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Discussion Starter #1
Today I got information and a quote on doing a standing ovarectomy on my mare. I had read that this is quick, easy, and affordable when compared to the traditional surgery of laying them down, and doing an external abdominal incision. I was surprised to find out that even with the standing procedure, my mare would need to be hospitalized for 7 days, she would receive an epidural and IV pain medication, IV antibiotics for 5 days, cable tied to the ceiling for 2 days, and cost would be around $1,800 providing there were no complications. :shock:

I read a post on one board where a person said her mare was in and out the same day, off work for 6 weeks, and the cost was $450.

So why the big difference? Anyone have any experience with this? Thanks in advance. :)
 

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I had inquired about this with my vet a few years back regarding a riding mare I had, but she suggested I not do it, due to the complications and the ill side effects it can have on a mare, and it was priced much higher than $450.

There are hormonal treatments you can give them to prevent them from going into heat, though I never opted for either; I ended up selling her before I had the chance to do either.

I'd consult several well known vet clinics in your area to get several professional opinions and then you make a well rounded, educated decision.

Personally, I don't think I'd do it.
 

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My friend's mare is having this done in a few weeks. I think her cost is around $1200, but I'm not sure exactly what's included. She has been having recurring UTIs and going into heat every few weeks. The vets have tried everything and this is a last resort.
 

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I wouldn't spay either. Especially if you ever plan on selling her. I know if I were buying a mare I'd like the option to breed her. Not saying I'd breed every mare but I'd like the option to if I wanted to.

I'd much rather deal with PMS (permanently p*ssed mare syndrome :p) than any possible side effects. You always run the risk of a complication due to the anesthetic used during surgery. I have known horses that died due to it. I'm not trying to scare you just letting you know. I know a rodeo friend who got a hormone chip implanted in his mare's chest and she's been SO much better since then.

Only reason I'd ever spay a mare is if she had a medical reason for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The mare in question cycles 2 weeks in a strong heat, 2 weeks out, 2 week in, 2 weeks out. I was told that if I could isolate her from other horses, she'd probably settle down, but that's just not possible. She had an ultrasound and the ovaries looked fine but they told me that really doesn't mean anything. My other option is to try Regumate.

I was so interested in the spay procedure because I'd read on one board that it was a very simple, outpatient procedure with the mare standing up and is no longer the major surgery it used to be with the complications. So I thought it was safer than the traditional surgery.
 

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I don't know too much about spaying,but I know that having a marble put in is pretty simple. It causes the horse to quit cycling because the uterus thinks it is pregnant.
 

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I personally wouldn't spay a mare unless there was a medical reason for it as well. For me the risks are not worth the outcome of her not cycling, and possibly not being quite as marish. In my opinion, if its mood swings, and the squirting ect., then regumate, or something like it to keep her from cycling, and if its just the thought of having a mare that might be moody and marish while in heat, then don't get a mare. I know of a person who did get their mare spayed, but it was because of an enlarged or diseased ovary or something like that, where the only option was to spay her to save her life. Personally I would talk to your vet about all the options including spaying, and see what he/she thinks is the best thing for you and your horse.
 

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Hmph, never heard of the "marble" method. Sounds interesting, kind of like a physical form of human oral birth control, makes the body think its pregnant... Very interesting. Can it be removed if you choose to breed?
 

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Yes it can be removed. I knew a few people that used it on there competition mares so that they didn't have to worry about her coming into heat or a stallion managing to over her while they were at a show.
 

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Sounds like a smart idea to me, maybe more owners should look into it to prevent those oops pregnancies.
 

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I wouldn't do it unless there was a strong medical reason to do so. There are plenty or hormone control methods you can use. I know there is one available here in Aus that is just an injection once a year. It's about AU$400 a go but thats only once a year.
If I were you I'd certainly be looking as far into hormonal control as I could before coming to the decision to operate. I've only ever had mares (Gucci is my first gelding!) and yes, I've had some absolute shockers with their hormones but generally I try to work around their 'female issues'. Only one I have put on a hormone control medication as she was just over the top when she came in season.
 

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I spoke to my vet about spaying my witchy mare. He suggested the marble. I don't remember if we talked costs or not, I never did do anything, I've got her on quiessence but I think it's making her nasty and hyper. She did better on mare magic I think, although I'm only on week 2 of the quiessence.

