Heart Murmur Mare

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Heart Murmur Mare

This is a discussion on Heart Murmur Mare within the Horse Breeding forums, part of the Horse Breeds, Breeding, and Genetics category
  • Is a heart murmer in a horse hereditary
  • Is it safe to breed a horse with a heart murmur?

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  • 2 Post By MyFillyAspen
  • 2 Post By Merlot
  • 1 Post By Chiilaa

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    08-16-2013, 10:01 PM
Heart Murmur Mare

Ok btw I am new to the forum so hi all.
I just wanted to ask a few quick questions. The mares not mine but I was just interested in other peoples opinions on breeding a horse with a hear murmur? Wuld you or not? Why? The only reason I want to know it because I am a sticky beak and I like to learn what other people have to say as someone could have something quite useful to help find more information out.. the vets been out and apparently testing the mares murmur to find out more information but I just wanted to hear what other people would or wouldn't do...
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    08-17-2013, 02:54 AM

I wouldn't breed a mare with a heart mumur - no heart no horse - much the same as the 'no hoof no horse' saying. I once had a puppy which was given to my mother and I as a freebie (she was going to be PTS), from a reputable breeder, because of her heart mumur (they decrease their life-span also). She was incredibly hard to rehome when we moved house - we could not take her, and she did end up having to go to a no-kill rehome shelter.

I just think it is not worth breeding any animal with a hear murmur, people can't sell them (we couldnt even give her away when we had to get rid of her), and who knows what kind of problems you could be looking at depending on the severity.

Just my opinion.
That to me, is a huge fault, and I would not want to be passing it on.
Boo Walker and Merlot like this.
    08-17-2013, 04:44 PM
HI Krystle, welcome to the forum
I agree with Hallys Comet - if a horse has any fault at all I wouldn't breed. There are just too many horses out there going to slaughter.
I'd love to see a day where every horse that is bred is valued as much as we value our own lives.
Of course I also believe that far too many people are breeding too but that is a whole other story
Chevaux and MyFillyAspen like this.
    08-18-2013, 04:23 PM
Thanks guys defiantly given me some really good points to out to the owners. As I don't want to see the horse suffer or potentially a foal suffer as well.
    08-18-2013, 06:34 PM
As well as not wanting to pass it on to the foal, another thing to remember is that pregnancy is can put strain on a heart that isn't functioning at it's best. So not only is the health of the foal at risk, but so is the health of the mare.
rookie likes this.
    08-18-2013, 09:08 PM
I would say no as well. The reason behind the heart murmur is just as important as its grade. You don't want to compromise the mare. A poodle with a heart murmur is hard enough a horse with a heart murmur is worse. As Chiilaa pointed out pregnancy increases the volume the heart has to pump which increases its work. Some estimate that cardiac volume increases by 25%.

In addition, there are no reasonable/cost effective heart medications for horses. Which means that you can not even treat the condition with what would pass as the average budget.
    08-21-2013, 03:32 PM
I am not sure if it is the same in horses as dogs, but in dogs some types of heart murmurs are genetic and others are not. In dogs they can do an echocardiograph to see what type of murmur a dog has to know if it is safe to breed the dog.

My dog has a mild heart murmur, which was deemed to be non-genetic. She had two litters, produced two "top 20" pups in the conformation ring in my breed, plus multiple performance titles including a MACH and a Grand Champion. None of the pups have any heart problems (out of 12 puppies). My dog is now 12 years old and in exceptional health for her age (she, herself is a champion with performance titles and she still enjoys agility). Fortunately her heart murmur has had very little impact on her leading a full and productive life. If the tests had shown her heart murmur to be caused by genetics I would not have bred her.

So if there is a way to test the cause of the murmur and it was deemed as non-genetic and the mare has excelled in other ways I would not necessarily rule her out. It also depends how severe the murmur is and whether it could possibly endanger her life.
    08-21-2013, 03:46 PM
This link is interesting: Do Heart Murmurs Affect Performance? | HorseRacing.com. A study of 525 race horses found that most murmurs in them are caused by excersize and not genetic, and that it does not effect performance. So horses that raced longer were more likely to develop a murmur, but that it did not impact their performance.

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