Complications in late gestation are a challenging problem for the equine clinician and are a cause of considerable distress to owners. While a pregnant mare can suffer from the same problems as a non-pregnant mare (colic, lameness, viral disease), this two-part article discusses some of the specific problems encountered in the late gestation and postpartum mare. The ability to diagnose and treat the conditions discussed successfully assumes a detailed knowledge of normal anatomy and the features of a normal equine pregnancy, as well as competence in the necessary diagnostic procedures. Part 1 describes the general diagnostic approach to the prepartum mare, and reviews some of the major conditions that can arise. The second part, to be published in the September issue of In Practice, will review conditions of the postpartum mare.
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