is in her stall except while in heat!). She was certainly very opinionated when I rode yesterday, which again, she is not when she is in heat. Shes very relaxed and ho-hum while in heat so thats a good sign. No signs of fluid excretion or winking or any crusties on her *area*.

                                  My vet is out of town Monday- Wednesday so I cant get her out to check her any sooner. Either way shes going to have to come out, to either check her to see if shes ready to breed again if shes in heat or check her to see if she sees the black dot if she doesnt show signs of heat.

                                  ARGH! I now understand why everyone says that breeding can be VERY frusterating. This is def a time I wish they could talk! Or just take a pee test like us and see if shes pregnant. Can they test the blood like humans can and see if you are pregnant??? Anything other than ultrasound?

                                  Member of the ILMD[FN]HP Clique, The Florida Clique, OMGiH I loff my mares, and the Bareback Riders clique!


                                  • #18
                                    that makes me think of something i did when i decided to breed. i was in walmart, and in a rather stupid mood, and bought a pregnacy test, just to see if it would work. the problem was, it said it wasnt accurate until 5 days before your missed period, and the vet had already confirmed the pregnacy. so now i have a box of sealed pregnacy tests in my tack trunk and no use for them. ill mail them to you to try

                                    but i think they can do a blood test, the hormone they would be testing for is just not what a human pregnacy test would pick up.


                                    • #19
                                      You can use a blood test on a mare to check for pregnancy, but not until they are 100 days or so. I don't think it is a wildly popular way to check pregnancy, as it is more expensive than a palpation, which is what is used at that point.
                                      Mystic Owl Sporthorses


                                      • Original Poster

                                        Ah. Not as easy as running to the store and buying a pee test, eh? LOL End of Day 21 and no signs. Will keep a diligent eye.

                                        Member of the ILMD[FN]HP Clique, The Florida Clique, OMGiH I loff my mares, and the Bareback Riders clique!