Breeding / Reproduction
Whether it is to allow a competitive mare to continue performing, achieving multiple foals from one mare in a season or to ensure valuable genetics are not lost if a mare can no longer carry a foal, breeders and veterinarians are recognising the advantages of embryo transfer. In this article, Dr Gillian Rickard from the Illawarra Equine Centre explains the importance of working with an expert team, and the process and factors that play a role in the success of this specialised breeding technique.
Study finds giving birth a very different experience in horses and humans. Foaling in horses is extremely fast. Labour and the active part of foaling that results in the delivery of the foal, takes between 10 and 20 minutes, considerably shorter time than giving birth in humans or in cows. But, is this brief period stressful for the animals or are horses more relaxed than humans when giving birth?
Equine Herpes Virus (EHV) causes horse owners and breeders a large amount of concern due to its potentially devastating effects. The virus is ever-present in the horse population worldwide and cases of Herpes virus infection are seen sporadically across Australia. It can cause mild to life-threatening disease affecting the respiratory and neurological systems, as well as being responsible for abortions in all ages and breeds of horses and donkeys.
Every breeding season there are a multitude of articles written focusing on the health and wellbeing of the foal, but what about the mare? As Dr Katelyn McNicol from WestVETS Animal Hospital and Equine Reproduction Centre explains, there are just as many potential health concerns surrounding the mare post-foaling, some of which can be rapidly fatal. My mare has just foaled, do I need to call a vet?
Many years ago, sharing of equine genetics could only be accomplished if one horse was shipped from one country to another. This endeavor represented a huge expense financially and sometimes there was an unexpected cost of injury or death to the horse. Today, sharing of genetics is much simpler to accomplish using frozen semen chosen from genetically-sound and superior animals.
It is crucial for the newborn foal to obtain antibodies through the dam’s milk because, unlike in humans, there is no natural transfer of antibodies through the mother’s placenta. This is why it is crucial that your foal receives enough colostrum during the first twelve hours of life.
Mammary gland problems in the mare are thankfully not common, occasionally however, some issues can arise including; mastitis, abnormal milk production, discharge, swellings, lumps and ulceration.
It is that time of year again. The days are getting longer and mares are getting heavier. If all goes well, there will soon be many healthy foals running around. Normal foals follow a reasonably predictable pattern of behaviour and development after birth and any diversions from this can be early signs of a problem. Do you know what is normal, and when it is time to call your vet? Newborn foals that are born with a problem or succumb to disease can degenerate very rapidly. Early recognition of a problem can help to ensure the best chance of successful treatment. A healthy delivery
It is that time of year again. The days are getting longer and mares are getting heavier. If all goes well, there will soon be many healthy foals running around. Whilst most mares deliver normal healthy foals, it is critical to know when to intervene or call your veterinarian to ensure a happy ending for all. It is interesting that management of the pregnant mare can have a significant impact on the health of the foal. This is why many vets will recommend good management of mares well before the foal is born. This can include anything from nutrition to vaccination programmes.
When a horse owner is lucky enough to own a stallion that is performing well, they often want to preserve semen as insurance against injury. Also, with an increasing demand for genetics from talented stallions throughout Australia and the world, there is an ever increasing need for semen preservation. Frozen semen is the best method for preserving genetics from talented stallions. To do this, semen is collected, extended in freezing medium, placed in ½ mL straws and frozen in liquid nitrogen. Straws are then stored at -196 C, which allows for long term storage over many years.