Reproductive stimulation, acupuncture helps troubled mares conceive and carry full term - DVM
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Reproductive stimulation, acupuncture helps troubled mares conceive and carry full term


"About 80 to 85 percent of the time, we can make an appreciable difference in reducing the amount of fluid to the point that they don't have fluid any longer, with about a 70-percent chance of them subsequently being in-foal," Rodgers says. "Of the 85 percent of those with little or no fluid, about 10 to15 percent still won't conceive, and therefore, the fluid retention was probably not their main issue. I also have used acupuncture quite a bit for horses that were not cycling properly.

"They either are not proceeding normally through the follicular stage (a follicle not maturing), or are in an anovulatory phase, not developing any follicles at all," Rodgers continues. "As long as they have a follicle that is at least 20mm in size, we are able to bring one follicle through ovulation about 70 to 80 percent of the time. If they have tiny follicles, less than 10-15mm, without a primary follicle that is trying to establish itself, it is likely, only a 30 to 40-percent chance that you can get a successful ovulation with two to three treatments. Sometimes you'll have to do more treatments. Usually with that we use a combination of dry needles with GnRH (gonadotropin-releasing hormone) in more than one of the ovarian points (along the bladder meridian along the back) to try to stimulate them."

Rodgers has also done a couple of mares with atonic uterus post-foaling, or atonic bladder post-foaling. Those treatments usually incorporate EA, with greater electricity, using points through the sacrum. Acupuncture has been used for those mares that are incontinent post-foaling, or partially so, or if they've had a foaling where the mare didn't really push at all, where the uterus post-foaling was unusually large and "baggy", and didn't involute very well in a normal time frame.

"Where the use of normal traditional medications, such as oxytocin, didn't seem to work, we'd use EA and successfully regain tone, function to the uterus," Rodgers says. "I've done two or three mares with atonic bladder. Those have all improved. I've done two mares that seemed to have atony of the uterus. They seemed to respond well, though they took more treatments, about five to six to get some resolution."

There is a syndrome that Dr. Marvin Cain, DVM, Versailles, Ohio, describes as the endocrine or reproductive syndrome, where mares become tender or "ouchy" in the back.

Cain uses acupuncture to treat mean fillies with hormone imbalance on the racetrack, common especially in the Fall and Spring. These fillies have a bad attitude, can be aggressive, and perform poorly on the track. According to Cain, it's not only their behavior that is affected by their hormones, but also their muscles. Due to the involvement of the psoas muscles, and the Meridian path and the structures below the L1 vertebrae, they tend to have a restricted forward choppy stride. It causes them to move up under themselves behind, instead of striding out properly, extending, they'll "bunny hop", running with both hind legs together sometimes. This hormonal imbalance occurs especially in the spring when there are a lot of transitional follicles, and when horses are shipped from track to track in the fall. Once shipped, being in a new environment, the fillies start cycling again, and begin to have the same serious problems.

Acupuncture treatment balances their hormonal output, which modifies their behavior and their physical performance. As the fillies cycle, it creates a surge in hormones that produces the physiological and behavioral consequences. Once treated with acupuncture, they tend to feel better. Once they are balanced, they run better. Their focus once again is racing, and their muscles then are allowing for proper gait and stride, Cain reports. One of the sequels to this ovarian maladjustment is "tying-up", he says. The acupuncture treatment, along with Chinese herbal medicine, also alleviates this muscular disorder and allows them to run freely again. Besides these racetrack fillies, Cain also uses acupuncture for deliveries, to enhance uterine tone, and for mares that pool urine.


Source: DVM360 MAGAZINE,
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