Some Kentucky, Ohio Farms Seeing No Losses

By Kimberly S. Graetz
and Sarah Hogwood

Reports from Central Kentucky and Ohio note that many farms are seeing no cases of early fetal loss, late-term abortions, or term births of compromised foals.

Dr. Roger Murphy, a private practitioner in Central Kentucky who was president last year of the Kentucky Association of Equine Practitioners and Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association, said on May 7 he has yet to see the first case of late-term loss or early fetal loss in his practice.

"I've got about three mares left to foal, and I've had 10 foals in the last four to five days, and they were all normal," said Murphy. "But all of my farms are keeping their mares up and are spraying for caterpillars."

The schedule for many farms this year has been to bring pregnant mares into the barn in late afternoon, and keep them in until late morning.

"I'm scanning every four days, and I have a bunch to do this afternoon on one farm," said Murphy, but he emphasized that he and many other vets are not seeing any problems.

"I'm elated with the way things are going," said Murphy. But, he added, he thinks farms need to keep pastures mowed, keep spraying for caterpillars, and keep mares up until the caterpillar season has passed.

Dr. Grant Frazer, associate professor in the Dept. of Veterinary Preventive Medicine at Ohio State University, said on May 6 that there had been no reports of foal or fetal losses in his state. However, he added, Ohio was about a week behind Kentucky in the onset of Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome losses last year.