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Reprod Domest Anim. 2010 Apr;45(2):287-94. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0531.2008.01296.x. Epub 2009 Jan 8.

Ovulation, pregnancy rate and early embryonic development in vernal transitional mares treated with equine- or porcine-FSH.

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  • 1Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.


The objective of this study was to compare the efficacy of purified equine- and porcine-FSH treatment regimes in mares in early vernal transition. Mares (n = 22) kept under ambient light were examined ultrasonographically per-rectum, starting January 30th. They were assigned to one of two treatment groups using a sequential alternating treatment design when a follicle >or= 25 mm was detected. In the eFSH group, mares were treated twice daily with equine-FSH, and in the pFSH group mares were treated twice daily with porcine-FSH; treatments were continued until follicle(s) >or= 35 mm, and 24 h later hCG was administered. Oestrous mares were inseminated with fresh semen and examined for pregnancy on days 11-20 post-ovulation. In the eFSH group, 11/11 (100%) mares developed follicle(s) >or= 35 mm, 8/11 (73%) ovulated and 6/8 (75%) conceived. In the pFSH group, 5/11 (45%) developed follicle(s) >or= 35 mm, 4/11 (36%) ovulated and 3/4 (75%) conceived. Treatment with eFSH resulted in a greater ovarian stimulation; higher number of pre-ovulatory-sized follicles, higher number of ovulations and higher number of embryos (p < 0.05). Following ovulation, serum progesterone concentrations were correlated with the number of CLs and supported early embryonic development; maternal recognition of pregnancy occurred in all pregnant mares. We concluded that eFSH can be used to effectively induce follicular growth and ovulation in vernal transitional mares; however, if bred, diagnosis and management of twins' pregnancies would be required prior to day 16 because of the increased risk of multiple embryos per pregnancy. Conversely, the current pFSH treatment regime cannot be recommended.

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