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Twinning (Twins) in Mares and Management of Twin Embryos
With the advent of diagnostic reproductive ultrasound, veterinarians have discovered an amazing thing: that twin embryos in horses have always been fairly common prior to day 30 but seem to often correct themselves by day 45. However some mares do carry their twins into advanced pregnancy and this is undesirable. The uterus has a hard time supporting twins so the incidence of late gestational abortion runs as high as 70%. When aborption does not occur, foals are often born dead or weak and dystocia common. Others complications include retained placenta, delayed recovery of the uterus, decreased rate of settling for the next 2 years, and potentially permanant damage to the mares reproductive tract. Equine twinning seems to be most common in TBs and Warmbloods, and uncommon in Arabs. New on the diagnosis front is a dependable way to determine late gestational twins in equines. This article discusses the diagnosis of twins at different stages of pregnancy, evaluation, and recommended treatments.
~Word Count: 1440 words (The average magazine page contains about 600 words);
~Last Updated: April 17, 2011;
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