Well I have a 17 yr mare that has never been bred before,she seems very healthy has a good coat. No tilted vulva and a good seal. She comes in season regulairlly,we dont have stallions on the property but she gets really interested in the geldings. When she goes in heat she releases a fluid,is this normal and if it is what should it look like? I noticed hers was a hazey yellow colour. And are the chances of her concieving,as long as the tests come back negative?
Posted on Sunday, December 17, 2000 - 05:04 am:
When you say she "releases fluid" could it be possible that what you see is urine? When a mare is in estrus ("heat") one of the signs is that when stimulated ("teased") by a stallion (or something else she seems to find suitable!) she will squat with her back legs slightly spread and urinate a little. The urine during estrus - and especially closer to the end of the estrus period - is a "thicker yellow" (for lack of a better description!) than normal urine. If this is what you are seeing, it is perfectly normal.
If on the other hand you are seeing a yellow discharge from the vagina, then that is a possible sign of a uterine infection, which must be treated before breeding occurs. To establish that your mare has a "clean" uterus (this should be done prior to breeding regardless) your veterinarian should perform a uterine swab and the sample should have a cytology smear prepared and read and a culture performed. Do not fail to have the cytology smear performed and read! A uterine swab culture without an associated cytology reading is an invalid diagnostic tool!
As long as the cytology/culture comes back clear, you are off to a good start!
One important point to remember when breeding older mares is that many are inclined to retain fluid in their uterus either during estrus pre-breeding, or as a result of (perfectly normal) inflammatory response post-breeding. The uterus should therefore be evaluated by ultrasound both pre- and post-breeding. If you do not want the additional expense of another ultrasound post-breeding, then give the mare Oxytocin post-breeding as is described in the article on this site found by clicking here. You will have to obtain this from your vet, with whom you should also discuss it of course.
I have a 16 year old TB Mare. We have never had a mare before, only geldings. I am wondering if anyone can tell me how to tell when she is in heat?
Posted on Monday, May 21, 2001 - 12:25 am:
Mares can exhibit many different "signs" of an impending heat.I can give you a few examples of some that I have experienced. There are many people that are adamant about not owning a mare because of their sometimes unpredictable behavior. Most of the mares that I have worked with have been quite manageable during a heat cycle. You will learn to recognize her unique changes and act accordingly.
The most obvious sign is an exaggerated stance during urination. She may hold her tail a bit higher than normally and point her rear end towards another horse while urinating. Some carry their tail more to the side, exposing the genital area. The tail may become "dirty" looking due to the thicker,darker urine present towards the end of the estrus cycle. You may also notice that the inside of her back legs also appear more messy than usual. After urinating, many mares will constrict the muscles surrounding the vulva which resembles a winking motion.
Her behavior may change as well. Some mares become distracted and call to other horses. Others may kick the stall, paw, or become downright uncooperative. If your mare is one of these type of mares, watch that she does not kick at other horses around her. I have had a few that were best left alone for the 5 or so days that she was "in".
Most mares will display a change of attitude in some way. A mild response would be nickering to other horses or a reluctness to pass another horse without urinating. They may show more interest in a stable mate, a gelding or sometimes even another mare.
You may have mare that does not exhibit any signs of heat. This is ideal of course, unless you wish to bred her. Then a "silent heat" can be a bit more work.
Usually, they end up some where in the middle of these extremes. It normally isn't too difficult to deal with. I find that a mare is more giving and has more "try" than the average gelding. Not a bad trade off! Be forgiving at these times and you will be rewarded with her best efforts at others.
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