Why do twin foals not survive?

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By Rachel

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Having twins is a blessing, but for horses, it’s a different story. Twin foals are a pain in the neck for both the mare and the foals. The mare’s body can’t handle the pressure of carrying two foals, which results in inadequate nutrients being supplied to each foal. In most cases, one or both of the embryos may be resorbed within the uterus early in the pregnancy, but if that doesn’t happen, late-term abortions typically result. Early detection is crucial to reduce the risk of complications and increase the chances of a successful pregnancy.

Why Do Twin Foals Not Survive?

When it comes to twin foals, inadequate nutrients are supplied to each foal, which can lead to several possible outcomes. Unfortunately, in most cases, one or both of the embryos may be resorbed within the uterus early in the pregnancy. However, if resorption does not occur, late-term abortions typically result.

The Struggle of Twin Foals

Twin foals may seem like a blessing, but in reality, they are a struggle for both the mare and the foals. The mare’s body is not designed to carry two foals at once, which leads to insufficient nutrients being supplied to each foal. As a result, the foals are at risk of developing several health complications that can be fatal.

One of the most common outcomes for twin foals is resorption. This occurs when one or both of the embryos are reabsorbed by the mare’s body early in the pregnancy. While this may seem like a natural process, it is actually a result of the mare’s body recognizing that carrying two foals is not sustainable.

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The Risk of Late-Term Abortions

If resorption does not occur, the mare will continue to carry both foals. However, as the pregnancy progresses, the risk of late-term abortions increases. Late-term abortions occur when the mare’s body can no longer sustain the pregnancy, leading to the premature birth of the foals.

While some twin foals may survive the premature birth, the majority do not. This is due to a variety of factors, including underdeveloped organs and insufficient nutrients. In some cases, the foals may be born alive but die shortly after birth due to complications.

The Importance of Early Detection

Early detection is crucial when it comes to twin foals. If a mare is carrying twins, it is important to identify this as early as possible to reduce the risk of complications. This can be done through ultrasound or palpation, both of which can detect the presence of multiple embryos.

If twin foals are detected early, there are several options available to reduce the risk of complications. One option is to manually reduce the number of embryos to one, which can be done through a process called embryonic reduction. This involves injecting a solution into one of the embryos, causing it to stop developing and be reabsorbed by the mare’s body.

In Conclusion

Twin foals may seem like a blessing, but in reality, they are a struggle for both the mare and the foals. Inadequate nutrients are supplied to each foal, which can lead to several possible outcomes, including resorption and late-term abortions. Early detection is crucial when it comes to twin foals, as it can reduce the risk of complications and increase the chances of a successful pregnancy. If you suspect that your mare may be carrying twins, it is important to consult with your veterinarian to determine the best course of action.

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