Abortions.......At What Gestation???

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Well-Known Member
Aug 18, 2003
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I just wanted to see when everyone has had Mares abort fetuses.

Also.......did you find the fetus? did you measure it? did the mare show visual evidence that she had aborted?

Oops I meant to make this a poll

Okay so I guess just tell me what gestation or approximate gestation the mare was at.
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I have never personally had a mare abort a foal however, I do know of someone who had two abort within days of each other at 7mo each. The exam proved it was something the mares had been exposed to during the pregnancy. Unfortunately, it was awhile ago and the cause has slipped my mind.
I had a mare abort in February this year the fetus was a 5 month filly she was necropsied and there was no reason found. The mare had no ill effects from the abortion. She was due for a pneumobort shot later the same week she lost the foal. Baby was roughly 12 inches from head to tail and was taken to my vet hospital to help new vets become more familiar with minis. The only possible reason the vet found was a drastic 24 hour change in temperature it went from 28 degrees to 53 degrees and back down to 18 the day before the baby was found in the stall in the morning.
I had one abort last week between 4 and 5 months - did not find a fetus, mare was just very drawn and wet behind. She was shocky too, temp was down to 90. She has bounced back pretty well in a week, flanks are filling out again and she doesn't look so "down". She lost a colt at about the same gestation several years ago and I did find the fetus that time, was a perfectly formed colt about 10" if memory serves.

my niece had her mare abort this spring at 9 months and the vet checked the foal. we did not measure it. the vet felt the mare had been exposed to something before my neice bought her.

I had a mare abort 2 years ago. Vet was out and could find no apparent reason for it to have happened. I did find the fetus and it was a tiny red/white pinto about 10"s long, perfectly formed. This was my mares first foal, and she was about 5 months bred. She has had a foal since with no problems at all. Corinne
We had a mare abort at about 3 months. Found the fetus in the stall that morning when we fed her. It was perfectly formed, about the size of a man's fist, with the placenta attached. The mare had no blood or tearing, not even any visible signs that she had lost the foal. She quickly recovered and has been fine since.
We had one abort last year at 10 months of gestation. The baby presented tail first and the vet felt that it was due to the cord wrapping around the foal. It was really really sad and we were lucky that we didn't loose the mare as well.
I told our story on here a while back, but just to recap, we went through 4 years of terrible abortion storms here losing half of our foal crop each year. We spent a fortune testing everything we and vets could think of. all tests were negative. Our own research made black walnut trees suspicious. We removed the walnuts and also pecans which also produce juglone. We have had no more abortions. these abortions occurred between 8-10 months.

Our experience and research has caused us to be much more aware of the deformities and deaths that can be caused by things in our little horse's environment that we normally wouldn't consider to be a problem.

Late term abortions (9 - 11 months) are very obvious as you are dealing with a close to full term foal. My experience is that these frequently result in a dystocia.

Early abortions - sometimes I've found a fetus but generally do not. These are probably 60 - 90 day gestations. The tell tale sign is usually a thinner mare and a messy tail.
I've had two full term- nearly- abortions where the foal was perfect but small for that mare, one at 263 days this year - the Vet actually queried it as he thought the mare was full term but the foetus was small for that mare, and I had her exact dates. Then tow years ago I had a mare abort at eight, nearly nine months- that was a non- viable foetus, some hair, but very small, no more than 10 inches from hoof to shoulder. A few years before that I had a mare abort because the owner was starving her- that foetus was exactly 41/2 moths and 81/2 " long- no hair but sex clear etc. Some people!!
I think you will discover that mares can abort at any time during their pregnancy.

Abortions in the first trimester are more like a "slipping" and if the mare is out in pasture you may not find a fetus.

We had two abortions this last season. One was at 7 months and the other at 9 months.

In both situations, there was a fetus and the mares reacted to the loss. Infact the mares literally LED me to their dead babies.

When we've had very early abortions in years past (first trimesters) the mares did not react with emotion.

I had one mare abort at 9 months last year. I had just given her her last pneumobort shot the day before(and yes it was the right one for pregnant mares). I almost lost the mare, found her with the placenta and bag of waters hanging out and no foal! She obviously had been straining for a while and was cold, sweaty and shocky...very prolonged cap refill. Vet was 40 minutes out and on their way but I was afraid if I didn't get the foal out my mare would die. The foal was upside down and backwards curled in position with the hind legs forward. Was a really tough one to pull...got one back leg straightened out and had a heck of a job getting to the second one. Luckily the foal was small.....a beautiful proportioned black and white filly
Becky said:
Late term abortions (9 - 11 months) are very obvious as you are dealing with a close to full term foal.  My experience is that these frequently result in a dystocia.
Early abortions - sometimes I've found a fetus but generally do not.  These are probably 60 - 90 day gestations.  The tell tale sign is usually a thinner mare and a messy tail.


Independence aborted a filly foal at 7 months this past February. Bad dystocia - foal upside down and rolled in a little ball with the head back but I got it out - our vet was surprised I was able to do this as quickly as I did as Indy is a tiny mare. The foal was about 15 lbs and big puppy sized... I remember the little legs being so pencil thin.

Another mare I knew but did not own aborted 8 weeks prematurely - she had a dwarf on board. For Indy and this mare the vets felt it was a fungal infection of the placenta due to the condition of the placentas - the other mare's foal had a necropsy and tissues were sent to Cornell but it came back inconclusive. Both mares aborted at different farms at different times.

I did oxytocin shots for the evening but the vet had to come out to flush her and get the placenta out. She did not have any problems but I am not breeding anymore - after our dwarves, Hope's problem delivery of Freedom and Indy's loss (not to mention a soft market in our area), I am just enjoying my "girls".


Silversong Farm

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