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  • Author or Editor: Michelle M. LeBlanc x
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Abstract

Objective—To determine whether gavage of pregnant mares (housed without access to pasture) with starved eastern tent caterpillars (ETCs) or their excreta is associated with early fetal loss (EFL), panophthalmitis, or pericarditis.

Design—Randomized clinical trial.

Animals—15 mares.

Procedure—15 mares with fetuses from 40 to 80 days of gestation (dGa) were randomly assigned to 1 of 3 groups and received 2.5 g of ETC excreta, 50 g of starved ETCs, or 500 mL of water, respectively, once daily for 10 days. Mares were housed in box stalls, walked twice daily, and not allowed access to pasture for 12 days before or during the 21-day trial.

Results—4 of 5 mares gavaged with starved ETCs (group 2) aborted on trial days 8 (2 mares), 10, and 13. No control mares or mares that received excreta aborted. Differences between the ETC group and other groups were significant. Abortion occurred on 49, 64, 70, and 96 dGa. Allantoic fluids became hyperechoic the day before or the day of fetal death. Alpha streptococci were recovered from 1 fetus and Serratia marcescens from 3 fetuses. Neither panophthalmitis nor pericarditis was seen. The abortifacient component of the ETCs was not elucidated.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—These findings suggest that mares with fetuses from 40 to 120 days of gestation should not be exposed to ETCs because they may induce abortion. (J Am Vet Med Assoc 2004; 225:717–721)

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

Effects of farm management, breed, mare age, gestation duration, and climatologic factors on colostral specific gravity, colostral IgG concentration, and foal serum IgG concentration were evaluated. Climatologic variables measured were daily maximal, minimal, and mean air temperature, precipitation, average relative humidity, and total solar radiation. Presuckle, postpartum colostrum samples were collected from 140 Standardbred, 94 Thoroughbred, and 59 Arabian mares from January through June during 1985 and 1986. Thoroughbred (farm A, n = 61; farm B, n = 33) and Arabian (farm C, n = 45; farm D, n = 14) mares were located in Ocala, Fla; Standardbred mares (farm E) were in Montgomery, NY. Mares from farms A, B, D, and E foaled in box stalls, and mares from farm C foaled in sand paddocks. Mares with premature lactation >12 hours were not included in the study. Foals were clinically normal at birth and suckled colostrum without assistance within 2 hours of parturition. Specific gravity of presuckle colostrum samples was measured by use of an equine colostrometer. Blood samples were collected 18 hours after parturition from 253 of the 293 foals (n = 45, 25, 32, 13, 138 on farms A through E, respectively) to determine serum concentration of IgG. The IgG concentrations in colostrum and serum were measured by single radial immunodiffusion. Data were analyzed by multiple regression or Χ2 analysis.

The most important determinants of foal serum IgG concentration were the IgG content and specific gravity of presuckle colostrum samples (P < 0.0001). Colostral IgG concentration was highest in mares 3 to 10 years old, and mean values were higher in Thoroughbred and Arabian mares than in Standardbred mares (P < 0.01). Failure of passive transfer (serum IgG concentration <400 mg/dl) was observed in 13% of the foals, and highest prevalence was in foals that suckled mares >15 years old (P < 0.001). Seventy percent of foals whose dams were <15 years old had serum IgG concentration >800 mg/dl, whereas only 45% of foals whose dams were >15 years old had serum IgG concentration >800 mg/dl. Farm management affected passive transfer of IgG; mares from farm D had the highest mean colostral specific gravity, but their foals had the lowest mean serum IgG concentration (P < 0.01). Arabian foals born between 335 and 345 days of gestation had the highest mean serum IgG concentration; values decreased in bell-shape fashion as gestation duration increased or decreased. Similar pattern was observed for colostral specific gravity and IgG concentration of Arabian and Thoroughbred mares. Total solar radiation was the only climatologic variable that affected IgG concentration in colostrum or foal serum. Only horses on farm E (temperate environment) were affected. As total solar radiation increased, IgG concentration in colostrum and foal serum increased. These results indicate that foals from dams >15 years old, foals whose dams have a colostral specific gravity <1.06, and foals born in cold, wet environments may need supplemental colostrum to prevent failure of passive transfer. Farm management, premature birth, and birth after day 345 of gestation may adversely affect absorption of colostral IgG in foals.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Abstract

Objective—To assess survival-to-discharge rates of mares and foals and postoperative complications and fertility in mares following cesarean section (C-section).

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—95 mares.

Procedures—Medical and breeding records of mares that underwent C-section were reviewed; signalment, surgical technique, complications, survival-to-discharge rate, and pregnancy and foaling rates were recorded and evaluated. Foaling rates in the 3 years after C-section were compared with the cumulative foaling rate before C-section.

Results—C-section was performed because of dystocia (n = 71) or concurrent maternal disease (20) or was elective (4). Overall survival-to-discharge rate was 84% (80/95) for mares and 35% (28/80) for foals. Six of 15 mares that had partial fetotomies prior to C-section did not survive. Mares that had dystocia for < 90 minutes had the fewest complications. Cumulative foaling rate before C-section was 77% (394/509). Overall foaling rate for the 3 years after C-section was 52% (30/58) and 68% (13/19) when duration of dystocia was ≥ 90 minutes and < 90 minutes, respectively, and was 31 % (9/29) for mares ≥ 16 years old. Foaling rate was significantly lower for mares bred in the same year as C-section than for mares bred in later years.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Breeding in the same year as C-section, dystocia for ≥ 90 minutes before C-section, and mare age ≥ 16 years were associated with poor foaling rates. Prognosis for delivery of a live foal in years following C-section was good if duration of dystocia was < 90 minutes and the mare was < 16 years old at the time of surgery.

Full access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association

Summary

To determine the suitability of a new colostrum substitute derived from goat serum and to determine the amount of colostral IgG needed to achieve serum IgG concentration > 800 mg/dl, twin kids from 14 does were fed colostrum or a colostrum substitute. The volume of colostrum or colostrum substitute fed was calculated so that half the kids in each group received IgG at a low dosage (1.5 g/kg of body weight) and the other half received IgG at a high dosage (3 g/kg). Kids were bottle fed the colostrum or colostrum substitute and then fed pooled goat's milk until 18 hours old, at which time they were allowed to nurse their dams. Does were milked manually every 2 hours after parturition until specific gravity of mammary secretions was < 1.02, the specific gravity of goat's milk. Serum IgG concentration of each kid was determined by means of single radial immunodiffusion at birth and 12, 18, and 24 hours and 7, 21, and 42 days after birth. Kids were weighed at each blood collection and monitored for illness daily.

None of the kids had measurable serum IgG concentrations at birth. Mean serum IgG concentration was significantly higher in kids fed colostrum than in kids fed colostrum substitute at all times, except days 7 and 42 (P < 0.05). By 24 hours after birth, serum IgG concentration was > 800 mg/dl in all kids fed colostrum, in 4 of 7 kids fed the substitute at the higher dosage, and in 2 of 7 kids fed the substitute at the lower dosage. Serum IgG concentration decreased in all kids during the first 21 days after birth, but was increased by 42 days. Mean body weight did not differ between groups; none of the kids became ill. Kids willingly suckled the colostrum and colostrum substitute, but the substitute had to be diluted with water because of its thick consistency.

Free access
in Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association