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This is a discussion on caslick within the Horse Breeding forums, part of the Horse Breeds, Breeding, and Genetics category
  • How can you tell if a mare has a caslick?
  • Caslick breeding

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    04-21-2011, 12:23 AM

Do all thoroughbred mares on the race track have a caslick procedure done to them? If so, how long does this procedure last? If a stud were to try to have his way with her, would it tear her? I am curious because my friend that is boarding my horses thinks at least Kita has had one done to her, and possibly Queen. Could this have kept Kita from getting pregnant at the other place I was boarding her? I know Kita was in season while at the other place, and the stud was very interested. He tried to mount her several times. I know he has no issues getting a mare pregnant, as 3 of the mares there are bred/had foals. But, I got lucky, and she ended up not pregnant. Any ideas?
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    04-21-2011, 12:34 AM
Erm, if he mounted and penetrated your mare then no, she does not have a caslick.

I have no persoanl expreience with caslicks, but, as far as I know, they are easily visible on mare. :/

Warning as there are some graphic pics on this link.
Vulval Conformation, Common Vulval Injuries and the Caslick's Procedure written by Dr. Pycock
    04-21-2011, 12:42 AM
You would, uh, see the stitches.

Why was your mare in with a stallion if you didn't want her bred?
    04-21-2011, 12:46 AM
Thanks, NdAppy, that did explain some things to me. I do not know if he penetrated her or not. The other person couldnt/wouldnt tell me one way or the other. I know he tried to mount her, but I kept getting told she was to tall for him. At this point in time, I guess I am going to assume with her being thin, and not in great health is the reason she didn't take.
    04-21-2011, 12:50 AM
Bubba, I was originally told that my horses would be seperate from the stud. After asking a few times about it, I was finally told that they was not seperated, and that he was indeed trying to breed the mares. That is one of the many reasons my horses were moved. We have had her preg checked and came back with a negative result.

My friend who is taking care of them now, has tried to look, but Kita doesn't like anyone looking back there, so she isnt pressing the issue.
    04-22-2011, 10:57 AM
You wont see stitches from a caslicks unless it was JUST done! If it was done years ago you wont see anything - other than a very small opening rather than a larger one

If you REALLY want to check and see, put a twitch on her, have someone hold her, stand off to the side and check her opening. If it is literally only a few inches long, she is caslicked and there is no way any stallion could penetrate her no matter how ready, willing and able he was!

And unless you plan on breeding her, no reason to open it up either ...
    04-23-2011, 05:22 AM
Thank you TrueColours. That makes sense. I am not planning on breeding, I was more curious than anything.
    04-23-2011, 08:14 AM
Agree with True Colors. Also, the Caslick's procedure is usually done after the mare is confirmed in foal, and the sutures are removed a couple of weeks before the due date. I personally have never heard of a mare being Caslicked when not pregnant, or of the sutures being left in long term, but I guess it's possible.

The whole reason for a Caslick's is to prevent infection, and it's usually only done on mares whose conformation makes it likely (tipped vulva) that they'll constantly be contaminating their vulva with manure. Do either of these mares have tipped vulvas and have either of them actually been bred and or foaled? A no to one or both of those questions makes it highly unlikely that they were sutured.
    04-23-2011, 09:21 AM
Actually - every single mare (or the vast majority of them) are caslicked at the track. To a) prevent them from sucking in air and b) to prevent them from getting bred if a colt happens to get loose, which can happen fairly often

I don't think I have ever gotten a mare off the track that wasnt caslicked and it doesnt matter a bit if they needed it done or not - it just gets done and that's it

I hate doing them and will only do them if necessary and I hate when Mare Owners send me a mare to breed Live Cover and neither they nor the vet, have checked if she was caslicked and I get to be the lucky person that opens them up for breeding and then have my stallion breed her while she is still raw "back there"

I've seen so many opened up and done several myself simply because there was no other option at the time but I always worry that I simply wont do it correctly and I may cause the mare a lot of discomfort as a result. And then of course you always open yourself up for a lawsuit from the mare owner if things don't go well, no matter what waivers get signed and who says what. Anytime you approach someone else's horse with a sharp knife and perform a "veterinary procedure" on them you can only cross your fingers and hope everything goes well ...
    04-23-2011, 09:29 AM
Wow, news to me. I have had several mares off the track that hadn't been caslicked (and I'm sure about that, because they had breeding exams as part of the prepurchase), and I was never aware of any of the fillies I rode in race training having it done, but I guess it's possible that I didn't know/didn't notice.

Seems crazy to me.

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