Two aborted fetuses in a month

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Well-Known Member
Feb 21, 2013
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Trinidad, CO
More disturbing news from Blazing sorry I haven't been on for quite some time. One of my children has had medical issues, and i picked up extra jobs so I just don't have much free time. About 4 weeks ago, our mare Victoria aborted her 5 month fetus. We had an appointment with the vet scheduled to palpate all the girls for pregnancy. She didn't make it to that appointment-she aborted a week before. No other signs of illness, fetus looked normal. She was put on antibiotics, but no uterine culture was done. She was the mare who had a severe dystocia last spring.

Now Babydoll, an experienced mama, with a healthy weanling to prove it, has aborted her foal, 10 days after the vet checked her and confirmed her in foal. This foal was about a month older, and completely encased in an unbroken sac. Babydoll is bright and happy and seemingly ok. Vet hasn't checked her yet. These two mares were bred to different stallions.

We are very discouraged, and need some input. The girls are on free choice bermuda mix hay, current on shots and deworming. Is it just us that has such a HIGH foal loss rate? Last year we lost three foals, one full term, one slightly early but should have survived and one full term gestation with very underdeveloped foal. Now we have two 5-6 month abortions! Please, any help is appreciated!
Hello and I'm so very sorry about the loss of your babies
Just a thought not trying to imply...I've know many people that swear to have lost babies shortly after the Rhino vaccine was given in the 5th or 7th month. I no longer vaccinate with Rhino mid pregnancy anymore. You can google the subject it seems many people feel this has been an issue. Again so sorry, so sad and heartbreaking
So sorry to read that you are having problems again - must be so distressing for you but glad that the mares seem to be fine. I dont have any suggestions I'm afraid, but I do feel that there must be a 'common denominator' somewhere? What about something in your pasture or trees blowing non horse suitable leaves into your grazing areas? Have you thought to have any of the fetus' tested?

Again, so sorry this has happened. ((((HUGS))))
Thank you for the responses and suggestions. We did not do Rhino this year after seeing others have had some problems. As for something in the pasture, unfortunately we have nothing to graze on as it is very, very dry here. They have a 2 acre exercise area that is just dirt. There are about 4 trees on the property, and of those only two have leaves lol. A cottonwood and some other tree. I wonder about the hay? It was brought in from Texas, and is bermuda/bahia mix. There is a bit of mold in it that I have been trying to peel off and discard. Could that do it?
I guess the only other common denominator would be the water?! Maybe having a sample tested with the local health department? Long shot but maybe worth it to rule out any problem there...I sympathize and can imagine the stress you're feeling with worrying <3 xo
That's a good question I'll see if a friend of mine could elaborate... She boards her horse, a couple months ago the health department came to their ranch for a standard check I hear, for some reason ran a water sample, the ranch is on well water, maybe that's standard to do not sure but anyway whatever was found the entire water system to the ranch was shut down for over 2 weeks, people were having to bring in large amounts of water on their own ugh awful! My friend just picked up her horse and moved it. I'm sure it's probably not going to be an issue in your case but investigating all the common threads between your horses is all you can really do
so sorry for your problems with mares in foal again this year

do you have horses coming and going to the barn? if so I would think about the rhino shots

We do the rhinos but I am nervous about the 9 mo shot so the past few years we have done them at

6 and 8 mos (only 2) instead of 5,7,9 I don't know if its right to do them that way but it makes me feel better

a note: we have never had any problems with rhino shots eve when at 5, 7 and 9 mos

we also don't have horses coming and going from the property very often, except show season or babies leaving for new homes

praying you find the cause - it shouldn't be fescue as that is to be removed from their diet the last trimester

sometimes we never find a cause to an aborted fetus,

I sure hope your other bred mares give you a happy foaling season in 2014
We have one boarding horse that has come in this year, he came three months ago. And we have a new pony mare that came last May and a new stallion also in May. That's it...and they were current on vaccinations but not sure on Rhino. No outward signs of illness with anyone that I can see over the last several months. I just want to make sure we don't lose any more foals! Thanks for your support everyone!
I have always used the Pneumabort on pregnant mares. The only time I had multiple abortions in a season, we found it was related to lack of Selenium, but from the map, Colorado should have adequate selenium in the soil.

Perhaps it is something related to the mold you say is in some of the hay.

Wish I had answers for you. It's hard when this happens. I had, if I remember correctly, like 4 abortions out of 10 pregnancies one year. What a drain on the emotions.

Sending {{{{{HUGS}}}}}
We had a maiden mare abort about 3 weeks ago. She was 6 months along. Couldn't find anything wrong with the foal and she is acting normal.

We live in AZ, but the horses should be getting enough Selenium.

I know how hard it is. Last year four of my six mares(all pregnant) coliced and died. My older mare foaled about half an hour before I made it out and the foal didn't get out of the sack. I had one live foal and just sold him a couple weeks ago. My business partner let me breed this mare for the foal this year. I sold the old mare that lost her foal. I only have my maiden tovero mare and the mare that had a live foal this year bred for 2014.
And we'll be very excited following their pregnancies this year.

Sometimes, we just don't know what causes the abortions, but we'll hope it was a one-time thing, and that there will be no lasting effects. I've had several healthy babies born to momma's who aborted a prior baby, so we'll just hope for the future!
We woke up this a.m. to find our LGD eating something pink. Toni hollered at Kenai and she stopped what she was doing. Toni went out and found half of a fetus... no placenta, no back end so we don't know if it was a filly or a colt. We didn't see it happen and we don't know the exact spot it happened. We had to check all the mares that we know are pregnant and the only sign we found was on Miss Te (sorrel sabino mare). She had a small smear of blood about 4 inches below her vulva. She also looks more hollow in the flank/stomach area.

We first covered Miss Te early this spring (April/May) with Navajo, but she came back into heat. Navajo has never settled a mare, so we don't believe this was his foal. We waited until July to try again because she was underweight and we wanted to wait the 45 days that is suggested when breeding to a different stallion. This time we bred her to Rohan. She came back in heat a few weeks later and bred her to Rohan again which was August. This fetus was about 4-5 months along and a bit smaller than Rain's foal.

We still don't know what is going on. We don't have fescue, we don't have blister beetles (but they kill horses; don't know if it causes abortions), I'm finding conflicting information about selenium levels in the U.S. (One source said the Pacific Northwest, the northeast and Florida are selenium poor, but the southwest had adequate selenium levels.), we have a closed herd... no new horses in about a year and no exposure to horses on adjacent properties.

Miss Te did have a mild bout of sand colic about a week ago, (but Rain didn't have any colic prior to aborting.) Miss Te is still a little underweight, but Rain is spot on in the weight department...

Miss Te had several foals for her previous owner and a filly this year for us (Little Miss Diva).

We did have rather a dramatic weather change day before yesterday. Rain set in and didn't let up for two days. We went out early yesterday morning and she was one of the three horses shivering. She was shivering the most. The other two were Casper (stallion) and Nikki (pregnant mare). We have a "mare motel" shelter here in the desert so they had access to shelter. We fed them under the shelter to force them out of the rain and it didn't take long for the hay to get them warm again. We checked on them a little later and no one was shivering...

We're just not seeing any comparative data. This is our third year breeding, fourth year covering mares and we've had no issues with late term abortions. We've had three redbags, but the fetuses were fully developed. (During our first year breeding, we did have a late term abortion, but later found out the mare had had a previous uterine infection and had lost her foal. This had not been taken care of by the previous breeder. She was also in her mid to late teens.)

Kari & Toni

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