MRLS Not Expected To Have Lingering Effects

“Our best guess is that mares in foal should produce normal foals, and mares which are open should have no problem getting in foal next year,” stated Dr. John Steiner, a veterinary reproductive specialist with the firm of Hagyard-Davidson-McGee in Lexington, Ky. “The veterinarians I have spoken to are in consensus with me on next year’s foaling and breeding season.”

The major Thoroughbred breeding stock sales are on-going in Kentucky, and there has been some concern voiced over whether mares now in foal will have normal foals, and whether those mares which either lost foals or are barren for 2002 would have reproductive problems associated with the mare reproductive loss syndrome (MRLS) seen this spring in several states and Canada.

“It wouldn’t bother me to buy a mare at the sale,” continued Steiner. “I think it’s a good time to buy. If owners were willing to buy mares in the past, they should buy now.”

Steiner said several veterinarians have been following herds of mares which had losses during the MRLS this spring in Kentucky. They report that mares which did not lose pregnancies were progressing normally, and mares which are barren are reproductively healthy.

“All the mares that kept their pregnancies are doing fine. Dr. (Richard) Holder (of Hagyard’s) studied Irish mares earlier this fall to compare fetal fluids in pregnant mares. He found that fluids in those mares were the same as in Kentucky mares.”

About the Author

Kimberly S. Brown

Kimberly S. Brown was the Publisher/Editor of The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care from June 2008 to March 2010, and she served in various positions at Blood-Horse Publications since 1980.

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