(Chris) Hello and welcome to Horsin’ Around. I’m Dr. Chris Blevins at Kansas State University Veterinary Health Center, joined today by Dr. Jason Grady. He is an Assistant Clinical Professor here in Equine Reproduction and Field Service at Kansas State. So, welcome Dr. Grady. (Jason) Thank you Dr. Blevins. (Chris) One thing that I think a lot of owners, they need to know about and one is reproduction of the mare. And more specifically when they’re pregnant and when they need to be looking at the mare or checking the mare. Or how early could they check the mare to see if she’s pregnant? And what would be the earliest, I guess, that they could check? (Jason) Sure. I think pregnancy in the mare is an exciting time. We’ve spent the year maybe planning to see who we are going to breed to. Go through the process of breeding the mare and then we have 11 months of anticipation, potentially to hopefully have a healthy, live foal. (Chris) Yea. (Jason) And so as far as checking the mare, the early stages of pregnancy seem to be the most critical time frame that we’re looking at. Maybe in the first 30 days we’ve seen that up to 10 to 15 percent of pregnancies are lost during that time frame. And the majority of pregnancies that are lost are usually lost in the first trimester or the first 90 days. And so, it’s recommended that we check the mare, sometime around 12 to 16 days after the mare has ovulated or after her last exposure to the stallion. And this allows us to one, check to make sure that the mare is pregnant. And if she’s not, then we can plan for her next heat cycle. And also if she is pregnant we can try to rule out the presence of twins. And then assuming we find a single pregnancy, just only one pregnant vesicle at that time, then I recommend checking again about day 28 to day 30 of pregnancy. That allows us to make sure the pregnancy is progressing normally, make sure the fetus is developing normally, make sure we can identify a fetal heartbeat at that time frame. And then if we can check ’em again towards the end of that first trimester, 60 to 90 days, either just with rectal palpation or ultrasound. Just to confirm that we still have a pregnancy going in to those second and third trimesters. (Chris) And I think that when you’re saying especially the early pregnancies, you’re through ultrasound I guess, is a lot of those earlier ones to really see that. (Jason) Very true. (Chris) And the ultrasound helps diagnose a lot of different things if there’s issues I imagine too with pregnancy. And with twins, what would be something that we’d be concerned with of twins in the horse, cause a lot of horse owners they hear about twins and how evil it potentially can be. And why is that? (Jason) I’m sure you’ve seen or you’ve heard the success stories where people have had a set of twins that have survived normally, had mares carry to full term and had a healthy set of foals. Sometimes the clients didn’t even know that the mare was pregnant with twins. But that’s the exception to the rule and not the norm. Often times a majority of mares, if they are pregnant with twins, will lose one or both of the pregnancies in the first 60 days of pregnancy. If they make it past that time frame maybe they’ll go ahead and abort those foals at around 6 to 8 months. If they do carry on into that last trimester, usually those foals are gonna be born premature, maybe have some serious medical conditions. And so going back to what we talked about early, if we can check the mares early in those first 12 to 14 days post breeding, post ovulation, maybe we can try to minimize some of those risk factors and try to help correct the problem if there are twins at that time. (Chris) Right, OK. I think that’s all great information. I think if you ever have any questions about equine reproduction you can sure call and talk to Dr. Grady. Or if you have any other issues or questions you have, just give us a call here at Kansas State Veterinary Health Center. I’m Dr. Chris Blevins with Horsin’ Around and we’ll see you around.

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