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  1. #1
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    Default Do you feel embryo transfer is stressful for mares?

    Looking for different points of view on embryo transfer and whether it is stressful or unpleasant for mares.



  2. #2
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    The recipient or donor mare?
    RIP Adriane, aka Eyesontheground, 6/4/83-9/14/09
    Proudly owned by:
    Veronica II (Vienna Waltz/Woermann)



  3. #3
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    the concept is that it is supposed to allow valuable sport mares to contribute their genetics without interrupting their sport work, however many owners of such mares will not allow them to go for et work because it absolutely does have an impact on the continuity of their sport work.

    there are arguments to raise against this, but would you, say, allow an embryo to be transferred out of a top race mare (to make a sport foal) the day before she was due to run a stakes race and expect no impact from the procedure and her full, unhindered ability to have an opportunity to show through in that race?

    certainly its less impact than if she were to carry a pregnancy naturally, but it is more impact than none.

    ne1



  4. #4
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    It has very little impact. In 2003, I had a mare bred by ET at the same time that she was being shown very successfully in dressage. This year we harvested an embryo two days before my mare made an 86.2% in a materiale class.

    The only real concern is that with multiple ETs a mare may have difficulty carrying a foal herself. So, it is best not to take too amny embryos per year, or to have the mare carry her own foal every couple of years.



  5. #5
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    When they retired Matine they said they would not take embryos, she will just be a broodmare and be bred naturally...because it is stressful for the mare to do ET. I thought maybe she was not a good candidate for ET for some reason or that there was something else going on.

    THey said stressful, not interfering with competition or affecting performance, but that the process itself was stressful. I hadn't heard that before and was surprised.



  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by slc2 View Post
    THey said stressful, not interfering with competition or affecting performance, but that the process itself was stressful. I hadn't heard that before and was surprised.
    Define stressful. What is stressful for some mares (or horses, for that matter) has little to know impact on others. We've done LOTS of ET's and I can honestly say that the procedure itself isn't particularly painful and like most things reproductively, some mares protest VIOLENTLY with anyone messing around back there and others could care less. Additionally, think about taking your dog to the vet. Some dogs don't care really one way or the other, but those that have had an unpleasant experience will start shaking as soon as you stop the car at the clinic.

    When we do ET's, we try to do everything so that the mare undergoes minimal amount of stress and/or discomfort. Most mares we'll lightly sedate through the procedure just to make it as easy as possible. Most mares could care less, but there is the occasional mare who is not particularly happy being in stocks at all. So, I would qualify my answer with it depends on the mare.
    Last edited by Equine Reproduction; Sep. 4, 2009 at 11:07 PM.
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  7. #7
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    Thanks, that makes sense. The interview didn't indicate a definition for stressful, so I don't know what they meant by it. I think a light sedative is a great way to approach it.



  8. #8
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    In addition to the individual mare's acceptance of medical procedures "being done back there” ... it seems that the vet’s technique and the atmosphere of the clinic where the ET is done would have some impact on the stress level. It’s probably a bit like why some women love their OBGYN’s and some don’t. It’s a matter of touch and sensitivity.



  9. #9
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    I had heard that too about Matine and was wondering the same thing. Mary Lou, do you find that if you are doing several ETs with one mare there is a decrease in fertility at some point? My older mare that lost her foal this year will not be allowed to carry again and we had wanted to try for several Et's a year before she is retired. Her well being is more important than anything-so I was wondering too about the procedure being hard on them. She stands like a pro for the vet however..



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by wehrlegirl View Post
    I had heard that too about Matine and was wondering the same thing. Mary Lou, do you find that if you are doing several ETs with one mare there is a decrease in fertility at some point?
    Research shows that if you do repeated ET's, one right after the other with no "rest" in between, the success rate begins to fall exponentially. In other words, when you flush an embryo, as part of the process, you short cycle the mare in order to allow her body the opportunity to return to estrus wherein the uterus is at a heightened immune response. In the past, it was not unusual to immediately re-breed the mare on that cycle and to flush another embryo. So literally every time the mare was in estrus, she would be bred and flushed. It was originally stated that there was on deleterious impact on the mare, but ya know, I personally felt that it just made sense that doing that repeatedly COULDN'T be a good thing and would allow the mare a normal, unbred estrus cycle between breedings and flushing again. I had great success using that method. Research now shows that breeding and flushing every cycle in that manner does have a negative impact on the success rate.

    If you're just doing one or two flushes a year, you'll be fine. If you're looking at getting 6 or 8 embryos a year, spread out the breedings/flushings and be aware that repeatedly flushing does result in a lower success rate.

    My older mare that lost her foal this year will not be allowed to carry again and we had wanted to try for several Et's a year before she is retired. Her well being is more important than anything-so I was wondering too about the procedure being hard on them. She stands like a pro for the vet however..
    See above. It's not the procedure itself that is hard on them, but I suspect that the repeated "invasion" of the uterus with no opportunity for "rest and recovery" in between that results in a lower success rate.

    Hope that helps!
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  11. #11
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    Are ET's done in Europe as routinely as they're done here? I didn't think so...perhaps Blue Hors (and their vets) are just not as familiar/comfortable with the procedure?

    Caitlin
    Caitlin
    *OMGiH I Loff my Mare* and *My Saddlebred Can Do Anything Your Horse Can Do*
    http://community.webshots.com/user/redmare01



  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Equine Reproduction View Post
    Research shows that if you do repeated ET's, one right after the other with no "rest" in between, the success rate begins to fall exponentially. In other words, when you flush an embryo, as part of the process, you short cycle the mare in order to allow her body the opportunity to return to estrus wherein the uterus is at a heightened immune response. In the past, it was not unusual to immediately re-breed the mare on that cycle and to flush another embryo. So literally every time the mare was in estrus, she would be bred and flushed. It was originally stated that there was on deleterious impact on the mare, but ya know, I personally felt that it just made sense that doing that repeatedly COULDN'T be a good thing and would allow the mare a normal, unbred estrus cycle between breedings and flushing again. I had great success using that method. Research now shows that breeding and flushing every cycle in that manner does have a negative impact on the success rate.

    If you're just doing one or two flushes a year, you'll be fine. If you're looking at getting 6 or 8 embryos a year, spread out the breedings/flushings and be aware that repeatedly flushing does result in a lower success rate.



    See above. It's not the procedure itself that is hard on them, but I suspect that the repeated "invasion" of the uterus with no opportunity for "rest and recovery" in between that results in a lower success rate.

    Hope that helps!
    Yes, that helps a lot! Thank you..
    H



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