The pattern of embryonic fixation and its relationship to pregnancy loss in thoroughbred mares

S. Sharma, Mina Clare Gwynne Davies-Morel, G. S. Dhaliwal, D. Dadarwal

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Abstract

Ultrasonographic pregnancy records of 195 mares from six Thoroughbred stud farms, over a period of 7 years were retrospectively analysed to assess the effect of various factors on embryonic vesicle (EV) fixation pattern and pregnancy outcome. Of the total of 746 pregnancies analysed, significantly (p <0.01) more EV fixations were evident in the right uterine horn than in the left (53.35% vs 46.65% respectively). There was no significant effect of either, the side of ovulation, or age of the mare, on the side of EV fixation. However, EV fixation, was significantly (p <0.001) more likely to occur in the right uterine horn in maiden and barren mares (65.75% vs 57.45% respectively). The age and reproductive status of the mare as well as foal heat breeding failed to demonstrate a consistent effect on pregnancy loss relative to the side of EV fixation. In lactating and foal heat bred mares, EVs were significantly (p <0.0001) more frequently established in the contralateral horn to the one from which the mare delivered her most recent foal. In lactating mares, significantly (p <0.05) higher embryonic and pregnancy losses were observed in the ipsilateral horn. In conclusion, (a) side of EV fixation was (i) independent of the side of ovulation and mare age (ii) significantly (p <0.001) affected by reproductive status, (b) neither age of mare nor reproductive status had any effect on pregnancy loss rates relative to the side of EV fixation and (c) in lactating mares the EV had a greater chance of fixation and survival in the horn contralateral to the one from which the mare delivered her most recent foal.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e61-67
JournalReproduction in Domestic Animals
Volume45
Issue number5
Early online date24 Sept 2009
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009

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