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Urine Clarity and Estrus

Equine-Reproduction.com Bulletin Board » Breeding Methods » Urine Clarity and Estrus « Previous Next »


Author Message
 

Barbara Lewis
Nursing Foal
Username: Baraka

Post Number: 13
Registered: 06-2008
Posted on Saturday, August 02, 2008 - 11:39 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jos, it seems that I remember you saying in one of your courses, that when a mare is in Estrus, her urine would be cloudy and clears up shortly before ovulation. If this is true, can you give us a run down of this in a normal mares cycle?

I have an outside mare here who is puzzling me, as she could be in foal. When teased, she winks some but switches her tail and loses interest in the stallion very quickly. She does not break down, as she did in her last heat, and what little urine that passes, is very clear, and has been for days (last cycle it was cloudy). I've had pregnant mares who show signs of heat, so am afraid to try and cover this one, just in case. I do rely on urine clarity pretty heavily, so would love to have your information on this and whether or not clarity is something to be considered. Can't get the vet out until the 11th for ultrasound.
 

Jos
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 2122
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Monday, August 04, 2008 - 09:12 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The change in the non-pregnant urine colour occurs as a result of estrogen secretion from the follicle during estrus. During pregnancy, estrogen is secreted by the feto-placental unit. It is possible therefore that a pregnant or a non-pregnant mare presents with "cloudy" urine.

Note too that if there is a second follicle present during estrus, the primary follicle will stop estrogen secretion, but the secondary follicle will continue. Hence there will be no change from cloudy to clear even though the mare is close to ovulation.

You need to get the mare checked.
 

Barbara Lewis
Nursing Foal
Username: Baraka

Post Number: 14
Registered: 06-2008
Posted on Monday, August 04, 2008 - 10:26 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

So for the sake of discussion, let me be sure I have this right - and forgive me in advance as I know I'm basically repeating what you've just said - but with one question.

My reference was to cloudy only, not color, so what I meant was opaque or translucent (cloudy) as opposed to transparent (clear).

A non-pregnant mare, with one follicle only, will have cloudy urine until ovulation, or just prior to ovulation.

A non-pregnant mare with two follicles will ovulate on the 1st follicle, and continue to have cloudy urine until the 2nd follicle is ready for ovulation. IOW, the urine isn't affected by the ovulation of the 1st.

To clarify, does a healthy follicle present always result in cloudy urine? This is something I really want to understand, as I bank on that cloudiness.

A pregnant mare can also have cloudy urine for a whole other reason, as you described.

This mare never presented cloudiness to her urine, so I still suspect a pregnancy.

I do have the veterinarian scheduled for the 11th, but of course she would be out of heat by then, if that's what is occurring. I routinely schedule 2 weeks ahead to be sure I get the appointment in a timely manner. This time there were several to be checked, so I waited until the last was bred.
 

Jos
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 2123
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Wednesday, August 06, 2008 - 09:03 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

A non-pregnant mare, with one follicle only, will have cloudy urine until ovulation, or just prior to ovulation.

Correct - the estrogen levels decline 24-48 hours prior to ovulation, so the urine will go clear within that time frame.

A non-pregnant mare with two follicles will ovulate on the 1st follicle, and continue to have cloudy urine until the 2nd follicle is ready for ovulation. IOW, the urine isn't affected by the ovulation of the 1st.

At ovulation of the first follicle, the estrogen level in the urine will drop, but the change will not be visibly distinguishable. The second follicle may go on to ovulate, or regress.

To clarify, does a healthy follicle present always result in cloudy urine?

There is no such word as "always" related to equine reproduction! It would however be unusual for a mare in estrus with a follicle not to demonstrate the change in the urine. A mare with a diestrus follicle however - even though it might ovulate - is unlikely to have the urine change.

Although the change in urine is a useful indicator of estrus, it is not reliable to use as a pinpointer to timing of breeding, owing to the issue with multiple follicles.
 

Barbara Lewis
Nursing Foal
Username: Baraka

Post Number: 15
Registered: 06-2008
Posted on Friday, August 08, 2008 - 12:46 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thank you Jos. You are a patient man.

I don't personally use it to predict ovulation, but to confirm a mare is in estrus, if I'm not certain by her actions. They can certainly confuse you, as this year several mares that are actually in foal, act like they are in heat. Hopefully the old wives tale about these mares carrying a filly, is true.
 

Barbara Lewis
Nursing Foal
Username: Baraka

Post Number: 16
Registered: 06-2008
Posted on Thursday, August 14, 2008 - 01:09 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Just to follow up, the mare WAS pregnant. She winked and showed some degree of interest in the stallion throughout what would have been a normal estrus, then stopped. I followed my instincts and didn't try to breed her again. I am so glad I didn't.

Our horse community believes that when a mare acts this way when pregnant, she is carrying a filly. I sure hope that proves to be true (as it has in the past).

One more question.... Approximately what is the size of the follicle when a mare shows her first sign of heat (day 1, as we count it)?

