There are a variety of hormonal therapies available to the equine practitioner to help bring mares into estrus and hasten ovulation. They include human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), various progestin/estradiol combinations, gonadotropin releasing hormone (GnRH) analogs, and dopamine antagonists. These hormonal therapies push Mother Nature along to help make the breeding process more efficient, reduce excessive handling of mares and stallions, and help ensure successful breeding and conception, whether a maiden, a previously barren or a cyclic mare.
Much of the focus and effort put forth on breeding farms this spring will center on mares and the various reproductive problems that they experience. Stallions are often given minimal attention other than bacterial cultures and examination of early season ejaculates unless there are unusually high numbers of return "open" mares or evidence of serious problems.
Norwalk, Conn. — He's no stranger to long shots. The 20-year track veterinarian took some flack for remedying an epiglottal entrapment on Alysheba one month before the 1987 Kentucky Derby. Alysheba went on to win the first leg of the Triple Crown despite 17-1 odds.
Automobile accidents are responsible for a significant amount of the deaths and injuries to veterinarians, especially large animal practitioners. This should come as no surprise because these road warriors commonly are rushing to stay on schedule and trying to negotiate roads, follow directions and return phone calls all at the same time. Long hours, especially during foaling and calving seasons, contribute to fatigue. Drowsiness and driving definitely do not mix.
Washington — Legislation to terminate federal funding of inspections for U.S. horse slaughter facilities made its way into both cameral versions of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) appropriations bill. At presstime, Congress passed budget extensions for all U.S. agencies after missing the Oct. 1 deadline while House and Senate versions of federal spending bills are hammered out in conference, but observers expect the provision that would kill funding for inspection services at horse slaughter plants to make it into the final bill.
Baton Rouge, La.—Louisiana State University (LSU) wasn't part of the state veterinarian's hurricane response or contingency plan before Katrina was a household name. But shortly after the large Category 4 storm ravaged Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, it became clear that unsolicited veterinary help would be needed on an unprecedented scale to rescue and relieve thousands of animals.