Really long - ?s re: abortion

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Well-Known Member
Nov 27, 2009
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Cameron, NC
Well, I'm not so new to the Forums - just this one. I'm not new to breeding/foaling out horses - have done so since 1979 w/ breaks here and there. But I am new to abortions/miscarriages and thought I knew what "symptoms" to look for.

Bit was bred last spring to Iggy. She was washed, wrapped and he was washed - teased and hand bred. No issues. The next day - he is washed but is turned out with 3 other mares besides Bit. They are left together for 2 weeks - figured if they weren't bred at that point then I wouldn't worry about it for now (they'd all been in season and bred at least one cover first). I didn't end up getting the mares checked for pregnancy - maybe I should have?

Bit HAS NOT had a foal since 2008, but was bred in 2011 and found via U/S to have probably aborted a foal - just before 3rd trimester - no foal body jsut going off pictures/edema showing in u/s. We discussed some of the options - and my vet seems reluctant I'm thinking I imagined it (now not sure at all). She did culture clean before I bred her to Iggy (above). I thought about getting Regumate for her - because I was really hoping to get a viable foal from this cross. I've had FUN, challenge and enjoyment with training this mare and her full sister - Bit "mothers" the other foals somewhat, and was just looking forward to it. Have had other mares much older have no issues and no problems up to 30 foaling out. After much thought, decided against Regumate - if her body truly doesn't want to carry/care for foal - maybe it's for the best.

So last week was a bit of a surprise on one hand and not on the other. With today being the culmination and disappointment. On Monday morn last week - all the ponies looked great. I was leaving on a trip to take a 2 yr old to IL for fitting and showing, so looked everyone over pretty closely and let my hubby know that everyone looked good. No mares were due until the end of March (well one might be due the end of Feb...). They all had plenty of free choice hay, and he knows how to care for them while I'm gone (somewhat). At one point our trip became exciting, so it was nice when in the hotel to find out the the "girls" were all fine. Weather cleared for the balance of the trip, we arrived & dropped the colt off made it back to that morn's starting point & made it home by Wednesday evening. I went out to check ponies and Bit (coming on 22 yrs old) was slow to "greet" me - a little slower than normal, but ... not too bad I suppose. It was cold and windy and she'd been laying down.

The next morning - she was slow coming up to be fed - but did come on her own. Hmmm. A close look and I was a little alarmed - she'd lost weight - quite a lot. In 3 days she went from very, very round and sassy to lean, long & quiet! Along her topline (at that point), but flanks filled out and she was still firm along croup, belly seems to still be there, it's a little smaller - I do think she's pregnant & I'm regretting that hadn't had her checked (by first, hand breeding date she's due 1st week of April). Her tail was loose - but has been since she finally figured out driving was OK, so not using that as an indicator. She ate but ... like it wasn't great or interesting. She stood quietly instead of fidgeting as she normally does. She was off but not off - can't really explain it any better than that. No fever, good capilary refill and decent gut sounds. Farrier coming out and she was due to be done. So we did her. She was "ho-hum" in attitude (normally tense and fidgety!), and seemed to have some problems with balancing. I didn't like the way her eyes looked - told my farrier I'd be pulling the saline and ointment out again for her. Also, called vet. When spoke with her gave her all the "symptoms" - including what I'd done thus far and went over what to do next. While on the phone, Bit, passed manure and it looked fine... ?? OK, I guess I'm just imagining "boogers" out there - I felt really silly & confused.

Friday - she's moving slow and kinda "ho-hum" but she's still eating (at least feed - I realize when I actually watch her that I've not seen her eating the hay - but just standing in front of the large bales). She's passing manure but it's now loose. The vet is on a "real" emergency and we agree to stick with the next day since I have a regular appointment.

Saturday morn - is more the same. I treated Bit's left eye (have been doing this off and on since her purchase in Sept 09 - sometimes have vet out to look at it, sometimes don't). Nothing has really changed - any direction. When turned loose after eating - she doesn't check any buckets nor does she "flirt" her tail and take off (either of which she'd do). She just walks off and then stops and stands. As I'm doing more with other ponies (farrier back - we'd gotten behind over Christmas and Jan when first she and then me were sick and then had some bad weather). While holding ponies in the open - I note that Bit's by the hay bales again... but content to stand or lay quietly. Doesn't appear to be eating at all. When vet arrives, I point out Bit, but we do ponies in front pastures first. Then we go to get Bit - and again I'm alarmed as she seems to now be really depressed (o, I've seen her drinking water) and is ... just not right - even more so.

