Functional alterations within the reproductive system and in other supporting systems may limit the reproductive capacity of geriatric patients; however, the age of onset and degree of compromise show wide individual variation. Aging of the hypothalamopituitary-ovarian axis in the mare manifests as delayed entry to the breeding season, prolonged follicular phases, reduced response to ovulation induction, irregular cycles, oocyte defects, increased early embryonic death, and, eventually, persistent anestrus. Aging of the reproductive tract may increase her susceptibility to endometritis, compromise placental formation with long-term effects on the fetus and viability of the resulting foal, increase her risk of ascending placentitis, alter gestation length, and make her more prone to catastrophic rupture of the uterine arteries at the time of parturition. Effects on the stallion are less well documented but include a reduction in sperm output associated with progressive testicular degeneration and potential compromise of libido and mating ability that is often associated with degenerative conditions of the musculoskeletal system.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||29|
|Journal||Veterinary Clinics of North America - Equine Practice|
|State||Published - Dec 2002|