Category Archives: Medical

An interesting Sunday Story about embryo transfer and recipient mares. Interesting!






I know the idea of recipient mares is new to many.  The reasoning is that owners of a show mare want to have a baby out of her, but don’t want to take her out of training.  So… they fnd a recipient mare on the exact cycle, inseminate their mare, flush the successful embryo out of their mare and install it into the recipient mare.

Now, a lot of things have to go right for this to work…

Mama Tess was very popular in her show days.  Many wanted eggs from her.  We tried 4 times.  All 4 times, the embryo didn’t take in the recipient mares.  I felt badly for the people trying to have a baby from Tess.  That way just didn’t work, sadly, for the owners of the recipient mares.

But here is a success story.  Original story here.

Click image to go to the original story.

Some Things are Just Worth the Wait

April 26, 2019

A horse colt born as a product of embryo transfer

All of the foals born at Idaho Equine Hospital are special to us, but one born recently is particularly dear to hearts, not just because of how much work and dedication it took to get him here, but also because he represents the wonderful and life-long relationships that this profession allows us to form with many of our clients and their horses.

Ava, her recipient mare Zsa Zsa, Kris Troxel, and the IEH crew celebrating the miracle of Ava’s conception, transfer and arrival in 2010.
Ava, her recipient mare Zsa Zsa, Kris Troxel, and the IEH crew celebrating the miracle of Ava’s conception, transfer and arrival in 2010.

Before we introduce this special colt, we have to introduce you to his mother Ava. Ava belongs to Kris Troxel and she was born at IEH. She is a product of an embryo transfer performed by Dr Liz Scott. She was such a miracle in her own right; the stallion who was her father had to be euthanized shortly after Ava’s mom was bred, before we even knew if the pregnancy took. Incredibly, everything aligned when it was time to flush the embryo and transfer it into another mare that Kris had named Zsa Zsa. Thankfully, the transfer was successful and about 11 months later Ava was born.

Ava and Zsa Zsa
Ava and Zsa Zsa

Due to all of the things that must go just right to get an embryo transfer to work (particularly when the owner is wanting to use their own horse as a recipient) the fact that our one and only shot to get Ava worked was pretty miraculous. So when Kris decided that she wanted to get an embryo from Ava, we knew that she had high expectations for things to go as well as they did when Ava was conceived. Kris again wanted to use her own mare as a recipient. She had a mare named Holly that Liz had been incredibly successful breeding and Holly had proven already to be a good mother, so she was a natural choice. The challenge of using a specific mare for a recipient is that you have to work to get the donor and the recipient mares almost perfectly synchronized in their cycles. That is why many veterinarians who transfer embryos have large recipient herds so that they have a good chance of finding a mare who is in the same part of her cycle as the donor mare. We do not have have a recipient herd but work with Outback Stallion Station to help us find recipients when we need them. In this case though, Liz felt up to the challenge of trying to get the two mares synchronized.

Kris did everything she could to get the mares cycling at the same time, but she had to get creative with her techniques. She had Ava in training so she was under lights starting in the winter, but Holly was more of a problem because Kris did not have lights in the barn at home. Holly ended up being one of the first horses in our practice that we tried using the Equilume light mask on.

Holly wearing her Equilume light mask. Mares only cycle when the days are long, so this mask with light can be used to get them cycling earlier in the the year.
Holly wearing her Equilume light mask. Mares only cycle when the days are long, so this mask with light can be used to get them cycling earlier in the the year.

Kris also chose to breed Ava with frozen semen, which adds more challenges when it comes to getting mares pregnant since you have smaller doses of semen and have to get the insemination at the exact time of ovulation as much as possible. However since Kris had seen Liz pull off a miracle with Ava’s conception, and she knew that Dr Scott’s professional passion is working with problem mares, she had complete faith that she would again be successful.

Ava’s breeding went well, and we were able to get an embryo despite having to run her back and forth to the clinic for exams, insemination and flushing so that she could remain in training. We even managed to have the two mares close enough to synchronized to transfer the embryo into Holly. We all felt exhilaration when 9 days later we checked Holly and saw a vesicle (fluid filled structure) consistent with an early pregnancy. However concern started to creep in when we checked Holly again at 15 days of pregnancy and the vesicle had not changed at all and we could not see any evidence of embryo development. We checked her again a few times, but at 30 days we had to make the call that the embryo was not viable.

An 8 day embryo that we flushed from a mare so that we could transfer it into a recipient mare
An 8 day embryo that we flushed from a mare so that we could transfer it into a recipient mare

Our crew was so disappointed and heartbroken to have to deliver our bad news to Kris, for even though we knew that there are so many things that can go awry when it comes to embryo transfer, we had really been hoping we could pull off a second miracle for Kris. Kris has been a client of Idaho Equine Hospital for many years, and she has definitely moved from client to friend status with many of the doctors in the hospital. We braced ourselves for her to be discouraged with the whole process. However she took it all in stride.

The following year, Kris was ready to try again to get an embryo from Ava. She decided to prioritize the embryo and pulled her out of training so she wouldn’t have the additional stress and transportation issues from the year before. She used the Euqilume on both mares, starting earlier in the year. Once again, Liz was able to get the mares synchronized and collect an embryo after breeding with frozen semen from Magicality (Very Smart Remedy). We were able to transfer the embryo into Holly. We were all on pins and needles waiting until we would be able to see the pregnancy with ultrasound. Happily, on our first ultrasound we saw a pregnancy and it continued to grow and develop normally. Kris celebrated with us and then we all began the long wait to see what the result of all our hard work would be. On March 25, Holly gave birth to an incredibly handsome colt. Some things are definitely worth the wait, and we think this little guy is going to live up to his potential!

