2012 Volume 74 Issue 8 Pages 995-1002
The purpose of this study was to demonstrate that a barren parous Thoroughbred mare with lactation induced by hormonal treatment can be introduced to an orphan foal at the same farm and that the mare can become pregnant after the end of the hormonal treatment. An additional purpose was to investigate the changes in the plasma concentrations of prolactin, estradiol-17β, progesterone, follicle-stimulating hormone, and luteinizing hormone before, during, and after hormonal treatment. The difference in body weight between the adopted foal and the control foals, which were at the same farm and raised by their natural mothers, was 17 kg at 24 weeks old, when the foals were weaned. However, the adopted foal and the control foals had almost the same weight at 35 weeks old and later. The first ovulation after hormonal treatment was confirmed 10 days after the end of hormonal treatment and then the normal estrous cycle resumed. Furthermore, the changes in plasma progesterone, estradiol-17β, follicle-stimulating hormone, and luteinizing hormone showed regular patterns after the first ovulation. Conception was confirmed in the fifth ovulation. Meanwhile, another study demonstrated that conception was confirmed in the first ovulation after hormonal treatment. The present study is the first to demonstrate the hormonal profiles during and after induction of lactation in a Thoroughbred mare. This approach is useful for solving the economic and epidemic problems of introducing a nurse mare to an orphan foal.