The mare I'm breeding this season (hopefully in a couple of weeks) was my problem child in 09. She had a foal in 08 without any issues, born early in the year. Her previous owner told me she bred on the first try (which I believe because her 08 baby was a late january). In 2009 we tried to breed her in mid March about 2 weeks after ariving from california (we live in texas), where she'd been under lights and "prepared". I don't know if it was because of the climate change, but she held on to a 45, without ovulating, for 3 days, by the time she ovulated (after receiving HCG) the semen was no good. We tried again in May with the exact same result.
This year we've kept her under lights and monitored her heat cycles, she's been perfect between and we just had her cultured and flushed this last cycle since we plan on breeding her next. Her previous owner suggesting giving her a shot of HCG and Deslorin to make her ovulate. She advises that in her experience the mare will always cycle within 12 to 36 hours. Is this true and my vet just didn't know? Or is it not cost effective/successful enough to do?
Just trying to find the highest rate of success to keep the cost and number of times we breed her down. This is our first attempt at breeding her since 2009.
Also, her 2009 heat cycles lasted days beyond what a normal cycle should have been, she's had 2 heat cycles that we've monitored and both have been "normal" in duration and time between.
A 45 mm follicle at ovulation is not unusually large.
"Flushing" a mare, unless some issue has been identified (typically uterine fluid or endometritis) is generally not recommended. Indeed, in immediately post-foaling mares that foaled with no problems, it has been shown to reduce pregnancy rates. It is thought that may set up inflammatory responses where none were present before.
Combining hCG and Deslorelin have not been shown to be particularly advantageous. In the event that your mare had been previously given the hCG and then did not ovulate for 3 days (on the 45) then you might want to consider using the Deslorelin rather than hCG (although it might just have been "one of those things" and an isolated incident), or alternatively, you might want to try Histrelin from BET Pharmacy which we have used and had good success with.
I'm not sure what you mean by "She advises that in her experience the mare will always cycle within 12 to 36 hours.". Always "cycle"?? The mare has to be cycling in order to come into estrus and ovulate... Please clarify your usage and we'll attempt to help.
Have you followed your mare through a heat cycle to see what size of a folicle she naturally ovulates on. I had a mare that was a silent heat mare that I bred shipped semen, before the first time breeding her I had the vet follow her through a heat cycle and found out that she ovulated on a 70. I bred her every other year and she ovulated right around a 70 and got in foal all 7 times with 1 shippment without any HCG. I'm not sure how consistent mares are from year to year, maybe Jos can let us know.
I had the same problem with my mare a few years ago, we would give her HcG and she would just hang onto that follicle for days. I think my vet may have been overdosing her with it,and that's why it stalled. I have started using Deslorelin on her every time, more expensive, but it works like clockwork, finally in foal!
According to her previous owner she was normally good at 40, and rarely went over. I think I'm going to talk to my vet about deslorelin instead of hCG. He's a large animal vet that does a little breeding, so I wasn't sure if this was some magic combo that he didn't know of or if she just goes above and beyond what's actually necessary. I'd like to not have to breed more than once, so I was thrilled when she told me that.
So as far as flushing goes, is a little fluid in a pre pregnancy ultrasound cause for concern enough to flush her? Or would it have to be a significant amount? So far I've had 4 successful breeding attempts, each time we flushed a couple of weeks before we bred, so I wasn't sure if this was just something that should always be done. Considering the bill for it was $150, I wish I would have known it wasn't exactly a prevenative but more of a reaction to an issue. Do you always suggest a culture before breeding? If so, how far in advance is "enough"?
Hedgrow... I may try that, we didn't ultrasound her last year any or this year yet, but she appears to be pretty consistant, if we don't check in foal on this heat cycle I think I'll watch the next 2 and see if that's the problem. 45 for my other two mares was perfect, so maybe I've just been assuming (and I know how she loooovvvesss to prove me wrong).
85% of mares have been shown in research to ovulate within 48 hours of receiving hCG in the presence of a follicle =>35 mm, so the statistic you were given is not surprising. Remember that use of an ovulation-promoter will speed the duration to ovulation, but not the follicular diameter. In other words, mares so treated will typically ovulate on a smaller follicle than that which they would ovulate on unaided. "Following a cycle" can be very valuable, but can as a result give you an erroneous impression about follicular diameters.
There is a Deslorelin product commercially available in the USA that was approved for use last year called "Sucromate Plus". It is however considerably more expensive than hCG, or the Histrelin that I referenced above. I would look at using the Histrelin before I used the Deslorelin product.
