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Aborting an early-term foal

Equine-Reproduction.com Bulletin Board » Breeding Problem Mares - Volume 1 » Aborting an early-term foal « Previous Next »


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Jan
Posted on Tuesday, January 02, 2001 - 05:46 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What would be the problems associated with inducing an abortion in a mare that is approx. 4 months along? I am considering buying a mare that was 'accidentally' bred at the end of September. We wish to use this mare this coming breeding season, and the current owner has offered to have the foal aborted for us. Will this cause problems in trying to get her to cycle again this winter? What other problems could occur? This is a 13 year old thoroughbred mare.
 

Jos
Posted on Tuesday, January 02, 2001 - 06:14 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

By 120 days an equine fetus is 7 to 10 inches long, so there may be some degree of stress to the mare in passing it. Additionally, multiple doses of prostaglandin will be required to cause the abortion, which will probably result in cramping and colic-like symptoms and possibly even active colic.

> Will this cause problems in trying to get her to cycle again this winter?

Mares are "seasonally polyestrus" which means that they have multiple estrous cycles in only part of the year. They do not normally have estrous cycles in the winter, but will resume after a transitional phase of irregular cycling in the spring. If estrous cycles are present in the winter, they are usually without an ovulation, although there are a few exceptions.

Hopefully by spring, the mare will be able to resume normal estrous of her own accord.

> What other problems could occur?

Colic; placental retension; damage to the cervix; non-abortion with associated placentitis (although abortion would probably subsequently occur in this case).

If this is to be done, it should be under strict veterinary supervision. Although it will probably go without a hitch, it is obvious that there is potential room for trouble.

Hope this helps.



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