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It does not matter whether the mare being bred is going to visit a National Hunt or Flat stallion, the requirements and the protocol adopted are the same.
After the 1st January swabs are taken from the clitoris for CEM (Contagious Equine Metritis) The results must be negative for all three veneral pathogens (Taylorella Equigenitalis Pseudomonas Aeruginosa and Klebsiella Pneumonia). Negative results are also required from blood samples taken for Equine Viral Arteritis and Equine Infectious Anaemia.
During the breeding season mares will be routinely examined to assess at what stage of the reproductive cycle they are in. This is carried out with the aid of ultrasound. Once they are in oestrus (in season) a swab taken from the lining of the uterus will be analysed to make sure that there are no bacteria present. With an impending ovulation present they will go to the stallion and be mated. She may be given drugs to induce ovulation and thereby maximise the likelihood of conception taking place. Post mating the mare will be examined to make sure she has ovulated and is not showing any evidence of inflammation or infection. If the mare needs to be stitched (Caslick), then this can be carried out now. Any other treatment deemed necessary can also be implemented.
Approximately fourteen to sixteen days post ovulation the mare can be examined by ultrasound to see if she is pregnant. At this stage twin reduction, if necessary, can be carried out. Further ultrasound pregnancy examinations are usually carried out at 28 days (to detect heart beat) and 42 days (to check normal foetal development) post ovulation. At this stage most pregnant mares leave the stud and go home.
If the mare does not conceive then the process will be repeated.
Bourton Vale hosted a client evening at the Adlestrop Village Hall on Wednesday 1st Novewmber. The evening was kindly sponsored by Boehringer Ingleheim and was a huge success; allowing attendees to meet the new members of our team and have an introduction to a variety of topics.