17 yr. old mare with foal at side. Shot of lutalyse given on June 25 with no effect what so ever. Another shot given on June 30th with same reaction as last year. However, when being teased she refuses to show whether or not she is truly in heat. We only have geldings on the farm who she responded to previously with no problems. I am giving my vet a call again today to get her opinion but am at a loss. Any ideas for teasing this mare. It is starting to get late in the season.
Posted on Tuesday, July 03, 2001 - 11:26 am:
First of all, there must be an active Corpus Luteum (CL) present for Lutalyse to induce estrus. This means that the mare must have been past 6 days post ovulation and must not be in a state of true anestrus. The average window for post-foaling ovulation is 5 to 15 days, but it is not abnormal for ovulations to occur outside that, so perhaps there was not a CL present at the time of PGF2a administration.
Secondly a mare with a foal at foot may be "lactationally anestrus". This means that she will display no signs of estrus usually until the foal is weaned, or sometimes around 3 to 4 months after foaling (mares vary in this). Some mares are truly anestrus at this stage - in other words there is no follicular activity - while some have regular cycles but do not display estrus-like behaviour. Of this latter group of mares, some will "break down" and display estrus if teased very hard (usually requiring a stallion rather than a gelding) at the right point - often only on the day of ovulation - while others when faced with a stallion will become even more unfriendly evne though hormonally in estrus.
You will need your veterinarian to ideally ultrasound (although multiple palpations over the course of several days can achieve the same) this mare to establish what ovarian structures are present and possibly to determine what estrual stage she is at. It is quite possible that you will require multiple ultrasounds or serial palpations (usually every other day) and the use of AI in order to get this mare bred and pregnant.
Another alternative, if she is found to be having estrus, would be to put her on the hormone combination "P&E" which will enable you to pinpoint her estrus and ovulation more accurately. It will not however make her any more receptive to the stallion and you will probably still require additional ultrasounds and/or palpations.
Posted on Tuesday, July 03, 2001 - 12:04 pm:
Paula- I have had mares that would not show to a stallion because of the foal at her side. You might try to make an extra effort to relieve her fears.
I have a handler hold the foal to the side and back away from the teasing action. Make sure that she can see the foal without straining around to look. If the foal is held quietely, and stands still, she can concentrate on the attention from the teaser.
It may take a few tries, but they usually relax. I also take some time during the day to take the mare away for a grazing walk. I give the foal some hay and keep them in relatively close proximity. After a few days of this, they both relax about the separations. It makes weaning time less stressful as well.
Thanks for the advice, my vet is coming out tommorrow to palpate. Last Monday when she palpated, she said that the uterus was back to the shape it was last year as a maiden and that she felt what could be a couple follicles developing. I just start to worry as we are getting later in the year and well, although she could be put back into work I would rather keep her retired.
Just wanted to give an update. My vet was out yesterday and the mare had an approx. 30 mm follicle on her right ovary, and a small follicle on the left and her cervix was softened. My mare just didn't want to show to the boys until she was ready. So we ordered the semen which arrived last night and we inseminated her. Prior to being inseminated the vet palpated her again and the follicle on the right had grown to approx. 35 - 40 mm and she had an approx. 20 mm on the left. So the vet gave her an ovuplant implant (she wanted to give hcg but her ice packs had started to melt and she didn't want to take a chance with them). So now we are waiting to see if she takes this time.
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