cvm2002

Shaks Baskette Breeding Blog

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Around here the big breeders will put the mares under lights around October/November to get them cycling on a regular basis again. Is that something you guys do out there?

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Yes, it can be done at any location. I just don't want an early baby. :) I won't show a weanling and the weather is so bad around here until May anyhow, that it doesn't bother me.

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Yes, it can be done at any location. I just don't want an early baby. :) I won't show a weanling and the weather is so bad around here until May anyhow, that it doesn't bother me.

Ah.. gotcha. I'm used to stock horse breeders who all want early early babies.

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Well now THAT was interesting.....Had the farrier out this morning, so all the horses were up in the lean-tos, meaning Wolf was in relative close proximity to the girls. Baskette cared less. Bunny, who has been turned out with Baskette for a good year, starts rubbing her backside on the fence. Not acting like she was in heat, just itching. Baskette turns into a stallion. Neck snaked, tail flagged, completely doing the "Come hither" nickers. OK....so some mares get a little odd when they're in heat. Teased her to Wolf--who was more than happy to oblige--and she sniffed, neck arched, then sqeals and strikes. Shall track this behavior. Another ultrasound tomorrow. I sure hope this isn't a granulosa cell tumor in the making, otherwise this breeding venture may be short lived.

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The only treatment there is for a granulosa cell tumor is surgery to remove the offending ovary. The tumors are typically testosterone, progesterone & inhibin secreting which keeps the mare from cycling normally. Removing the tumor/ovary is curative and the mare can do fine with just the one ovary. That said this particular mare will be a very tough call if I would do the surgery. With her other issues, it will probably not be worth doing.

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Obviously this is only a personal anecdote, but... I worked for a paint horse breeder for several years whose alpha mare behaved this way even when she was pregnant. She would tease the other mares and even mount them. She was also a rough breeder and could only be covered on one day of her cycle or she was liable to kick the poor stud's head off, but she caught every time.

I hope that it is nothing serious and you don't have to make that call.

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Yeah, I've certainly seen those types of mares and have seen them act like that as they're coming into heat as well. This mare is typically a brazen hussy, which I haven't seen her act like as of yet. The only male I have to tease her to is her son, which may be affecting results, so we'll ultrasound tomorrow night and see what we get.

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Well, I'm trying not to panic TOO much...The good news is that Baskette is finally officially in heat. Ultrasounded last night and she had a ton of uterine edema (edema increases with increasing estrogen and then decreases within 12-24 hours of ovulation), poor uterine tone (tone decreases with estrogen) and a soft cervix. She is also teasing "in" to the colt. Unfortunately, I'm worried about the left ovary. It looks absolutely huge and abnormal to my eyes. Of course, a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing as they say....I'm hoping this is just a transitional ovary and she'll go through this cycle and everything will work out fine. I'll ultrasound her again in a couple days and see what we get. If things are still looking abnormal, a blood assay for hormone levels will be sent off to rule out the granulosa cell tumor. If it IS a tumor, that will be the end of our breeding venture. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Expanding on the Granulosa cell tumor thing...Typically these tumors are testosterone secreting and as such, these mares will NOT show evidence of being in heat. The non-affected ovary is down-regulated due to other hormones being secreted (inhibin & progesterone) and are typically very small and inactive. Removal of the affected ovary typically will result in the mare returning to normal cycling and reproductive capacity. So the good we have going for us is that her right over looked pretty normal and that she IS showing evidence of being in heat.

Stay tuned....wasn't planning on this being so dramatic.

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She's still teasing in heat tonight, or at least her back end is! If I tease her nose to nose with the colt, she strikes at him. If I tease with her backside to him, she squats and pees. Guess she knows the business end......

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Still teasing in tonight. Ultrasound tomorrow.

Bless Wolf's heart...he's being a trooper. 2-year old hormonal adolescent being used as a teaser stallion, so you could just imagine how he COULD be behaving. But he's a champ. He's allowed to talk and be a boy during the teasing act, but that's when it stops. All I have to do is give him "The Look" and he's back to Mr. Mellow. Proud of my boy!!

