Effects of deslorelin or hCG administration on reproductive performance in first postpartum estrus mares. Academic Article uri icon


  • A tendency for deslorelin implants to suppress subsequent follicular growth and delay return to estrus following induced ovulation has been documented in nonlactating mares. To investigate this phenomenon in lactating mares, 22 broodmares in southeast Texas were administered either deslorelin or hCG to induce ovulation in the first postpartum estrus during February and March 2001. Mares were teased daily and examined twice weekly (Tuesdays and Thursdays) by transrectal ultrasonography. When a follicle >35 mm diameter was detected on Tuesday, mares were treated with either 2,500 U hCG administered intravenously or with one implant (2.1 mg) deslorelin administered subcutaneously. Mares were bred every other day until ovulation was detected or until they ceased behavioral estrus, and were examined 16 days after treatment to detect pregnancy. Follicular measurements were recorded for all mares during each examination, and interestrous intervals were recorded for mares not becoming pregnant. Treatment of mares with either hCG or deslorelin resulted in similar ovulatory responses and pregnancy rates. Deslorelin-treated mares had fewer ovarian follicles >20 mm in diameter 16 days after treatment than hCG-treated mares (P < 0.01). Interestrous intervals for mares failing to become pregnant on foal heat breeding were prolonged in deslorelin-treated compared to hCG-treated mares (P < 0.01). Date of treatment was negatively correlated with length of the interestrous interval in deslorelin-treated mares (P < 0.01), but was not correlated with length of interestrous interval in hCG-treated mares (P > 0.10). All mares failing to become pregnant from foal heat breedings became pregnant from later breedings, but the parturition to conception interval was prolonged in deslorelin-treated compared to hCG-treated mares that did not become pregnant on foal heat (P < 0.01).

published proceedings

  • Theriogenology

author list (cited authors)

  • Blanchar, T. L., Brinsko, S. P., & Rigby, S. L.

citation count

  • 10

complete list of authors

  • Blanchar, Terry L||Brinsko, Stevem P||Rigby, Sherri L

publication date

  • July 2002