Posted on Wednesday, December 28, 2011 - 12:44 pm:
I have a new mare that the owner told me had some "issues" this past summer with her heat cycles.
The mare is four years old, maiden. Previous years cycles were normal. Mare cycled normal this year until summer. This summer she came into heat very strong. Extremely sensitive, squirting constantly, squealing constantly, you couldn't touch her legs or brush her because of her sensitivity. Kicking, aggressing other horses. Impossible to transport due to the kicking, unless in a box stall without another horse close to her. She was fine with people, and could actually be ridden and was trained throughout the summer and even went to several shows. The trainer tried Regumate, said it was like giving her water.
The mare went home about 2 months ago from the trainer, has gone into seasonal anestrus and all symptoms have subsided.
I just purchased the mare, she will be home mid-January. I have already called and scheduled a vet appointment, and will elect to do surgery if she has a tumor or something else going on that warrants surgery. Just wondering what else could cause this behavior - so strong during her cycles, and now non-existent.
Is it possible the issue was transient & won't return when she starts cycling again? I seem to recall that with a GCT tumor the symptoms don't go away - they persist. What else could it be?
It is likely that the change in behaviour is related to reaching a more advanced stage of maturity. A younger mare may be "shyer" and less demonstrative, but by the age of four the mare is getting somewhat more secure in her behaviours.
Obviously rule out the possibility of GCT, but that is not highly likely as it is typically seen in older mares, and as you say, less likely to be affected by seasonal variance.
You might want to talk to your veterinarian about trying the biorelease altrenogest formulation from BET Pharmacy - they have a single injection treatment that lasts for 30 days which would probably produce fewer "peaks and troughs" than are seen with daily dosage (they also have a 12 day treatment) and therefore might work better than Regumate.
There is no reason why one could not repeatedly use the biorelease altrenogest as long as several considerations are made:
The mare MUST be clear of any uterine infection at the time of initial treatment and subsequently. Mares with uterine pathogenic presence undergoing treatment with any progestin (this includes Regumate) will be likely to develop a significant uterine infection.
This is a restricted drug and should only be used under the guidance and by prescription of a licensed veterinarian.
Some mares will develop a localised swelling at the injection site. This usually subsides in a few days, but one would not want to treat immediately prior to a show as a result!
Check sport-governing-body regulations on altrenogest use. Altrenogest is on the FEI prohibited substance list for use in sexes other than mares, and is only permitted for "controlled" use in mares upon completion of form 2
You could start her now, but be aware that when the mare is in anestrus the cervix is open and therefore uterine contamination is more likely. This leads to a higher chance of the first "caveat" item I indicate above. It would therefore probably be better to allow the mare to go through at least one ovulatory cycle before starting treatment.
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