Vet stands and looks at her. Walks around while temp checked. "She looks like she's in pain..., but ...." Again, no temp, gums look good and are moist and breathe is actually sweet (hay/grass scent - not sour like I associate with chokes or colic). Gut sounds seem a little slow -but loud and grumbly... There is evidence now of diarrhea - along vulva and in her tail. When checked - no manure right "there" and vet reluctant to do any "exploring" for a fecal sample. Eyes not dull, but not bright. They get stained and we move her out of pasture into the barn so we can check her int he dark... Stain shows - ulcerations in both eyes. A 2nd and a 3rd check - the left eye also shows a possible fungal prob? ... So, blood is drawn but won't have results back until Monday. She's started on both a new ointment for her eyes (rather than the ointment I'd had prescribed previously), a few doses of bute, a 1x daily dose of antibiotic, a change of feed is recommended and hay pellets are recommended along with separating from the herd. When put into the pen by herself - she finally becomes more like herself - whinnying, pawing, and walking fast back and forth. She does some trotting - but that's different in that its not her normal snappy fast trot - but it's a small pen. She returns to the gate and her head is up (FINALLY), she's now acting like her voice is back - she's whinnying full throttle...

When done, I head for the feed store to get the feed that vet recommended (a sr feed). Upon comparison, I'm surprised as it's lower in fat (a lot), lower in fiber but the same in protein. I call the vet (& got thru!) and ask some questions - she feels the Sr feed is better at this point because it's a complete feed... I ask about ulcer protection and what would be best as there are new products that I'm not familiar with on the shelves... She didn't name a brand of Sr feed - so I went w/ a pelleted/extruded (close to our Nutrena Safe Choice) by Southern States. For hay pellets, I go with Timothy (wanted a timothy/alfa mix). She also recommended that I go ahead and start her on Electorlytes (previous vet would have given me some to start with). I return home and mix feed - for the first time - she completely refuses the feed and after a quick sniff of the soaked "hay" also turns her nose up to it and goes and nibbles on the hay I'd fed from a small sq bale (similar to free choice rounds but not the same supplier). I go and dump out the feed mix and mix it almost 90% her original feed and 10% new feed, add 1/2 the fat supplement I'd been using for other ponies and 1/2 her normal mix of Beet Pulp. Took it in the house and mixed it with hot water... She immediately started in on it - but seemed to want to suck up the water, so I dumped her water bucket and took it in the house and refilled it in a tub - w/ hot water. Later, since she'd cleaned up most of it - I dumped the rest and mixed up more of the same amounts again w/ hot water. She nibbled...

Monday - seems to be about the same. Like me when I'm sick, seems happiest, most energetic and eating best in the morning after meds. Late in the afternoon the good/bad news comes in - blood panels show a low grade infection - but nothing shows in what area of the body it might be in (don't ask Y - but I knw I haven't thought of abortion at this point and if the vet has - she didn't say anything!). Continue what your doing - when she passes manure bring some in to be checked. She's urinating fine - not off color or scent. Drinking a good amount of water (Monday & Tuesday - drank more than 10 gallons each day - kinda surprising).

OK, this is forever long - to see today - go here - Bit's Colt ...

So -

1 - I suppose should have recognized the "symptoms" as pre-abortion? OR did something going on with her eyes & being put on meds possibly cause abortion? AT this stage it is an abortion, correct? Looking back - if there are suggestions for things I could have tried or should have done, please let me know. Maybe next time, that would work?

2 - what other things, at the stages I've described in some detail, should I have looked for or asked about? Should I have insisted on anything (I'm getting really concerned by this vets reluctance to do any repro work with the ponies - even my larger ones. That's not something I had a problems with my previous vet and I'm wondering if it's time for a sit down to see what the problem is or isn't???). I may be searching for a back-up or even a new vet - which sucks, truthfully!

