O.k. so mare didn't go in foal this year which is fine. But would like to prepare for next year and have everything done and ready. 1st off as I have been doing some research, it seems this was a really wierd year for mares here in Ireland. Every farm I've been to has complaints of not getting in foal, cycles regressing, and even when chemically treated things weren't happening. How and ever, I want to get my mare in the best possible shape for next year. I read Jos's article on cytology biopsy and want to do get one done. Now I am actually going to start trying to breed in early March in case we have the same problems and will be putting her under the lights. Here are the questions:
Can I do tests on my mare in the fall, before she goes out of season, and still get an idea of what might be going on for the new year?
What kind of blood tests should I get done?
Am contemplating frozen semen for next year and given she didn't get in foal this year, is this a good idea. I know she has to be very clean which is why I want to run all the tests I can. Mare is only 7, will be 8 next year. She has had no complications with any pregnancy and is a very easy foaler.
Also this mare was never broken, but am planning on doing some lunging and put her in our walker a couple of times a week to for a bit of fitness. By the way, I'm not talking about old fashioned walkers where they are tied to them. I think a bit of fitness would be good-thoughts.
Thanks to all of you for helping out, this place has been great for all sorts of reasons. I have been very lucky in the past with mares getting in foal first time, but that's not really learning is it. Hard to learn anything when everything goes right! Terri
About this time every year we start to hear people commenting on "what a bad year it's been for getting mares pregnant"....
Don't get the pre-breeding work done until next breeding season - when the mare is in winter anoestrus her cervix will be relaxed allowing pathogenic access, so you could have a clean mare at the end of this year and a dirty mare the beginning of next. Do put the mare under artificial lighting to stimulate early oestrus, and then allow one ovulation prior to breeding. You can do your pre-breeding work-up on that first ovulatory cycle, and then breed on the next if all is well.
I wouldn't worry about blood tests unless there is an indication of any problem. You will be better off finding a good reproductive veterinarian and using them than trying all kinds of tests at random.
Thank you Jos. My vet was here yesterday to scan another mare, pregnant by the way, and I had a long discussion on our pre-breeding exam and the things I wanted to accomplish and what we needed to look for. We will start everything on her first heat of the new season. The place I will be sending her is one of the equine-reproduction specialist places, so after we have our tests done and she is nearly ready again, I will be sending her down. They have a 30 day special for getting pregnant, the scans, and keep, so will be taking advantage of that.
I am really against mares being fat as well and try really hard to keep them in good condition. This why I think some lunging and other exercise will be good for her during her time off. I don't want a fat mare either.
Jos, What if you suspect a low grade infection as being the cause of not settling?
I ran into this last year. Fluid present, no cloudiness--old vet said "clear is sterile don't worry about it". With hindsight, obviously something was irritating the uterus.
I've been kicking myself all this winter/spring for not insisting on having a culture done in late oct./early nov.
In some cases shouldn't you do a little post-season testing?
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