Reasons for foal loss studied

The reasons for equine miscarriage are often elusive.

A new study from Germany underscores how difficult it is to determine the reasons for a mare’s miscarriage.

Researchers at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen reviewed the records of 123 mares in central Germany that spontaneously aborted their foals. In almost half of the cases–47.2 percent–no cause for the miscarriage was found. Of the rest, infections were responsible for 26.8 percent–17 percent of those pathogens were bacterial and 8.9 percent were viruses. 

The most common nonpathogenic reason for spontaneous abortion was twin pregnancy (21.1 percent). Other causes of foal loss included fetal malformations (3.3 percent), uterine torsion and umbilical cord accidents (both 0.8 percent). The researchers note that these findings are consistent with those reported in studies they found in electronic databases and veterinary journals.

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