The large animal clinic differs in many aspects from the medicine of dogs and cats. However, equines also tend to adopt certain behaviors that will make us suspect different specific situations. For the equine owner, it is very important to know if any of their mares are pregnant. Taking these behaviors into consideration is crucial to making a diagnosis or, at least, being suspicious.
In this article, we will explain how to know if a mare is pregnant through a series of guidelines, providing the groom with an efficient guide to identify the animal’s behavior and call their trusted veterinarian as soon as possible.
There are other, more specific methods to diagnose pregnancy in a mare, and a veterinarian must perform these. They are as follows:
Transrectal palpation: Approximately 2 weeks after mating, a veterinarian can palpate to diagnose the possibility of pregnancy. Changes in size at the uterine level will give the doctor clues to know if the mount was effective. Discover Can cats eat raw chicken?
Ultrasound: One of the most accurate and reliable methods is ultrasound. Through sound waves, the veterinarian recreates an image of the female’s reproductive system, directly verifying whether or not there is an embryo in her uterus. It can be done approximately from day 16 to diagnose pregnancy and from day 55 to diagnose the sex of the foal.
Hormonal blood tests: In case the mare is very spirited and ultrasound is impossible. A blood sample can be taken to evaluate the levels of hormones. It should be done approximately 40 to 100 days after mounting. The hormone to be measured is gonadotropin. It should be taken into consideration that if the mare lost the fetus during this time, the results might be inaccurate. However, another chemical substance such as estrone sulfate can be evaluated, which returns to its normal levels much faster after a loss.
Urine pregnancy test: Some veterinary doctors specializing in reproduction usually have pregnancy tests for mares that give quite reliable results. It is a urine test where estrone sulfate is measured and performed 110 to 300 days after mounting.
Determining the pregnancy of a mare is not difficult at all if we stick to general considerations. Empirical knowledge is enough to put together the puzzle that can give us very approximate results. If we seek 100% effectiveness, we should not hesitate to call the veterinarian, who will do his pertinent complementary examinations.
Pregnancy or gestation can be defined as the state of a female in which she carries a fetus in her uterus. The owner must be familiar with the mare’s reproductive cycle to increase the chances of an accurate pregnancy diagnosis.
Therefore, before answering the question about how to know if a mare is pregnant, it is important to know, on the one hand, how horses reproduce and, on the other and most importantly, how to know if a mare is in heat. or estrous cycle. For this reason, it is appropriate for the owner to have basic knowledge about the reproduction of the mark since, in this way, they will conclude much faster about the state of pregnancy of the animal. The mare’s reproduction responds to an estrous cycle, and this is considered a seasonal polyestric animal. The estrous cycle can be defined as a repetitive sequence of events that prepares the animal for conception. The mare’s reproductive activity is governed by the photoperiod (it responds to sunlight), but nutrition and climate also play a very important role (especially temperature). The mare’s estrous cycle is divided into two phases:
The duration of the estrous or heat cycle in mares is approximately 21 days, and it is appropriate to know this when diagnosing whether the mating was effective or not, as we will explain later.
Taking into account the aforementioned, knowing the duration and stages of heat is essential. Another thing that should not be left aside is the riding date. It is practically mandatory to write down the date of riding to know more precisely the mare’s possibilities of being pregnant. There are many ways to inquire about the gestation of the mare. However, the personnel who are not veterinary professionals will only be able to use the forms inherent to the behavior, which are the following:
The groom must know about the animal’s behavior when it is in heat and the clinical signs that it shows us. A mare in heat generally:
The behavior in front of stallions is also widely used in daily practice: