Survival rates of mares and foals and postoperative complications and fertility of mares after cesarean section: 95 cases (1986-2000)

Kimberly K. Abernathy-Young, Michelle M. LeBlanc, Rolf M. Embertson, Scott W. Pierce, Arnold J. Stromberg

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Objective-To assess survival-to-discharge rates of mares and foals and postoperative complications and fertility in mares following cesarean section (C-section). Design-Retrospective case series. Animals-95 mares. Procedures-Medical and breeding records of mares that underwent C-section were reviewed; signalment, surgical technique, complications, survival-to-discharge rate, and pregnancy and foaling rates were recorded and evaluated. Foaling rates in the 3 years after C-section were compared with the cumulative foaling rate before C-section. Results-C-section was performed because of dystocia (n = 71) or concurrent maternal disease (20) or was elective (4). Overall survival-to-discharge rate was 84% (80/95) for mares and 35% (28/80) for foals. Six of 15 mares that had partial fetotomies prior to C-section did not survive. Mares that had dystocia for < 90 minutes had the fewest complications. Cumulative foaling rate before C-section was 77% (394/509). Overall foaling rate for the 3 years after C-section was 52% (30/58) and 68% (13/19) when duration of dystocia was ≥ 90 minutes and < 90 minutes, respectively, and was 31% (9/29) for mares ≥ 16 years old. Foaling rate was significantly lower for mares bred in the same year as C-section than for mares bred in later years. Conclusions and Clinical Relevance-Breeding in the same year as C-section, dystocia for ≥ 90 minutes before C-section, and mare age ≥ 16 years were associated with poor foaling rates. Prognosis for delivery of a live foal in years following C-section was good if duration of dystocia was < 90 minutes and the mare was < 16 years old at the time of surgery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)927-934
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the American Veterinary Medical Association
Issue number7
StatePublished - Oct 1 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Veterinary (all)

Cite this