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Periparturient hemorrhage in mares: 73 cases (1998–2005)

Carolyn E. Arnold DVM, DACVS1, Maria Payne DVM2, James A. Thompson DVM, DVSc, DACT, DACVPM3, Nathan M. Slovis DVM, DACVIM4, and Fairfield T. Bain DVM, DACVIM, DACVP, DACVECC5
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  • 1 Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843; Rockwall Equine Center, 9385 County Rd 2432, Terrell, TX 75160; the Department of Internal Medicine and Critical Care, McGee Medical Center, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, 4250 Iron Works Pike, Lexington, KY 40511; and Woodside Equine Clinic, 13011 Blanton Rd, Ashland, VA 23005.
  • | 2 Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843; Rockwall Equine Center, 9385 County Rd 2432, Terrell, TX 75160; the Department of Internal Medicine and Critical Care, McGee Medical Center, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, 4250 Iron Works Pike, Lexington, KY 40511; and Woodside Equine Clinic, 13011 Blanton Rd, Ashland, VA 23005.
  • | 3 Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843; Rockwall Equine Center, 9385 County Rd 2432, Terrell, TX 75160; the Department of Internal Medicine and Critical Care, McGee Medical Center, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, 4250 Iron Works Pike, Lexington, KY 40511; and Woodside Equine Clinic, 13011 Blanton Rd, Ashland, VA 23005.
  • | 4 Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843; Rockwall Equine Center, 9385 County Rd 2432, Terrell, TX 75160; the Department of Internal Medicine and Critical Care, McGee Medical Center, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, 4250 Iron Works Pike, Lexington, KY 40511; and Woodside Equine Clinic, 13011 Blanton Rd, Ashland, VA 23005.
  • | 5 Department of Large Animal Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843; Rockwall Equine Center, 9385 County Rd 2432, Terrell, TX 75160; the Department of Internal Medicine and Critical Care, McGee Medical Center, Hagyard Equine Medical Institute, 4250 Iron Works Pike, Lexington, KY 40511; and Woodside Equine Clinic, 13011 Blanton Rd, Ashland, VA 23005.

Abstract

Objective—To determine signalment, physical examination and clinicopathologic abnormalities, outcome, and subsequent fertility of mares with periparturient hemorrhage (PPH) and identify factors associated with outcome (ie, survival vs death).

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—73 mares.

Procedures—Medical records were reviewed for information on age, breed, initial complaint, physical examination and clinicopathologic abnormalities, treatment, outcome, and subsequent fertility.

Results—Median age was 14.0 years (range, 5 to 24 years), and median number of foals produced prior to the diagnosis of PPH was 8 (range, 1 to 16). Ten (14%) mares had prepartum hemorrhage and 63 (86%) had postpartum hemorrhage. Treatment was aimed at restoring cardiovascular volume, enhancing coagulation, controlling pain, and reducing the effects of endotoxemia. Sixty-one (84%) mares survived and 12 (16%) died or were euthanized. Common complications included fever, leukopenia, retained fetal membranes, increased digital pulses, thrombophlebitis, and cardiac arrhythmias. Of the 53 surviving mares for which subsequent breeding information was available, 26 (49%) produced 1 or more foals after recovering from PPH.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that PPH can develop in mares of any age and parity. Treatment was associated with a good prognosis for survival and a reasonable prognosis for future fertility.

Abstract

Objective—To determine signalment, physical examination and clinicopathologic abnormalities, outcome, and subsequent fertility of mares with periparturient hemorrhage (PPH) and identify factors associated with outcome (ie, survival vs death).

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—73 mares.

Procedures—Medical records were reviewed for information on age, breed, initial complaint, physical examination and clinicopathologic abnormalities, treatment, outcome, and subsequent fertility.

Results—Median age was 14.0 years (range, 5 to 24 years), and median number of foals produced prior to the diagnosis of PPH was 8 (range, 1 to 16). Ten (14%) mares had prepartum hemorrhage and 63 (86%) had postpartum hemorrhage. Treatment was aimed at restoring cardiovascular volume, enhancing coagulation, controlling pain, and reducing the effects of endotoxemia. Sixty-one (84%) mares survived and 12 (16%) died or were euthanized. Common complications included fever, leukopenia, retained fetal membranes, increased digital pulses, thrombophlebitis, and cardiac arrhythmias. Of the 53 surviving mares for which subsequent breeding information was available, 26 (49%) produced 1 or more foals after recovering from PPH.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Results suggested that PPH can develop in mares of any age and parity. Treatment was associated with a good prognosis for survival and a reasonable prognosis for future fertility.

Contributor Notes

Supported by the Link Equine Research Endowment, College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Texas A&M University, and the Department of Clinical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University.

Address correspondence to Dr. Arnold.