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Miniature Horse Fetus

If you have been breeding miniature horses for any length of time, you know it is not for the faint of heart. There is great joy and awe at a successful foaling, but all breeders know the heartache and disappointment when a mare slips a foal.  There are numerous causes when a mare aborts a baby, but the majority of the time, we do not know the cause.

This first baby was lost at 69 days of gestation.


This next baby is about 4.5 months along...

Below is a Miniature horse baby at 179 days of gestation

The below photo is of a baby at 268 days gestation

Below is a baby that was lost due to being breech and a very twisted cord. In the first picture, you can see the terribly twisted cord and the placenta was detached. This baby was aborted at 275 days of gestation. To see video of this birth, click here


Some articles to read are:

Early embryonic death - loss before day 30

Late Term Abortions

Often we think a mare has taken for she will not show signs of heat for several months. But if she has lost the baby after about 35 days, the hormonal changes caused by the pregnancy can keep her from coming back into heat.

Miniature mares lose their foals for numerous reasons. Preventatively, we give the Rhino shot, but this virus is just one common cause. Placentitis is another common cause. Thus, the loss may be due to viral or bacterial origins, but other reasons include: hormonal imbalances, twinning,  umbilical cord torsion, congenital defects, nutritional defiencies, fungal infections, and/or stress.

As for the controversy in miniature mares on whether to give the pneumabort or rhino shot, this bit of information was new to me "a horse can abort from a rhinopneumonitis infection only ONCE in their entire life.  A mare can only abort the very first time that she is infected with the virus and only if she is pregnant at the time.  Once she has been infected, whether she is pregnant at the time or not, she will build antibodies to the infection and can NEVER abort from this disease again" Click here to read more about other horse vaccines.