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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 29, 2004
    Posts
    111

    Default Stallion-like behavior in mare - UPDATE and new question post #8

    I am boarding a mare for a friend. 9-yr-old warmblood. This mare displays very strong stallion-like behavior (showing strong interest in my other mares, sounds like a stallion, etc. She has actually tried to mount another mare in the past.)

    I am taking her to the vet to get an ultrasound to check for an ovarian tumor. Does anyone know anything else that might cause a mare to act like a stallion? That is, what else should I make sure my vet checks for?

    This mare has been on regumate in the past due to her behavior. It helps but does not make her completely "normal." She is off regumate at the moment. If we don't find a specific cause of the behavior, she will go back on regumate or a vet recommended alternative.

    She is turned out by herself but shares a fence line with 2 other mares. Has settled down enough that she is okay when everyone is out. But, every time I bring the other mares in or turn them out, new mare calls to them like a stallion and gets agitated. And if one of the other mares is tied in the aisle, new mare calls like a stallion and tries to sniff them. The other mares are not currently in heat but that doesn't seem to matter. It was worse when they were in heat just because they would react to the new mare.
    Last edited by HorseShopping; May. 11, 2012 at 03:05 PM.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 2, 2005
    Posts
    1,640

    Default

    Read my post about weird heat behavior. Our Mare B (not the one in heat) has always had behavior like you describe. She has always had a difficult temperament which I attributed to her being an orphan, hand raised (not by me), unsocialized foal. The only reason I kept her all these years is that she has been a good babysitter for other horses.
    ********
    There is no snooze button on a cat that wants breakfast.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan. 14, 2012
    Location
    Boise, Idaho
    Posts
    268

    Default

    Sounds like a granulosa cell ovarian tumor that is secreting testosterone. You probably want to pull some blood work too.

    Susan



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2005
    Location
    Spotsylvania, VA
    Posts
    12,940

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyrabee View Post
    Sounds like a granulosa cell ovarian tumor that is secreting testosterone. You probably want to pull some blood work too.

    Susan
    My guess as well
    I wasn't always a Smurf
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 27, 2011
    Posts
    633

    Default

    I also agree with Kyrabee. Back in the mid-90's I knew a mare at a barn I worked at who was exhibiting stallion-like behavior. Poor girl would even turn around and bite herself on the flank to "tease" herself and squeal. Turns out she had a cyst on one of her ovaries. Poor girl's hormones were so out of whack, but once they had the cyst removed, she eventually became normal again.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 25, 2005
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    773

    Default

    I wish I had known about the potential ovarian cyst issue back in the day. I leased a massive Canadian sport horse as a teenager. It was like having a stallion and she was very difficult (to anthropomorphize one could say very moody) Very talented, but no vet or trainer suggested looking at her hormones.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 6, 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    1,662

    Default

    The last mare I owned was spayed due to granulosa cell tumors on her ovaries that were producing testosterone.

    Before the surgery to have the ovaries removed we could only turn her out with geldings because she was mounting all the mares!

    After the surgery she was completely laid back about everything.

    And just so you know, there are 2 options for having the ovaries removed. I know someone who did it and they removed them using incisions in the flank. My mare had it done vaginally and had much less downtime.

    Good luck!!



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 29, 2004
    Posts
    111

    Default

    Preliminary diagnosis is granulosa theca cell tumor, as suspected. Blood is being sent to UC Davis for confirmation.

    The mare's left ovary is about the size of a softball!

    QUESTION: The mare first displayed stallion-like behavior when she was 5. She is now 9. Is there a chance for her to return to any kind of normal horse behavior since this has been going on so long? I know her hormones should level out after the ovary is removed. But, I am a bit worried about the behavior not necessarily going away since the mare probably barely remembers what it is like to be "normal." She gets very attached to mares.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 14, 2012
    Location
    Boise, Idaho
    Posts
    268

    Default

    She should go back to normal over time. It may take a few months. Years ago, I had a mare spayed because of painful heats. She did have a solid tumor on one ovary that did not secrete hormones...it just took up space and hurt when she built a follicle. I wasn't interested in breeding and just had them take both. It took her about 3 months to realize that she didn't hurt anymore then she was fine. She still occassionally acted like she was in heat but she was never overbearing with her heat displays. I just chuckled when anybody told me that my mare was in heat.

    Susan



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2006
    Posts
    2,384

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kyrabee View Post
    She should go back to normal over time. It may take a few months. Years ago, I had a mare spayed because of painful heats. She did have a solid tumor on one ovary that did not secrete hormones...it just took up space and hurt when she built a follicle. I wasn't interested in breeding and just had them take both. It took her about 3 months to realize that she didn't hurt anymore then she was fine. She still occassionally acted like she was in heat but she was never overbearing with her heat displays. I just chuckled when anybody told me that my mare was in heat.

    Susan
    Hello fellow boisean!

    As a side note, spayed mares still produce the hormones to come into heat and can actually exhibit worse and longer "in heat" behavior than before. It can be quite annoying, but the heat cycle is at least not painful. Regumate can be used to keep the spayed mare out of heat (hormonally).



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