We are so thankful to Kris for entrusting us with the care of her animals. We are so humbled by her faith in our clinic, doctors, and staff. We are so happy to count her among our dearest friends. Clients like Kris and the relationships that we are able to build with them and their horses over the years are what makes our job so enjoyable and all of the work and effort worthwhile.

Congratulations Kris! We can’t wait to see all the amazing things that this little colt will do in his career!

EMERGENCY APRIL BUCKET FUND FOR GRANNYPONY!  – the 35+ blind, perfectly mannered little pony – left at the meat auction by her family! Click here for story

Only $65 to reach our goal!   We are going to pay her vets bills, lab work, feet and future dental!  We can do it!

All donations are 100% tax deductible.  THANK YOU IN ADVANCE!  Click here to donate!


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Root Canals for horses? Read on.


Sunday, April 21st, 2019 | Filed under Medical




I am going to an endodontist today to see about a tooth that has been bugging me.  My regular dentist cannot figure out if it is cracked, infected… or if I’ve just been grinding.  In any event, it will probably need a root canal, he says.  I have several root canals already.

For me, I’ve always thought of root canals as a great thing!  Pain gone.  But… per this article, I’m now not so sure….

Anyway, then I started to think about any poor horses with teeth issues.  OMHorsegods.  I could not imagine the pain of a bad tooth PLUS a bit in my mouth.  Oy.  I was in such pain last week, I couldn’t sleep.  I cannot imagine what a riding horse with teeth issues must endure – or any horse with teeth issues, for that matter.

ROOT CANALS FOR HORSES.

I remember once, I was at UC Davis, and they were showing me root canal surgery for a race horse.  The horse was very valuable and lately he was miserable in a bit… except the equine dentist couldn’t see any issues.   Finally, he had an MRI at UC Davis and a major tooth infection was uncovered.

Instead of pulling the tooth, they gave it a root canal, which I found amazing (My Dad was a dentist and I worked with him when I was young, so I find this stuff fascinating).  I heard that the horse recovered and continued his career.

However, the equine root canal was a big procedure – at that time, maybe 15 years ago.

Since then, I think they have perfected the procedure on horses, but I’m not sure that root canals are better than plain extractions – I say that because most vets would rather pull the tooth and treat the infection for good so as to not allow any infection to potentially still harbor itself in that tooth root.

And, as we all know, it is way less expensive to do an extraction than a root canal.

Still, I find it interesting… and I wonder if anyone has had a root canal performed for their equine?…

AN EXAMPLE OF AN EQUINE ROOT CANAL.

I took the below pic and description from  The Equine Dental Clinic Ltd


Endodontics in horses? – saving teeth and keeping the mouth functional..
Often when faced with dental disease such as a root abscess (septic pulpitis, or infection of the pulp system inside the tooth) the easy solution is to extract or ‘pull’ the tooth – not always straightforward but actually with modern techniques and young horses such as this one it is uncomplicated and simple with good techniques and equipment.
This dressage mare (Roxanne), at age 5yrs (in 2011) had such an abscess of the 106, which I extracted. Since then she has had root / pulp infections with abscesses of the 107, 109, and a fractured 108 also with pulp infection, facial swellings, sinus problems. These times though, we opted for root canal therapy (endodontics) instead of extraction – starting in 2012. She featured in a 2012 edition of Horse and Hound having won 7 competitions in a row after her first root canal. Now, 5 years on, she still has all of those teeth, and you can see the fillings in the pulp canals sealing the endodontic material inside and taking the place of the original dentine of the pulp canals. It’s not been all plain sailing, and her owners have been very patient and willing to treat any problems as they arose. Today was a routine check and rasp, and she seems as happy as ever. We are really careful over case selection for endodontic treatment, and they are not all successful, but it was great to see her today with all the teeth (bar the extracted 106) in good working order!
(She’s had multiple follow up x-rays and CT for assessment of progress over the years)
#wecansaveteeth #equinedentalhealthproject

I’VE BEEN THINKING ALOT ABOUT ROOT CANALS…

If anyone out there is contemplating a root canal, here is an article that interested me…

Root Canal: Dangerous or Just Misunderstood?
Katie Wells 141 Comments Updated: April 5, 2019 This post contains affiliate links

Root canals are a controversial topic in the dental world (if you didn’t know!). I’ve always had a fascination with studying oral health, and while I’m glad to have never needed a root canal (or an alternative), I felt it was good to research them and be prepared in case I ever did.

Many dentists consider the root canal—a dental procedure to treat deep dental cavities—to be a safe procedure, while other research has shown that root canals may allow dangerous bacteria to grow in the mouth and the rest of the body.

To read more, click here.

 

WE HAVE A RENAMING CONTEST GOING FOR GRANNY PONY – our April Bucket Fund horse!

(So far, we only have 9 donors who added a name, so your chances are VERY good!)

Contest Rules:

  1.  Donate $20 and offer your name choice in the Pay Pal MEMO section.  Or email me with your choice.  If you donate $40, your name choice will go into the hat 2 times.  $60, 3x – and so on.
  2.  If you have already donated $20 (or more) email me your name choice and I will put it in the hat as many times as you have donated $20.  For example, if you donated $100 for Granny Pony previously this month, your name choice will go in 5 times.
  3.  On the last day of April, we will put a name out of the hat!

TO PLAY THE GAME AND SUGGEST A NAME, DONATE $20 (one name in hat for each $20) AND ADD YOUR NAME CHOICE, CLICK HERE.

All donations are 100% tax deductible.  THANK YOU in advance!!

 


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