Reproduction Facilities

Reproduction

At Valley Equine Veterinary Centre, we have horse breeding facilities to house your mares in either stables or paddocks along with two hospital (foal proof) paddocks. Multiple options are available for mares including 10 private paddocks, 10 private undercover yards and small group paddocks. Our facilities offer a specifically designed collection area with a purpose built mare crush and recipient herd facilities.

Throughout the breeding season, we manage stallions for collection of fresh, chilled and frozen semen, including semen for international export. Our qualified team can organise collection, processing and transport of semen according to your requests. We also offer training for the novice stallion and semen evaluation for the natural breeder.

Our routine breeding management, along with diagnosis and treatment of problems associated with reproduction in the mare and stallion is acknowledged as being at the forefront of this field in Western Australia.

Our team can assist you in many ways with your mare. We offer services from routine breeding management and embryo transfer to management of the problem broodmare and high-risk pregnancy.

Artificial insemination (AI) of fresh, cooled or frozen semen

There are many different reasons an owner may choose to use artificial insemination when breeding their mare(s). The ability to chill and freeze semen for transport makes each stallion available to a multitude of mares, from chilled semen travelling across Australia, to frozen semen flying across the world. At Valley Equine Veterinary entre our specialist vet has years of experience in AI techniques that allows for the best chance at achieving the successful pregnancy.

Embryo Transfer

There are many reasons to elect embryo transfer in the mare. Embryo transfer is a great option for the young performance mare, a sub-fertile mare or a mare that may not be able to carry her pregnancy full term. It is also a great option, for some breed disciplines, to obtain more than one foal out of a mare per season. We are fortunate to have a large, available recipient mare herd that allows our reproduction team the best chance to achieve a successful pregnancy.

Ultrasonography in the Mare

The ability to examine a mare’s reproductive tract non-invasively with ultrasonography provides the opportunity to diagnose pregnancy earlier than by rectal palpation, effectively manage twins and detect impending early embryonic death (EED). However, ultrasonography should not be limited to these areas. It can be used to diagnose uterine pathology, such as intrauterine fluid, air, debris, cysts and occasionally abscessation and neoplasia. In addition, ultra sonographic examination of the ovaries may aid in determining stage of oestrous cycle, status of preovulatory follicles, development and morphologic assessment of the corpus luteum (CL) and in interpreting ovarian irregularities, such as anovulatory or haemorrhagic follicles, neoplasia and peri-ovarian cysts.

Twin Management

Because the expected outcome for mares with twins is so poor for either the mare or the resultant foal(s), it is our responsibility to successfully manage early pregnancies such that no mare delivers or aborts twin foals. This is most successfully achieved prior to fixation, days 14-16 of gestation, allowing one twin to be manually ablated. There are multiple options for twins diagnosed at later stages of gestation. The approach selected by our veterinarian will be dependent on stage of gestation along with the size and position of each pregnancy.

Monitoring “High Risk” Pregnant Mares

Several mares each year fall into the ‘high risk’ category for pregnancy maintenance. These mares may have lost pregnancies in the past or show signs of early parturition (foaling). We have the ability to monitor these pregnancies using the pre-foaling examination and ultrasonography to institute appropriate therapy deemed necessary to optimise the birth of a healthy foal.

Foaling Down Service

Predicting the exact foaling time for your mare is made easier with our foaling down service at Valley Equine Veterinary Centre. Most mares arrive 2-3 weeks prior to their due date to ensure they settle in and build up antibodies for the new environment to pass onto their foal. Your mare is cared for daily, with the support of our veterinary team. A qualified veterinarian with experience in foaling down is on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They are fitted with foaling alarms to ensure delivery goes smoothly for your mare Prior to foaling, your mare’s pH levels in your mare’s colostrum will be checked daily to determine her foaling time. When the pH drops to 6.2, foaling is imminent. If your mare or foal encounter any problems during foaling, our capable veterinary staff are on-site to assist without any delay.

Common Foaling Problems

At our clinic, we receive a number of maiden (virgin) mares who are foaling down for the first time. With their first foal comes an increased risk of problems. Aside from birthing problems, some maiden mares reject their foal or won’t allow their foal to nurse. Nursing within the first two hours of life is crucial to the health of your foal. Our team closely monitor your foal until they nurse, and both mare and foal show no signs of distress. During foaling, there are a number of problems that can occur, without swift support, the consequences can be devastating. These include

* A red bag situation where the placenta is being delivered before the foal

* Only one hoof appears, but no other hoof or nose of the foal

* The nose of the foal appears first

* The hoof appears but it’s upside down

* The water breaks but no foal within 20 minutes

* The mare is foaling, but has stopped for more than 10 minutes

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