View Full Version : Twins and scans

24-08-05, 04:49 AM
After 253 days of waiting for our first foal we were devastated to find dead twins in the paddock last week. One looked as though it had died a while ago inside her. The mare was scanned at 16 days at the stud and then again at 45 days by our vet and we had no idea that twins were in there. On the positive side, the mare is fine and we will try again later this year and begin the long wait again. The mare (TB) has had two foals previously, both normal and healthy. This time we will have an extra scan in the middle of the other two. How reliable are scans at picking up twins at each stage? How often is one found but the other not noticed? Now I'll be terrified through the whole 11 months every time I have a preganant mare. :-(

24-08-05, 06:18 AM
Sympathies to you Nickers. I can only imagine the disappointment and sorrow :(. I have a mare due around Xmas (after 3 years of trying . . . with different mares though) and the wait seems an endless one.

My mare has been scanned countless times, prior to insemination, after confirming her in foal, and then about 3 months after due to a serious illness.

I'm sure mistakes happen, but I'd imagine they'd be rare and few'n'far between. Every now and then I hear about a mare who has foaled, after being scanned 11 months earlier for no foal. I would put it down to very bad luck. It's a pity is was missed.

I am lucky in that I use Agnes Banks in NSW and they are very thorough, but mistakes do happen from time to time I guess.

Good luck for next season. :)
p.s. My mare is also a T/bred.

24-08-05, 06:57 AM
Sorry for your loss mate.

It isnt the scan that doesnt pick it up its the vet using it but they can hide behind one another and it would then be difficult for anyone to pick it up. And yes a twin carrier will be seriously prone to twins and will have to be watched more carefully for it again. It isnt as unusual as we think a mate of mine is a stud master and he had an incidence of 80% in one yr with twins.

Be aware that she will probably need vet attention to clean her out and check the uterus as the one twin was dead for a bit inside her and that after a situation like your it MIGHT take a while for her body to be prepared to pregnant again.

all the best of luck

"Words that soak into your ears are whispered ..... not yelled!"

24-08-05, 06:58 AM
Usually scanning is very good at picking up a twin pregnancy. Can be missed sometimes and it is no-one's fault, just happens. Assuming that your Vet is experienced with scanning mares for pregnancy. Not just any Vet with an ultrasound scanner.

24-08-05, 08:56 AM
Yes, experienced horse vet who we trust and will use again next time. I had the mare checked out afterwards just in case of any infections etc, and the vet said she's fine no reason not to try again with her. She is looking fantastic and is much lighter on her feet now compared to last week!! She doesn't seem as sad as I am.

24-08-05, 12:50 PM
glad she is ok mate. Yeah it isnt easy loosing them I lost a 2 week old lamb last night. but these are the risks we take when we choose to be around these wonderful animals.

all the best for next time

"Words that soak into your ears are whispered ..... not yelled!"

24-08-05, 05:59 PM
Sorry for your loss. Maybe this year try scanning at 15, 30 and 45 days

25-08-05, 02:40 PM
Apparently the fertilised egg bumps around in the uterus for a couple of weeks before it finds a nice place to implant. Maybe the 2nd embryo was hiding in the other horn of the uterus? Sometimes the embryos are of a significantly different size when fertilised at different times (sperm attach and can survive in the horns of the uterus at a stretch for up to a week I recall) and therefore a small one may not have been observed.

Not relevant but fascinating....It is almost impossible to get identical twins in foals, they are all fraternal. It has something to do with the egg cell wall...I think...The only identicals born were fairly recently in America and they were cloned.