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Find information on animal health topics, written for the veterinary professional.

Introduction to Reproductive Disorders of Horses

By Robert O. Gilbert, BVSc, MMedVet, DACT, MRCVS, Professor, Reproductive Medicine, Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University ; Fabio Del Piero, DVM, DACVP, PhD, Professor, Department of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University ; Ronald J. Erskine, DVM, PhD, Professor, Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Michigan State University ; Paul Nicoletti, DVM, MS, DACVPM (Deceased), Professor Emeritus, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Florida ; Jerome C. Nietfield, DVM, PhD, DACVP, Professor, Department of Diagnostic Medicine/Pathobiology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University ; Donald Peter, DVM, MS, DACT, Veterinarian/Owner, Frontier Genetics, Hermiston, OR ; Patricia L. Sertich, MS, VMD, DACT, Associate Professor of Reproduction-Clinician Educator, New Bolton Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania ; Katrin Hinrichs, DVM, PhD, DACT, Professor and Patsy Link Chair in Mare Reproduction, Department of Veterinary Physiology and Pharmacology, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University ; Brad E. Seguin, DVM, MS, PhD DACT, Professor Emeritus, Department of Clinical and Population Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota

The reproductive system is the group of organs that produce offspring. In both males and females, the reproductive system is composed of primary sex organs and primary regulatory centers. The primary sex organs are the testes in males and the ovaries and uterus in females. The primary regulatory centers are in the brain. They control the production of hormones that in turn influence the function of the primary sex organs.

A full discussion of breeding issues in horses is beyond the scope of this chapter. If you intend to purchase a horse for the purpose of breeding, you should seek the advice of a veterinarian (who will likely conduct a breeding soundness examination) and of other responsible horse breeders prior to purchasing the animal.