I am considering breeding my 23 year old Arabian mare. I know some of her history, but her prior owners do not want her bred again so they aren't particularly helpful. Here is what little I know about her history: She has produced 5 registered foals, born in 1983, 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1996. Just prior to coming to the ranch I got her from (where she stayed from summer 1998 until late last year), she was at a large breeding farm in Arizona and the farm spent a year and lots of $$ trying to get her in foal. When she came to the farm here in California, she had a uterine infection that they treated and cleared up. In 1999 they tried to breed her both AI and live cover and she did not get in foal.
I have been told by her prior owner that the mare will get infected if I breed her and that if I breed live cover I need to make sure the stallion owner/manager knows because she can infect the stallion and any other mares he covers.
Could these infections be from poor uterine clearance? Is there a way my vet can check for this? What can the stallion owner do to prevent the stallion from becoming infected? Is there anything else I can do to increase this mare's chances of getting in foal?
This mare has a great pedigree, a lengthy show record and produces nice foals. It would be wonderful to pass her genes on to the next genereration...
Posted on Wednesday, June 05, 2002 - 09:46 am:
Jos, please correct me if I am wrong. From reading your articles, it is my understanding that it is highly unlikely that the mare will infect the stallion with an infection (that can be passed to other mares), with the exception for a few pathogens.
I have a 18 yo mare in for breeding that has poor uterine clearance, she is back for a second breeding (she was not re-cultured, should she have been?), and we are going to give her a shot of oxytocin 12 hours after her last breeding, per instructions from my vet. I am assuming that the mare doesn't have excessive pooling, I wasn't there when they U/S the mare, so my questions are: Is one shot of oxytocin enough to clear her uterus of fluid? Is it possible she could have acquired an infection from the first breeding? If she did, is the above statement correct, that is is highly unlikely she could pass the infection to my stallion?
Posted on Wednesday, June 05, 2002 - 11:14 am:
There are bacterial pathogens that are identified as being sexually transmissable:
These latter two are common surface pathogens, so there is still a degree of debate about whether they are true STD's, but I have included them as it seems likely.
With the exception of the first (Taylorella equigenitalis) the other pathogens are all commonly isolated during endometrial swab culturing, so yes, the mare most decidedly should have been swabbed. And don't fail to have a cytology smear prepared in conjunction with the culture!! If a cytology smear is not prepared in conjunction with the culture of the swab sample, then the results of the culture as far as showing pathogenic status of the uterus are WORTHLESS!!!! It is essential that if a "positive culture" result is seen that there be neutrophils also seen on the cytology smear - without those neutrophils present, it is most likely that the culture result is indicative of a contaminated sample! So - no cytology, no accuracy!
Research indicates that repeated oxytocin treatment is more effective for fluid clearance, especially in older mares. The half-life of oxytocin in the body is a mere 12 minutes, so it is completely dissipated after an hour. The protocol we have found to be successful is laid out at here on this site.
As you have no idea what the pathogenic status of the mare was prior to the initial breeding, you have no way of knowing whether your stallion may already have been exposed to an infectious agent. We will not breed a mare to one of our stallions using live cover without a negative culture and cytology - ever.
Posted on Wednesday, June 05, 2002 - 11:47 am:
Some mares will develop an infection as a result of having a poor reproductive immune response, and quite possibly in conjunction with delayed uterine clearance. The protocol I would be using in such a mare would be a minimum-contamination breeding (a single AI close to ovulation); the oxytocin protocol as laid out at the link in the above post, coupled with the antibiotic infusion or possibly an infusion of the mare's own plasma; and maybe the use of an immune stimulating agent such as Eqstim.
Posted on Thursday, June 06, 2002 - 09:32 am:
Jos, after reading your reply, I am worried about my stallion. How will I be able know if he picked up an infection from this mare? Should I have a vet check him? What kind of exam is there to test the stallion for STD's and infections? I am about ready to breed my own mares, and I certainly don't want to pass anything onto to them. Thank you for all your help.
Christine Peabody (126.96.36.199)
Posted on Sunday, June 09, 2002 - 07:37 am:
Thanks for the information, Jos. I am going to have a BSE, including a culture and cytology smear, done on the mare's next heat. How long does it take to get the culture and cytology results back...usually? Can she be cultured and bred on the same heat (presuming she is clean) or will I need to wait until her next heat?
Also, after she is inseminated...should I stop teasing her? If so, when should I resume teasing her (if at all?).
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