It is well established that increased age is associated with a decrease in fertility. Fertility declines in mares over 10 years of age. While the live foal rate in mares aged four years is approximately 75%, this drops to 50% in 20-year-old mares. As well as being harder to get in foal, old mares find it harder to carry a foal to term than their younger counterparts do. For some of these mares the problem may be due to wear and tear on the uterus. The ageing process can lead to changes in the uterus to a point where it can no longer sustain a growing foetus.

The condition where the uterus undergoes these changes is called endometrosis. The development of endometrosis is not at all related to the number of foals produced by a mare. In fact, the degenerative changes seen in endometrosis can be greater in older maiden mares, contributing to the difficulty in achieving pregnancies in these mares. Endometrosis is diagnosed by endometrial biopsy. This involves the removal of a portion of the lining of the uterus using a biopsy forceps. This procedure can only be carried out by a vet. The tissue is then examined to detect degenerative changes.

When examined under the microscope the degree of abnormality is graded and using this grading system it is possible to predict the chances of a mare being able to maintain a future pregnancy. Can endometrosis be treated? Successful treatment of endometrosis is very difficult. Curettage is the most common treatment attempted. This may be done physically using a uterine curette or chemically using a chemical such as iodine infused into the uterus. Treatment works better in younger mares. The fact still remains that many mares with endometrosis have reached the end of their breeding career and it may be advisable to retire them to avoid further financial losses incurred with covering what is essentially now an infertile mare Buy Windows 7 Ultimate
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