Twin foals born in Georgia

15 05 2007

It’s a boy! *And* a girl!

TWH mare Delight’s Rusty Dust recently gave birth to twins in Habersham County, Georgia. Skrunch, the filly, weighs about twenty pounds while her brother Munch is around fifty.

The chances of a twin pregnancy in a mare coming to term are slim. Having both foals survive is a “miracle,” according to Denise Coleman who, with her husband, Lamar Coleman, breeds Tennessee Walking Horses at LaReina Ranch on the outskirts of Cornelia…Coleman is seeking raw goat’s milk to help feed Skrunch. She asks anyone who is willing to donate to contact her.

Read more about them here, or visit the farm’s website here. MiKael at Rising Rainbow has raised Arabian twins, and you can read more about her little cuties here.

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4 responses

15 05 2007
Crystal

That’s so sweet! the little filly is small. I hope she gains some weight and makes out all right.

12 06 2007
Janet

It’s lovely to hear about a twin birth where the mare and both foals survived., and I wish the owner and horses all the best. But heartwarming and miraculous as this story seems, and cute as the foals are, it is VERY important for all of your readers to understand just how dangerous and potentially fatal a twin pregnancy is for a mare.

I just had a mare lose twin foals at 9.5 months because the attending vet advised doing the first ultrasound at 30 days. By that time it was no longer possible to see on the ultrasound that it was twins becase one was apparently shadowing the view of the other. I’ve since learned that is often the case. Fortunately, my mare survived the ordeal but her foals, of course, did not. There is nothing more heartbreaking than having to euthanize a lovely live foal that clearly would have been healthy and strong had it been a single birth. And there is nothing more depressing for your mare. According to the specialized vets who handled her, mare fared better than most who give birth to twins. But only because I was able to immediately get her to a good clinic when she showed signs of labor, and could afford to keep her there for a week after the birth to ensure she had proper round the clock veterinary observation and aftercare. Had I not been able to do that she could easily have died. A situation like mine or worse is the most likely outcome to a twin pregnancy carried to late term. It is doubly heartbreaking to learn, after the fact, that the risk to your mare was preventable.

Although twin birth is a rare occurance, I have learned from the specialized vets I’m now working with that twin conception in mares occurs much more often than was previously thought. It’s just that most are resorbed or aborted early in the pregnancy and therefore go undetected. Mares that are strong and healthy enough to carry twins to late term that are the ones at greatest risk. If you’re planning to breed your mare, I urge you to insist on an ultrasound to check for twins between 18-21 days after the breeding. That is the only window of opportunity when twin embryos can be consistently detected and reduced to a single embryo. It’s simply not worth risking a twin pregnancy that continues to late term. Late or full term twin births are always problematic and risky, and high percentage of mares die in the process. Especially if the birth takes place unassisted and outside a clinic. The vast majority of late-term spontaneous abortions due to twinning result in one or more stillbirths, retained placentas, and systemic blood poisoning or foundering in the mare.

So please, for the sake of your mares, ultrasound early, take measures to prevent twin pregnancies, and reduce them if they occur! A first ultrasound later than 23 days into the pregnancy it is too late. By that time it’s very easy to miss seeing twins and reducing it to a single pregnancy is, by that time, extremely difficult without risking loss of both embryos. Secondly, if you have a mare with a history of twinning, insist on an ultrasound just prior to the breeding to determine how many eggs are staged and gives your vet a clear “roadmap” of the structure of the uterus in its non-pregnant state. Both of these things will make twin prevention and detection easier. Some mares have a tendency to release multiple fertile eggs in a span of a few days during their estrus. In such cases it is very easy for twinning to occur as the semen from a single insemination remains active for up to 72 hours. If there are multiple eggs, it is very easy to eliminate the extras prior to insemination.

I’m happy to report that my own mare is pregnant again- this time with a single foal. She conceived on the first try and it’s worth noting that had we not been so vigilant with prevention procedures she could easily have twinned again. The pre-breeding untrasound showed that she had one ripe egg and 2 slightly less “ready” eggs present at on the day she was inseminated. It is always multiple eggs (not embryo splitting) that causes twin pregnancy in horses. Had we not taken precautions, either of these “secondary” eggs was capable of ripening quickly and being released in time to make a second baby.

30 01 2008
rebecca

im happy to say my mare star had a foal yesterday its a stalion it is very rare to have twins

5 07 2009
Oppskrift på tvillinger « Dreaming of a fairytale

[...] Tvillingføll født i Georgie, litt forskjell på føllene [...]

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