Young Mare in Constant Heat--Senovex or marble or ???
Greetings wise friends,
In March I brought home an underweight 4yo untrained mare, Egyptian Arabian X Irish Draught, from a less-than-idea backyard breeder situation. She has since received top-notch care, been vetted, great progressive work by the farrier, put on a nutrition program and gained 100 pounds and gained a healthy shine and enough energy to become a handful. I also began training her, and she is well started in the program, developing a topline, has exactly 40 rides, and lunges, bathes, cross-rails, cavaletti, etc. Her trajectory is planned to be to start low-level eventing and fox-hunting and pretty regular work of the funnest variety.
She has been in season (heat) since arriving here. When I had the vet out for the initial visit 3 days after arriving I had her checked for pregnancy (palpated-just in case!) and she was in season. Since moving to a new barn can bring on heat, no big deal, I was just glad she was not preggers. But she has been in season constantly, ever since. This is not an exaggeration--barn owner, barn manager, barn help, vet, and I all agree she is in heat full blown, daily. I ride/work her 5-6 times a week and since I've only ever seen her in this state, I have no baseline to compare her too, although I can tell you she isn't an easy horse. :) She is a huge handful (understatement). We've made great strides, but when I told the vet I'd put 40 rides on her, all while she was in this state, I got the "You're braver than I thought" look. At the very least she is amped up and distracted and unable to focus and enjoy. She may be in some level of pain, as she is hot and jumpy and very reactive to the leg. Since I don't have any baseline I don't know how much of this is the heat cycle she's been constantly in. She is not all nightmare--she is clever and athletic and does enjoy the stimulation of work and loves the attention.
So it is time to do something about it. Vet has initially recommended SYNOVEX implants, but with just a little preliminary research I found much reason to question their effectiveness and appropriateness. (See http://www.cvmbs.colostate.edu/bms/e...ovex_apr09.pdf) Also Regu-Mate has been mentioned, but usually in the context of keeping a mare from estrus, not knocking her out of it. I have also heard about the marble method, but find scholarly references only citing 35% effectiveness (and that is for suppressing estrus that a horse in not currently in yet), although the side effect profile of that method is pleasing to me (almost none).
Also, it seems to me I need to request a full array of diagnostics before we talk treatment to see if a tumor or something is causing this odd long heat cycle. Shouldn't I?
I have no breeding aspirations for the mare, although getting her spayed seems extremely invasive and not at all certain to even affect her estrus rut.
What can the collective COTH wisdom share with me? I have the vet coming out July 5, I am committed to helping this mare feel "normal", I just need to have an intelligent game plan.