I have been trying to get information of retained placentas and cords. Can anyone direct me to where I can read about them? Our half Arab mare, 13 yrs old had a very hard time, the foal came out ok, looks fine but the cord and placenta did not come out. She was straining for hours, you could see the contractions and she was getting very tired, possibly going in shock. We are in the desert of Texas at least 90 miles from the nearest vet and it was 2am. My husband spent 4 hours gently applying pressure to help it come out. After 5 hours, it finally came out, we checked it to make sure it was whole. It looked very thick and had red spots on it. Does anyone know what that could be and why she would retain it like that?
There are a variety of causes for retained placenta, some of which may repeat, others not. A search on Google will probably yield plentiful results.
Pulling on a retained placenta is NOT recommended! If it breaks off within the mare as a result, or a uterine prolapse results, you are in serious trouble. The typical initial treatment is to give the mare oxytocin. If you are remote from a veterinarian, you should talk to your vets about obtaining some oxytocin from them for use in future mares that require it, and how to use it.
Without evaluation from a pathology lab, it would be difficult to determine if the condition of the placenta as described was significant or not. Thickening may be indicative of endophyte exposure, which may also have played a part in the retention.
With a retained placenta, you should have your vet out to make sure the mare is clean inside and everything came out. Have the mare lavaged--(flushing out her uterus.) Small bits of torn placenta could still be in there and they can give your mare blood poisoning and kill her. At the very least it could cause her to founder. Please call your vet.
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