The effect of age on multiple ovulation rates, multiple pregnancy rates and embryonic vesicle diameter in the mare

Mina Clare Gwynne Davies-Morel, John R. Newcombe, Jennifer C. Swindlehurst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

Numerous and conflicting reports exist regarding factors that may effect mare reproductive performance, in particular multiple ovulation (MO) and its consequences. Sequential ultrasonic examination was used to monitor 3075 ovulations in 1581 mainly Thoroughbred mares to ascertain: whether increasing age is associated with an increase in MO; whether this is counteracted by an increase in embryo mortality (EM) prior to Day 13; and whether this embryonic loss may be associated with small-for-age embryonic vesicles (Days 13/14). Overall ovulation rate was 1.31, MO occurring in 29.3% of cycles. MO incidence significantly (p <0.05) increased with age (20.7% in 2–4-year olds compared to 35.6% in 17–19-year olds). 25.2% of MO were apparent as multiple pregnancies (MP) (40.0% of all pregnancies arising from MO) and 37.8% as single pregnancies (SP) at Days 13/14. Older mares demonstrated significantly (p <0.001) lower pregnancy rates and of those pregnant, significantly (p <0.01) fewer were MP than younger mares. Observation of 1442 embryonic vesicles failed to demonstrate any consistent significant association between age and vesicle size in single ovulating (SO) or MO mares on Days 13/14. We conclude that: (i) increasing age was significantly (p <0.05) associated with increasing incidence of MO; (ii) increasing age was significantly associated with a decreasing incidence of pregnancy/ovulation (p <0.001), and MP (p <0.01), at Days 13/14; (iii) there was no consistent significant association between mare age and vesicle size.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2482-2493
Number of pages12
JournalTheriogenology
Volume63
Issue number9
Early online date30 Dec 2004
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jun 2005

Keywords

  • multiple ovulation
  • mare
  • embryo
  • multiple pregnancy
  • age

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