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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 4, 2011
    Posts
    577

    Question Spaying Mare?

    Hi all,

    I have a question...

    Recently a fellow boarder has or was having problems with her mare. The mare ended up getting put on Regumate. But the woman also asked the vet about spaying?

    He said that he thought spaying was too risky because some mares end up permanently in heat/ always exhibiting the poor behaviors they experience when in heat?

    Can anyone tell me more about this?

    All I was able to find on the matter is this:


    Link
    "Another unusual phenomenon in the mare should be understood clearly as you consider spaying a mare in an attempt to affect behavior. In most species other than horses, low progesterone and high estrogen are required to induce estrous behavior in the female. In those species, removal of the ovaries removes estrogen, and there is no estrous behavior. In the mare, however, all that is needed for display of estrous behavior is low progesterone. The addition of estrogen usually intensifies estrus, but it is not always needed.

    Therefore, the spayed mare which has no progesterone typically can show estrus, at least at a low level, at any time. So if the mare's performance problems truly have been associated with estrus, spaying might make matters worse. If the mare's problem behavior was associated with diestrus and she was much better during estrus, then spaying could help. If the mare's behavior was better when the ovaries were inactive during winter, then this mare would more likely be a good candidate for ovariectomy (spaying)."
    Can anyone tell me more about this?
    TIA
    Equestrian At Hart - My Blog - adventures of a big opinionated BWP



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 27, 2009
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Posts
    2,077

    Default

    You may not have gotten any responses because in general its not done in horses. From what I hear its an costly procedure and doesn't always help hormonally, depending on what is done. It may prevent preganancy
    Trainer's website - photos of my horse Airborne under About and Francesca Edwards also in media page 1

    http://www.patricianorciadressage.com/



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 13, 2000
    Location
    AZ
    Posts
    380

    Default

    Hmm
    I remember being told by a vet who specialized in breeding and stood stallions for many clients that he used a spayed mare as the 'jump mare' to encourage stallions to use the mount/av for collections. He said something about her always displaying signs of heat. I thought that it was something odd about that particular mare but maybe it is more common that that?



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 17, 2004
    Location
    Rixeyville, VA
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    6,561

    Default

    If Regumate is working, then perhaps the owner should investigate the weekly injectible hormones. It's made by prescription by a compounding pharmacy and administered IM.

    Spaying is expensive and difficult. Personally I would learn to manage the mare better when she is cycling.
    Where Norwegian Fjords Rule
    http://www.ironwood-farm.com



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 4, 2011
    Posts
    577

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ambitious Kate View Post
    You may not have gotten any responses because in general its not done in horses. From what I hear its an costly procedure and doesn't always help hormonally, depending on what is done. It may prevent preganancy
    Thanks. I know that it is not super common but was just curious about it in general.

    Quote Originally Posted by ChelseaR View Post
    Hmm
    I remember being told by a vet who specialized in breeding and stood stallions for many clients that he used a spayed mare as the 'jump mare' to encourage stallions to use the mount/av for collections. He said something about her always displaying signs of heat. I thought that it was something odd about that particular mare but maybe it is more common that that?
    I have also heard of that... I am not sure how common that is though...

    Quote Originally Posted by IronwoodFarm View Post
    If Regumate is working, then perhaps the owner should investigate the weekly injectible hormones. It's made by prescription by a compounding pharmacy and administered IM.

    Spaying is expensive and difficult. Personally I would learn to manage the mare better when she is cycling.
    I only posted this out of my personal curiosity not for suggestions for this mare in particular. Thank you for the info though.
    Equestrian At Hart - My Blog - adventures of a big opinionated BWP



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2008
    Location
    Lilburn, GA
    Posts
    92

    Default

    I spayed my mare over three years ago and she has not stayed in constant heat. The only few times I have seen her exhibit any normal mare in heat behavior is when she meets certain new horses. Then she has a few moments of squealing and all that fun stuff, but gets over it and goes about her business.

    Spayed mares do make great "teaser" mares like ChelseaR said for breeding farms. When I worked as a tech at TN's vet school we spayed one or two mare for this reason.

    The surgery itself is a lot more safe now that the common way is done with a laproscopic flank incision. Which has also brought the price down somewhat. It is definetly not for everyone and every mare. But it is a good option for those of us who had mares who experienced extreme pain and sensitivity during their cycles. I do not regret choosing to spay my mare and I can see she leads a happier life now for it.

    Hope that sorta kinda answered your questions~!
    Free and Forward Motion through Massage Therapy
    www.amandastarrbodywork.com



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 14, 2012
    Location
    Boise, Idaho
    Posts
    279

    Default

    I copied this from a previous thread about a mare I used to own:

    I had a mare that I spayed but it was for pain issues, not behavior...although while she was in pain, she wasn't too nice to be around, especially if you were another horse.

    Short history...5y.o.mare that I owned since she was 15 months old. Uncomplicated to start but in her 5y.o. year, she started getting a bit resistant to the leg. This behavior accelerated through the summer until she was balking, kicking out at the leg with uber tension and generally not happy. By August it finally clicked that this was happening every 3 weeks...duh. When she went out of heat, it was like a switch was turned and my sweet mare was back. About this time, she also started wanting to savage her pasture mate during her painful episodes. Twice I found him with blood and bites to his chest where she reached through the fence and grabbed him (afterall...her pain was all his fault as far as she was concerned.

    I had her examined and she had a larger ovary but she was still cycling. When I had her re-checked in December, the ovary was now about 3x the size of the other. I wasn't interested in breeding so I had her spayed and both ovaries removed. The large one was infiltrated with a benign solid tumor. The surgery totally cured the under saddle issues. She did however still "act" like she in heat pretty much right at the normal interval..she just wasn't in pain.

