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If someone could ask their repro vet for me..

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  • If someone could ask their repro vet for me..

    The mare I help care for here in Haiti is about to wean her foal. We all know that the very best birth control for mares is a good strong pasture fence plus some responsible stallion handling... but this is free-range Haiti she lives in and even if we've kept her behind decent fences, when we start working her anything can happen. I've seen a fully loaded packhorse stallion jump a fully loaded packhorse mare in the middle of a main highway before . Heck, someone cut a section of her tie rope last week and let her wander off. The week before, someone stole the tie rope off the stallion who likely bred her before!

    The one equine vet I can get hold of told us 'sure, use depo-provera', but didn't know the dose offhand. She hasn't used mare marbles before. I think mare birth control has been more theory for experience for her. The in-Haiti general vet has seen dogs get uterine infections from being on depo for too long a stretch. Regumate is out of the question for various reasons.

    Could someone ask their repro vet about what long-term birth control is best for a mare who can't be guaranteed separation from stallions? maybe send me contact info if said repro vet would be willing to do some consultation via email?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by HorsesinHaiti; May. 19, 2010, 06:38 PM. Reason: typo
    HAS provides hospital care to 340,000 people in Haiti's Artibonite Valley 24/7/365/earthquake/cholera/whatever.
    www.hashaiti.org blog:http://hashaiti.org/blog

  • #2
    could the mare be spayed? not something normally done here in the US but sounds like it would be a good option there. Not sure if it would require a vet hospital and if you have access to one.
    Visit my website @ http://hihorsefarm.tripod.com (PONIES!)
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    • #3
      I know that there are quite a few rescues, as well as part of the Chincoteaque Pony Herd and a few other "managed" mustang herds, that the mares are on b/c. .. Maybe contact some of them? I don't know much about it... but i do remember reading that much.

      Comment


      • #4
        Spaying would only prevent pregnancy. Spayed mares are used as jump mares.
        Tranquility Farm - Proud breeder of Born in the USA Sport Horses, and Cob-sized Warmbloods
        Now apparently completely invisible!

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Spaying was one of the first things I thought of. However, the vet school was damaged in the earthquake and we'd have to throw her in the back of a box truck to get her to Port. The only spaying we could do would be on the ground on a bedsheet - and the vet is only around a couple days at a time. Follow up for complications would be rough.

          She needs to go back to work for mental reasons, and we can only control as much as we can control, y'know? We really want to make sure that if something gets out of hand, she's covered.

          I'll look up the Chincoteague group and see if I can get a contact. Thanks for the idea! ETA: The Maryland side of Assateague Island uses a sort of pregnancy vaccine: http://www.thehorse.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ID=693.
          Last edited by HorsesinHaiti; May. 20, 2010, 08:02 PM.
          HAS provides hospital care to 340,000 people in Haiti's Artibonite Valley 24/7/365/earthquake/cholera/whatever.
          www.hashaiti.org blog:http://hashaiti.org/blog

          Comment


          • #6
            Dr. Irwin Liu at UC Davis did a lot of work on birth control for mustangs, and talked at length about it at a seminar I attended. Contact the large animal hospital there and see if they can help.
            Mystic Owl Sporthorses
            www.mysticowlsporthorses.com

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Info on the PZP 'pregnancy vaccine'. DM, It seems to be the method of choice for the places / groups you mentioned.

              Judging by the regulatory page, it won't be available for 'domestic' veterinary use for a good while yet. sigh... It was a good idea, though.

              Does anyone know a repro vet who has actually used depo or mare marbles in domestic practice?
              HAS provides hospital care to 340,000 people in Haiti's Artibonite Valley 24/7/365/earthquake/cholera/whatever.
              www.hashaiti.org blog:http://hashaiti.org/blog

              Comment


              • #8
                What about Regumate or a Regumate implant that last about 100 days??
                If there are no pets in Heaven then I want to go where they went !!!
                RIP Maybe June 13,1993-Sept.23,2006,Dexter March 11,1983-Sept.23,2009, Joey 1997?-June 21,2012, Abbey Dec.7, 2003-Aug.29-2016.

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Darn, darn, darn.

                  Couldn’t get through to our regular vet but I managed to get hold of the equine vet to ask again what dose of Depo-Provera to give Shelbet the ponymare this week. She like Keith is really, really counseling against giving her depo-provera shots unless we have utterly no choice. She and Dr. Keith are very concerned about mares developing uterine infections as a side effect, and they know we don’t have fast access to people who can treat that. So much for that birth control option. Equine vet didn’t even suggest attempting a spaying, same dealbreaker.

