Re: Help for my mare Alaska

Eleanor Kellon, VMD

The term used was probably hemorrhagic follicle. There has been great resistance to using the term "cystic follicles" in mares for some reason but no matter what you call it these are follicles that don't rupture/ovulate normally.  Ovulation is an inflammatory event and that continues until the follicle eventually starts to form corpus luteum-like tissue and everything quiets down.

In women, it is well established that cystic ovaries are associated with IR and testosterone excess. They respond to measures either directed at the ovaries  (like birth control pills) or at the IR (like metformin). In mares, it has been more of a chicken or egg question but one mare did have ovaries removed without improvement in her IR. Your mare may be the first one we have encountered that is more driven by the ovarian issue.

I understand your hesitation about the surgery. You might want to download the ovarian proceedings from the 2015 NO Laminitis conference to show to your vet and try either a 4 times human dose of a low progesterone BCP or estradiol only at 4 to 6 mg/day.

Endothelin-1 is a major player in laminitis. Endothelin-2 is a major player in ovulation. Is there a connection? I don't know but obviously something is going on with your mare to cause these episodes.
Eleanor in PA 
EC Owner 2001

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