New test for equine pregnancies

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    A UK laboratory has developed an equine pregnancy test that will provide an accurate test from faeces just 160 days after covering.

    Up until now, it can take several weeks before the results of a blood test are known following the covering of a mare. However, Promar Labs based in York have now come up with an alternative – a new pregnancy test in an easy to use kit that provides an accurate result within a couple of days.

    The company have long been associated with pregnancy testing for the dairy industry, but through extensive research and testing the company has now pioneered this new test for horses.

    How the test is carried out

    A fresh sample of faeces is collected from the mare at least 160 days after covering. It is then put into the container supplied with the kit and posted back to the lab in the envelope provided. The result of the test is then available within a few days.

    Tests are carried out once a week and the results are available later on the same day.

    The test works by measuring the amount of a specific hormone, oestrone sulphate, present in a sample of faeces. The hormone is produced by the foal and placenta, and is only present when there is a living foal. By 160 days there is enough of the hormone present in to determine pregnancy.

    Breeding horses is a very valuable business so knowing quickly whether your mare is in foal is a big advantage,” says Linda Forbes, laboratory manager at Promar Labs.

    “This new test is easy to use and very cost-effective, as it doesn’t require a vet to visit the farm.”

    A single pregnancy testing kit costs £25, while a bulk purchase of five costs £100.

    For more information contact Promar Labs (tel: 01904 487515) or visit www.promarlabs.com

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