3 - or is it because I DO try to save money both by NOT doing procedures that may be unncessary OR try to do as much as I can myself (she's frowning on my giving my own vax's now too - funny - I"ve not had any reactions 2 any shots - but have treated at least one for shot reactions everytime in the last 2 years...?? & in December had to treat 5 of the 10 - 1 with severe issues- since switching to this vet. It's weird!) Is my questioning what procedures can be done, should be done, are absoulutely necessary and what the consequences of not doing them - throwing her off (maybe) or in-appropriate? It isn't just $$ - I also want to try to stay as "natural" as possible and I DO enjoy doing a lot fo the work myslef - WHEN I CAN DO THE PROCEDURES. I do want to be an informed owner and active in the care of my equine. Is this too much to ask in this day and age?

I ahd a couple of other questions, but ...too tired to remember them and now, finally, ready to go to bed (to SLEEP, yay).

Hope that this very long story and rant isn't too offensive...
I am really sorry for your loss. I have lost a couple of foals over the years so I know how heart breaking it is.
What eye medication was she on? just curious really as one of my mares was on medication and she later lost her foal. I found the foal fully formed with the placenta attached similar to yours. Probably just a coincidence and I guess we will never really know what happened.

Finding a really good vet is a luxury that most of us don't have and then if you throw in that we work with minis it makes it even harder. I did equine studies and worked for 4 years with one of Italy's best vets so I enjoy/want to do as much as possible too, things like vaccinations, worming and blood tests are the norm for me so I understand as will most of the other ladies here.

As to what you should have done, well you watched her closely and called your vet, there wasn't much else you could have done. Once she started showing signs of being off color it was too late to stop her losing her foal anyway. Sometimes nature is cruel!

Hugs Renee
First of all, I am so sorry for your loss. We have had more than our share of late term abortions/foals born at term and not getting out of the sac - actually we have had more of those than we have live foals. The first time it happened, we would surely have lost our mare if she hadn't been taken to the hospital 2 hours away, because it was a breech presentation. The hospital was sure it was Herpes (Rhino) but could not confirm. They also warned us to keep her away from our other pregnant mare, but that was impossible, and that mare carried to term and delivered a foal that didn't get out of the sac. We suspected Herpes/Rhino again, because it can do that in addition to causing late term abortions.

What we have done is we now give our mares Pneumabort shots at 5,7, and 9 months and the mare that aborted gets Regumate throughout her pregnancies. With those changes, last year we had 3 live foals, out of three mares bred, including one from the Regumate mare.

I have head of people saying that mares abort after the shots, and I wonder if it is because Rhino is so contagious and that the VET brings it onto the farm??? Just a paranoid thought, but we do have our vet come here first visit of the day to do them.

We have also had a lot of experience with ulcers, and that was something I was thinking of as I read your post. BTW, we are not breeding our Regumate mare any more - she was hospitalized for hypocalcemia this time when the foal was 2 weeks old and we almost lost her again. She is a 4-H project now for our 4-H Club.
Im soo sorry for your loss, My mare lost her foal about 2 years ago, and he looked very similar to your boy, same colour just a little less pinto and maybe a little further along. I think he was alive when born though, but he was just a tad too early and couldnt get out of the sack.
Thank you ladies - needed some of that support this time!! I really appreciate it...

Well, after getting a whopping 3 hours of sleep (I know - prob more than some mare-starers), I was up and doing chores. Bit had finished her feed but she's not really liking the pelleted hay... She was unhappy thruout the nite in our "stall" - so put her back out into the pen (very muddy - got more rain thru the nite). She's at least able to buddy up with some of the boys that way and move around.

Got the call from the Vet Hospital, dropped what I was doing, changed plans and then took the colt up to Raleigh. Went to the Lab, not the college - but the first part of necropsy results should be done by tomorrow eve so we have an idea of what went wrong...

Bit seems to be doing better this evening... Still turning her nose up at the hay pellets - even after getting alfalfa ones and mixing them 1/2 and 1/2 alfalfa & timothy. Will keep working on that.
Dianne - I know that I'd had another pony breeder recommend that I check into Moorman's minerals. Istarted to, our vet (s) said it wasn't needed. I will check into the selineum tho as I do believe that can be an issue here. Need to do some more checking.

