New IUD for Suppressing Estrus in Mares
Owners of marish mares are always on the hunt for ways to suppress undesirable estrus-related behaviors in these horses. While many methods exist, some are more effective, practical, and even safe than others. A researcher at the University of Massachusetts has devised a new drug-free approach for suppressing estrus in mares—one that could help manage performance mares and more.
Carlos Gradil, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACT, professor in the school’s Department of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, in Amherst, and adjunct associate professor at Tufts University’s Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, in North Grafton, described how to use the magnetic intrauterine device (IUD) and reported on its efficacy at the 2018 American Association of Equine Practitioners Convention, held Dec. 1-5 in San Francisco, California.
Existing techniques for suppressing estrus in mares include administering progesterone or progestins (the estrous cycle’s dominant hormones), the hormone oxytocin, or a gonadotropin-releasing hormone vaccine (not approved for use in the United States); and inserting IUDs that mimic pregnancy. Historically, IUDs such as marbles have been problematic, causing inflammation and infection, breaking, adhering to the endometrium (the uterine lining), and being unintentionally left in the mare for years—all of which can compromise her fertility
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