We are pleased to announce an expansion of our equine reproductive services. We now have a team of vets and nurses ready to answer any questions about your breeding plans. We offer services to assist with live cover breeding, as well as select artificial insemination for chilled semen. We work alongside our colleges as Canberra Equine Hospital for those that need the services of frozen artificial insemination or embryo transfer.
To ensure that your mare has her scans at accurate times and to reduce the number of call outs, we have a purpose built barn at our Cooma clinic. Our barn has a custom reproductive crush with a foal box, stalls and shady yards for your mares stay. With free float parking, we try and make your mares appointment as convenient as possible for your schedule.
How do we get my mare to cycle
A mare’s cycle lasts for 21 days, and during her oestrus is the time where she will accept the stallion or be ready for artificial insemination. This time is more commonly known as your mare being ‘in season’ and includes behaviors such as frequent urination and flagging, winking and squatting.
Whilst some mares may show obvious signs of oestrus and owners plan their mares scans from this, others can be tricky to tell from the outside. If this is the case, we can manually bring her into oestrus using a medication, also known as ‘short cycling’. The hormone Prostaglandin commonly known as PG is given approximately 4-6 days before planned insemination.
When will I need to scan my mare?
The number of scans your mare will need will depend on how you plan to breed your mare. If you are doing a live cover, and need to track your mares estrus, you can plan for 1-2 scans before insemination. These scans will track your mares follicle size, to ensure that you join her as close to ovulation as possible. Your mare should have her first scan when you start to see signs of oestrus, or the 3-4th day after she is synthetically cycled.
If you are planning on doing artificial insemination with chilled semen, you can plan for 4-6 scans before your mares insemination. Most mares are synthetically cycled for artificial insemination, so her first scan would occur 3-4 days after her Prostaglandin.
Once inseminated, it is the gold standard to scan her 24hrs after breeding to ensure the uterus has no fluid. Sometimes the mare can have a reaction to the semen and develop fluid inside the uterus. If left untreated, this can cause complications to the pregnancy and possible subsequent infection. The mare is treated with a hormone that contracts the uterus to help remove the fluid. Although not relatively common, it is generally seen in older mares who lose the ability to remove this fluid post insemination themselves.
When can I inseminate my mare?
It is our aim to inseminate your mare as close to ovulation as possible. For live cover, we scan your mare to get her to the stallion as close to ovulation.
For artificial insemination, we scan multiple times to measure your mares follicle. This will grow and depending on your mares breed and insemination occurs as the largest possible time.
Our vets will work with you so you can have clear communication with your stallion owner, and assist in getting your semen delivered on time. We generally advise that you contact your stallion owner when we synthetically cycle your mare.
How will I know if my mare is pregnant?
Your mare should have her first pregnancy scan at 14-16 days post insemination. This scan is important to ensure that your mare is only carrying one pregnancy.
We advise an additional scan at 30 days, as most early term pregnancies are lost around this time. If this is the case, we can discuss your options for re-breeding the same season.
Our vets can conduct a heartbeat scan at 45 days to ensure the health and wellbeing of both foal and mare. Sex identification can be done at between day 55-75, however is very difficult to do due to the placement of foetus.
For those interested in sex identification, our colleagues at Canberra Equine Hospital may be of assistance.
Want to learn more?
Drop us a line and find out how you and your mare can get started this season.