Breeding

Vaccine Against Foal Pneumonia Morris Animal Foundation’s Patsy Link Chair in Equine Research at Texas A&M University foal pneumonia r. equi, vaccines for pregnant mares, Harvard Medical School, rhodococcus equi

Morris Animal Foundation’s $2 Million Research Investment Offers Hope for Horse Lovers - After decades in the making, a vaccine against deadly foal pneumonia might finally be within reach, thanks to Morris Animal Foundation-funded research conducted at two major universities. The breakthrough could potentially save the lives of thousands of foals every year.

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Grooming is an enjoyable way to bond with your horse, and most horses love to be fussed over, but cleaning a male horse’s sheath is an unpleasant chore that owners and riders tend to avoid. From potentially being kicked, to lack of knowledge or squeamishness, those with geldings and stallions often shirk the task altogether. However, veterinarians agree that cleaning and inspecting a horse’s sheath is a necessary and regular part of maintaining their health.

Artificial light has been used to mimic longer day length and hasten the onset of seasonal reproductive activity in mares. Extending the day length to about 16 hours is now a common management tool on horse breeding farms.

Researchers at the University of Guelph are searching for clues to better manage a virus that can cause late gestation abortion in mares. Horses carrying equine herpesvirus (EHV) may exhibit signs as minor as a runny nose and mild fever, but the virus is a major cause of neurological, respiratory, and reproductive disease, including abortions, in the equine industry.

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A recent poll on the Canadian Horse Journal website asked the question: Should equines be cloned? Some 83 percent of respondents said no, not until more research has been done; 15 percent said maybe, in special situations with strict parameters; just two percent said yes, and that registration of clones should be allowed.

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From bloodlines to athletic career to temperament, there are many different reasons to breed your mare. While the mare owner may have no trouble making the decision to breed their mare and choosing the perfect stallion, sorting through the myriad details involved in the actual breeding process can be challenging. Being informed about mares’ cycles and the different options for breeding can help make the breeding process go more smoothly, especially for first-time breeders.

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Colostrum - you know it as the mare’s first milk. It is a complex fluid, rich in nutrients and immune-regulating compounds, all designed to give the newborn foal the immune support he needs to thrive. Unlike humans who are born with an initial level of immunity, newborn horses do not benefit from any placental transfer of immunoglobulins; therefore, they must consume colostrum in the first few hours of life in order to survive.

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