Survival rate and short-term fertility rate associated with the use of fetotomy for resolution of dystocia in mares: 72 cases (1991–2005)

Augusto Carluccio Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo, Teramo, Italy

Search for other papers by Augusto Carluccio in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 DVM, PhD
,
Alberto Contri Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo, Teramo, Italy

Search for other papers by Alberto Contri in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 DVM, PhD
,
Umberto Tosi Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo, Teramo, Italy

Search for other papers by Umberto Tosi in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 DVM, PhD
,
Ippolito De Amicis Department of Veterinary Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Teramo, Teramo, Italy

Search for other papers by Ippolito De Amicis in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 DVM
, and
Claudio De Fanti Veterinary Clinical Department, University of Bologna, Ozzano Emilia, Italy

Search for other papers by Claudio De Fanti in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
 DVM

Abstract

Objective—To determine survival rate, complications, and short-term fertility rate after fetotomy in mares.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—72 mares with severe dystocia.

Procedures—Records from 1991 to 2005 were searched for mares with dystocia in which a fetotomy was performed. Data relating to presentation and position of foals; survival rate, complications, and short-term fertility rate in mares; and 45-day pregnancy rate in mares bred 2 to 3 months after fetotomy were recorded.

Results—Anterior fetal presentation was detected for 54 of 72 (75%) mares, posterior presentation was detected for 13 (18.1%), and transverse presentation was detected for 5 (6.9%). One fetus in anterior presentation was hydrocephalic. Survival rate after fetotomy was 95.8%. Complications included retained fetal membranes (5.5%), laminitis (6.9%), vaginal and cervical lacerations (2.8%), and delayed uterine involution (2.8%). Mares bred 2 to 3 months after fetotomy had good short-term fertility, with a mean pregnancy rate of 79.4% at 45 days after breeding.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The survival rate was high, compared with rates reported after cesarean section, and short-term fertility rate was similar to those reported for mares that had a controlled vaginal delivery or cesarean section. Fetotomy performed by a skilled veterinarian on a nonviable fetus should be considered as a means of quick and safe correction of dystocia that does not necessarily impair short-term fertility in affected mares.

Abstract

Objective—To determine survival rate, complications, and short-term fertility rate after fetotomy in mares.

Design—Retrospective study.

Animals—72 mares with severe dystocia.

Procedures—Records from 1991 to 2005 were searched for mares with dystocia in which a fetotomy was performed. Data relating to presentation and position of foals; survival rate, complications, and short-term fertility rate in mares; and 45-day pregnancy rate in mares bred 2 to 3 months after fetotomy were recorded.

Results—Anterior fetal presentation was detected for 54 of 72 (75%) mares, posterior presentation was detected for 13 (18.1%), and transverse presentation was detected for 5 (6.9%). One fetus in anterior presentation was hydrocephalic. Survival rate after fetotomy was 95.8%. Complications included retained fetal membranes (5.5%), laminitis (6.9%), vaginal and cervical lacerations (2.8%), and delayed uterine involution (2.8%). Mares bred 2 to 3 months after fetotomy had good short-term fertility, with a mean pregnancy rate of 79.4% at 45 days after breeding.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—The survival rate was high, compared with rates reported after cesarean section, and short-term fertility rate was similar to those reported for mares that had a controlled vaginal delivery or cesarean section. Fetotomy performed by a skilled veterinarian on a nonviable fetus should be considered as a means of quick and safe correction of dystocia that does not necessarily impair short-term fertility in affected mares.

  • 1

    Embertson RM. Dystocia and caesarean section: the importance of duration and good judgement. Equine Vet J 1999;31:179180.

  • 2

    Frazer GS, Perkins NR, Blanchard TL, et al. Prevalence of fetal maldispositions in equine referral hospital dystocias. Equine Vet J 1997;29:111116.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 3

    Frazer GS, Perkins NR, Embertson RM. Normal parturition and evaluation of the mare in dystocia. Equine Vet Educ 1999;11:4146.

