The Breeding Of Horses And The Boarding And Care Of Broodmares


Horses, lovely, powerful creatures that they are, are also somewhat volatile and fragile animals as well. For example, if a horse breaks a leg, it often has to be put down, or it may take months of intensive care by a veterinarian to heal the leg. Likewise, when you breed your mare, there is so much that can go wrong with the process that you might have to have your vet on speed dial! Thankfully, some veterinarians, particularly those that work in an animal hospital or a much larger veterinary clinic, can manage every step of the breeding process. 

Artificial Insemination or Natural Breeding

There are two ways to impregnate your mare. You can purchase stallion semen and have your vet inject/insert it into your mare's vagina when your mare is in heat, or you can do it the natural way.

It is important to have your vet present on both accounts because:

  1. A vet can get the tube of semen deep into the mare's vagina and uterus, almost ensuring that your mare will become pregnant. 
  2. Your vet can sedate your mare for artificial insemination to avoid being kicked by your mare and possibly wasting the expensive semen you purchased.
  3. During the natural mating practices of horses, a stallion may become overly aggressive, biting, kicking, and even head-butting the mare. This may result in injuries your vet would need to treat to prevent infection.
  4. With a vet present, some of the stallion's behavior is more readily controlled because the vet will know when and how long to allow copulation and stop the mating process when the stallion is getting too wild, too anxious, and/or too frightened.

Whichever insemination process you choose, the vet will be there to prevent injury to horses and people alike. When all of this takes place at a special breeding barn at the hospital/clinic, then you do not have to find a vet that can come to your ranch/farm for this stage of breeding.

Pre-Natal Care, Pregnancy Checks, Supplements, and Boarding

Mares, like human mothers, require a lot of pre-natal care. If you can find a vet that has a broodmare barn onsite at the vet hospital or clinic, then this is an excellent means of care for your mare. You can board your mare in the broodmare barn, where the vet can check on your mare daily and perform the necessary exams to keep your mare healthy.

Additionally, the vet can provide any and all supplements a pregnant mare needs right there. Then you do not have to worry about whether or not your mare is getting what she needs to produce a healthy foal. Generally, a vet of this caliber will also phone you with updates, if and when you are unable to visit your horse at the clinic.

The Birth, or Foaling

Typically, a vet does not have to be present when a mare foals. Horses are capable of delivering their foals on their own. It is only when there are complications that a vet's services are required. However, if you wish to be present for the foaling, then boarding your horse at the animal hospital is a good idea. The vet can spot signs that your mare is going into labor, and the vet can call you when it gets very close to the time when the foal will emerge. 

New Foal Care

Foals may be born with birth defects or unusual formations of the legs and feet. Foals also need a multitude of shots, and they need a new foal exam. If you boarded your mare at the animal hospital, the vet will be right there to examine the foal after its birth and make sure everything is okay. You can take mare and foal home the following day, or when the vet gives mare and foal a clean bill of health.

To learn more about the services that veterinarians can provide, contact an animal hospital like Countryside Animal Hospital.


19 June 2018

transitioining your dog into pet day care

After my 13 year old lab had surgery, I couldn't leave her home alone while I went to work. She had to be supervised to ensure that she didn't hurt herself and rip out her stitches. That was the first time that I even considered taking her to a pet day care center. I have grown to love the center that I take her to when I have to work long hours or have commitments that can take all day. If you have a dog that you don't or can't leave home alone, this blog can help you find a pet day care center for your pet and some tips for making the transition into day care easier for you and your pet.