Playing with marbles

No, not the kind I blow out of my nose. I am talking about the kind used to control the heat cycles of mares. We all know what a mare in heat can be like...a real pain in the rear. They squeal, scream, kick, and are grumpy. So mares are impossible to deal with when they are in heat.
This topic came up when the DOR was talking to one of her friends about grouchy mares. Her friend ended up using this method to help one of her mares when everything else failed, it was a success. It seems like a simple solution and as one of the male horse population that has to put up with moody mares I thought I would share it with you. Besides with all of the unwanted horses around this is good option to help control the horse population. It could be a nice solution to the overpopulation of the wild horse herds, rather than euthanasia or shooting them from planes.
Simply put a glass marble is placed in the mares uterus, causing her body to believe she is pregnant, thus preventing her to go into heat. Usually the marble is taken out after 120 days, the mare goes into heat and then the cycle begins again. The procedure has been practiced more commonly in Europe and was introduced to the US in 2001, as an alternative to chemical alteration.
The following interview with Dr Nie is an excerpt borrowed from dvmnewsmagazine.com* Apr 1, 2003 - "The size of the ball is important, and a 35-mm diameter ball seems optimal. After adequate preparation, a sterile palpation sleeve is used and the glass ball is passed vaginally through the cervical lumen and into the uterine body. The glass ball can then be manipulated via rectal palpation and moved further into the uterine body.
Correct placement of the ball at the horn-body junction can be easily confirmed with an ultrasound examination. Some practitioners follow placement of the ball with infusion of antibiotic (ticarcillin at 1 gram is recommended by Nie) to help with any possible infection. Correct sterile technique will lessen the need for such use however.
The ball should be placed within 24 hours of ovulation. Some veterinarians have reported that certain mares will spontaneously expel the balls, but this is uncommon and was not observed in any of the mares in Nie's study. The use of glass balls to suppress estrus provides the practitioner with a safe, simple method of keeping some mares out of heat.
This method does not have any significant disadvantages for immediate performance use or for long-term reproductive use. It does not require extra-label drug use and it offers the owner a more "natural" means of controlling a potentially difficult mare. So before you lose your marbles dealing with that "witchy" sporthorse, consider putting one in." Kenneth L. Marcella DVM - DVM Newsmagazine
So if you have mares here is one way to help out with the moodiness and to give all of us innocent geldings a break.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR


The Author said...

What an interesting idea. I have a mare so I'll keep this in mind.


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