Our team of experienced reproductive vets would be pleased to advise and guide you through any breeding queries you may have. Our vast experience is used to advise clients on the most appropriate method to achieve optimal pregnancy rates. Competitive AI veterinary schemes are available (please enquire for more details) or work can be done on a “pay as you go” basis. We have good working relationships with many studs across the UK and Europe which also helps contribute towards high pregnancy rates. In addition to the comprehensive Chilled or Frozen Artificial Insemination and foaling Schemes offered at Rainbow Equine Hospital, we also offer numerous breeding related services to you at home to minimise the time your mare is away from her home comforts for breeding or foaling.
The dedicated team of Equine Fertility experts brings together over 50 years of collective Fertility experience. A truly bespoke approach to each case will provide superior care for the horse and tailored support for the client.
The team includes equine reproduction and stud medicine experts James Crabtree BVM&S Cert EM(Stud Med) MRCVS and Charles Cooke BSc(Hons) BVetMed Cert(Stud Medicine) MRCVS from RERS and Brian Reed BVMS CertEP MRCVS from Rainbow Equine Hospital. The team are also supported by surgical and medical specialists in the Rainbow Equine Hospital referral team.
James and Charles each have 15 years’ of round the world experience practicing in the UK, Australia & New Zealand in addition to which James has 5 years as an honorary lecturer of Postgraduate studies in Stud Medicine at the University of Liverpool. Brian Reed works in all areas of equine practice but has a long-standing interest in equine reproduction and has a certificate In advanced veterinary practice.
As thought leaders in equine reproduction, the team lectures regularly on the national and international stage and writes and publishes on a variety of subjects from breeding soundness examinations for stallions and bent legs in foals to embryo transfer & freezing.
Routine Pre-Breeding Health Testing & Examinations
Most, if not all, breeding centres require that your mare has a negative test result for EIA, EVA and CEM for the current breeding season. This is achieved by taking blood samples and a swab from your mare prior to the commencement of breeding. It is also a good idea to have your mare reproductively examined to establish that there are no pre-existing problems which may affect the chances of obtaining a pregnancy. This can be done at home in most cases.
Managing mares for Insemination/Breeding
Our vets are experienced at “setting up/walking in” mares to be bred at distant studs. Our vets will discuss with you the best way forward on a case by case basis. This ensures that you and your mare have continuity of care and management.
Breeding at Home
We can also offer a breeding service for you at home (location and available facilities dependent) for chilled semen or natural cover. Our vets may be able to perform the whole process of cycle monitoring to insemination at your home premises. Please feel free to discuss your individual case with one of our breeding team. Our vet’s decision will be final if they feel that the facilities that you have available are not suitable/safe for this service to be offered.
Foetal Gender Determination
Otherwise known as “foetal sexing” this is a technique best employed around 55-65 days of pregnancy and is a service offered to clients wishing to make commercial decisions for sales animals or for those owners who just want to know what their mare is carrying. The mare is examined ultrasonographically and the pregnancy is assessed for gender.
Examination of the New Born Foal and Newly Foaled Mare
All of our team are delighted to come and check over your new arrival and mare. We would routinely check the foal for any abnormalities, administer tetanus prophylaxis, examine the placenta, take a blood sample from the foal to measure the antibody (IgG) level and answer any questions you may have. We can also perform insurance examinations, identity certificates and implant a microchip in the foal. Advise on mare and foal feeding, foal foot care, worming and vaccination can also be discussed.
Mare Infertility Investigations
Mares that have failed to conceive a pregnancy in the same or consecutive breeding seasons require thorough evaluation. A raft of procedures and techniques may be utilised to investigate the cause(s) of poor fertility by our veterinary team, but every case will first be subjected to a thorough historical and gynaecological examination before a plan is formulated. Examples of techniques used to investigate/treat infertility include: vulvar conformation assessment and correctional surgery, endometrial cytological examination, endometrial biopsy, uterine endoscopy (hysteroscopy), laser or electrical ablation of endometrial cysts and intra-uterine lavage/therapies.
Twin Reduction/ Management
Mares often conceive twin pregnancies but the nature of the equine placenta is such that the successful carriage of twins to term is very rare, often resulting in the unfortunate loss of both pregnancies. Whilst most twin pregnancies are hopefully dealt with during the first 2 weeks after conception, occasionally some continue past this time. We can examine mares carrying a twin pregnancy and attempt reduction of one conceptus leaving the other to grow on. This can be particularly difficult for pregnancies in the same uterine horn or for pregnancies that are at an advanced stage. If you have a mare carrying twins, please contact one of our breeding vets to discuss the available options.
Embryo Transfer Service
Embryo transfer is an increasingly common procedure for competition mares who are unable to carry their own pregnancy due to health reasons or competition commitments. The donor mare is inseminated with chilled or frozen semen as usual and then the embryo is flushed from the mare’s uterus on or around day 7 after ovulation. This embryo is then processed and non-surgically transferred into a recipient mare’s uterus (whose cycle has been synchronised with that of the donor mare) to be carried until full term. Clients may wish to use a recipient mare of their own or utilise the recipient mare service from an external facility. Please feel free to discuss your requirements with a member of our team.