Thank you for the help.
 

Jos
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 2140
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Friday, August 15, 2008 - 12:26 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There is a slight correlation between estrus display in a pregnant mare, and a filly foal.

Asking what size the follicle is is a bit like asking "how long is a piece of string"...

They may be any size greater than 2 cm.
 

amanda Huybers
Neonate
Username: Weerunner

Post Number: 1
Registered: 10-2008
Posted on Friday, October 10, 2008 - 07:55 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Wow, that is very interesting that there is some correlation between pregnant mares standing to be bred and them having fillies. I have one here that was bred in early April and then again in May, tests show she actually took in April. A possible filly? Wouldn't that be wonderful.
 

Michele
Breeding Stock
Username: Mich

Post Number: 112
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Friday, December 12, 2008 - 11:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Just out of interest, I have an older mare who, when last in foal, would have allowed the stallion to cover her even though she was three months in foal (after three months she stopped showing to the stallion) however, the stallion was not vaguely interested in her when he smelled her when being teased despite responding initially to her standing for him.

Unfortunately she aborted the foal at 51/2 months. Interestingly, it was a filly, so I have reason to suspect that theory was pretty accurate in my case:-)
 

Barbara Lewis
Nursing Foal
Username: Baraka

Post Number: 19
Registered: 06-2008
Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 03:15 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'm back on this subject again this year :-).

I have a mare here who has been in heat for 12 days! Yesterday, her urine turned clear, and is still clear today, but she is in "full" standing heat. Trying to move her away from the stallion (when teasing) is like moving a rock!

I bred her every other day from day 3 (about 3 covers), until yesterday when the urine cleared. I decided she'd probably ovulated, or would soon, so I stopped. This morning I expected her to be out of heat, but not so. Now I'm questioning whether or not I should go ahead and cover her again. My stallion has excellent semen with lots of "staying power" so figured a day or so off would make no difference.

My question is, would you continue to cover this mare if she stay in even longer, or let it go until next heat cycle? My reluctance to keep covering and covering her is feeling like each cover has the potential of introducing contaminates. She had an infection last year that we cleaned up. Now I'm very concerned about keeping her clean. I do clean her, externally of course, before each cover and wrap her tail.

I'm toying with the idea of covering her tonight. What say ye?
 

Jan Owen
Senior Stallion or Mare
Username: 1frosty1

Post Number: 2273
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 04:42 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hey Barbara...any chance of getting this ultrasounded during her heat period to see what is up with her follicles? and if she indeed is ovulating...Having a mare that had clearance issue, espcially when repeatedly bred we used the oxytocin protocol discribed on this board and it helped her tremdously...I would say to hold off, ultra sound if possible...if not perhaps scan her for pregnancy and see what is going on in about 10+ days? Just a suggestion...
 

Barbara Lewis
Weanling
Username: Baraka

Post Number: 21
Registered: 06-2008
Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 07:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I actually had the vet here on Monday for a couple of other things, and asked him to bring his ultrasound machine for her. He basically talked me out of bothering with the ultrasound, saying that these long heat cycle aren't uncommon with maes this time of year. He advised to just going to covering her every 3rd day. The next morning when the urine was clear, I wished I had gone ahead and had her done. It's not easy getting a veterinarian scheduled in this area.

I know that I probably rely on urine clarity too much when gauging cycles, but am of the opinion that although not 100%, it's a valuable tool I'll go with for now.

Since it's this early in the season, I'll probably just wait and do a pregnancy check on her in a couple of weeks.
 

Jos
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 2323
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Wednesday, March 25, 2009 - 10:31 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It's still early in the year. Unless these mares have been under lights, they're almost certainly still transitional, and therefore not ovulating.

Get them ultrasounded or run progesterone assays to confirm ovulation.
 

Diana McKee
Neonate
Username: Fancywalker

Post Number: 1
Registered: 03-2009
Posted on Wednesday, April 01, 2009 - 12:08 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I hope that this issue isn't mute but it was mentioned about cloudy urine in a non pregnant mare having meaning and then it was said that cloudy urine in a pregnant mare would have another meaning. What would it mean if a pregnant mare presented cloudy urine, with one month or less to go?
 

Jos
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 2339
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Wednesday, April 01, 2009 - 10:48 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The fetus starts producing estrogens - specifically estrone sulfate - at 70-100 days of pregnancy, and continues to produce it through to term in varying amounts (production peaks at about 210-240 days). What you are seeing with the cloudy urine in the pregnant mare therefore is clearance of that fetus-produced estrogen from the mare's system.
 

Barbara Lewis
Weanling
Username: Baraka

Post Number: 32
Registered: 06-2008
Posted on Friday, May 01, 2009 - 08:33 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi, Just came back to the forums, and thought I would finish this story. The mare I had spoken about ovulated about 4 days after her last cover, and settled in foal. She has a very strong fetus, so we are pleased.



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