Having your mare lose a pregnancy is devastating both financially and emotionally and can be caused by a variety of events and factors.
Placentitis (inflammation of the placenta) is considered the single most significant cause of late term abortion in horses. Placentitis is most commonly caused by bacteria from faecal contamination which ascends through the vagina and cervix. It is important to note that this infection does not occur between mares – that is, it is not contagious.
Sometimes mares show signs of placentitis via a vaginal discharge or premature udder development. However by the time these external signs are evident, it is usually not possible to save the pregnancy even with intensive treatment.
After consultation with equine veterinary specialists, Pepper Tree Farm has implemented sound protocols aimed at significantly reducing the risk of abortion due to placentitis. These protocols are aimed at early identification of mares affected by placentitis through ultrasound evaluation of the placenta during pregnancy. Mares affected by placentitis, when identified early and treated appropriately with antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and hormones, have a far greater chance of carrying a foal to full term.
Several years ago we implemented these procedures for the first time and they have proved very successful. During that first season of regular placentitis scanning, 17 mares were picked up with signs of placentitis. They were put onto appropriate treatment and all 17 mares delivered a live, healthy foal.
Pepper Tree Farm is committed to providing your mare with the best possible chance of delivering a live foal.
For more information feel free to contact us or our onsite veterinarian, Dr Brianna Vandyke at Pepper Tree Farm Equine Clinic.