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My mare carried twins to term - what now?

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  • My mare carried twins to term - what now?

    So, one of the most tragic things a breeder can experience happened to my mare last night. She gave birth to twins.

    Both were dead, one had been for a few days while inside of her. So the other one was left with his dead twin. She actually carried them to day 321, yet they both showed preemie signs, such as almost no hair on the tail/manes, dome-head, silky coat. Both they were both of equal size, and not far off full-term size!

    We of course checked her for twins, but the vet didn't spot it. I am devestated now obviously. And now the questions are starting to arise...

    I had planned on breeding her again this season (live cover), preferrably on the foal-heat since it's already late. I don't feel like that is an option anymore, but does anyone have experience here breeding a mare after she had twins? Did she have any problems conceiving the same year or following years? Did the mare continue to double ovulate and produce two embryos?

    Info: She is a KWPN mare from Vigaro x Numero Uno, born 2008 and had one foal as a 4 yo. Don't know if they pinched a twin then. She does not have a lot of blood, but is rather a stockier big mare.

    Any info/experiences on the topic is much appreciated. Of course the vet has already examined her, and I won't breed her again without him deeming it safe, I am just curious to get as much info and insight as possible from others who might have been through similar situations.

  • #2
    Obviously you have to work with your vets protocals, but my biggest concern with the early death in utero would be a major uterine infection. Culture/Cytology must be done, with culture/biopsy perhaps being the smarter course. Assuming she comes out healthy, there's no reason to treat it any differently than any other mare.


    • #3
      Did your vet give a course of Oxytocin to "flush" her out? I agree with Katona uterine culture would be in order IMO.

      If the standard protocol is followed there should no reason not to breeders. I bred TBs we rarely breed on a foal heat. Never had much luck and most stallion farms don't allow it. IMO and experience better off short cycling.

      No snark intended nor trying to throw anyone under the bus. But I would be REALLY pissed if my repro-vet missed seeing, picking up on twins. It rarely happens with TB breeding farms. We check at 15, 30, 45 and sometimes at 60. If my vet has any concerns, suspicions we will check at 20, 25 days. We want to be able to pinch a twin as early as possible. So if the remaining should be absorbed, aborted we can short and breed her bask asap.


      • #4
        If the delivery was difficult, even if it was not keep an eye on the mare. We had one that developed endotoxemia post foaling.

        A necropsy showed the position of the foals, and/or all the manipulation to get them out, had caused injury to the intestine.

        I agree with the others who have said the mare should be examined, and receive prophylactic treatment for infection and retained placenta.

        So sorry it happened, jingling the mare gives you a lovely foal next time.


        • #5
          I bought a TB mare already bred (about 3 months along) and had a certificate from the vet that she had been checked in foal. At 9 months she aborted twins. One looked perfectly normal, the other wasn't well developed. She retained her placenta and spent almost a week at the vet. I was able to breed her again about a month later. She had originally been bred live cover but the stallion (a WB) had moved to the other side of the country for training and showing so I ended doing AI with frozen. Got a lovely filly the next year who is now 15.
          Crayola Posse - Pine Green
          Whinnie Pine (June 4, 1977 - April 29, 2008)
          Autumn Caper (April 27, 1989 - May 24, 2015)
          Murphy (April 28, 1994 - May 5, 2017)


          • #6
            I had a Thoroughbred mare that gave birth to twins after being checked TWICE (vet missed it both times even though mare had a history of twinning).THank God, everyone was fine after the birth and the Chronicle had a write up on her delivery. There was a great thread on them that was on this forum - https://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/f...e-on-last-page

            At any rate, I did not breed her that year (obviously), or even the next one. Wanted her to recover and rest. She went on to give me several more fantastic foals before I retired her. Now she is living the high life here at Otteridge Farm. Twin photos on next post.
            Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver Equine Insurance Specialist


            • #7
              Randee Beckman ~Otteridge Farm, LLC (http://on.fb.me/1iJEqvR)~ Marketing Manager - The Clothes Horse & Jennifer Oliver Equine Insurance Specialist


              • #8
                A friend's Percheron mare had twins this spring. They were both basically healthy, but small. One had to really stretch to reach the mare to have lunch. They are about 3 months old here, at that ugly stage black colts have. They actually are small for their age, small for 3 month old draft colts out of a 18h mare

                The mare was checked and obviously the twins were missed. AFAIK, the are planning on breeding the mare again.

                Visit my Spoonflower shop


                • #9
                  The problem is not breeding after twins, it is breeding a mare with possible metritis (infection in uterus.) Carrying two foals is hard on a mare -- having one die in utero makes an infection very likely. As late as it is, I would rest her this year. Just my thought.


                  • Original Poster

                    Thank you all for the info and sharing your experiences!

                    The mare luckily didn't have any problems afterwards, we did the vets protocol and no infection in the uterus or anything

                    I bred her on the 2nd cycle (so not the foal heat, but the one after), and today she was confirmed pregnant at 16 days and only one! (lets hope there is only one this time!)


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by kathrinef View Post
                      Thank you all for the info and sharing your experiences!

                      The mare luckily didn't have any problems afterwards, we did the vets protocol and no infection in the uterus or anything

                      I bred her on the 2nd cycle (so not the foal heat, but the one after), and today she was confirmed pregnant at 16 days and only one! (lets hope there is only one this time!)