repro servicesOur reproductive services include pre-breeding assessment of the mare and stallion, management of mares being covered naturally, artificial insemination of the mare using fresh, chilled or frozen semen, pregnancy diagnosis and management of the in-foal mare. We can also undertake treatment of mares that have reduced fertility.

Pre-breeding assessment

This includes assessment of the mare’s suitability for breeding and advice on procedure and management, as well as the costs involved. A pre-breeding check should be carried out early in the season to check for any problems that could affect the mare’s ability to conceive. The gynaecological examination includes an inspection of the vulva, vagina and cervix, and a rectal and ultrasonographic examination of the uterus and ovaries.

Pre-breeding swabbing for venereal diseases and blood testing for EVA is required by many studs. We can also carry out endometrial swabs of the uterus to check for infection which may lower fertility.

Management of mares being covered naturally

As well as the pre-breeding assessment, we can also scan the ovaries and uterus to establish the most appropriate time for covering. If required, we can also manipulate the mare’s natural reproductive cycle to bring her into season at a certain time.

Artificial Insemination

A.I. is a common method used for non-Thoroughbred breeding throughout Europe and America and has several advantages.

  • Increases choice of stallions available
  • Semen delivered to clinic decreasing transport of mare to stud
  • Greatly reduces risk of injury to mare, stallion and handlers
  • It decreases spread of certain diseases
  • Mares susceptible to uterine infections stand better chances of conceiving

Freshly chilled semen provides the easiest and most successful methods of A.I. however using frozen semen does allow access to many foreign stallions.

Successful A.I. relies on the mare being inseminated at exactly the right point in her season. This requires repeated ultrasound scan of the ovaries and uterus to identify when that time is. We would encourage hospitalization of the mare to facilitate this. We have chilled and frozen AI packages. Fresh/chilled  and frozen AI packages for 2018 season are £350 and £495 respectively. These include 3-5 day’s livery, all ultrasound scans, manipulation of cycle, AI and pregnancy scan at the clinic at Day 14-16. Any additional treatments are not included in this package. Reduced price repeat packages are also available.

If you wish to consider AI for your mare, please contact Katie Snalune at the clinic on 01622 737884.

Our AI service is led by Katie Snalune, who has 20 year’s experience in scanning mares. The practice is registered on the BEVA List of Approved Practices for Artificial Insemination of mares with fresh, chilled and frozen semen. This list is published every year in the Sports Breeding issue of the Horse and Hound, or can be viewed at www.beva.org/useful-info/Directories/Artificial-insemination

Pregnancy Diagnosis

We advise a first scan at 14-16 days post covering or insemination, which can help identify whether the mare is pregnant or if the possibility of twins exists. A second examination is advisable at 25-26 days post mating to check for normal development of the foetus. Foetal sexing can also be performed at 65-75 days.

We also recommend a pregnancy check in the autumn to confirm the pregnancy is progressing satisfactorily. A management plan for the pregnant mare can then be devised.

Management of the in-foal mare

Routine vaccination and worming of the in-foal mare is imperative. Mares are vaccinated against the following diseases – influenza and Tetanus – this will also afford the foal some immunity if done in the last 6 weeks of pregnancy.

  • Equine Herpes Virus Vaccination is recommended at 5, 7 and 9 months of pregnancy to reduce the risk of abortion
  • Equine Rotavirus Vaccination is recommended at 8, 9 and 10 months of pregnancy to reduce risk of Rotavirus in the foal

We are happy to give advice on all aspects of the pregnant mare including dietary requirements and foaling itself.

Post-Foaling checks

It is sensible to examine the mare and foal after foaling to check for complications. The afterbirth (placenta) is examined which should have been expelled within a few hours of foaling to check that it has come away completely. The mare is examined for tears and also checked for adequate colostrum which is the vital first milk for the foal. We examine the foal to see that it is health and strong and has stood and suckled, and that it has no medical problems. Advice on the management of the foal in the first few weeks of life can be given at this stage.

Reduced fertility in the mare

Unexplained persistent failure to conceive can be investigated at the yard or clinic. As well as ultrasound examinations, we can perform swabs and smears of the lining of the uterus and biopsies can be taken to give us further information. We can also pass an endoscope into the uterus.

WITH ANY NEWCOMER TO BREEDING MARES, WE ADVISE YOU TO CONTACT US EARLY-ON IN THE SEASON TO DISCUSS WHAT WILL BE INVOLVED AND WHEN.