As for the cost difference, it's just the cost of the vets. I know the difference in surgery's between 2 facilities (about 45 minutes apart) is about a grand.
 

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spaying a mare

I just had my 7 yr old mare spayed November 1st here in Wyoming. She cycled alot, did alot of squealing, etc and because I really like this mare, I decided to spay her. Having had 3 other spayed mares in the past, I knew what to expect. This mare is a true blue roan with good bloodlines, but have no intention of breeding her. Even if I ever sold her in the future, selling a spayed mare is like selling a gelding, most folks love the idea.

Anyway, I took her to the vets on Sunday morning because she had to have no food and water for 24 hours. We spayed her standing up with a mild sedative and an epidural, she as totally done in about an hour and back in her stall. We cross tied her in the stall for the first 48 hours, with plenty of food and water near her, but no chance to lay down, she was on antibiotics and pain meds. Because an incision is make in the uterine wall to get the overies in a position to use the eclasior to clamp off the overies, the slight chance of the horse rolling and her intestines coming through the small incision is not worth the risk, so tying the first 48 hours is the best way. I took her home after three days and turned her loose in our small field. She was on antibiotics for 10 days.
She is great and has no after problems at all, and is already being more mellow.
I work for my vet, so did get a discount, but the average cost here is about $800. Well worth it.
 

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My friend's mare is having this done in a few weeks. I think her cost is around $1200, but I'm not sure exactly what's included. She has been having recurring UTIs and going into heat every few weeks. The vets have tried everything and this is a last resort.
have they tried a marble?

I've herd about getting a marble or something implanted. Not sure if it works though.
Hmph, never heard of the "marble" method. Sounds interesting, kind of like a physical form of human oral birth control, makes the body think its pregnant... Very interesting. Can it be removed if you choose to breed?
ok to clear up the whole marble thing. i have a mare who has a marble. its a real glass marble, a little larger than a shooter (hers is purrty, its got the little color swirl that looks like toothpaste in it! lol) anyway they sedate the mare, vetwrap and tie her tail to her halter (keeps it up and out of the way with no chance of a long hair getting in there) and clean her up. the marble is sterile, and its inserted in the uterus (they have to "pop the cherry" to do it so sometimes theres a little blood) shoot some genesin up there and your done.

now there are 2 things though. sometimes the mare will kick out the marble, in this case you just get another put back in. it cost me $40 to get it put in. also its not 100% positive that it will work. its a high rate that it does, but not always. my mare for example is a skank. she does what my broodmare does and "forces" herself into heat. my broodmare is very very pregnant but will show signs of going into heat when there are boys around. so there is a chance it wont work, but typically it does.

also it can be removed. my mare has very very good breeding and would be a nice broodmare one day (though im not interested in breeding her, as she is racing right now... but i probably will never breed her) i was going to get it removed before but when the vet went in he found she had grew membrane over it, he turned to me and said "she wants to keep it, shes having a baby!" i said "ooooh no shes not, get it out!" well he couldnt, he needed a vet with smaller hands to do it because he couldnt grasp the marble. i never got around to getting another vet to do it though.

and they cant get pregnant while its in, so yeah, i think more people should look into it so there arent "oops" pregnancies!!
 

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My brother is considering having his mare spayed. She has good breeding but due to her being a cross appy/qh, she is a grade mare. She is going to be a horse for my baby niece when she grows up and he doesn't want to have to worry about other horses behaving badly around her when she is in heat (though she isn't mare-ish at all). He was considering the vaginal spaying method because they do it on cattle all the time with very few complications. However, there is still risk. I think that I will probably mention the marble to him and see if it might work for her.
 

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cattle and horses react to invasive proceedures extremely differently. To quote my favorite veterinary professor of all time "Any self respecting horse with a rectal tear is dead". (referring to the fact that cows with rectal tears aren't even really an emergency situation.) I don't know the statistics of survival for a standing proceedure as far as anesthesia goes but elective surgeries on horse are always extremely risky. Make sure you weight that against whatever "risks" are involved with not spaying.

