Consider Hysteroscopy During Mare Breeding Soundness Exams

Hysteroscopy involves running a flexible endoscope through the uterus to check for abnormalities.

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Veterinarians have a variety of tools at their disposal when it comes to diagnosing fertility issues in mares, including transrectal palpation, ultrasound, endometrial culture, cytology, and biopsy. One that might not be a part of every reproduction practitioner’s arsenal, however, is hysteroscopy, in which the veterinarian runs a flexible endoscope through the uterus to check for abnormalities.

Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital reproductive specialties team member Etta Bradecamp, DVM, Dipl. ACT, ABVP, described this procedure and its common findings at the 2016 Theriogenology Conference, held July 27-30 in Asheville, North Carolina.

“Hysteroscopy is included as part of a breeding soundness exam for most mares presented for infertility at Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital,” she said. “I often get asked what percentage of the findings are abnormal, and I just have to guess.”

So she performed a retrospective study of 108 hysteroscopic evaluations performed as part of breeding exams at the hospital between 2008 and 2015 and identified pathology (damage or disease) in 41.6% (45/108) of the cases

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Alexandra Beckstett, a native of Houston, Texas, is a lifelong horse owner who has shown successfully on the national hunter/jumper circuit and dabbled in hunter breeding. After graduating from Duke University, she joined Blood-Horse Publications as assistant editor of its book division, Eclipse Press, before joining The Horse. She was the managing editor of The Horse for nearly 14 years and is now editorial director of EquiManagement and My New Horse, sister publications of The Horse.

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