Most recommendations are what I'd already been doing, so now I feel better. Soooo... Others have given me some "food for thought" or ... more thought in relation to these mares. I know one thing - Bit means a lot more to me than I really thought (well, they all do...but). I don't believe we will be trying again wtih Bit - simply not worth it when she could have a nice quiet "rest of her life" time.

We'll see what happens with her sister and if that's not an angle we can follow, I have two daughters of her sister and 1 granddaughter. I'd love to see if I could find some of Bit's registered foals...
Just thought I'd throw up the selnium chart for the US, I'm sure there are a few discrepencies, but should still give a good idea as to whether or not supplementation is necessary for your area."selenium+map"&tbm=isch&tbo=u&zoom=1&q="selenium+map"&usg=__buxeXLpCg3TmZ2IZ9OIRIQGHSCA=&docid=yHdQBTQS2Ip16M&hl=en&sa=X&ei=JIodUbjrAuWVyAHp6YDIAQ&ved=0CDUQ9QEwAQ&dur=266

Its not the best one, but easiest to link. Just google selenium map, if you want to see more.
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I'm so sorry for your lost, I to have had one per term foaling mine was at about 7 months so no hair yet but like Diane said it fell within the time frame for rhino/flu I did not give pneumabort shot that year now I do and have knock on wood not have any problems, I'm a bit of an expert in using regumate-- your case doesn't sound like that would have mattered at all seeing how regumate is a man made hormone and would only help a pregnancy during the peeks when the endo system produces the hormone this is from the day of conception to 90-120 days and then the placenta picks up the hormone production up till day 290-300 so usually after day 120 the mare is slowly pulled off the regumate and then restarted back on 290 days and left on till she foals....I really feel that you did all you could for bit and baby and my option is even if you knew bit was prego I don't feel that would have changed the outcome my daughter used to tell me that when a baby foal is lost it just ment a little kid in heaven wanted one......always made me feel better.....keep us updated with the results if you don't mind.....
Learning more each day!!

Liz K - I last treated a mare with Regumate in 2001 - there seems to be new info out there as we didn't pull the mare off and then restart it. We did regumate for her several years in a row and had a total of 5 lovely foals from her - into her mid-20's at which point she went to a young 4Her as a first riding pony. All went on to families that loved and utilized their 1/2 shetland ponies (one did quite a bit of serious 3 day eventing, 2 others were adults' trusted trail riding ponies. I love the "kid in heaven" analogy! That works ...

No problems with keeping you updated.

I believe I will start a new thread - with each of our other ponies that are due. I know that I have 3 more for sure pregnant - possibly 5 (the later 2 would be due later in the year).

Now I need to know - how do you guys get those under the flank, udder pics?? I took a couple 3 years ago - when my smallest mare was waxing. You can't tell what the pics are of. 'Course it doesn't help that it was dark (lights in the stall), and she's a dark silver dapple and her udder was gray/black...LOL.

Chandab - thanks for the map - that sure made my search easier! It does show NC to be low in selinium...

In another post/different forum - a breeder mentioned losing a foal due to the cord being twisted too much. I immediately went back to my original pics of the foal (placenta not cropped out) plus thought about it. When I moved him out of the pen and set him down, I DO remember being surprised at how twisted up his umbilicus was - tight twists. I was trying to untwist them when I laid him down for the pics! So... that may be part of the problems too. Now I'm really curious as to what will be found.

Again, thanks for all the input and support.
Hi Paula- I just read all the information on your posted link which I didn't have time to read when I posted earlier. I think it might be key that the placenta was delivered with your foal. That is what has happened to all of our foals that didn't get out of the sac and I read in a book (I think Blessed are the Broodmares but it could be the Complete Book of Foaling) that Rhino can cause the placenta to be delivered with the foal. And when that has happened and we did have a necropsy, Rhino was not confirmed - there was no diagnosis/explanation.

