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Body wall tears during late pregnancy in mares: 13 cases (1995–2006)

Julie Ross VetMB, DACVIM1, Jonathan E. Palmer VMD, DACVIM2, and Pamela A. Wilkins DVM, PhD, DACVIM, DACVECC3
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  • 1 Department of Clinical Studies, New Bolton Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Kennett Square, PA 19348.
  • | 2 Department of Clinical Studies, New Bolton Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Kennett Square, PA 19348.
  • | 3 Department of Clinical Studies, New Bolton Center, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Kennett Square, PA 19348.

Abstract

Objective—To review management of pregnant mares with body wall defects and assess the effect of various management strategies on the outcome of mares and their foals.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—13 mares.

Procedures—Medical records of eligible mares were reviewed. Signalment, history, admitting complaint, clinical findings, parity, type of body wall defect, concurrent diagnoses, postpartum complications, outcome of fetus, outcome of mare, and type of clinical case management were recorded.

Results—8 mares received conservative management and 5 mares received interventional management. Survival of mares to discharge was good, and no difference in mare survival was identified on the basis of type of management, type of body wall defect, or presence of hydrops. Foal survival was significantly better in the conservative management group, compared with those managed by interventional management, and was also better without hydrops.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Foal survival can be improved in mares with body wall defects that occur during parturition without compromising mare survival by use of conservative management strategies that avoid induction of parturition or elective caesarian section and allow for natural parturition. Potentially, improved fetal readiness for birth may play a role.

Abstract

Objective—To review management of pregnant mares with body wall defects and assess the effect of various management strategies on the outcome of mares and their foals.

Design—Retrospective case series.

Animals—13 mares.

Procedures—Medical records of eligible mares were reviewed. Signalment, history, admitting complaint, clinical findings, parity, type of body wall defect, concurrent diagnoses, postpartum complications, outcome of fetus, outcome of mare, and type of clinical case management were recorded.

Results—8 mares received conservative management and 5 mares received interventional management. Survival of mares to discharge was good, and no difference in mare survival was identified on the basis of type of management, type of body wall defect, or presence of hydrops. Foal survival was significantly better in the conservative management group, compared with those managed by interventional management, and was also better without hydrops.

Conclusions and Clinical Relevance—Foal survival can be improved in mares with body wall defects that occur during parturition without compromising mare survival by use of conservative management strategies that avoid induction of parturition or elective caesarian section and allow for natural parturition. Potentially, improved fetal readiness for birth may play a role.

Contributor Notes

Dr. Ross' present address is Centre for Preventive Medicine, Animal Health Trust, Lanwades Park, Kentford, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 7UU, England.

Presented in part in abstract form at the International Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society Meeting, San Antonio, Tex, September 2006.

Address correspondence to Dr. Wilkins.