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Assessing the cyclic status of the brood mare
  1. John Newcombe


Background: Years ago, most brood mares, thoroughbred or otherwise, visited large stud farms with multiple stallions. Brood mare practice was then the province of a limited number of relatively specialised stud veterinarians. Today, many young practitioners are involved in servicing small farms with single stallions, insemination centres or mares residing on the owners’ premises. Consequently, the vet’s practical knowledge of brood mare examination is gained only slowly by experience from small numbers, yet the questions asked by clients, and the accuracy of the information they are expected to provide possibly needs more expertise than ever before. Absence of a teaser stallion, lack of owner knowledge, inadequate examination facilities and inexperienced handlers all make the task harder for the vet, especially with the increasingly common practice of ‘walking in’ mares.

Aim of the article: This article provides insight into what to look for when investigating the reproductive status of a brood mare before covering or insemination, and advice on how to predict ovulation.

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