Elective cesarean section in mares: eight cases (1980-1989).

J. P. Watkins, T. S. Taylor, W. C. Day, D. D. Varner, J. Schumacher, A. N. Baird, R. D. Welch

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17 Scopus citations


From 1980 to 1989, 8 cesarean sections were performed on an elective basis in 5 mares. Four mares had partially obstructed pelvic canals; 2 of these mares had previously lost foals because of dystocia. Cervical adhesions that might obstruct passage of the fetus through the pelvic canal was suspected in the fifth mare. Cesarean section was performed prior to mares entering the first stage of labor. Readiness for birth was estimated by development of the mare's mammary gland and the presence of colostrum in the udder. A ventral midline celiotomy provided excellent exposure and healed without complications in all instances. Eight viable foals were produced. One foal developed bacterial pneumonia and septicemia after surgery and died. Follow-up evaluation of the 7 foals discharged from the hospital failed to reveal complications associated with elective cesarean section. All mares survived the procedure. Fetal membranes were retained for up to 72 hours following surgery; however, systemic complications secondary to retained placenta did not develop. Three mares were bred subsequent to elective cesarean sections, with each mare conceiving the year following surgery. Three foals were produced by 1 mare and 2 foals have been produced by another mare by elective cesarean sections.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1639-1645
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 15 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • veterinary(all)


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