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"Mare Marble" - anyone have first hand experience to share?

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  • "Mare Marble" - anyone have first hand experience to share?

    I've searched the forums high and low for information on experiences with this techniquefor "witchy" mares but can only find suggestions to try it. Has anyone had any first hand experience using this technique (positive or negative) that you can share? TIA!

  • #2
    I'd love to hear responses to this as well. When I was still showing the mare in question, I was still on the fence about breeding her, and chose not to use the marble because I was afraid it would have a negative effect on her future breeding soundness. I've decided NOT to breed her and I'd love something inexpensive to help with her "PMS"!

    Comment


    • #3
      I tried it with one of my mares about four years ago as she had real focus problems when she was cycling (understatement of the year ). Unfortunately, she expelled it all three times that my vet inserted it. My vet was quite surprised that she did this and said that it is rare, but she had a special talent I guess. I gave up and put her on Regumate.
      Susan N.

      Don't get confused between my personality & my attitude. My personality is who I am, my attitude depends on who you are.

      Comment


      • #4
        Marble

        My friend had it done to her Arab cross mare. She was a nice little mare, but seemed to be forever in heat and would get very distracted with even geldings. She progressively got worse and then downright bratty about everything, so our vet advised her trying the marble. It did make a big difference in the mare and calmed her down greatly.

        The process of inserting the marble was definitely interesting - she took her to our vet and had the procedure done there. It was just like she was in labor and obviously not very comfortable for her because she kept kicking out - I'm still amazed at how quickly our vet can move back and forth avoiding back feet, lol. There was a lot of grunting and groaning from her and he said it was because the marble has to pass through the cervix, so it dilates and feels like labor contractions.

        This was about a year or so ago and I haven't heard anything about her expelling it, so I'm guessing everything is still good.

        If you'd like me to try to find out anything specific from my friend about the process or afterwards, just let me know.

        Comment


        • #5
          I have had a marble in my mare for about 3 years. She is a mare that has heavy heats all year round and was in heat more than not. Exams were all normal. While this has not decreased her heats in number it has definitely decreased the severity of them. She only has one day each heat now where she is "marish" and really doestn' feel like doing of much of anything but will work fine if you insist. The rest of the time she is pretty agreeable. Her focus is much improved. Although this does not work in a lot of mares, it was definitely a good option for this mare.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Good information everyone, thank you! WBconvert, has your mare had the same marble in for 3 years? My vet said that the marble would work for about 90 days and then we'd have to reinsert another.

            Comment


            • #7
              They just had an article in Blood-Horse HealthWatch with the title, "Study Sheds Doubt on Marbles' Effect on Mare Heat Cycles."

              Sorry, didn't read it.
              "If you can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em."

              Comment

              • Original Poster

                #8
                Bacchus, thanks. Was this on their website Bloodhorse.com? I searched the Health section and could not find it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  It's in the October 10 issue. Not sure if it's on the website. I'll try to get the time to read it soon

                  I think B-H gets their horse articles from The Horse -- try that website (www.thehorse.com).
                  "If you can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yep:

                    Many people have offered solutions to overcome the problems of inconsistent performance while mares are in heat. One method popular with owners today is the implantation of marbles as glass intrauterine devices (IUDs).

                    "The original paper that described this technique suggested that the marble might behave like an early pregnancy and delay the mare’s return to heat," explained Caroline M. Argo, MRCVS, Dipl. ECAR, of the University of Liverpool, U.K. "Some mares seemed quite extreme in their heat behavior, yet most of the owners reported a distinct improvement in their attitude and 'trainability' after the marble was implanted."

                    But new research by Argo and colleagues disputes this claim. The researchers monitored nine Welsh Mountain pony mares over several natural reproductive cycles then either performed cervical dilation without inserting an IUD (sham-treatment) or performed cervical dilation and implanted IUDs. Then they monitored them through several cycles for physical, behavioral, reproductive, and endocrine parameters.

                    "All of our treated mares continued to show regular heat and we could find no difference in any aspect of their biology or behavior after marble implantation," Argo said, adding that marbles had little or no real effect on the mares' handling.

                    A type of placebo effect might have influenced owners--belief that a treatment worked enabled them to handle mares with greater confidence, which was the real reason why behavior improved.

                    If an owner has a problem mare, Argo suggested that he or she keep track of when the behavior problems occur and whether the mare shows heat. Then, have the animal checked by a veterinarian to make sure there are no problems with her reproductive system.

                    "Marbles have been grasped as a 'cure,' because compared with other treatments they are considered relatively benign, reversible, and without a lasting effect on fertility," she said.

                    She noted that long-term treatment with a synthetic progestagen might be more reliable.

                    The study, "The effect of intra-uterine devices on the reproductive physiology and behaviour of pony mares," was published online in August ahead of print in The Veterinary Journal. The abstract is available on PubMed.
                    "If you can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em."

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Bacchus, thanks for posting. That info is kind of a bummer!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Yes Duecavalle, my mare has had the same marble for three years. From the information my vet gave me the same marble can stay in indefinately without need to change unless something changes like signs of infection, not working any longer etc. At the time my was inserted there was a vet that had a marble in a mare for 5 years without complications and to her knowledge it is still in.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I had a marble put in my mare Oct. 9/08. I finally had enough when I couldn't even get the saddle on her without an explosion. The marble was inserted of the 5th day of her cycle. Within 2 days I noticed a discharge and she seemed to be straining while peeing.. I called the vet, he said "wait 2 weeks". Oct 20/08 I took her back to the vet, marble was in the right spot, flushed her and came home. I worked her every day, but she was way worse then before the marble. Nov. 3/08 she was scoped, has ulcers. Nov. 5/08 marble came out.
                          Vet who did the scope thinks that with her having ulcers her body could not support a pregnancy, so it was trying to get rid of the "marble", which then caused her ulcers to flare up.
                          When the vet removed the marble he held it up and said "it's out". My mare turned her head looked at the vet and gave the biggest sigh.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I had a marble put in my mare and I thought it worked for her. I had previously had her on Regumate and that seemed to make her worse. I guess what might work for some horses doesn’t work for others. I was told it could stay in indefinitely as long as there was no sign of infection, my mare had no issues and the procedure was done at my barn.

