Jiaogulan in pregnancy

Jon and Heather Fowler

Can jiaogulan be used in pregnant mares?

I'm trying to help a friend with his Andalusian mares due to foal late July.  One mare became mildly lame yesterday, worse today.  She is not halter broken so I am just watching her walk, etc.   Not able to do a real lameness exam or check for heat, pulses, etc.  She is tentative on both forefeet, worse on the right.  Rings in her hoof walls consistent with past laminitis (she was on pasture in Iowa until a few months ago).

She is on tested low starch, low sugar  alfalfa/grass hay mineral balanced by Patti Woodbury-Kuvik.  In a large drylot with four other pregnant Andalusians, moving around with them but no formal exercise at all.

Trainer is available to catch the mare this Saturday so we can hopefully check her feet and maybe even trim her a bit (front hooves are overgrown and moderately flared).

Was thinking he could try some jiaogulan but unsure what effect it might have on placental blood flow or fetal development.  Advice on whether or not to use jiaogulan in pregnancy?  Will try to get a diagnosis soon.

- Heather Fowler.  Jan 2015. New River, AZ


Heather, I would not suggest jiaogulan for a pregnant mare. It is not recommended for pregnant women because of it's ability to decrease clotting factors and there is little research regarding it's potential to cause birth defects. Pregnancy in mares causes an increase in insulin , which is why you need to be cautious when breeding mares of IR tendencies such as Andi's. I have had heartbreaking experience in breeding a Morgan mare with Cushings and IR and would never do it again.  My guess is even though they are on a dry lot, the overgrown feet are now becoming painful due to subclinical laminitis which is exacerbated by pregnancy IR and past history of laminits.. This is going to be an ongoing, increasing in severity scenario for this mare and I doubt it ends well. I'm sorry to tell you that, but I would recommend you not get yourself too emotionally vested in this mare.

As an aside, this is why one should never breed mares that are not halter broke.(I wont breed one that isn't under saddle so I can evaluate if I even want to breed it on.)  For those who are considering breeding a mare, take it's current health and hoof status into consideration and remember that if the mare has problems foaling, the foal has problems, the mare rejects the foal or finds nursing painful at first, having a mare you can't halter, has no understanding of leading, standing, tying, vet work, and doesn't stand for hoof trimming is simply a nightmare in the making.


Dawn Wagstaff and Tipperary   

Saline, MI  2003

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