I take photos of the udder (outdoors usually) by blindly holding the camera under the mare and shooting upward. After awhile you get the hang of where you need to aim to get the best shots LOL! I can even take pics of Toffee's udder this way and this is our hard-to-catch mare.
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I don't recall if I posted it or not when Baybe lost her foal last year, I did take a pic of her as I found her and her cord was severely twisted. I'll post it, if others want to see it.
Chanda, this is awesome, and I captured just the map to share. I think I'll add it to one of our pinned posts for future reference. It can be a life-saver!

Selenium Map.jpg
Thanks for that. I couldn't get just the map. there was another map, that showed little pockets of selenium overload areas due to selenium gathering plants, but it was in the middle of page and I couldn't get just the map.
1 - I suppose should have recognized the "symptoms" as pre-abortion? ORdid something going on with her eyes & being put on meds possibly

cause abortion? AT this stage it is an abortion, correct? Looking back

- if there are suggestions for things I could have tried or should have

done, please let me know. Maybe next time, that would work?
There are multiple strains of Herpes and EHV2 can cause keratitis. Is it always a sign of herpes virus abortion? No. But it does make me wonder. Any medication can cause any reaction in any individual and my guess is the once a day drug was Sulfa which can cause a drop in folic acid leading to abortion, but it takes many weeks to months worth of Sulfa to create this issue. In the end, I doubt the medications caused any problems and anti-inflammatories like Bute with antibiotics like Sulfa are a normal drug regimen when bacterial metritis is suspected.

I think breeders should be prepared for an abortion in advance as most breeders will experience them. What preparation is needed? Contact your Vet and the Referral Institute where the fetus and fetal membranes will be sent and know how to collect remains and store them for future examination. 30% of the time the lab will have a diagnosis for you, so expect to send in multiple fetuses when needed for a diagnosis.

2 - what other things, at the stages I've described in some detail,should I have looked for or asked about? Should I have insisted on

anything (I'm getting really concerned by this vets reluctance to do any

repro work with the ponies - even my larger ones. That's not something

I had a problems with my previous vet and I'm wondering if it's time

for a sit down to see what the problem is or isn't???). I may be

searching for a back-up or even a new vet - which sucks, truthfully!
Never a bad idea to have a discussion with your Vet. I would, though, encourage you to consider it from their side in advance.

3 - or is it because I DO try to save money both by NOT doing proceduresthat may be unncessary OR try to do as much as I can myself (she's

frowning on my giving my own vax's now too - funny - I"ve not had any

reactions 2 any shots - but have treated at least one for shot reactions

everytime in the last 2 years...?? & in December had to treat 5 of

the 10 - 1 with severe issues- since switching to this vet. It's

weird!) Is my questioning what procedures can be done, should be done,

are absoulutely necessary and what the consequences of not doing them -

throwing her off (maybe) or in-appropriate? It isn't just $$ - I also

want to try to stay as "natural" as possible and I DO enjoy doing a lot

fo the work myslef - WHEN I CAN DO THE PROCEDURES. I do want to be an

informed owner and active in the care of my equine. Is this too much to

ask in this day and age?
Have you ever been to McDonald's and gotten Filet Mignon? Why wouldn't they carry it? Aren't they a restaurant? Shouldn't they have any food I might need? My analogy may seem silly, but I use it to illustrate a point. McDonald's Clientele does not generally want to pay for Filet and so it isn't financially advantageous for McDonald's to carry it. The same business situations happen for Vets. If you don't want us to vaccinate, float, or perform 'unnecessary' procedures on your animals, then we won't be in a financial situation to serve you when all of a sudden you're ready. Every State (except Michigan) requires Continuing Education. The classes we choose to take aren't what we'd 'like', but rather classes that pertain to the most profitable portions of our business. If you want a highly educated Vet, then make it financially viable to be more educated.

Nothing wrong with being 'natural' or organic, but those terms do not just mean you stop using drugs. They mean you are going to use husbandry to prevent disease. Again, classes in these topics are available for your Vet, make it financially possible for your Vet to help you be organic responsibly.

Also, Vets would prefer to be preventing disease rather than treating it. It is at routine appointments that we can spend time investigating and coming up with preventative measures for your farm. Without those visits, then we are merely putting out fires as they occur.

Asking questions and wanting to be well informed are reasonable expectations for a Client, but there is a right and wrong way to do it.