                  The problem is that we can’t keep this mare locked behind campus housing gates forever. She needs more exercise, and she badly needs daily handling by someone experienced enough to make her mind and install the basic manners & training that she never really got- I can’t do much except on weekends and that isn’t enough for her. So that means letting a good local person use her for work during the week. The only work around for horses to do is packing and riding, which inevitably means being around the market ‘horse parking lot’ or passing stallions in the road. I know that I know that I know that she’s gonna run into poorly controlled stallions when she is in heat. With her back end and inexperienced owner, she absolutely should not breed. There isn’t that much even a good local person can do to prevent breeding if a stallion is loose and determined.

                  Certainly the best option for the owner would be rehoming the mare and getting a dead-broke gelding. However, the mare would wind up a skinny cowhocked baby-making machine so he’d rather not go there if there is a safe way to control her fertility,

                  I can hunt for mare marbles and price long-term Regumate when I go to Costa Rica on vacation (Senor, let’s aim this all day ride for the vet’s farm!), but what options have other people used? For ranch horses, how do they keep the riding mares open? Do the ranches geld everything? 100-acre separate pastures for mare herds and male herds? What predated mare marbles?
                  HAS provides hospital care to 340,000 people in Haiti's Artibonite Valley 24/7/365/earthquake/cholera/whatever.
                  www.hashaiti.org blog:http://hashaiti.org/blog

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I don't think that mare marbles are anywhere near a sure thing, so I certainly wouldn't want to depend on them. The mare could expel them and you would never know.

                    Would the person who has the mare know if a stallion got out and bred her? If he did, you could just give her lutalyse or prostin five days after her heat ended, which would abort a pregnancy. It is inexpensive.
                    Mystic Owl Sporthorses
                    www.mysticowlsporthorses.com

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Clint - that's one obvious question, but Haiti is a very 'different' place. We can't guarantee we'd know if she were exposed. We can't always stake out the mare right next to someone who can watch her, and she has to eat. Many Haitian animals including uncut horses are allowed to 'free range' when owners don't have land, so we can't guarantee the little hussy won't snare herself a boyfriend.

                      The big problem is when she goes to work. Horses at the market, or in places where people gather, are just tied (or not) one next to another in 'parking lots'. Then the person goes to the market, and isn't in eyeshot of their horse. (branding discourages horse thieves). If a stallion gets loose and want's to introduce himself, people nearby may or may not get control, and may or may not tell the mare's person when they return from market. Any 'free lease' we could do to get her in regular work is going to involve these sorts of situations, sooner or later.

                      We could get lutalyse and have a nurse or vet tech give it if we knew, but we might not know. Isn't that something you want to avoid using more than once or twice a lifetime, anyway? I'll see if I can get any in Costa Rica and if they'll let me buy it as a non-medical person, just to have the option.

                      The Haitian solution is to breed everything and then it's no longer an issue. Dang, I wish we had means to spay!
                      HAS provides hospital care to 340,000 people in Haiti's Artibonite Valley 24/7/365/earthquake/cholera/whatever.
                      www.hashaiti.org blog:http://hashaiti.org/blog

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Pose your question to Dr. Mary Scott, a theriogenologist in Woodland, CA. She is a smart woman and may be able to at least point you in the direction of a solution. mascottdvm@fertilityvet.com
                        Mystic Owl Sporthorses
                        www.mysticowlsporthorses.com

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Could you get a mare chastity belt that would prevent a stallion from penetrating the mare? Obviously, she would only need to wear it when not under trainer supervision and it would have to be cleaned and adjusted regularly.

                          Lutalyze and oxytocin are both used fairly extensively by dairy farmers in the USA, maybe you can obtain some from them.

                          Could you possibly manage an on and off workload for the mare? If she was closely restricted for the 5-7 days out of each cycle that she is ovulating, she would be safe for work for the other 14 or so days.
                          Robin from Dancing Horse Hill
                          Elmwood, Wisconsin

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Thanks, Clint and Robyn. I'll check those ideas out.
                            HAS provides hospital care to 340,000 people in Haiti's Artibonite Valley 24/7/365/earthquake/cholera/whatever.
                            www.hashaiti.org blog:http://hashaiti.org/blog

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Man, these posts sure have given me some insight to a whole different world!!

                              But there are mares & stallions in most of the 3rd World countries, and it must be managed in some way?

                              In the US in the big ranches most male horses are gelded early on; breeding stalions are confined unless they are being used u/s.

                              I would not count on the marble -- it's success rate is spotty at best.

                              Spaying sounds like the best option if the mare will never be used for breeding and it can now be done through the flank area without laying the mare down. But of course you DO need a vet for that.

                              I would see if maybe you can contact some of the organizations that send vets to countries such as Haiti; if they knew in advance of such a case, I'm sure they could work something out.

                              Meanwhile, the best solution would simply be to keep track of her cycles and restrict her exposure during those 3-7 days when she might accept a stallion.

                              Of course, sometimes it's hard to tell when they are in season -- depends on the mare. It is obvious when she is in heat?

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Depo-Provera does NOT work in horses. At all. So dont waste your time with that.

