I have tried looking for an excellent reproduction vet in my country and am really coming up empty, so here is my question. I am getting so many different opinions, but don't know what to do. Right I have a TB mare covered on May 24th, 2005. She is now 5 and this will be her first foal. I don't want to breed her on the foal heat, but would like to breed closer to her foal heat then the next heat. Now I know I'm gonna get flack because I want to do this, but I do have to try and have a foal born a bit earlier then end of April beginning of May or mid May. The big well known stud she will be going back to suggests lunging my mare after she foals to help with her tone. I mentioned the article I got off this board of the regumate when she foals and they didn't think this was a good idea. The lunging to help her tone is for me breeding her back on her foal heat, which I don't want to do because I want my mare to have more time, and I don't want my foal going off to stud so early. Anyway they also told me to flush her out 3 days in a row after foaling and use of antibiotics. What I want to know is after she has her foal heat, can she be given anything after ovualation to bring her back in say in 5 days to a week? This is uncharted territory for me so any advice would be helpful. This is all conditional on her having a safe and easy birth of course. I don't want people to think I'm horrible because I treat my mares extremely well. They have every need met, their rugged, their brushed, and they are my pride and joy, but I do have to make the most of my foals too. I don't treat my mares as vessels. I just need to do this once and then she can be left to her natural cycles on the next foal. Thanks Terri
The key to breeding on foal heat is when the embryo reaches the uterus. The endometrium (the lining of the uterus) isn't ready to sustain another pregnancy until 15 days after birth. The embryo takes 5-6 days to traverse the oviduct and get into the uterus, so if ovulation occurs on day 9-10 or later, your mare has as much chance of conceiving and successfully carrying that pregnancy as if you bred her on a later heat. If the embryo arrives before day 15, it's more iffy. The longing and flushing with antibiotics probably will help to improve uterine tone, but I don't think they'll help the endometrium heal and regenerate.
I just attended Colorado State's short course on equine reproduction. There's a specific treatment protocol for delaying foal heat long enough to ensure that the embryo doesn't arrive in the uterus until day 15 or 16--I don't have time to look it up and post it now, but I will within a few days. I'm in that position, too, with one of my mares and a friend's mare.
Lisa, Actually the link Cathy provided says just that. I have already decided I'm going to let her have her foal heat and then bring her in. I feel it will be so much better for her this way. I know it's making me seem very greedy, but an Early April foal will be much better for us and I will make sure my mare is well looked after. She comes first no matter what! I like your advice because you are doing the TB's in Oz so you would understand. Thank You Terri
Posted on Wednesday, February 01, 2006 - 06:35 am:
Terri, I know how important an earlier foal is when this is your income. I don't think you are being greedy at all. I see some owners that will do anything to get a foal out of a mare that should be retired and they get angry when she won't take or has to be put down before the foal is born. You sound like an angel compared to these people.
Posted on Wednesday, February 01, 2006 - 09:44 am:
Terri, I used to feel the same way about foal heat--after all, none of us humans would want to have sex and get pregnant again so soon! But this is how the mare's body is designed to work. If you continue to breed on the heat after foal heat, at some point your mare will be foaling so late that you'll have to leave her open for one year, and economically that might be pretty difficult. And we give them a really good life (I'm like you--my horses are four-footed family members) at a fairly expensive price, so they can work a little bit for their keep. Every family member should have a job!
Here's what Colorado State recommends in their 2001 bulletin Management of the Pregnant Mare and Newborn Foal (McCue, Breummer, Carnevale, Siciliano, and Squires): A thorough repro eval on day 6-8 postpartum, including a visual speculum exam to evaluate the cervix and vagina; ultrasound and palpation. If there weren't any problems with foaling or found on the exam, a mare can be bred if she still has a large follicle on day 9 (they don't recommend hCG administration until day 10 or later). If she's already ovulated on day nine, you can short cycle her by administering prostaglandins on day 14, and she'll come back in. They also mention in this bulletin that pregnancy rates are typically higher for mares bred during an estrus induced after prostaglandin administration. so that might be your best bet. Hope this helps.
Sandy, Thanks for taking the time to help me with my query. I have printed it out and will talk with my vet about the best course of action. It would make things much easier for me. Thanks for the other bit about doing a little bit for their keep. Sometimes when you print things like this on boards people tend to think your greedy and start slamming you, so I like to get that out of the way first. Thanks Terri
Sandy, Thanks for taking the time to help me with my query. I have printed it out and will talk with my vet about the best course of action. It would make things much easier for me. And yes, I guess my 4 legged family members can work just a bit for all the pampering, looking after, and money that's spent on them! Thanks Terri
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