OBJECTIVE To evaluate use of flunixin meglumine as a treatment to postpone ovulation in mares, mare fertility after flunixin meglumine treatment during estrous cycles, and effects of flunixin meglumine on function of the corpus luteum after ovulation.
ANIMALS 13 healthy mares.
PROCEDURES A single-blinded, placebo-controlled, crossover study was conducted. Flunixin meglumine (1.1 mg/kg, IV, q 24 h) or lactated Ringer solution (placebo treatment) was administered for 2 days to mares with a dominant follicle (≥ 35 mm in diameter) and behavioral signs of estrus. Mares then were bred by artificial insemination. Number of days to ovulation from initial detection of a follicle ≥ 30 mm in diameter, uterine edema score, and pregnancy were determined by ultrasonography; the examiner was unaware of the treatment of each mare. Serum progesterone concentrations were evaluated 5 and 12 days after ovulation by use of radioimmunoassay.
RESULTS Data were available for 45 estrus cycles of the 13 mares. Number of days to ovulation from initial detection of a follicle ≥ 30 mm was not significantly affected by administration of flunixin meglumine versus the placebo. Per-cycle pregnancy rate was not significantly different between flunixin meglumine (20/24 [83%] breedings) and the placebo (13/19 [68%] breedings). Flunixin meglumine did not significantly affect behavioral signs of estrus, uterine edema, or serum progesterone concentrations.
CONCLUSIONS AND CLINICAL RELEVANCE Findings did not support the use of flunixin meglumine to postpone ovulation in mares.