What happens if a mare is pregnant with twins?

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By Rachel

Quick Peek:

Uh oh, horse owners, listen up! Letting your mare carry twin pregnancies can be a risky business. Many mares abort one or both fetuses early on, while others suffer complications during delivery, like dystocia (yikes!). Even if both foals make it out okay, your mare could still have issues like retained fetal membranes. And to top it off, carrying twins can take a toll on your mare’s body, leading to a lower live foaling rate the next season. So, let’s be responsible and avoid the risks of twin pregnancies, okay?

Mares Carrying Twin Pregnancies: Complications and Risks

As horse enthusiasts, we all know how important it is to take good care of our equine companions. One of the most critical aspects of horse care is ensuring the health and safety of our mares during pregnancy. While it may seem exciting to have twin foals, the reality is that twin pregnancies in mares can be extremely risky.

The Risks of Twin Pregnancies in Mares

Mares that carry twin pregnancies are at a much higher risk of complications than those carrying a single foal. In fact, many mares will spontaneously abort one or both fetuses early in the pregnancy. This is because the mare’s body is not designed to carry more than one foal at a time, and it simply cannot provide the necessary resources to support two growing fetuses.

If a mare does manage to carry both foals to term, she is still at risk of complications during delivery. Mares giving birth to twins are much more likely to suffer from dystocia, which is a medical term for foaling difficulties. This can be a life-threatening situation for both the mare and her foals.

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Even if the mare successfully delivers both foals, she is still at risk of developing complications such as retained fetal membranes. This is when the mare is unable to expel the placenta after giving birth, which can lead to infection and other health issues.

Decreased Live Foaling Rates in the Following Season

Another risk associated with twin pregnancies in mares is a decreased live foaling rate in the following season. This is because carrying twins can be extremely taxing on the mare’s body, and it may take her longer to recover from the pregnancy. As a result, she may not be able to conceive or carry a foal to term in the following breeding season.


In conclusion, while it may be tempting to hope for twin foals, it is important to remember that twin pregnancies in mares are extremely risky. Mares that are allowed to carry twin pregnancies are likely to suffer complications such as abortion, dystocia, retained fetal membranes, and decreased live foaling rates in the following season. As responsible horse owners, it is our duty to ensure the health and safety of our mares, and that includes avoiding the risks associated with twin pregnancies.

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