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'Tis the SEASON! And no, not Christmas…. BREEDING!

Q&A with Dr. Watson on preparing for breeding season

Breeding season is such an exciting time of the year! Lots of planning for the next generation of wonderful little foals takes place right about now. But in order for us to be successful in our attempts, a few stars have to align. There are ways for us to help these stars align a little better – stacking the deck in our favor so to speak. Let’s find out what you can do to have a successful breeding season.

Q: What do you recommend for people thinking about breeding their mares this year?

A: Whether it’s your first time breeding your mare or if you have a seasoned mare, having a breeding soundness examination done is always a good idea.

Q: What is included in a breeding soundness examination for the mare?

A: Usually, a breeding soundness examination will include:

  1. Ultrasound of the reproductive tract

  2. Vaginal speculum exam

  3. Physical/wellness examination

  4. Diagnostics depending on your mare’s reproductive history and veterinarian’s recommendations. These may include a culture and cytology of your mare’s uterus to look for uterine infections or a biopsy to look for other conditions which may prevent your mare from becoming pregnant.

Q: What problems might you encounter when doing a breeding soundness examination?

A: There’s a whole host of things that you can find when doing a breeding soundness examination that can provide useful information for you as you go along throughout the breeding season. Some conditions that we may encounter include:

  1. Uterine infection

  2. Uterine cysts

  3. Previous cervical tear/scar tissue

  4. Poor perineal conformation

  5. Endometrial fibrosis

  6. Other physical ailments that need to be managed prior to breeding for a successful outcome (i.e. PPID).

**This list is not comprehensive**

Q: Once the breeding soundness examination is complete, what are the next steps?

A: After the breeding soundness exam we start to watch the mare’s heat cycles and breed! We hope to be successful in our first few attempts. Not all mares get bred on a “one-night-stand,” so patience is paramount.

Do you have mare you are interested in breeding? Dr. Watson would love to work with you to make this happen! In addition to breeding soundness exams, we offer breeding services utilizing artificial insemination as well as pregnancy detection and support for your mare from conception to birth of her foal!

Contact us at (253) 535-6999 or for details.

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