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Older mare, always in heat?

Equine-Reproduction.com Bulletin Board » General Mare Questions - Volume 2 » Older mare, always in heat? « Previous Next »


Author Message
 

Charla McCullough
Nursing Foal
Username: Cmdomino2000

Post Number: 16
Registered: 09-2006
Posted on Monday, May 19, 2008 - 09:33 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have a 24 year old mare, normal foaling history, normal heat cycles, ones of those that never lies about when she is in or out.... until this year.

She has been showing strong heat (striking breeding stance, throwing off) for over 6 weeks now. Her last foal was born spring of 07.

Is this normal for old mares to go through prior to "shutting down" for good? Or is this more of an indication that there is something wrong inside that needs medical attention?

I wasn't planning to breed her, but I will if it will return her to "normal" for another year!

thanks, Charla
 

Jos
Board Administrator
Username: Admin

Post Number: 1936
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Monday, May 19, 2008 - 11:51 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There are several possible causes. One that should probably be investigated is the possibility of a granulosa cell tumour. This is an estrogen-secreting tumour of the ovary that will often start by manifesting persistent estrus, and then finally often change to stallion-like behaviour.

Not all mares "shut down", so don't assume that you will see that, although it is a possibility. When they do stop cycling though, they are more likely to appear in a condition like winter anestrus, where they are neither opposed nor overly receptive to a stallion - just a kind of "ho-hum" attitude, that is often mistaken for early estrus.

If she has a uterine infection, she may be short-cycling herself, and only being in diestrus for a matter of 8 days or so before returning to estrus, so if you are not seeing the same behaviour every day, that is also a possibility.

I would start by having her ultrasounded and evaluated for internal reproductive issues.
 

Charla McCullough
Nursing Foal
Username: Cmdomino2000

Post Number: 17
Registered: 09-2006
Posted on Monday, May 19, 2008 - 01:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thank you Jos. I will call my vet and schedule an appointment for an ultrasound.

Charla



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