Lavaging is not required or indicated unless there is >2 cm of fluid present in the uterus (we discuss that in our article about oxytocin use), which you should read.Fluid at depths of <2 cm can typically be treated with oxytocin alone.
If you are breeding only one or two mares, pre-breeding culturing and cytology (read the article!) is a valuable and cost-effective plan. If you are breeding many mares, doing the evaluation prior to the first cycle of breeding becomes non-cost effective in many cases as about 60% or mares will get pregnant on the first cycle anyway. It is however recommended that at the very least, pre-breeding cytology smears be taken and read on the 40% of mares that fail to become pregnant on the first cycle in that type of a situation.
Thought I'd update... I read the articles you suggested and I wish I would have sooner, feel like I wasted a bunch of money in past years...
We brought her in on 1/30 and she had a 37 on the left side. We left her at the vet to breed and ordered semen. My vet remembered at this time that he didn't have the culture results (which I had been asking his office about the week prior, to no call back) and he said he'd call the lab and get the results. I still don't know the results.
I've used this vet to great success the past 6 years and never had a problem, this year it's been incredibly frusterating because I can't get him to call me back and his new office people don't know the difference between a mare and a jenny.
Anyway, we left her and I called the next afternoon to check on her and my vet told me that she had another follicle that had been hiding (I guess??) and it too was large at this time but she appeared to be about to ovulate the other, larger one. She ovulated the next morning and was bred just before and just after. When I called my vet that evening he told me she had ovulated and that he wanted to hold on to her to see about the second follicle, but I was irritated by the lack of communication so I told him I would pick her up that evening. He wasn't there when I got there to pick her up and the office secretary didn't know what all he had done so she made me a photo copy of his charge sheet.
It didn't tell me what she ovulated on or what the semen quality was, but on the sheet it said that he had given her a shot of Naxcel (spelling?) and when I asked the office secretary she had no idea why he gave it to her and when she called him he told her that it was to prevent a resp. infection and pass on protection to the embryo-or at least that's what she interpreted. When I googled the drug it said it hadn't been tested in horses intended for reproduction... Any idea about that?
My vet also told me, when I spoke with him on the phone, that I would need to schedule an ultrasound 18 days post breeding. I read your article about twins and asked if I could bring her in around 14 days and explained about the article.. He told me that it would be too small to detect so 18 days is best, especially if she possibly has twins.
I absolutely love this vet, he's been great to us, but I think he's starting to think about retirement and he's lost all of his good help. He's never been really "in to" reproduction and just kind of goes through the motions. I'm pretty sure this is the last time we use him to breed our mares. I'm also thinking of scheduling the 14 day ultrasound with another clinic in the area.
I never got a chance to talk to him about the Histrelin, but she appeared to ovulate in good time this time. However, I'm a little worried about the second follicle, and she still appears to be in heat and teasing the barn geldings.
My biggest question is about the Naxcel though, I found very little information in regards to using it in broodmares...
Naxcel (Ceftiofur sodium) is a moderately broad spectrum antibiotic. The biggest issues I see are (a) a single dose is not going to do anything other than possibly assist in the creation of a resistant organism; and (b) as you indicate "shot", I'm presuming injection. A systemic dose will allow very low levels to be seen in the uterus, which - in particular with the fact that it was a single dose - will be unlikely to assist to any degree.
Pregnancy checking for twins via ultrasound is not almost universally performed at 14-15 days post-ovulation, it being recognised that the best chances for twin reduction ("pinching") success occur when performed prior to fixation (about day 16). In view of the high potential for twinning in this situation, it might well be advisable to have the mare checked earlier.
You don't indicate exactly when she ovulated, but the fact that she is still teasing possibly 4 or 5 days after that is strongly suggestive that the mare may in fact be transitional and not truly in a breedable cycle. This hypothesis would be supported by the multiple follicle situation (although that can certainly happen during a breeding cycle as well) and the time of year.
Don't be overly surprised to find no pregnancy rather than twins at your check...
Sorry, she ovulated the morning of the 1st. Her past 2 heats have been exact, this is the only "odd" one. Today she was back to her normal cheerful self (haha, yeah right).
I'm really not sure if it was a single dose or 4, since the sheet had a 4 written near the Naxcel, but I'm not certain enough if he was indicating some other procedure since I never got to actually talk to him about it. I'm not sure if it was an injection, I just assumed it was-what other forms can it be given in?
Crossing my fingers that the first time was the charm but if we have to try again then I'm going to attempt to get my vet to teach me how to AI, since I've been wanting to learn...
It could possibly have been presented in the form of a uterine lavage or infusion, which would be a more normal way to treat the uterus with an antibiotic.
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