From the Foaling Barn


MQFs: Two Down and One to Go

Jewel and Her 2011 Filly, Amber

Yesterday, Brian finished treating Dry Sugar Rose and Ozzie. He had treated both mares for the last three days by infusing them with Naxcel. Finally, with Ozzie he performed a Casslick to keep her from reinfecting herself by aspirating air and debris into her vagina.

However, it's back to the drawing board for Jewel. As I noted when Brian treated her previously, he noted an ugly discharge and mucus on his glove. Then yesterday when he ultrasounded Jewel he detected quite a bit of fluid in her uterus--this after being treated for mucus and infection for two days. So rather than a regular culture or a small volume lavage, using the ultrasound Brian directed a pipette into the uterus and actually drew off the fluid which looked like a pinkish-grey glue. When he saw it, Brian was pretty sure we were dealing with a staph infection rather than a fungal infection. But, before we go any further, he'll send the sample into Marshfield Lab to be cultured. Then we'll decide how best to proceed.

While he was collecting the uterine fluid, Brian detected a fairly sizeable tissue tag attached to Jewel's cervix. He thinks this tag could be wicking infection into the uterus from the vagina. He's debating about removing this tag.

So basically, Jewel has three breeding problems: the uterine infection, conformation problems that cause her to contaminate herself by aspirating air into her vagina, and the tag attached to the cervix.

The culture will be back by the end of the week. I'll keep you posted on what we find out and what we decide to do about it.

Breeding Problems: MQFs (Mares of Questionable Fertility)


Next Thursday our excellent vet, Dr. Brian Dahms, is coming out early in the morning to perform a fertility assessment on my three open mares, Dry Sugar Rose, Smart Little Jewel, and Whizard of Ozwald.  Each one of these mares was bred multiple times last spring with differing but always disappointing results.  When Dr. Brian comes out next week, his basic work-up on each mare will include palpation, ultrasound of the uterus and ovaries, speculum examination of the cervix, uterine biopsy, and uterine culture by use of small volume lavage.  The biopsy will be sent out for evaluation and grading; the small volume lavage will be cultured for infectious agents.  After we get the results back, we'll decide how to proceed with each mare. 

During the next week, I'm going to write up a case history of each mare.  Then after the exams, I'll follow up and let you know what if anything we'll be doing differently to each mare before and during breeding season.

These three mares, at ages 19 and two at 17, are among my oldest mares.  Most mares' fertility begins to decline, sometimes precipitously, beginning around aged 17, so it isn't unusual to be facing breeding issues.  I'm willing to spend a little time and effort to try to get a few more foals out of each of these mares because they are three of my best mares.  They all have impeccable pedigrees, outstanding show careers, and/or have a strong  produce records.


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