January 25, 2014 - Foal Health: Seeing Double

  • February 04, 2014
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Twins a dangerous proposition for broodmares

by Heather Smith Thomas

Twins are a novelty, especially the equine variety, and while we’ve all heard heartwarming stories about special cases in which both foals survived, the truth is less than one in 100twin pregnancies results in such a fortunate outcome. Why the miserable odds?

Simply, the mare’s uterus is not designed to support two pregnancies simultaneously, says Dr. Juan Samper, an equine reproduction specialist located in Langley, British Columbia, Canada.

This is why conscientious horse breeders try to avoid this situation altogether, and it is also one of several reasons veterinarians should examine mares 14 days after breeding, according to Dr. Ahmed Tibary, professor of theriogenology in Washington State University’s Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences.

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