Factors which can make mares ‘high risk’ and likely to require assistance at foaling include age, maternal illness, a history of problems in pregnancy and placentitis.
In high risk pregnancies, close monitoring is essential to reduce the chances of delivering a premature or compromised foal.
Placentitis (infection of the placenta) is one of the more common causes of premature delivery and abortion. However, advances in monitoring techniques and treatment strategies have improved the likelihood of affected mares delivering a viable foal. Early detection and treatment of placentitis greatly improves the chances of successfully maintaining the pregnancy and minimising intrauterine growth restriction. For this reason, mares with a history of placentitis, abortion or premature delivery are often monitored from 150 days gestation by monthly ultrasound examinations.