Problem Breeder Mare

What do veterinarians involved with reproduction have in common with the fictitious Sherlock Holmes? Both play the role of detective in solving mysteries. With Arthur Conan Doyle’s legendary character, the mystery generally involved identifying the p
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Getting mares in foal sometimes can be a tall task.

What do veterinarians involved with reproduction have in common with the fictitious Sherlock Holmes? Both play the role of detective in solving mysteries. With Arthur Conan Doyle’s legendary character, the mystery generally involved identifying the perpetrator of a crime. With the reproductive veterinarian, the mystery often involves determining why a mare fails to come into estrus, or why she doesn’t conceive when she does.

Complicating matters for the veterinary sleuth is that there often is more than one reason the mare’s reproductive system isn’t functioning as it should. Normally, the mare will provide some clues as to why this is so, but the veterinarian must follow through with an exhaustive examination of the evidence at hand.

One such case treated by Elizabeth (Lisa) Metcalf, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACT, of Sherwood, Ore., a specialist in equine reproduction, involves a senior Hanoverian mare in Germany that had produced foals after an illustrious show career, then appeared to have "shut down." It was April, well into breeding season, and she simply was not cycling.

Metcalf will tell us how she examined the evidence presented by the mare and what steps she took to solve the problem

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Les Sellnow was a prolific freelance writer based near Riverton, Wyoming. He specialized in articles on equine research, and operated a ranch where he raised horses and livestock. He authored several fiction and nonfiction books, including Understanding Equine Lameness and Understanding The Young Horse. He died in 2023.

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