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              That's very interesting! We keep going back and forth: is it ulcers or "girl" problems. She has a second ultra sound next week (first one revealed an enormous follicle, vet wanted to know where the semen was...), if she's released the follicle, we're scoping for ulcers... How is your mare after the ulcer treatment?

                              Originally posted by BTABBY View Post
                              I had a marble put in my mare Oct. 9/08. I finally had enough when I couldn't even get the saddle on her without an explosion. The marble was inserted of the 5th day of her cycle. Within 2 days I noticed a discharge and she seemed to be straining while peeing.. I called the vet, he said "wait 2 weeks". Oct 20/08 I took her back to the vet, marble was in the right spot, flushed her and came home. I worked her every day, but she was way worse then before the marble. Nov. 3/08 she was scoped, has ulcers. Nov. 5/08 marble came out.
                              Vet who did the scope thinks that with her having ulcers her body could not support a pregnancy, so it was trying to get rid of the "marble", which then caused her ulcers to flare up.
                              When the vet removed the marble he held it up and said "it's out". My mare turned her head looked at the vet and gave the biggest sigh.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I did treat the mare with GastroGard for 84 days. This June I found out she still has ulcers, so while she was at the clinic I had her ovaries ultra-sounded. She had a 60mm follicle and a tilted uterus. Vet said that is why she has ulcers, she's in pain from the follicle. It did release, I had a happy mare for 2 months, and then a 60mm follicle again.
                                I had the mare spayed on Sept. 25th 2009.

                                I feed her U-Gard RX for now. The vet feels her ulcers will heal now that we have got rid of the pain source.

                                Comment

                                • Original Poster

                                  #17
                                  Originally posted by BTABBY View Post
                                  I did treat the mare with GastroGard for 84 days. This June I found out she still has ulcers, so while she was at the clinic I had her ovaries ultra-sounded. She had a 60mm follicle and a tilted uterus. Vet said that is why she has ulcers, she's in pain from the follicle. It did release, I had a happy mare for 2 months, and then a 60mm follicle again.
                                  I had the mare spayed on Sept. 25th 2009.

                                  I feed her U-Gard RX for now. The vet feels her ulcers will heal now that we have got rid of the pain source.
                                  I feel like I'm on this same course, although I truly hope an overiectomy is not in our future. We have treated for ulcers with good results, only to have the symptoms return. Now we're trying to find the pain source. Very interesting. What breed is your mare? Mine is Holsteiner/Arab. Rapport/Fancy's May Moon. Like the girl with the curl, when she is good she is very, very good, but when she is bad, she is horrid!
                                  Last edited by duecavalle; Oct. 15, 2009, 07:24 AM. Reason: Thank you for sharing this information!

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    She is a TB, never raced, was not trained till 5 years old when I bought her. The
                                    overiectomy was the last resort. I had done everything else possible, other then have her bred. Did chiro,acupuncture an osteopath, and herbal. I did have good results with the chaste berry, but it only lasted 2 months.

                                    I have been dealing with this for 3 years, her behavior got worse each year.Most would have giving up on her, like your mare when she's good, she's very good, but on her bad days look out.

                                    I hope you find your answers way sooner then I did mine.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Originally posted by BTABBY View Post
                                      She is a TB, never raced, was not trained till 5 years old when I bought her. The
                                      overiectomy was the last resort. I had done everything else possible, other then have her bred. Did chiro,acupuncture an osteopath, and herbal. I did have good results with the chaste berry, but it only lasted 2 months.

                                      I have been dealing with this for 3 years, her behavior got worse each year.Most would have giving up on her, like your mare when she's good, she's very good, but on her bad days look out.

                                      I hope you find your answers way sooner then I did mine.
                                      This sounds all too familiar. I have had my mare about 18 mos., she is just 4, we started her lightly last fall. She was fractious last year, but came around over the winter after ulcer treatment and showed some promising work in the late spring (after her first whopping spring heat cycle was over) but then relapsed. I too have tried accu, chiro, herbs, etc. including chaste berry. Like you we saw results for a couple of months on the chaste and then nothing. She does have a full sister one year older and I'm wondering now if she has any of the same problems. If I can get a straight answer out of her breeder...

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by duecavalle View Post
                                        This sounds all too familiar. I have had my mare about 18 mos., she is just 4, we started her lightly last fall. She was fractious last year, but came around over the winter after ulcer treatment and showed some promising work in the late spring (after her first whopping spring heat cycle was over) but then relapsed. I too have tried accu, chiro, herbs, etc. including chaste berry. Like you we saw results for a couple of months on the chaste and then nothing. She does have a full sister one year older and I'm wondering now if she has any of the same problems. If I can get a straight answer out of her breeder...

                                        When I mentioned to the vet that spayed her that I had thought about breeding her, he said "and what would you do if she had a filly?"
                                        So I took that as this could be past on to her foal.

                                        Comment

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