Readers Respond: Breeding Barrier

More than 1,000 readers of responded to a poll asking, "Have you ever had a veterinarian perform a Caslick's procedure on a mare?"

results of poll on Caslicks procedure

Results were as follows: 
  • No: 49.59% (538)
  • Yes: 43.69% (474))
  • What's that?: 6.73% (73)

Read more about Caslick's procedures.  

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  • As an equine practioner I have performed this procedure many time. However in my opinion it's over
  • Many years ago - mare's long gone, but not because of the 'Caslick'
  • We've been breeding Quarter Horses for years and have NEVER needed to have a Caslicks on a mare.
  • I have only had one mare bred & she did not need it
  • My mare that had it done with her 1st pregnancy before I owned her. Her 2nd pregnancy was fine.
  • Each time I breed from her, due to the shape of her cervix. Removed approx. 4 weeks prior to birth
  • To prevent infection/tipped vulva/removed 30 days before foaling
  • She was prone to infections
  • Barbaric procedure outdated
  • I am not a breeder
  • No mares, only geldings.
  • I have held many mares for the procedure
  • I had it done on my show mares.
  • Always -
  • I had one "undone" on a mare that was being bred.
  • We talked about it but decided she didn't real need it
  • Thoroughbred with tipped vulva
  • The mare actually had them when I got her, but I would do it again in a second. It is a lifesaver!
  • One-my 16-year-old broodmare
  • Not that great of an procedure in my opinion
  • Never bred my mare
  • Use caslick's on tipped broodmares
  • Mares that need Caslick are not breeding sound and should not be bred to make more unsound breeding
  • Had a mare with one in place when she came to us. May have to do it on a lordosis mare when bred.
  • The mare we bought had a caslick when we bought her
  • I have seen it done on a mare with a tipped vulva to help keep manure out
  • Very interesting! Yesterday my vet told me about opening a Caslick. It makes sense!
  • ...And I was a licensed trainer on the track. I totally disapprove of the procedure.
  • It's common for racehorses
  • I haven't but my mare's previous owner did
  • No, none of my mares had a problem
  • One of my mares needs one every time she is bred.
  • I have actually had to cut caslicks open with scissors on mares that have decided to foal early!
  • Yes once, but after that we just put in 4 stitches and took them out when she was ready to foal
  • Raised 2 babies, without needing the Caslick's. Would do so, if a mare needed one.
  • I think Caslicks is an inhumane practice. Mares shouldn't be bred to help improve breeding health.
  • All the mares in my barn get it. Keeps them clean.
  • My mare has not been bred
  • I used to have a mare whose rectum was recessed and needed Caslicks to stop vaginal contamination.
  • This is common practice in thoroughbred mares, regardless of their conformation, when they are on
  • It helps to keep any mare, but I usually use it on my older mares as they start to tip.
  • Many times! Works very well
  • I have a mare with a tilted uterus. The last time she was in foal my vet recommended a Caslick's.
  • I actually had my grandfather do it.
  • Really shouldn't be necessary in most cases; extra money for the vets!
  • Almost every one of our thoroughbred mares is "Caslicked"
  • older brood mare after her third or fourth foal
  • on an old mare to prevent infection
  • then she settled the following season
  • Older mare had torn. Procedure was helpful.
  • Have TB mares and this is a common .
  • It's never been necessary for my Clydesdale mares.
  • Always for racing, not breeding.
  • I've never had it done but have seen it before.
  • Yes, if your mare has a vulva that sits like a shelf, this is a wise procedure, prevents infections.
  • I don't breed horses
  • due to an old laceration in the vulvar area - caslick done to prevent possible influx of bacteria
  • An iffy answer. I have purchased several mares that had already had the procedure post-breeding.
  • It is common in Standardbred race mares
  • Vet did a beautiful job, but still no baby :-(
  • This was needed on many of my mares and was a good thing.
  • But have seen it done on broodmares- none of mine
  • Procedure done to only my race mares
  • my mare is tipped but has not needed it
  • Bought mares with it done, though
  • Only once on an older mare and I still didn't get a foal anyway.
  • Yes, several of my older mares require a Caslick's.
  • I think it's a "stitch in time" for performance mares.
  • My mare wasn't getting pregnant due to re-infection. It worked
  • To prevent her from "wind sucking" due to her conformation. On another, to safeguard a pregnancy.
  • It's a routine thing with my TB broodmares!
  • My mare has foaled twice and never needed a Caslick's procedure.
  • No, but I intend to have two done this spring
  • only when need be
  • typical in racing stock
  • as a mater of fact, I have to take my TB mare in to have it removed Apr 1!!
  • As we breed many older tb/oter bred mares, I learned the wisdom of using caslicks on our mares
  • I bought an older mare that had it done. Did not like it at all.
  • On the first foal, but not the second. Would not consider again with this mare
  • It was done on a racing mare.
  • In racing this is performed on fillies to prevent wind sucking
  • ouch!
  • Especially important in old mares giving birth to live foals without anomalies
  • I had an older mare, and stool wasn't going over her vagainal area.
  • Caslick's are about MONEY, very few mares need it.
  • Our Arabian mares have never needed this procedure.
  • One mare always, another mare never
  • For a harness racing mare so she wouldn't "suck air"
  • But one TB mare came with it already done
  • being stitched up straight after service facilitated conception in my mare.
  • every time I breed my mare and she foals.
  • I was amazed at how good she was! I certainly wouldn't be!
  • A little too risky for my taste.
  • Worked very well in keeping viable pregnancy in our older mares
  • Caslick performed on Arabian mares that race.
  • a racing filly
  • It is common in TBs. Caslicks help TB mares to get in foal
  • As much as I love my mare, she will NOT have any foals ever. So no Caslick's for her. Why bother?
  • Really great in assisting an older mare to retain her pregnancy
  • But have had only one foal here.
  • I doubt my gelding would like it--at all!
  • all mares
  • Came already done, had opened to breed, then closed after birth
  • I've seen one done, but my mare didn't need one.
  • I would if I had a mare that required it.
  • I have not but my mare, Folly had the suture scars where she had had one during her racing career.
  • after years of breeding experience think that 95% of the time it is not necessary
  • in a 21 year old mare and I have a wonderful filly now
  • If your mare requires a caslick's to sustain a pregnancy, maybe she shouldn't be bred--and passed on
  • So... where to find info on REMOVING Caslick's when mare is ready to foal???

About the Author

Erin Ryder

Erin Ryder is a former news editor of The Horse: Your Guide To Equine Health Care. She owns a portly gray gelding named Duncan and dabbles in several equestrian disciplines, with an emphasis on dressage.

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