By A O McKinnon; et al

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Successful treatment is directly related to the amount of abdominal wall damage and internal abdominal trauma; when damage is extensive the risk for both mare and foal is significant. Miscellaneous infectious agents Several infectious agents have been shown to cause equine abortion and include equine herpesvirus 1 (EHV-1), leptospirosis,1, 11 and equine viral arteritis (EVA). 5. Equine herpesvirus 1 (EHV-1) is capable of causing abortion during the last 4 months of pregnancy, as well as respiratory disease and meningoencephalomyelitis.

The pregnant uterus can similarly make obtaining a diagnostic abdominal fluid sample difficult. Transabdominal ultrasonography can be helpful in location of a site for abdominocentesis and for the diagnosis of a cause for colic, but the large uterus also complicates this diagnostic test, and in a late pregnant mare the decision for surgery is often made based on pain and the response to analgesics, presence of reflux, and lack of fecal passage. 3 Short surgical times, appropriate ventilation, and oxygen insufflation can help to promote delivery of oxygen to the fetus; however, in some cases, maintaining appropriate oxygenation is not possible.

Placentitis, due to bacterial, viral and fungal causes, and delivery complications associated with dystocia, birth trauma, and asphyxia represented the most common causes of fetal and neonatal foal mortality. Conditions that cause high-risk pregnancy can originate in the mare, fetus or placenta. While some situations defy identification before crisis, many can be detected, and intervention can be instituted. As we learn more, treatment is improving the outcomes of equine high-risk pregnancies. Successful intervention in high-risk pregnancy will require identification of risk at the earliest possible time, and is the goal of the equine perinatologist.

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