Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Saturday 19 August 2017

Q&A: breeders' fears during pregnancy

Below are some frequently asked questions from breeders, answered by Equine Reproduction, a UK-based breeding company that specialises in AI, embryo transfer and foaling services. However, if breeders are concerned about their broodmare's pregnancy, they should contact their vet.

My mare is in season, has she aborted the pregnancy?

Not necessarily. Although mares generally do not cycle once they are pregnant, around 10pc of mares will show at least one season during their pregnancy. Additionally, some mares may appear in season when they are not actually cycling. Submissive behaviour such as squatting and urinating in the presence of other horses may be mistaken for oestrus behaviour. The best way to tell is via an ultrasound scan, so make an appointment with your vet.

My mare has blood coming from her vulva, has she aborted the pregnancy?

Blood coming from the vulva is not normally a cause for concern. In the vast majority of cases, it is caused by the rupturing of varicose veins in the vagina. Blood then leaks from the vulva. In some cases a lot of blood can be seen, and it may be preferable to have these varicose veins treated by your vet.

My mare has a thick, purulent discharge, has she aborted the pregnancy?

Discharge that appears purulent could be a sign of abortion, and so should be taken seriously. Consult your vet.

My mare is lactating prematurely/bagging up very early, has she aborted the pregnancy?


Premature lactation could be a sign of impending abortion, and so should be taken seriously. Consult your vet.

My mare's temperament has changed while she is pregnant, has she aborted the foal?

The temperament change may or may not be related to the pregnancy. It is possible that her behaviour is being affected by the discomfort of carrying the foal, or the hormones produced by the foal and placenta. Alternatively, it could be unrelated to the pregnancy.

Irish Independent