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Warming up to Warmbloods
Burgeoning breed will be important part of equine practice


"There is nothing in the importation/exportation regulations of the EU (European Union) that prohibits EVA vaccinated horses from international movement," he says. "Of the 64 horse-breeding countries in the world, the United States is the only one that has no import testing."

Testing, information about the status of imported horses and/or semen and vaccination would help control EVA in this country greatly, so it is very important that equine veterinarians understand this disease so that they can advise their Warmblood clients about the risks and options.

Other Warmblood breeding peculiarities also exist. Mary Alice Malone, respected Warmblood breeder and head of Iron Spring farm in Pennsylvania, observes that Warmbloods take more time to begin cycling and become fertile following the cessation of heavy training and showing than other breeds. These horses require time to develop normal cycles coming off an intense work regimen, and they might require a full year or more before they successfully become pregnant. She says she observes a higher percentage of abortions due to placentitis in Warmbloods as well.

Dr. Tom Stout, a reproductive specialist at the University of Utrecht (The Netherlands), has noted some breeding issues unique to Friesians. Though technically one of the draft breeds, the specific characteristics that Stout has identified are valuable to a discussion of Warmblood concern, too.

Writing in the "Select Breeders Services Breeding Manager's Forum", Dr. Stout observes, "Our experience is that Friesians do everything slower, tend to have a longer estrus and do develop much larger follicles. We don't get many Friesians that ovulate follicles much less than 45mm, and their follicles can develop to 60mm before ovulation without anything abnormal going on." Warmbloods do not show follicles quite that large, but they tend to produce larger follicles than most Arabians or Thoroughbreds.

Subtle differences between breeds are being categorized all the time as new research is produced. Warmbloods are unique breeds with some of their own specific problems and concerns. Equine practitioners should be aware of these differences and consider them when dealing with these increasingly popular horses.


Source: DVM360 MAGAZINE,
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