What you see. The starting point for addressing any equine health related issue is your observation.


Pregnancy, Failure to Conceive


Your mare has been confirmed not to be pregnant by your vet (using rectal palpation and ultrasound). Conception per cycle in healthy mares may range from 60-90%. Many healthy mares bred to healthy stallions conceive and have a healthy foal. But there are many reasons for mares not to conceive, everything from uterine infections and inflammation to hormonal abnormalities, to problems with the stallion.

  • Code Yellow

    Contact Your Vet at Your Convenience for an Appointment
    • If a mare has returned to heat twice after breeding without an explanation.
    • To request further testing.

your role


What To Do

Ideally, a mare is evaluated by a veterinarian before breeding. Repeatedly breeding a mare that is having trouble conceiving is often a waste of time and money. All mares should be evaluated at 14-16 days after the last day that she is in heat (receptive to the stallion). Be sure to record the breeding dates, reproductive history of the mare and stallion, and supply that information to your vet.

What Not To Do

Do not repeatedly breed a mare that has not conceived twice following breeding.

your vet's role

Questions Your Vet Might Ask:
  • Was the mare confirmed in foal by a vet?
  • Has the mare had foals in the past?
  • How many foals has the mare had, when were the foals born, and were there any issues?
  • When was the mare bred last?
  • Have you noticed vaginal discharge?
  • When have you noticed her in heat?
  • Does the horse's general health seem good to you otherwise?
  • How long do the heat cycles last?
  • How regular are the mare's heat cycles?
  • What are the results of the Whole Horse Exam (WHE)?

Diagnostics Your Vet May Perform

Figuring out the cause of the problem. These are tests or procedures used by your vet to determine what’s wrong.

Very Common
Less Common
more diagnostics

Treatments Your Vet May Recommend

A way to resolve the condition or diagnosis. Resolving the underlying cause or treating the signs of disease (symptomatic treatment)

Very Common
more treatments

further reading & resources

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP