Breeding mares ‘should be checked for physical problems
Equine insurance customers should be aware that mares used for breeding need to be checked for any conditions that could be passed down to foals or cause issues for the mother.
This is the opinion of vet Jonathan Pycock, who said in an article for Horse & Hound that certain breeds are prone to passing on defects.
For example, Icelandic and Welsh ponies are susceptible to sweet itch – a skin condition that makes animals particularly sensitive to insect bites.
Mares that suffer from sarcoids round the udders should not be used for breeding as there is evidence to suggest that this can be transmitted by contact, he added.
Owners with equine insurance for animals with weak hind legs should also be wary of using these mares, because pregnancy puts extra stress on this part of the horse’s body, Mr Pycock observed.
Earlier this month, it was announced that horse of the year 2009 Rachel Alexandra is due to give birth on February 1st 2012.