Well, we finally found a Vet who would accomodate us and let us do the p&e protocol.
We followed this protocol, per your article, in late Feb/early March with 3 mares.
The first mare presented 30mm on day 14 at ultrasound and was bred on days 16 & 17, ovulation confirmed.
The other 2 mares progressed very slowly and were bred on days 20 & 21, at 35mm & 38mm respectively which may have been a day or so early size-wise for these mares, but we got backed into a weekend situation where no semen could be delivered. Ovulation confirmed.
From this, we achieved one pregnancy (from one of the slower mares) - and it is twins (which are touching, although one seems to be much larger, so I am hopeful this will resolve on it's own).
Here is my confusion, we had clean culture and cytology from last September on both the mares that didn't catch. One has a current biopsy of 1, the other is a maiden. We are in South Florida, and it has been quite warm this winter, the mares have been displaying signs of estrus since January.
Given the two slow-pokes and the one over-achiever, we ended up having Vet calls and ultrasounds pretty much daily for a week, so while I cringe in anticipation of my Vet bill, any enlightenment as to what I may have done wrong or what could be a factor is greatly appreciated.
the mares have been displaying signs of estrus since January
But had you confirmed ovulation? Simply because they were displaying estrus does not mean that they were ovulating. In fact, in one research project, although between 20-45% of mares were exhibiting estrus in Jan-March (incl.) NONE were found to be ovulating! That's not to say that all of yours were in a similar condition, but it would explain the low success rate. We always recommend in our courses that people confirm at least one ovulation before using P&E.
Next question. What was the estrogen that was used in the combination? It should have been Estradiol 17β, but if another form of estrogen was used (ECP or estradiol benzoate) there would be a delay to ovulation, if there were a positive response at all. Not all compounding pharmacies are familiar with the correct formulation.
Did you give the drugs at the same time (or very close to it) each day? Giving it late (or early) for even one day can throw out the schedule.
My guess though would be that you were dealing with transitional mares. P&E is about 80% effective in cycling mares, so if one of your mares hadn't followed the odds, I'd say that was statistically OK, but all three...?
Interesting....the only confirmed ovulation is the one with twins. I like the explanation, it feels easier than other options!!
We used the Bet Pharm product P+ in oil (progesterone (p4) 50mg/mL + estradiol (e2) 3.3mg/mL) and gave the shots at 10am every day. Both of the mares had small reactions to the injection and the Bet Pharm folks advised that it might be an allergy to the yam used in making the product, so we used 2 needles per mare - one to draw and one to inject, that seemed to improve things there.
Well now we have confirmed ovulation -- I guess we can retry at the next natural cycle which will be pretty soon.
Is that the most prudent course of action? I am trying to be cost-efficient!! ;-)
Your next course of action will depend upon what you are attempting to do. If you are simply breeding these mares, then as you have a starting point, it might be cheaper and easier to forgo the P&E and work on the presumption that the next ovulation will occur approximately 21 days after the first - You should start checking around 16/17 days, then every other day until your ovulation. You ideally would be doing those checks even with the P&E. OTOH, if you are attempting to synchronize for ET or something like that, then you might want to consider using the P&E again.
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