Recently Dawn and I each discovered that Mezza had very sore flanks. Where touching her there had never seemed to bother her before, now any pressure there caused her to lay back her ears, grind her teeth, and eventually come after us with her mouth!
She was eating, drinking, pooping and moving well. The barn manager mentioned cysts on the ovaries, both Dawn and I looked at each other and thought--why would that produce pain so low?
The pain did appear to be inconsistent, this started after the 1st week of July, then tapered off somewhat, then got much worse by the start of August. Of course, during this time frame we've had some of the longest stretches of hot days on record, enough to make anything (horse or human) cranky and uncomfortable!
So, on August 1st, the vet arrived, and checked Miss Mezza out. I got to longe Mezza at walk, trot and canter for the vet--we don't typically longe at canter, so she doesn't even know that word. Well, she did just fine. Then she received her sedation, which totally made her like a rag doll. Dr. Gary proceeded to ultrasound her ovaries, and yes, one of them appeared abnormally thickened.
Mezza was given a little time to wake up, and then was given a hormone shot. This, the vet said, would help Mezza's cycle continue, as it was most likey "stuck". Usually this can happen to young mares who are just beginning to cycle. In other instances a mare may continue to have problems, and either she can be put on birth control, or the problem ovary may need to be removed. In a small percentage of cases, the problem is caused from a tumor on the ovary, but in that case it won't respond to the hormone shot, and the mare can often exhibit other more extreme behaviors.
The vet had us walk Mezza for about an hour after giving her the hormone injection. She went into a full sweat (read mare hot flashes) and appeared drunk! She remained so well behaved the entire time, bless her heart!
Dr. Gary set up a follow up appointment for a week later, saying to handle her as usual until then. In the follow up he will again ultra sound her to see how the ovary reacted.