I have been AIing mares for 6 years and have never seen the problems before that I am having this year with mares cycling, settling, ect.
Mare #1. 11 years old. Foaled 3-15-07. Did not have a foal heat but came in 30 days post foaling. Was in heat for 21 consecutive days. Had vet ultrasound her, found a 51mm non-0vulatory follicle on RO. He gave her a shot of hCG and Prostamate and said she should go out on her own. She did not. A week later (she is still in heat) vet said to give 2ml Prostamate every day for 5 days, that should take care of it. It regressed to a 41mm while on Prostamate but within 2 days without prostamate treatment it started growing again. Vet had me give her a shot of Deslorelin, and within 2 days the thing was finally gone. How long before this mare returns to estrus and will it be normal the next time?
Mare #2. 18 years old. Foaled 3-21-07. Foal died of scours. Mare did not have a foal heat, nor has she come in yet as of 5-13-07. Vet says she has a persistent CL. Mare has had several shots of prostamate, CL won't go away and mare won't come into heat. Gave mare Deslorelin, has been on regumate for 10 days....she finally had a 22mm follicle on LO on Friday. Anyone have experience with this?
Mare # 3 17 years old. Foaled 2-13-07. No foal heat, no 30 day heat, no activity on ovaries whatsoever per ultrasound. Gave mare prostamate shot, left at vet clinic for 2 weeks so they could track her follicles via ultrasound. She went from NSF to 27mm, 28mm, 29mm, then regressed. No heat signs after that for a month. Now she has been in standing heat for 11 days straight. Ultrasound does not pick up any follicular activity but the mare has thick, smelly estrus urine, and clear thick mucous when she squats to pee. Would stand for teaser stallion to mount. I really want to breed this mare, but with her abnormal cycles I am afraid it will be a waste of time and $$.
Mare #4. 8 years old. Foaled 3-8-07. No foal heat. No 30 day heat. Suddenly she is in heat for 5 days. AI breed her on the 4th day of heat and she goes out. Stays out for 3 days, then comes back in. Ultrasounds say NSF on both ovaries. She keeps repeating the 5-days-in, 3-days-out "cycle" over and over. Still NSF on ovaries per ultrasound. Vet gives her hCG and Prostamate. No change. Talk to different vet, per her advise I gave this mare deslorelin 3 days ago and she is finally "out". Vet says put her on regumate for 10 days and recheck her. I am so confused, it has never been this hard to get my mares in foal as it is this year!!! I am about ready to give up on breeding!! HELP!!!
Mare #1: If the mare did not have a foal heat, then why would your vet think that the Prostamate (prostaglandin) would do anything? There must be a receptive CL present for prostaglandin to bring a mare into estrus... Either the mare did have a foal heat, or the prostaglandin was not a suitable drug to be used.
Mare #2: If the mare did not have a foal heat, how the heck can she have a persistent CL???
Mare #3: Why give prostaglandin if there's no activity on the ovaries? There must be a CL present, which can be visualised per ultrasound...
Mare #4: Again, I question the "no foal heat"... mares can and do have silent estrus when they have a foal at their side, and some do genuinely shut down after the foal heat until after they've been weaned, which is always a possibility, but having looked at mares #1-3, I'm starting to see a pattern here... Why give prostaglandin and hCG together? That is generally contraindicated. Why give hCG at all if there are no significant follicles on the ovaries? There must be a >35 mm follicle present to be able to induce ovulation with hCG...
If all of the above is indeed what happened, then I think I might be inclined to seek a second opinion from another veterinarian that specialises in equine reproduction - preferably a Theriogenologist...
Thank you for your response. These mares were all purchased out of a warm climate and moved north in January. I am thinking they are having a really hard time adapting to our weather up here. And this might be a huge part of our problem as the mares we have always had here and are native to this area are all cycling normally and have been settling.
It is possible that these new mares have had silent foal heats but.....you would think that at least one of them would have shown us something......
I wish I could find an equine theriogenologist in this area......however, the closest general vet is 70 miles one way from our ranch.....so that is the best that we can do.
Unfortunately I had to switch vets this year which has been a really bad deal....the two I have been using this spring are NOT WORKING out as you can see by my posts.
As far as Mare #1 goes, when she did finally come in, she would not go out. Then the non ovulatory follicle was discovered and we finally have that taken care of.
Mare #2.....I do not know how she can have a persistent CL when she did not even come in heat...at least from our observations. She has been on Regumate for 10 days now and she does have some follicular activity on both ovaries. 10's and 20's on both sides. This is her last day of Regumate.
Mare #3.... How can she be showing all of these signs of estrus when there is no follicular activity on her ovaries per ultrasound? Should I put this mare on Regumate and start all over again?
Mare # 4 comes in for 5 days, goes out for 3, comes back in for 5, repeatedly. This has been going on for nearly a month now. She never has any activity going on her ovaries per ultrasound exam, vet says she should NOT be doing this but then he gave her a pgf2@ shot and an hCG shot anyway. I don't get that one either.
Normally we just tease every mare every day, AI on the 3rd day and if they are still in on the 5th day we breed again. I have never had such a bunch of problems!!!!
Well, one possibility that now becomes apparent, and would explain the situation to some degree is that if these mares came from the lower regions, it's not the decrease in heat that's the issue, but the decrease in the light duration, and the mares have gone back into winter anestrus, or at least spring transition. This would indeed seem likely based upon the descriptions you have given.
I am still a little uncomfortable about some of the things that have been done though, and would encourage you to try and find an alternative with whom to consult and evaluate...
Thank you for your reply, Jos. Our weather has been less than ideal for settling these new mares in, but the light duration makes sense to me. That is something that I had never thought about when I purchased these mares.
I have been in touch with my previous vet and I am hoping to get these girls back on track. What is your opinion on giving a shot of Deslorelin, then 10 days of Regumate to get some of these girls going? That has been suggested to me but with all the other stuff that has gone on with my mares and the "new" vets, you can imagine why I would be uncomfortable with anything else they come up with!!!
Deslorelin is typically used to produce the same effect as hCG - to stimulate ovulation of a follicle that is present. As we have already discussed, without a follicle, the use of hCG is redundant... and so therefore is Deslorelin.
If the use of Deslorelin is with a view to it's GnRH function, the effect of a single shot has not been shown to be sufficiently adequate to stimulate onset of transitional phase in anestrus mares - it would require a series of shots (read "much expense").
I would therefore have to question what exactly the idea is behind the Deslorelin use before using it myself...
Thanks Jos. I got in touch with my old vet, and here is an update. Mare #1 was ultrasounded yesterday and has some 20mm follicles on both ovaries. We have the NOF taken care of. Yeah!!
Mare #2 has a 27mm follicle LO so she may be coming in.
Mare #3 Has stood for teaser for 14 days as of today. Ultrasound this AM shows 42 x 47 mm follicle on RO. Gave her a shot of hCG and will AI her tonight.
Mare #4 I put on Regumate on Monday. The signs of estrus have disappeared, per ultrasound she is still NSF both ovaries. Will keep her on regumate for 10 more days and see if she will have a normal cycle when taken off.
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