                                As mentioned, spaying would be the best option. I know there are some veterinarian humanitarian groups that were/are going to Haiti, perhaps they would have a surgeon that could do the procedure. Like someone else said, they do not need to be laid down for it (they can even do it vaginally, so there are no external incisions).

                                Otherwise you could give her a Lutalyse shot every 60 days, that would abort anything that might be trying to come up.

                                Or if you have a vet around you could let her get bred and then abort her after about 75 days. At that point they often wont come back in heat for the rest of the season (being in the tropics though, I dont knwo if you have a "season" so the tricky part would be not missing her coming back in).

                                Lutalyse is pretty safe and when given early (at 30-60 days), the embryo is just resorbed, so there would be minimal risk giving to her multiple times a year.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by chambe94 View Post
                                  Otherwise you could give her a Lutalyse shot every 60 days, that would abort anything that might be trying to come up.

                                  Lutalyse is pretty safe and when given early (at 30-60 days), the embryo is just resorbed, so there would be minimal risk giving to her multiple times a year.
                                  Lutalyse is cheap too -- but the two drawbacks are: #1 It doesn't always work; I personally have known of 2 foals who were born even though their dams had been given LL (one got it TWICE!). #2 It throws them into heat in 3-6 days, so you are back to Square One.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Yeah, but even if she comes back into heat in 3-6 days AND gets rebred, if you give her another Lutalyse shot in 60 days you'll abort that preg too.

                                    Of course it's not 100%, but I think under the circumstances it's her best bet (until she can get a vet to spay the mare). I would put Lutalyse at >90% effective if given before 60 days of pregnancy (if you give it later it may not do anything, do you know how far along the mares were that got the lutalyse and didn't abort?)

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Thanks all! answers in color referencing several people.

                                      Originally posted by Kyzteke View Post
                                      But there are mares & stallions in most of the 3rd World countries, and it must be managed in some way? By breeding for a foal every year, unfortunately[/COLOR]

                                      I would not count on the marble -- it's success rate is spotty at best.seems to be the consensus so far, OK

                                      I would see if maybe you can contact some of the organizations that send vets to countries such as Haiti; if they knew in advance of such a case, I'm sure they could work something out. The two vets work for such a group long-term here in Haiti. The organization focuses on basic training for vet techs who wouldn't be able to handle a mare spay, and the trainers rather barnstorm around. How long would they need to be available on short notice in order for a flank-approach spay to be reasonably safe? Good question for the vet mentioned above, whom I will be contacting.

                                      Meanwhile, the best solution would simply be to keep track of her cycles and restrict her exposure during those 3-7 days when she might accept a stallion.

                                      Of course, sometimes it's hard to tell when they are in season -- depends on the mare. It is obvious when she is in heat? I've never seen her NOT flirt and call when a stallion goes by, thus the hussy designation! Her owner and the neighbors wouldn't be able to pick up heat signs, but an experienced person borrowing her might.
                                      Looks for now like we will have to try to keep the best management we can, and then the 'Lutalyse as a morning after pill'. I am headed out to Costa Rica tomorrow and will follow up on a few leads there, plus Dr. Scott.

                                      I'll just have to keep that last email about general options - seems wierd to write a vet and say, "You don't know me, but I was hoping you could help me pick a birth control method for a horse you've never met in a situation you'd never see!"
                                      Last edited by HorsesinHaiti; Jul. 2, 2010, 01:01 AM. Reason: Italics didn't work, let's try color.
                                      HAS provides hospital care to 340,000 people in Haiti's Artibonite Valley 24/7/365/earthquake/cholera/whatever.
                                      www.hashaiti.org blog:http://hashaiti.org/blog

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        So try this for some backward logic: you could try to keep her from getting pregnant by getting her pregnant on purpose.

                                        If you have the ability to watch her signs and see when she's breedable (squirting, saw-horse stance where she camps out for the stallion, a soft eye), breed her on the third day of those signs. Then every 48 hours until she's indicates "no" in some way (less vigorous teasing, squealing/striking/etc.)

                                        Watch your calendar! Once the mare is PAST 35 DAYS IN FOAL, if you successfully abort with lutalyse (and it IS a very dependable function of the drug, occasional failings notwithstanding), the mare probably won't return to estrus for 4-5 months (120-150 days). I'd probably use Day 40 or thereafter for grins and more certainty.

                                        For us North American breeders, an abortion past 35 days gestation normally delays the mare's return to estrus to the following spring/summer. (The 4-5 month timeframe usually concludes in the fall/winter, then most mares go into transitional anestrus.) I don't know how your length of days in a tropical climate affect transition, but at least you'd get the 5-6 months where the mare wouldn't be breedable.

                                        That would buy you 5-6 months to hope and wait for vets who could come down and spay, which is the only foolproof thing I can think of either.
                                        "And now," cried Max, "let the wild rumpus start!"

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