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That's great! Especially if you end up breeding Wolfie one day. It is useful to establish early when they may behave as a stallion and when it is best to pretend to be a gelding. Lol.

Tracy

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Oh no kidding....We've been establishing pecking order from Day 1. There was a spell that I'm pretty sure I was not in control, but we had a Come to Jesus meeting and I am now Alpha. My favorite story with him was when my husband and I were putting new stall mats in the stall. (12x12 stall with an attached 12x12 run-out). We had the gate open to the run-out so we could get the mats out of the truck and Wolf was Mr. Nosy and getting into all kinds of trouble. He'd go up to my husband and do the Stallion Challenge act: Puff up, snort, strike a front leg. Told my hubby to puff right back up, raise his hands and chase him off. Didn't work. Wolf came right back and pushed back. I turned, pointed and TSSS'd (its a hissing kind of noise...can't describe it any better) at Wolf. Didn't have to move a foot and he submitted and backed off.

Taking a spin on the stallion side of things rather than the mare side here, but I need to get him a different halter when we're going to tease. One halter for behave yourself, one halter for stallion activity. You'd be amazed how quick they figure that out....

Edited by cvm2002

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Yep, a friend told me about that trick when her young colt was old enough to start covering mares. He had a special halter that he only wore when breeding and that was the ONLY time he was allowed to actually act like a stallion. The same friend turned the colt out with her mares once the mares were confirmed in foal. The mares weren't going to take any guff from the youngster, regardless of his hormonal status. They helped keep decent manners on the youngster. lol He grew up into a nice, well behaved stallion. :)

Tracy

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Everyone all together now....WHeeeeewwwwwww. Just did another ultrasound and it looks like everything is ok. Just a very, very hormonally charged ovary which has now ovulated at least one of the follicles and the remaining follicles have started regressing back. The right ovary looks fine. No uterine edema or fluid, but she does have an endometrial cyst which has grown since I bred her last. No big deal there, since I know where it is and what size it is. These cysts can look very much like early pregnancies if you don't chart them. So 1.2cm cyst at the base of the right horn. :) If she follows the book, she should be back in heat for the first full week of May, which is fine by me. We'll tweak hormonally if we have to depending on how things happen over the next couple weeks and how she continues to tease.

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:yahoo: :yahoo: :yay: :yay:

So glad to hear it.

Now, I have a question.. In one of your posts, you mentioned that if there was an issue, that you wouldn't breed her because of some other problems that she has. I was wondering what those problems were and if they can be passed to the foal, if she is bred and delivers?

Thank you for allowing us to follow along and ask you questions.

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Here are the last x-rays I've taken (May of 2011). She has a severe form of carpal arthritis and is essentially fusing the medial splint bone to her 2nd carpal bone. In addition, she has bridging arthritis of the distal intercarpal joint. She has severely diminished range of motion on that limb and wears the foot oddly as a result, but she still kicks up her heels with Bunny and has enough snort & blow for the 2 of them. She rarely if ever needs Bute, and for that reason alone, I keep her going. She actually did quite well being pregnant, which is not uncommon. The condition is known as "Severe Carpometacarpal osteoararthritis" and its seen primarily in Arabians and Quarter Horses. Etiology is unknown and is not known to be heritable.

Baskette1.jpg

Baskette2.jpg

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Just a hurry up and wait game for the next heat cycle. She should be back in season in about 2 weeks or so.

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Ultrasounded last night. Left Ovary: CL and several small follicles Right Ovary: several small follicles Uterus: Good Tone, no edema Cervix: closed. Blissfully in diestrus with small follicles, yet will tease positive. This mare is a hussy so apparently teasing behavior can't be trusted.

Contacted the stallion station this morning. Current plan is to short cycle (Lutalyse) her today, track through the weekend and hopefully be breeding early to mid next week!

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Ultrasound this morning....Left ovary: 22mm x 24mm, small follicles on both ovaries. Uterus: Early edema, fair tone. Looks like this is the week!!! Will ultrasound again on Tuesday, likely for semen collection on Wednesday, breeding on Thursday. I hope....Please mare...do things by the book!!

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