Dr. Taylor
Wow - some real "traffic" on my post. Thank you for all the advice and ideas. Diane - I took pics of the 3 other mares due "soon" and will start a foaling thread seperate from this one - hope that is OK.

Dr. Taylor - Thank you for your replies. I appreciate it, but have some more ?s and also maybe some more background...

I have been a "client" (I believe?) of this vet since my previous vet recommended her.

I leased 5 acres from my previous vet from 1997 to Jan 2004. I also worked part time for her off and on from 1997 thru 2003 - in various capacities and levels of experience. We moved 50 miles north (from south of Ft Bragg to north of Ft Bragg), and from 2004 until 2009 remained on several farm call/vet runs a year - regularly scheduled PLUS had a couple of serious emergencies - some called to our farm and some we hauled ours down to the vet's barn. Previous vet recommended I check in w/ a closer vet - gave me several referrences. I called current vet and set up our first appointment in late 2009, one of her techs then set me up with a new farrier that was willing, able and good with working with the ponies.

I do at least 4 regularly scheduled appointments a year (increasing this year due to the number of equine we now own) - that includes coggins (every horse/pony on our property usually has a current one w/i 12 months), rabies (which I can't give in this state), teeth floats (at least 2 or 3 at every visit), and castrations. She does rabies and shots for our 3 dogs and currently 4 cats. She checks out the ducks and the chickens... These are regularly scheduled - sometimes several months out. I don't usually run a "tab" - but pay cash for the entire "scheduled" visit. Since I always seem to have a "problem" at the time of her visit (some accidents have occured previous and we converse before deciding to wait. I'm at the point where I "sweat" everytime starting a week before our scheduled appointments!) - the cost is sometimes more than planned and that will "run on" or be a "tab" until the following payday w/i 2 weeks. Every year since we've started - we've also had a couple of accidents or extended plans of treatment that have required her to do farm visits - every week to care for a paitient. I don't have a problem with that.

We have done external ultra sounds previously on several of our pony mares (more than one year but not every year since we first started) and I had "hemmed & hawed" about doing another set in February. It wasn't just the $$ that made me choose not to do so at this time - but other circumstances on our "farm" that made logistics difficult (and she agreed when I explained...). We are planning on two castrations in April along with the scheduled Coggins/rabies run. On other visits - I've brought other local folks in to do like a mini clinic set up (lower farm cost for me and easier for both the vet and for these folk - introducing several new clients to her practice). I don't know yet if there will be other folk at this one - will depend on what's needed. I have the most equine and a fairly easy to access parking/turn around.

I understand that we, as breeders, will have loss. I have dealt with the loss of other ponies and a total of 4 foals (1 during birth, 2 shortly after birth, 1 @ 2 months - of my own and quite a number of others with family and friends'. I have been helpful in saving the lives of several foals for previous vets' clients - when everyone else had given up on them - including the vet). In MT, the bodies were dealt with differently than here - once we "knew" what the problem was (they were fodder for other critters - left outside of dens during snowstorms). I've often felt I've done a lot of things "right" - as I've been very lucky in my "lack of loss"... This was my first late term abortion (if that's what it was) on an "iffy" mare... I WAS upset - both by the abortion and by my vets' occasional "appearance" of not wanting to do reproductive things with the ponies. I was VENTING (frustration and loss?) but also looking for more knowledge - from other breeders whom have much more experience than I do - including yourself and your family.


More background - I didn't do the "RhinoK" shots in 2012. It was also the first year that I've had ponies out with various trainers - and on the breed show "trail". I attended a total of 3 shows myself - Congress, Nationals and the "Spooker" in TX in October. After Nationals, I brought 2 of our ponies home - neither had direct access to the mares that were bred but a virus could have been transferred via contact w/ other ponies in adjacent pastures, I suppose (?). I hauled two mares to TX - both had been bred, 1 IS the mare that aborted - and though they weren't scheduled to be shown, I did stall them at the show for 3 days before hitting the road home. I was watching the two yearlings I have with a TX trainer and looking to have some ??s answered from the other Draft Drivers that were there regarding my pair hitching that I was having problems with. Both of them talked me into entering my pair in the draft Classic classes - though I wasn't really prepared! What a scramble and what a blast that was! I took them to TX originally w/ my farm style wagon to visit my dad at a VA assisted living home and gave him and a group of other somewhat able bodied seniors rides for 4 hours.

