Breeding Soundness Examinations

Breeding soundness exams help to evaluate the reproductive tracts of both mares and stallions.  These are especially useful if the sole purpose of a horse is to be used for breeding.  A complete reproductive history is taken for both mares and stallions in order to further focus the exam if there is an indication of a past problem.  In the mare, rectal palpation and ultrasound are performed, as well as a speculum exam and assessment of her external conformation.  Swabs can be taken for cytology and culture, and a uterine biopsy can be performed to give a guidance for the mare’s chance of becoming pregnant and carrying to term.  In the stallion, semen collection and a complete semen evaluation is performed.  The stallion’s external reproductive tract is examined and a brief lameness evaluation is performed, as lameness can lead to problems for the stallion when mounting a phantom or mare.  Further exam includes ultrasound of the internal reproductive tract, semen longevity trials, and cooling and freezing trials.  Both stallion and mare breeding soundness examinations follow the guidelines set out by the Society of Theriogenology.