I have a mare that we bred via AI last year and she lost the foal. This year, we've picked a different stud and are ready to breed. I had the vet out yesterday to check her and do a culture and sensitivity on her. She has good uterine tone and was not in season as of yesterday, but should be next week according to my calendar. We do not have a stud to use to tease to, and the two geldings we have are the mare's brothers. What are some physical signs I should look for besides the obvious ones - squatting, frequent urination?
It really depends on the mare. I have a couple of mares that never show signs of heat and then I have a couple of mares that will stand in their stall with their tail raised "winking". I would just have the vet out to ultrasound her when she should be coming in heat and he should be able to tell you if she has a follicle
Thanks Tracy. The problem with having the vet out is this, we live out of range of most of the vets. The one we've been using only comes out into our area one day a week, otherwise it costs $145 just to have her come out here!!!! We're trying to avoid having to have her out here on a day that isn't her normal one. There are other vets that are closer, but, they require that we have a palpation/breeding chute to check her. And, we don't have a horse trailer to haul her into the clinic. That's why I was asking if there are other ways to check on my own. I have a degree in Animal Science, so I can pretty much handle some situations on my own.
Note that the ultrasound needs to show not only a follicle, but uterine edema as well. Mares can produce mid-cycle follicles (that may even ovulate), so follicular presence alone is not enough to go by.
Note too that you need not only a uterine swab with culture and sensitivity, but also cytology (follow that link for more information). In fact, the culture results are pretty much worthless without the cytology to support the findings.
If you are going to have difficulty identifying when to breed the mare, you may wish to contemplate using P&E (again, follow that link for details).
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