I have done the "RhinoK" shots in the past and will return to doing them. I can't even give good reasons why we didn't do them last year... It could definitely have been the lack of protection - in which case the other foals coming could be at risk as well... We shall see.
A couple of people have asked what was perscribed and in the case of the Bute - why.

I hadn't gotten back on that.

I don't usually like to give Bute to my small equine - as in the past - we've had problems to include serious ulcer issues that appeared to begin w/ the dosing of Bute... I usually keep Banamine on hand - didn't have any this time and either the current vet didn't have any with her or she didn't want to perscribe a bottle for me to use "on my own" - I don't know which. I've done IV in the past (with my own ponies) but am more comfortable at this time w/ IM. She does like using Bute - and I had some in paste form from the October fence accident a yearling colt had. She had me give it - 1 gram to start and 1/2 gram each time after. the dosing was for 3-4 days - depending on how I felt her pain was and when her eating picked back up.

She was on Uniprim - 1 dose per day @ 1/2 the full size horse dose. When she aborted the foal before the original dosing ended - she had me continue until the container is gone (I believe Ihave one more dose left). Said that Uniprim will work for infections w/i the uterus, BUT is not interested in doing a uterine flush. I will call her again to ask about doing one - I've done them in the past on two mares (both were larger and arabians).

This mare came to me - possibly blind in the left eye. I bought her for very little money, an older mare w/ some handling. I was THRILLED to have her and possibly to carry on with her bloodlines. Right from the beginning she's had problems with her eyes - but was determined not to be blind in Oct 2009. She's very sensitive to a lot of things here and wears a fly mask a lot thruout the year. Off and on over the last 4 years she's been on a couple of different opthalmic ointments as well as specific times treated with the "red tube" (attropine? - i don't have any right now and can't remember). Several times, she's had her eyes stained to check them.

When vet first came out to look at pony - both eyes were found to be "injured" - ulcerated. I originally asked her to look at her because she'd started to not clean up her feed, wasn't sure she was eating any hay and just "wasn't herself"... Yes, her eyes appeared to be irritated but even several hours before the vet arrived, I saw no real swelling. When I went out to catch her - different story. We don't know if she had a colic or the beginnings of an abortion first or if she had eye injury first. That was when she was originally started on meds - she aborted 4 days after starting on meds. I had some opthalmic Neomycin/Polymycin B Sulfates/Bacitracin Zinc, USP. The vet also gave me Thermazene - a silver sulfafiazine cream that she thought might work better than the other for this particular case. Bit "hates" the white cream. It's been a trial (and believe me I know how to cowboy restrain a horse or pony, so can apply many meds and do treatments as necessary) to treat her with it once the pain let up...

She wanted me to put her on senior feed as well as hay pellets. I questioned the sr feed - as all of them had less protein, fiber and fat to what I'm currently feeding. She stated (over the phone while I was at the feed store) that what she was looking at was having a complete feed... She also recommended an electrolyte and UlcerGuard.

Last bit of info -

The last live foal this mare produced was in 2008. I don't know if she ran with a stallion at all that same year, but she did in summer 2009 before I purchased her. Before I picked her up, she was picked up by another pony breeder and kept for a couple of days in a barn with stallions and she "came into heat" - very "nasty". A hussy and a lot of noise, urine & discharge...

She came into heat again here at my place - but I didn't breed her. I felt that if she was in foal that that would be a problem and if she wasn't I didn't want a foal at that time of year. When checked by the vet (my current one), she didn't feel that the discharge she had was anything beyond normal for an in season mare at her age and having a breeding/foaling history.

She didn't produce a foal in 2010 and later when in season, I did breed her to one of my stallions. She didn't "take" (kept returning to heat) and the vet and I discussed doing some different treatments/checks (yes, my current one). She was reluctant to do anything internal - expressing that these ponies of mine are too tiny (the one time we really talked aobut it). She didn't outright refuse...

