What is the reason for mares aborting??

Discussion in 'Miniature Horse Forum' started by hunnybunny, Sep 22, 2013.

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  1. Sep 22, 2013 #1

    hunnybunny

    hunnybunny

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    Numerous times over the past 2 years, Ive found aborted foals in my pasture. The fetuses are always about 10-12 inches long, so about 4-5 months. My mares never show no sign of illness or trauma whatsoever. What is going on??? Its really disappointing....
     
  2. Sep 22, 2013 #2

    valshingle

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    There are many reasons a mare aborts. I recommend that you schedule an appointment with your vet. Infection, toxic plants, etc are common causes. If it happens again, take the fetus immediately to the vet for testing.
     
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  3. Sep 22, 2013 #3

    Guest

    Where do you live? I had a bad year many years ago with abortions, and my vet found it related to lack of selenium. Once I added Selenium to their diets in the form of a supplement (Purina Free Balance 12:12 -- which has 35.0 ppm instead of the regular 0.60 ppm in the Omolene 300 Mare/Foal feed) that ended the "bad" outcomes. Never had another abortion with "no known cause" of what looked like a perfect fetus. I still had the occassional twisted cord abortion, but in our area of Florida there is no natural Selenium in the ground and it is important in a pregnant mare's diet.

    Just an idea.
     
  4. Sep 22, 2013 #4

    hunnybunny

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    I live in central NC....not sure the selenium level around here. I will check into it. Thanks for the info!
     
  5. Sep 23, 2013 #5

    Guest

    I just checked out Selenium map from the Mare/Foal forum and you're in a low selenium area too. There are may reasons why mares abort, and many times there is just no answer we can figure out. But as to the Selenium, here's the map. If you clcik on it it will enlarge. Certainly watch her for any signs of infection, and have a vet check her out, if she's one who has aborted before. Sorry this happened to you.

    /monthly_02_2013/post-8000-0-52677700-1360928904_thumb.jpg
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2013
  6. Sep 23, 2013 #6

    hunnybunny

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    Im gonna check the selenium content in my feed, and the mineral block the horses have free choice to....maybe they are getting too much, if that is possible....
     
  7. Sep 23, 2013 #7

    drmatthewtaylor

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    It is possible to overdose selenium and the signs and symptoms can be similar. Toxicity is such a worry that by law feeds and minerals are only allowed to add so much selenium, a level that can still not be enough for selenium deficient areas.

    Do not forget, selenium is only a possibility and not a diagnosis. I would encourage sending aborted fetuses and fetal membranes for necropsy. Part of the testing might be liver samples for selenium content.

    Thorough necropsies might not be cheap, but doing the wrong or not helpful thing can be even more expensive.

    Dr. Taylor
     
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  8. Oct 8, 2013 #8

    Tab

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    Could a mineral salt block prevent selenium deficiency?
     
  9. Oct 8, 2013 #9

    Miniv

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    We provide a mineral salt block to our horses as we lived in a selenium deficient region. We also feed grain that is made specifically for our area plus give each newborn a selenium shot.

    Personally, I've never heard that selenium deficiency causes abortions. It does result in deformed legs, especially lax tendons.... Our experience has been (at 4 to 5 months gestation) is a mare that has an infection in a localized area of the uterus and when the fetus grows to certain size it comes in contact with it. Culturing doesn't always provide the answer unless the vet happens to culture the exact location of the infection. Flushing the mare's uterus several times seems to be more helpful.

    Good luck with finding your answer.
     
  10. Oct 8, 2013 #10

    Jetiki

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    I"m in upstate Sc at the NC line, we had a rash of abortions due to the Nitrate levels in the alfalfa hay being too high, they aborted between 8 and 9 months along. It took us months to figure out what was going on. From necropsies to hay testing to soil testing etc that was the only thing out of whack. Fescue can cause issues and its very common in SC/NC/TN might want to read up on the issues with fescue, but it seems a bit early on to be a fescue issue. It is so sad to lose one I hope you can figure out whats causing it.

    Karen
     
  11. Oct 8, 2013 #11

    targetsmom

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    Another thing that can cause abortion is Rhino/herpes infection. This is the reason people give Pneumabort shots to pregnant mares at 5, 7, and 9 months gestation. We had a mare abort at 8 months and also lost 2 foals at birth that did not get out of the sac, all of which we suspected were due to Rhino, although none were confirmed even when tested at the hospital. But once we started giving the shots, no more losses. We also give the Rhino/flu shots to the show horses and young stock every 2-3 months during the summer as the immunity does not last beyond 3 months. Most people can "get away" with only vaccinating once a year, but not if you have horses coming in and out and pregnant mares.
     
  12. Oct 8, 2013 #12

    Little Wolf Ranch

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    I live in the upstate of SC and luckily....knock on wood....I haven't had any abortions at all and I vaccinate once yearly, use monthly dewormer, and do not give the pneumabort shots as my vet believes they can actually cause abortions.

    I would think that maybe there is a plant they are getting to if this is a yearly thing, or if it is always the same mares that abort you may want to have them checked for any illnesses, STDs or fertility problems that could be solved by using regumate.

    Have you tried using a different stallion? Sometimes abortions are natures way of eliminating genetic problems that we may not be able to see on the outside.

    I haven't ever had a huge problem with fescue.....my mares are on fescue up until 90 days prior to their earliest due date per vet recommendations and then placed on coastal. I would use alfalfa pellets/cubes/hay but can't seem to get any around here that aren't $20+ per bale and I have two mares that will choke on soaked alfalfa pellets and cubes (honestly have no idea how they do this but they manage to even with it soaked down to a mash....I'm guessing the gobble it down too fast). Never had any problems with that either...

    If you want, I'm not sure where you are located but I can give you some good vet references in the Asheville/Henderson nc area.
     

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