  • 4

    Youngquist Y. Equine referral hospital dystocias, in Proceedings. Annu Meet Soc Theriogenol 1988;7384.

  • 5

    Blanchard TL, Varner DD, Elmore RG, et al. Management of dystocias in mares: examination, obstetrical equipment and vaginal delivery. Compend Contin Educ Pract Vet 1989;11:745753.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 6

    Embertson RM, Bernard WV, Hance SR, et al. Hospital approach to dystocia in the mare, in Proceedings. 41st Annu Conv Am Assoc Equine Pract 1995;41:1314.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 7

    Roberts SJ. Veterinary obstetric and genital disease (theriogenology). 3rd ed.North Pomfret, Vt: David & Charles, 1986;277352.

  • 8

    Freeman DE, Hungerford LL, Schaeffer D, et al. Caesarean section and other methods for assisted delivery: comparison of effects on mare mortality and complications. Equine Vet J 1999;31:203207.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 9

    Vandeplassche MM. Selected topics in equine obstetrics, in Proceedings. Am Assoc Equine Pract 1992;38:623628.

  • 10

    Vandeplassche MM. Dystocia. In:McKinnon A, Voss J, ed.Equine reproduction. Philadelphia: Lea & Febiger, 1993;578587.

  • 11

    Pascoe JR, Meagher DM, Wheat JD. Surgical management of uterine torsion in the mare: a review of 26 cases. J Am Vet Med Assoc 1981;179:351354.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 12

    Vandeplassche MM. The pathogenesis of dystocia and fetal malformation in the horse. J Reprod Fertil Suppl 1987;35:547552.

  • 13

    Vandeplassche MM. Caesarean section in horses. In:Grunsell CSG, Hill FWG, ed.The veterinary annual. 14th ed.Bristol, England: John Wright & Sons Ltd, 1973;7378.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 14

    Embertson RM. The indications and surgical techniques for caesarean section in the mare. Equine Vet Educ 1992;4:3136.

  • 15

    Vandeplassche MM, Spincemaille J, Bouters R, et al. Some aspect of equine obstetrics. Equine Vet J 1971;4:105109.

  • 16

    Vandeplassche MM. Obstetrician's view of the physiology of equine parturition and dystocia. Equine Vet J 1980;12:4549.

  • 17

    Vandeplassche MM. Embryotomy and cesarotomy. In:Oehme F, ed.Textbook of large animal surgery. Baltimore: The Williams & Wilkins Co, 1988;598622.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 18

    Frazer GS. Fetotomy technique in the mare. Equine Vet Educ 2001;13:151159.

  • 19

    Frazer GS. Review of the use of fetotomy to correct dystocia in the mare, in Proceedings. 43rd Annu Conv Am Assoc Equine Pract 1997;43:262268.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 20

    Frazer GS, Burba D, Paccamonti D, et al. The effects of parturition and peripartum complications on the peritoneal fluid composition of the mares. Theriogenology 1997;48:919931.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 21

    Vandeplassche MM. The normal and abnormal presentation, position and posture of the foal-fetus during gestation and at parturition. Vlaams Diergeneesk Tijdschr 1957;26:168.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 22

    Byron CR, Embertson RM, Bernard WV, et al. Dystocia in referral hospital setting: approach and results. Equine Vet J 2002;35:8285.

  • 23

    Blanchard T, Bierschwal C, Youngquist R, et al. Sequelae to percutaneous fetotomy in the mare. J Am Vet Med Assoc 1983;182: 1127.

  • 24

    Ginther OJ, Bergfelt DR. Embryo reduction before day 11 in mares with twin conceptuses. J Anim Sci 1988;66:17271731.

  • 25

    McKinnon AO, Squires EL. Morphologic assessment of the equine embryo. J Am Vet Med Assoc 1988;192:401406.

Advertisement