Breeding

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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.

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Canadian breeders producing quality foals - North American horse owners may not be aware that Canada is the home of Linwood Ranch, an equine breeding facility that has generated peer reviewed research in recent years on subjects such as equine behaviour, equine welfare, stall design, and the requirements for lying down time for healthy horses. Linwood Ranch is a PMU or “pregnant mare urine” ranch in Manitoba, and is also where active research is conducted on many equine welfare issues affecting all of our horses.

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Dr. Keith Betteridge, Professor emeritus, Department of Biomedical Sciences at Ontario Veterinary College, shares his research on early pregnancy loss in mares.

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Waiting for the birth of a foal seems to take an eternity, but the day when your newborn foal will stand beside its dam and nurse for the first time is almost here. Most mares will foal without problems, but if you have a high risk mare you should alert your veterinarian of potential problems early, and monitor her closely during her pregnancy to protect your emotional and financial investment.

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Research from the Royal Veterinary College (RVC) has demonstrated that a chromosomal defect is responsible for a significant proportion of horse pregnancies that fail within the first two months of development. These findings will pave the way for new diagnostic tests for what could be one of the most common causes of pregnancy loss in mares.

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Managing Nutrition for Safe Growth in Young Horses - For any horse owner, the birth of a foal is always an eagerly awaited event. That baby, the product of the carefully planned mating of two superior parents, can elicit a range of emotions for the owner, including excitement and awe, but often anxiety and worry as well. One of the concerns the owner of a newborn foal may have involves the risk of the foal developing developmental orthopedic disease (DOD), which is a name applied to a group of conditions that can affect the growing foal, including physitis, acquired angular limb deformities, flexural deformities, cervical vertebral malformations, acquired vertebral deformities, and finally, osteochondrosis (OC).

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Warmblood Fragile Foal Syndrome Type 1 (WFFS) is an inherited defect of connective tissue characterized by hyperextensible, abnormally thin, fragile skin and mucous membranes that are subject to open lesions. Affected horses may also have hyperextensible limb joints, floppy ears, accumulation of fluid (hydrops), subcutaneous emphysema, hematomas, and premature birth. The disease is present at birth and affected newborn foals are euthanized shortly after birth due to the poor prognosis of this untreatable condition.

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