    She did not display heat all the time either. I found it similar to what dressagevettech said. Heck this was about 20-25 years ago. General anesthesia and 3 days at the vet and pathology on the ovaries--$435! Even then I kept asking them if they were sure that was the right amount. They said yes, I hurriedly
    wrote the check, loaded up my horse and was out of there.

    Today, there are much easier techniques especially if you have someone that can do it laparoscopically. I'm sure the price is much higher than my mare's spay but in the long run,
    it might be cheaper than constant hormonal treatment.

    Susan



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 16, 2003
    Location
    Guthrie, OK
    Posts
    1,602

    Default

    I spayed my mare after progesterone stopped working and she became dangerous. 17.2 hands of agressive mare is not fun.

    Yes, some mares will display signs of being in heat afterwards. Freaky but uncommon. She didn't.
    Her procedure was done vaginally. Had a week off of work, that was it.
    If the ovaries are very large, the surgery is done thru a flank incision, standing. Laying a mare down to do the surgery like one thinks of spaying a dog or cat makes it impossible to reach the ovaries so they have to be done standing.
    Ovaries are all that are removed, not the uterus. So not a "spay" like we think of in dogs/cats.

    Would I do it again? In a minute!! Wish I had done it sooner.

    Cost? This was prob 6 yrs ago and it was about $400 or 500 if I remember right.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 4, 2001
    Location
    NW Louisiana
    Posts
    677

    Default

    My trainer had one of his race mare's overies removed during the winter. She was such a sour and sore girl until the removal. She had a week of walking on the walker, then two weeks of jogging in the equisizer and then back into light gallops for another two weeks and now whe is not sore and her tude has really improved.



  10. #10

    Default

    I am just preparing my mare to go into surgery to have this done. She is 6, and we have not consistently been able to move forward in her training process, she is a rearer and very sensitive to the leg, almsot refuses to accept contact and track up, she wants the reins looped and no leg. She is a wonderful mare on the ground, not "mareish" (ie cranky, bossy, etc), always has her ears forward, but very "showy" to both mares and geldings... and recently, to people. She has the intention to have a great work ethic, but there is ovbiously something going on that is distracting and making her uncomfortable. We have had her seen by a chiropractor several times, had a saddle fitter check our saddle, and my vet sees no obvious soundness issues.

    We had her to our regional vet college for assesment about a year and a half ago, in December, and at that time one of her ovaries was about 3x larger than her other. Odd, but vet did not think it was causing her pain. We tried Regumate, which actually caused an allergic reaction. Did not try Depo shots, as we then changed her diet (took her off grain and upped her Selenium/Vit E intake) and it seemed to help.

    The issue has now resurfaced, she is currently at my trainers farm, and she is working with her daily. Trainers mother is our vet, so she has also been able to monitor her and handle her on a daily basis, and on both of their suggestions, we have decided to move forward with this procedure. We did talk about having a marble implanted firsthand, but the cost of the marble is almost 1/3 of what we have been quoted for the ovariectomy, and at least it will be a one time deal! We do not plan to breed her EVER, as this behaviour is likely to show up in her offspring, as we know her sibling who shows similar (yet slightly milder) issues.

    The reproductive vet who saw her before seemed to think that she would be a good canditate for the loop ligature method (I think thats what its called), which also seems to be the least invasive, cheapest, and quickest recovery.

    I am excited to see the results - at this point we have nothing to loose, and my vet as well as the repro vet both seem optimistic that this will yield us a "new" horse.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 14, 2000
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    10,346

    Default

    6 years ago a friend had his mare spayed at KState and cost $1200. The procedure was a life saver for his mare! He highly recommends it for problematic mares.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2008
    Location
    Alberta
    Posts
    93

    Default

    My mare had a vaginal ovariectomy in 2009. I did time it so it was done after ovulation so that there was no retaining follicles. Mare had a history of retaining follicles that created pain, reason she was spayed.

    It took my mare one year to get over that it doesn't hurt anymore mentally. Physically within a month she had changed.

    It was the best money I ever spent, and if I ever get another mare that has issues, I will not hesitate to have her spayed.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2009
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    Alberta's bread basket
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    See my post on this thread:
    http://chronofhorse.com/forum/showthread.php?t=357176

    All removing the ovaries does is remove the presence of progesterone which is what suppresses the estrus. Ovaries produce some estrogen, but estrogen is present elsewhere in the equine tissues. As well, the brain is involved in the mare's estrus cycle.

    Long and short, when a mare ovulates, the CL is formed on the ovary which produces progesterone which suppresses estrus buying time for maternal recognition of an embryo within the uterus. Thus removing the ovaries does not stop the other hormones floating around the blood stream encouraging estrus.....but having no ovaries + no CL producing progesterone = no suppression of the estrus.

    It's only a good idea to ovariectomize a mare if she has tumors on the ovaries which most times will cause wild and crazy hormone fluctuations and which in turn can cause extremely erratic and sometimes dangerous behavior.

    Otherwise, it is better to just manage the mare better.

    FWIW, some mares will go into estrus despite Regumate. At recognized shows, Regumate is a banned substance.

    However, if the mare is not in danger of being tested at shows and is just used for pleasure, regumate is still your best option for mitigating severe symptoms of heat and it can be administered via the grain. A woman MUST WEAR GLOVES when handling Regumate - it is an oil-base and absorbs readily through the skin and WILL IMPACT YOUR OWN MENSTRUAL CYCLE. Humans tend to have more serious side effects to hormones than mares do - all of the warnings to humans about blood clots and the like on birth control pills apply.
    http://www.mariposasporthorses.com/

    Practice! Patience! Persistence!



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