New Recommendations Issued on Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome

Recommendations from Kentucky Association of Equine Practitioners

May 16, 2001

To: Kentucky Association of Equine Practitioners

From: KAEP Emerging Disease Committee

Re: Mare Reproductive Loss Syndrome

Based on scientific and diagnostic results available to date, the following are suggestions for veterinarians to discuss with their clients based on a valid veterinary-client-patient relationship. This is subject to change based on updates from scientific results.

1. Keep accurate records on early fetal losses, late term abortions, stillbirths, and foals which fail to thrive.

2. For these and normal deliveries, collect one ounce of manure from the mare in a latex glove and one fecal cup (3 oz.) of grain concentrate fed to the mare. Have these samples frozen by the farm immediately. They should then be delivered frozen to the Livestock Disease Diagnostic Laboratory to the attention of Dr. Kyle Newman. Information should include the date, mare's name, farm, veterinarian, and brief history of the mare, including medications and supplements (brand names).

For the late term pregnant mares, consider:
--mycotoxin binders according to manufacturer's guidelines
--clip pastures to eliminate seed heads, but not so low as to hinder growth. (Do not scalp pastures!)

For early pregnancies (2001 breedings), consider:
--mycotoxin binders twice/day, ideally given prior to pasture turn-out
--clip pastures to eliminate seed heads, but not so low as to hinder growth. (Do not scalp pastures!)

Practitioners may want to consider the use of domperidone after discussing with clients. No research has been performed to evaluate efficacy or safety in this stage of gestation.

Diligent attention should be paid to early fetal loss mares that you plan to re-breed. Careful ultrasound examination of the ovaries and assessment of progesterone levels prior to breeding is critical. PMSG levels are of little value in selecting rebreeding candidates.

A recent increase in clinical cases of pericarditis has been noted in Central Kentucky. These cases are non-septic effusions in which the etiology has not been identified. The condition has not been identified to be caused by mycotoxin, however, the possibility exists.

Non-specific clinical signs of pericarditis include:
--poor appetite
--fever may or may not be present

More specific signs of pericarditis include:
--jugular pulse
--muffled heart sounds
--pericardial friction rubs may or may not be present

Ultrasonographic interpretation of pericarditis is diagnostic.