Breeding Basics

News, Articles, Videos and other content about Breeding Basics

Monitor Mares' Progesterone Levels before Inducing Labor

Inducing labor in humans might be commonplace, but performing the same procedure in pregnant mares is tricky business. If the timing’s off, the foal isn’t likely to be strong enough to survive. But French researchers say that monitoring mares' progesterone levels—combined with veterinary and breeding experience—could be the key...

Researchers Study the Genetics of Heaves

Recurrent airway obstruction (RAO, also called heaves) appears to have a genetic basis, but that genetic basis isn’t the same in all horses, Swiss researchers say. While the clinical signs can be the same, the disease's underlying genetic mechanisms can vary from one horse family to another.

How to Predict When a Mare Will Foal

For some breeders, the waiting game starts as soon as the mare is inseminated. For others, it starts when she's confirmed in foal. Still for others, it starts when she her belly grows large. Whenever that waiting game starts, all breeders want to know: When will my mare foal?

Foaling Horses: 101 to 911

During and after foaling are two of the most critical times in a neonate and his mother's lives. One little thing gone wrong could set off a potentially life-threatening cascade of events for either horse. Rissa Parker, BVSc Pret, from Glen Austin Equine Clinic, in Gauteng, South Africa, has had a special interest in mare and foal care for the past 24...

Starting and Stopping a Mare's Estrous Cycle

While some breeders are content to let Mother Nature decide when a mare's body is ready for pregnancy, others take a more proactive approach. There are many reasons why an owner might seek closer control over a mare's estrous cycle, ranging from herd synchronization to a desired foaling date to putting a breeding career on hold for a performance c...

Health Problems in Newborn Foals

A foal's birth marks the start of something exciting: a new partner to train, a clean slate with which to begin, and potential just waiting to be tapped. But something exciting can quickly turn to something disappointing if that foal isn't healthy.

Top Equine Reproduction Studies of 2013

While your veterinarian is stitching wounds, delivering foals, and monitoring colics, researchers from around the world are publishing research that often advances the collective of horse health care. So to bring busy practitioners up to speed on the top studies in a variety of fields, a panel of veterinarians presents a news-type program each year at the...

Genetics Behind Horses' Face and Leg Markings Studied

Depending on the breed and breeder, white markings on horses might be something to strive for or against. Swiss and Australian researchers have recently tuned into the genetics of white leg and face markings, and they've learned that these features are the result of complex genetic processes—but not too complex for modern science.

Prostaglandins for Controlling Mares' Estrous Cycles

Breeders always appreciate ways to help improve their mares' chances of becoming pregnant, and one way veterinarians can help is by administering prostaglandins. At the 2013 Society for Theriogenology Conference, held Aug. 7-10 in Louisville, Ky., Carlos R. F. Pinto, MedVet, PhD, Dipl. ACT, presented a lecture on using prostaglandin F2? (PGF) to contr...

Equine Placentitis Update

What's the most common cause of late-term abortion in horses and remains challenging for veterinarians to diagnose and treat, despite ongoing research? If you said placentitis, you're right. To bring attendees of the 2013 Society for Theriogenology Conference, held Aug. 7-10 in Louisville, Ky., up to speed on the latest research on the complex top...

Fetal Consciousness' Impact on Equine Neonatal Health

Somewhere between when the birthing process begins and when the long-legged foal takes his first wobbly steps, he transitions from an unconscious fetus to a conscious horse. And while owners might just be happy to see their new arrival waking up to the world, researchers now believe that the fetal consciousness transition could have a significant impact o...

Subfertile Mares Need Conscientious Monitoring (AAEP 2012)

Many reproductive losses occur in the very early stages of pregnancy, but veterinarians emphasize that losses late in gestation can happen as well. A Louisiana State University (LSU) reproduction specialist recently described how practitioners can monitor pregnant mares to minimize such losses, particularly those mares difficult to get in foal in the firs...

Researchers Study Early Postpartum Breeding in Horses

Covering broodmares during the first month postpartum, often on the first postpartum estrus (termed "foal heat"), is routine practice at many dedicated breeding operations to ensure mares foal at roughly the same time each year. A mare that fails to conceive shortly after foaling continues to have subsequently later foaling dates, eventually mis...

Five Factors that Impact Gestation, Foaling (AAEP 2012)

Breeders spend a substantial amount of time contemplating the logistics of breeding, such as choosing the stallion and where and who will be performing the reproductive work. But once a mare is in foal, a number of things can derail the pregnancy if veterinarians and horse owners don't keep a close eye the mare's progress. Sometimes, simply knowin...

Genetic Basis of Osteochondritis Dissecans Probed

For a Thoroughbred the road to the racetrack is sometimes a rocky one, wrought with physical challenges such as the musculoskeletal condition osteochondrosis (OC). But recently, English researchers have taken a step forward in understanding a potential genetic component of OC.

Inside the Womb

It takes one egg, millions of sperm (but only one really lucky one), 11 months, and a host of normal physiologic events to make a mare a mom. Also, on the owner's part, "there is a lot invested, both financially and emotionally, in producing a healthy foal," explains Igor Canisso, DVM, MSc, Dipl. ACT, a theriogenologist PhD candidate in the ...

Suppressing Estrus in Mares

Even the quietest of mares can turn into a proverbial fire-breathing dragon during her estrous cycle, which can make riding, training, competing, or handling these horses a challenge for any equestrian. Fortunately, veterinarians have effective methods by which to prevent or lessen the effects of estrus in mares while still allowing them to have a second ...

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