I have a 16 year old mare has had 12 healthy foals (at age 13 she missed one year as we were unable to get her in foal) via both shipped cooled semen and frozen semen. She is in foal now for a late June foal because we had to breed her 3 cycles with shipped cooled semen in order to get her in foal(one of those missed cycles was her foaling heat). Surprise ! she now also has multiple uterine cysts. My vet feels that we should rebreed her even though it is summer because he feels that our best chance to get another foal is to keep her in foal. Should I give her the season off and try to get the cysts treated? Then breed her again next year. She is a champion producer and I want to get 2 more foals if possible. She is otherwise very healthy and in great shape.
Jos Posted From: 184.108.40.206
Posted on Thursday, March 18, 2004 - 11:46 pm:
The general rule of thumb with cysts is "if they're not bothering you, don't bother them!" or in other words, if you're not having a problem getting/keeping the mare pregnant, then leave them alone. One can see some mares that have a uterus that looks like Swiss cheese on ultrasound there are so many cysts, and yet they get and keep pregnant with no problem; while you can have other mares that have just one or two large cysts that will be really hard to get/keep pregnant. It is thought that the larger cysts tend to interfere with embryonic mobility during the early embryonic stage when that mobility is essential to prevent destruction of the CL (which then causes the mare to come back in to heat), and they should therefore be removed if the problem occurs.
With a mare that is 16 years old and has had many foals, I would immediately be suspect of delayed uterine clearance post-breeding being the cause of it being difficult getting her pregnant. Check out the article on oxytocin use at this location on the web site. It has priven useful in getting many older mares pregnant.
WRT to keeping the older mare pregnant vs. giving her a year off keep her pregnant!. For whatever reason, it seems that keeping these mares pregnant every year allows for an easier establishment of pregnancy, whereas giving them a year off often results in headaches related to the establishment of subsequent pregnancies.
Thank you so much for your reply. I am armed with Oxytocin and ready to go!! Julie
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