Correlation between serum testosterone concentration and morphometric findings from ultrasonography of the accessory sex glands in peripubertal colts was investigated during pubertal development. Nineteen colts of initial age ranging from 5 to 12 months were monitored over a 13-month period. Serum testosterone concentration was determined on a biweekly basis, and accessory sex gland development was ultrasonographically monitored once a month. Notwithstanding individual variation, there was significant correlation (r = 0.913; P < 0.01) between increasing serum testosterone concentration and the onset of developmental changes involving the accessory sex glands. As colts entered their 2-year-old year with relatively immature reproductive tracts, compared with mature stallions, there was still a significant seasonal effect on serum testosterone concentration and accessory sex gland measurements (P < 0.05). Ultrasonography was confirmed as a valuable noninvasive method of monitoring and assessing peripubertal accessory sex gland development in colts.
Objective—To determine whether it is safe to vaccinate pregnant or postpartum mares with a commercial modified-live virus vaccine against equine viral arteritis (EVA).
Design—Randomized controlled study.
Animals—73 mares and their foals.
Procedures—Mares were vaccinated during mid gestation, during late gestation, or 2 or 3 days after parturition with a commercial modified-live virus vaccine or were not vaccinated. Foaling outcomes were recorded, and serum, blood, milk, and nasopharyngeal samples were obtained.
Results—All mares vaccinated during mid gestation foaled without any problems; 21 of 22 mares in this group had antibody titers against EAV at the time of foaling. Of the 19 mares vaccinated during late gestation, 3 aborted; antibody titers against EAV were detected in 13 of 15 mares from which serum was obtained at the time of foaling. All postparturient vaccinates were seronegative at foaling; all of them seroconverted after vaccination. No adverse effects were detected in any of their foals.
Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—When faced with a substantial risk of natural exposure to EAV, it would appear to be safe to vaccinate healthy pregnant mares up to 3 months before foaling and during the immediate postpartum period. Vaccinating mares during the last 2 months of gestation was associated with a risk of abortion; this risk must be weighed against the much greater risk of widespread abortions in unprotected populations of pregnant mares naturally infected with EAV.