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Breeding a mare can cause laminits? an open discussion

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  • Breeding a mare can cause laminits? an open discussion

    So, my good friend and I were talking about breeding horses before they went on to having a performance career the other day and he had some interesting things to say and I wanted to see what everyone thought!

    I have known quite a few breeders who breed their mares while they are young and then send them out to have a performance career, what he said is that most mares that are bred develop some degree of laminitis, is anyone familiar with that? I feel like I have heard of so many mares who have had babies to go on to show but I am no expert and am interested in learning more about this and what would cause the laminitis by being bred?

    Also, if anyone has experience breeding the younger mare then sending her to show I would love to hear about it.

    Last edited by RheinlandPfalzSaar; Mar. 25, 2009, 12:36 PM. Reason: typo

  • #2
    Wow, that is news to me and we have been breeding horses for many years!

    Horses are always at risk for laminitis and retained placenta will cause "some" mares to develop laminitis, but not just breeding them. If it did there would be a lot less breeding going on.

    Breeding young mares before their performance careers is pretty common and seems to work well.
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    • #3
      Are you sure that person didn't mean IR (insulin resistance)? Pregnancy does induce a degree of IR in mares.

      I have never heard that all pregnant mares get a degree of laminitis !! Never experienced that either.
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      • Original Poster

        I thought with as much as I read this forum that by sure I would have heard of this before, that's why it took me by so much surprise! Plus having known so many mares that have been bred young and gone on to have performance careers made me wonder. Patty, I know that you've been breeding for a long time so thanks for the info.

        Wondering if he meant IR or if he was thinking of retained placenta are very good suggestions ladies, thanks!

        I am trying to find out more info and I will pass it along.


        • #5
          An aquaintance sent a mare off to stud in perfect health to be bred. This was an older very good jumper mare. She was 13 I believe. A week later they got a call to say she foundered. They were told it wasn't serious and everything was being done. Transpires not all was being done. Without going any further into details, the mare ended up having a resection of her front feet and was in quite bad shape for a long time. This is after the couple brought her home. She is fine now and had a healthy foal after that. But it was all very strange.

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          "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.


          • #6
            I am not proud to admit this but following some "expert's" advice when I was new to breeding I totally overfed a pregnant mare which caused her to founder 30 days before parturition. I had to starve her after that and the vet warned me that the foal would look skinny (it did) but that it would catch up soon. So yes, you can cause a pregnant mare to founder.....

            And I agree with the placenta retention causing founder, but not the pregnancy in and of itself.
            Siegi Belz
            2007 KWPN-NA Breeder of the Year
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            • Original Poster

              Terri, any guesses as to why the mare foundered? Just curios...

              Thanks for the info Siegi.


              • #8
                I would disagree totally that "most" pregnant mares have some degree of laminitis. I would agree that "some" might - just as some of any horse population might founder. I have bred mares and then put them back to work post foaling quite a few times with no problems. Your friend's generalization is just way to --- general.
                Mary Lou


                Member OMGiH I loff my mares clique


                • #9
                  an aquaintance has a mare that gets laminitis when she is in foal, but i haven't come across it as a thing most mares get.


                  • #10
                    I have seen pregnant mare"s feet get larger when in foal, and it is quite common. Some mare's have had reaction causing laminitis from reaction to the extenders used in shipped semen, but it was not labeled as being due to the pregnancy. Their feet probably expand because of the additional weight, and their feet even look better.


                    • #11
                      A mare can develop laminitis right after birth. This is a sign of some sort of sign for "poisoning" in the body directly after birth. Do not ask why exactly, am no vet, but this is something I have known for years.
                      But what is a huge discussion and research over here is that Laminitis can be cause by a certain herb in the fields. So what was always thought that a surplus of protein is the only source to cause laminitis is now changed to it can have various reasons.
                      I bought once a brood mare with the hint that she just had laminitis (she even had shoes because of that). We were supposed to keep her in a sand Paddock. Well we did a few days, than she did not get new shoes and she was happy and healthy without shoes, without extra diet since than. No idea what they did to her before...
                      Breeding as such as a source. I'd call it a fairy tale that suits some trainers if some owners develop "strange" ideas...
                      I am not responsible for spelling misstacks - just my PC
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RheinlandPfalzSaar View Post
                        Terri, any guesses as to why the mare foundered? Just curios...

                        Thanks for the info Siegi.
                        It could have been food related as she was never on sweet feed but was at the stud farm. It all got really messy, but the people that owned the mare just went ahead and did what was best for the mare and left sticky situation alone.

                        I really hate taking my mares to stud which is a necessity for the TB's, but I have taken my TB mare I use in warmblood breeding to the stud as well. But when she went, the owners were happy for me to drop off my food. She's a bit sensitive on what she eats and if she was to get a bunch of sweet feed I could see it happening to her very easily. But with the TB mares, I'm charged a grooms fee on top of regular keep, so if my mares need extras I take them down. Maybe they don't feed them, but I like to try and get my money's worth from what I'm being charged!

                        COTH, keeping popcorn growers in business for years.

                        "I need your grace to remind me to find my own." Snow Patrol-Chasing Cars. This line reminds me why I have horses.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by farrier View Post
                          Some mare's have had reaction causing laminitis from reaction to the extenders used in shipped semen, but it was not labeled as being due to the pregnancy.
                          Sorry, but that's just not true and one that research does not support. The ingredients in extenders used for shipped semen are pretty much inert. You may have a mare that might have a reaction to the antibiotic used, but even that is extremely rare. We breed literally 100's of mares every year and have never, ever had one that had a reaction due to the extender. We have had some that retain fluid or that have had a normal, post breeding inflammatory response, all of which were easily managed with a bit of oxytocin or a lavage, but nothing that was even remotely concerning and certainly nothing that would lead me to be concerned about the mare foundering.

                          Hope that helps!

                          Kathy St.Martin
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