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Depo-Provera for mares

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  • Depo-Provera for mares

    I know there have been other threads about this, but I think my mare's case is a bit different and I was looking for some other experiences.

    I know Depo has been shown not to regulate heat cycles in mares, but many people swear by it for their mares or geldings.

    My mare is 25 and for the last 2 years, has heat cycles where she refuses to eat for days. She is not lethargic or dull but rather so distracted by her heat and she is uninterested in eating and very interested in any sights and sounds around her. She will not even eat overnight and sometimes paces. I'm not sure if she even sleeps much during the 3-4 days that it goes on for.

    I am concerned about her quality of life and the formation of ulcers hence the hormonal therapy. My vet and I are quite sure it is hormonal and not digestive given that it happens each spring and continues every 20 something days. In the winter it is a non-issue. Spaying is not an option due to her age.

    I was wondering if anyone had any experiences using depo to influence heat behaviors with their mares.

  • #2
    The only thing that is sure to work is regumate if you can't spay.

    When my mare was having serious issues last year my vet spoke with one of the world's foremost reproductive vets and he told us not to bother with depo or marbling as they have not been shown to work well in horses.

    Another thing you might try is bute or banamine to see if her heats are actually causing her pain and that is why she stops eating and gets anxious. This helped my mare for the first while until I could get her spayed.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Thanks for your reply.

      My vet said the same thing about depo not being very effective. But she'd also had some clients that swore by it so she thought it was atleast worth a shot. If regumate weren't such a hassle to handle, we would try that first.

      I tried banamine once before and didn't see a real improvement but it might be worth a shot. Was your mare not eating when in heat?

      Comment


      • #4
        Has she been examined to make sure she doesn't have something wrong, like ovarian cysts or fluid in her uterus? If she checks out OK, maybe a marble would work.
        Click here before you buy.

        Comment


        • #5
          Here is what I tell my clients:

          Depoprovera will not keep your mare from cycling, so if the behavior issues are heat driven it may do nothing, and regumate is probably the best option. However depo provera does seem to have a calming effect on some horses and it is less expensive than regumate, so it may be worth a try. Marbles can be very effective in keeping a mare from cycling as long as the mare keeps them in. We use medical grade glass marbles called "marebles" that are sized to the size of the mare.

          If handling regumate is a concern, BET labs makes an injectable form. Cost is similar to regumate.

          That being said I use depo provera on my opinionated mare. Every time I think it's not working and I skip a dose I'm reminded by her attitude under saddle that it does do something in her case. It just takes a bit of the alpha mare, you can't make me away.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by DVM2003 View Post
            Here is what I tell my clients:

            Depoprovera will not keep your mare from cycling, so if the behavior issues are heat driven it may do nothing, and regumate is probably the best option. However depo provera does seem to have a calming effect on some horses and it is less expensive than regumate, so it may be worth a try. Marbles can be very effective in keeping a mare from cycling as long as the mare keeps them in. We use medical grade glass marbles called "marebles" that are sized to the size of the mare.

            If handling regumate is a concern, BET labs makes an injectable form. Cost is similar to regumate.

            That being said I use depo provera on my opinionated mare. Every time I think it's not working and I skip a dose I'm reminded by her attitude under saddle that it does do something in her case. It just takes a bit of the alpha mare, you can't make me away.
            Thanks very much for this reply. My vet basically had the same thoughts regarding depo vs regumate. She wants to try it first and move to regumate if needed.

            I'll also look into the injectable regumate, thanks for mentioning it.

            Comment

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