NSAIDs for Mating-Induced Endometritis Examined in Mares

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs could assist vets managing persistent mating-induced endometritis (PMIE), a chronic inflammation of the lining of the uterine wall after breeding or artificial insemination, which is a leading cause of reduced fertility in horses.

Approximately 15% of Thoroughbred broodmares are thought to be negatively affected by PMIE.

Recently, one study showed that dexamethasone can be used to successfully treat PMIE. Considering the safety issues surrounding systemic use of corticosteroids, Christine Aurich, DVM, PhD, professor at the Graf Lehndorff Institute at the Vienna University of Veterinary Sciences, wanted to determine if NSAIDs had comparative positive effects on fertility.

Aurich and colleague H. Rojer, from the University's Centre for Artificial Insemination and Embryo Transfer, examined 17 barren client-owned mares referred to the Centre with a history of PMIE. They included nine mares in the control group while the remaining eight mares were treated with an oral NSAID (vedaprofen) twice daily, starting one day before insemination and continuing until one day after ovulation.

"Pregnancy was confirmed in only two of the nine mares in the control group, but seven of eight mares in the treatment group," Aurich stated. Based on these preliminary findings, it appears that NSAIDs might positively affect fertility in mares with a history of PMIE.

Kristina G. Lu, VMD, Dipl. ACT, from Hagyard Equine Medical Institute in Kentucky, commented on the study.

"My impression is that dexamethosone is becoming much more commonly used in an attempt to treat mating induced endometritis. NSAIDs do not appear to be used with the same enthusiasm at this time, though this article suggests that this may deserve another look. An advantage of vedaprofen is that it is more COX-2 specific rather than the non-specific traditional options of flunixin meglumine or phenylbutazone," said Lu.

The study, "Treatment of Persistent Mating-Induced Endometeritis in Mares with the Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug Vedaprofen," is scheduled to be published in an upcoming edition of the journal Reproduction in Domestic Animals. The abstract is currently available on PubMed.

Disclaimer: Seek the advice of a qualified veterinarian before proceeding with any diagnosis, treatment, or therapy.