The following year, in 2011, I bred her again. I was very excited - as I didn't see her come back into season! In February 2012, unlike our other ponies, she didn't reallly "look" pregnant and she was externally u/s. I was disappointed to find she wasn't in foal BUT then the vet kept looking around and determined that she had been and had lost the foal probably around the December time frame... That was both promising and not promising. We cultured her and she came up "clean". I can't remember now why we didn't go ahead and do a biopsy to see if she'd carry a normal pregnancy but want to say it is because of how "tiny" she is... The vet didn't seem to feel it was important (I did some checking and she is known and respected as a reproductive specialist in this area - very busy at this time of year). I think that's why I find this situation somewhat frustrating... She recommended that I go ahead and try again. I did, didn't see her come back into season and then "forgot" about it.

Then, this started upon my return from a 3 day trip out of state.

I think that is now the full story on this particular mare. O - other than the fact that she's a 1991 model so now she's 22 yrs old.

I don't know if I want to breed her again. Actually, I do. BUT she means much more to me than just a foal at this point and I haven't decided what course I will follow. She's now a steady and fun driving pony - both single and as a pair or 3 abreast. Don't know if I want to jeapordize that at this point... She still isn't herself at this point - still moving very stiff and is just a bit off. It's as if this episode has suddenly and overnight, "aged" her to her actual age. Everyone has always been ..."no way" to the replies that she's the age she is!

On the necropsy results - the "gross findings" are that nothing was wrong with the foal. I will know more next week.
I apologize, I read through your post and was unable to find any questions you for me.

It certainly appears you should have enough of a working relationship to discuss any concerns you may have with your Vet.

I try to get owners to consider the Vet's side when issues like your's arise. For example, vaccine appointments are not particularly profitable. When that appointment is whittled down to only Coggins and rabies it is about break even. Floats are more profitable, but they make so little I refuse to do them.

I understand your bill appears big, but your Vet will have bills bigger than that waiting for her at home.

Dr. Taylor
Dr. Taylor -

Sorry, think I just ended up posting statements about the relationship we do have...

No more questions at this time, I suppose. Will depend on what is found with the necropsy - if anything. I already understand that there isn't always any way to tell - even if it is caused by Rhino/flu...

Of course, checking the mare, (right now?) would tell us more? That IS part of what I'm not understanding.

I've always understood why the markup on meds, vax, worming and procedures, too, and "driven home" by working in the vet clinic w/ my original NC vet. Just trying to save money on a budget. Seems I allow my herd numbers to grow when we are doing "better" and have them sold or leased out when we are not doing as well ourselves (the year our daughter had her back broken, I had two boarders move, sold several of ours at that time and boarded or leased out most of the rest for 6 months while we were back and forth to the hospital first with emergency/surgery, then with checkups and monthly visits and physical therapy). I only had 5 here for that 6 months. I also still like doing as much on my own as possible - again not just to reduce costs but because I enjoy it.

Part of the costs are why we set it up to do other clients along with our farm. One trip charge (and her fuel for only one farm rather than driving allover) on that day - with several clients in one spot... She also does a lot of "mini-clinics" (not to include floating or preg checks) at one local feed store - this year it seems like she's doing one every month - usually on a Saturday. She does all kinds of small animals at that time along with horses, cattle, goats and sheep - as long as you bring them in. She doesn't have a clinic that she works out of for the large animals - all mobile farm visits. She does work with a group of other vets at a small animal nueter/spay hospital - daytime hours during the week.

The colt was found to be approx 300 days gestation - 26 1/2 lbs. He did not have Rhino. He was found to have an infection that affected both his liver and his lungs (under developed & had fluid not associated with amniotic (?)). The infection was found to be due to the mare having an infection in her uterous and also mild placentitous - causing the fetus distress. He then died, in-utero and she probably was "off" due to his dying, before she aborted him.

There is some more, technical info on the report - my vet and I are going over it.

Bit is still having some issues, but is back out with a group of youngsters - making her very happy. Her eating is now better. We will be doing more followup on her for the infection.

I thought I'd let everyone know. Thanks for letting me vent and ask a few questions. I was able to ask some different questions when I spoke to my vet and think we are on a better relationship now.

I still need to get pictures of the other girls. The wind has died down (we were getting some rain, gusts up to 43 mph noted on our outdoor register).

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