The One-Hour Solution to Improved Equine Pregnancy Rates

Studies support DHAI combined with uterine lavage one hour after insemination as a useful approach for helping settle problem mares.
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The One-Hour Solution to Improved Equine Pregnancy Rates
Researchers continue to find workarounds to obstacles that cause subfertility in mares. The goal is producing a healthy foal. | Photo: iStock

Researchers continue to find workarounds to obstacles that make problem mares difficult to get in foal. One challenge has been a rapid inflammatory response in the uterus when sperm remains in contact with the endometrial lining for too long. This post-breeding endometritis reduces conception rates. But one solution to this common problem is, quite literally, solution—uterine lavage.

Sterile, pH-balanced fluid known as lactated Ringer’s, is infused into the mare’s reproductive tract after insemination to flush it before a flare-up occurs. Another useful technique is deep horn artificial insemination (DHAI), bypassing the uterine body and depositing semen close to the utero-tubal junction.

University of Florida’s Juan Samper, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACT, confirmed that recent studies show using a combination of DHAI followed by lavage as soon as one hour after insemination might offer positive results in settling many subfertile mares. During the 2020 American Association of Equine Practitioners’ Convention, held virtually, he summarized the findings of a controlled breeding experiment using seven mares, coupled with a field trial involving 192 mares, to reach this conclusion

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Betsy Lynch has been an equine industry professional for 30-plus years as an editor, writer, photographer, and publishing consultant. Her work appears in breed, performance, and scientific journals. Betsy owns her own business, Third Generation Communications. She is a graduate of Colorado State University, continues to keep horses, and lives near Fort Collins, Colorado.

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