Problems associated with excess body condition are well known among horsemen and include insulin resistance, laminitis, osteoarthritis, and exercise intolerance. Recent research also shows that the health of offspring of overweight mares may also be compromised.
For years, research has focused on both getting and keeping mares in foal. New studies in human medicine suggest that measuring specific pieces of genetic material called microRNAs could help veterinarians better diagnose pregnancy-related problems.
According to a recent study, stallions can alter the composition of their semen to optimize “ejaculate economics.”
Most broodmares should be maintained in moderate to moderately fleshy body condition throughout gestation. Achieving weight gain in late pregnancy is difficult for some skinny mares because so many of the calories consumed are being diverted to fetal growth.
Foals born to Thoroughbred mares are heavier now than in past years, and researchers recently set out to discover if the one-two punch of obesity and endocrine dysfunction affects birthweight.
Increasing mare age is associated with increased fertility issues, and older mares have lower foaling rates than their younger counterparts. In addition to simply being “older,” underlying pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID, equine Cushing’s disease) is also thought to impact reproductive function in mares.
A recent study found that wild herds contribute to the decline of native flora and fauna populations, and are thought to spread disease.
The goal of providing extra calories to pregnant mares by supplementing with concentrates from around the start of the seventh month until weaning will ensure certain mares do not become too thin.
Uterine inflammation can prevent pregnancy, and infection of the placenta later in the pregnancy can cause the mare to abort the fetus before it is fully developed.
Once your veterinarian has diagnosed your foal with neonatal maladjustment syndrome, what can you do?
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