Traditionally, one of the stronger parts of each AAEP convention program is the time devoted to reproduction. The convention held in Orlando was no exception. It began with an in-depth session titled “Perinatology–End of Pregnancy Through Beginning of Life,” during which experts in the field presented hour-long lectures on various reproductive problems, and it ended with two separate sessions of 20-minute lectures in which the presenters dealt with specific reproduction topics.
In-depth presenters were Wendy Vaala, VMD, Dipl. ACVIM, who is employed by Intervet Inc.; Margo Macpherson, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACT, of the University of Florida; Regina Turner, VMD, PhD, Dipl. ACT, of the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center, and Robert Franklin, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, a referral hospital veterinarian based in Ocala, Florida.
Late-Term Mare, Newborn Foal
Leading off in the in-depth section and continuing on as moderator was Vaala. She offered “New Perspectives on the Late-Term Mare and Newborn Foal.”
Under ideal conditions, Vaala told the group, the late-term mare would be managed before birth by a specialist in reproduction and after birth by a specialist in neonatology. However, she said, in most ambulatory practices, one person must be prepared to fill both roles, have proper equipment to assist in birth and, if necessary, provide resuscitation and nursing care for the foal.
Many problems begin within the uterus, she told the group, and the practitioner must be able to monitor fetal development in order to determine early if something is going awry.
When a mare, especially one in the at-risk category, nears parturition it is important to monitor her progress so that help is at hand if needed. There are many monitoring aids available, she said, but no one aid should be considered infallible. “Nothing beats a human walking by and checking on the mare,” said Vaa