As far as an out patient proceedure, I know this is occasionally done on women but then a woman who is in severe pain, suffering from a post-surgical infection, or having other symptoms is going to pipe up immediately. You might not see it with a mare until it is too late (and they go down hill extremely quickly). I just think it is prudent to be very cautious when considering a spay for convenience.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Well, just to clear things up - this would NOT be for "convenience." It would be because the mare is miserable for half the month, every single month. She's in pain. She kicks, paws, ears pinned, and will stand there for hours and not eat a bite of hay because she's squatting and peeing. Her hind end gets chronically wet and nasty, tail turns into a mess. In October she colicked in conjunction with the heat cycle. I can't just give her bute for pain because she's had ulcers in the past and that's too risky. I can give Equioxx or Previcoxx but that is very expensive, and still doesn't fix her extreme distraction. She walks from horse to horse in the field backing her butt up to them and peeing and squealing. She jostles for dominance in the herd, she's a real ladder climber. She's just miserable half the month. It's not just for "me" but for HER! If a stallion were acting so miserable, distracted, and hormonal to the point it affects his riding and day to day activities everyone would say geld him but when it's a mare people say - then you shouldn't own a mare. What's up with that? One vet mentioned that the ulcers may actually have been caused by her constant worry over needing to be bred. :-( This mare has been cycling strong since 1 year old and she'll be 7 in a couple months. This has been going on for a long time and it's not getting any better.

I was told that breeding the horse often fixes these problems, but I don't want to breed. I suppose that's a last resort but I'd rather spay. Breeding and foaling is very risk also. I've known a lot of mares that had complications from that, including one of our own that had a vaginal tear and infection.

The vet I talked to said he's been doing this surgery for 20 years and he's done all kinds of backyard horses to high end performance horses of just about every breed, shape, and size, and he's only see a couple of minor complications, usually infection, in all these years. He's never encountered anything catastrophic at all. He said 99% of mare owners are extremely pleased and the surgery fixes all these issues. There is the ocassional mare who still shows heat because other tissues in the body can still produce estrogen, but those mares are rare.

I've read really mixed stories on the marbles. It appears that the chance of severe infection is very high and I'm not sure if I want to take that chance. Not to mention the marble falling out and you don't know it, then the mare's back in heat again a month or two later and you start all over.

She's young, she's a performance horse, and I would never sell her. She's here for life. If something happens to me and my family has to sell her, then I'm sure people wouldn't mind buying a spayed mare - I can't imagine it being any different than a gelding.

The problem I have with Regumate is the danger of it to humans. You can't get a drop on your skin. You have to wear latex gloves. You can't keep it out in the cold or it will freeze. We live in the artic north where it's frozen half the year. I did chores last night in -3 degrees, and it's not even winter yet. So that means transporting it from house to barn every day and not getting any on my skin. When I'm gone, I have people watch my farm and I can't be troubling them with Regumate.

We did Regumate with a mare once and it was a major pain. It was not a fun drug to deal with.

I may try Regumate for 30 days but I can't see myself keeping on with that forever.

Does anybody know anything about Depo shots?
 

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Padrona, I referred my friend having similar issues to this thread. Her mare is experiencing similar cycles, and the pain when urinating. She doesn't seem to be quite as insistent around other horses, but is in a lot of discomfort and cycles just as often. She also had the marble in for about a year, maybe more. It helped for a while, but isn't doing much any more. I get the feeling this is a case by case type of thing, and its really up to you and your vet to decide what's best.
 

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I've read really mixed stories on the marbles. It appears that the chance of severe infection is very high and I'm not sure if I want to take that chance. Not to mention the marble falling out and you don't know it, then the mare's back in heat again a month or two later and you start all over.
the chance for infection is not high. i dont know who told you that. also if it does fall, unless youre on 27/7 turnout you will know. its usually in their stall as they dont toss them when they are working. and start all over again? i dont understand. marbles work immediately, so there is no "starting over again", if it falls out you put it back in, simple as that.

regumate is great. yeah you have to wear gloves but who cares? sometimes you have to make little sacrefices when you have mares who have heat cycles like this one. i know this as i have one, who might actually be a little nastier than yours. i cant do anything with her if shes in heat, cant even walk by her in the crossties beause she pins you against the wall and pees on you. wont stop when youre walking, walks through crossties so you cant hook her, steps on your feet purposely, etc.
 
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