Central Kentucky Abortion Accessions Suggest Normal Foaling Season

Central Kentucky equine abortion accessions so far in 2005 do not indicate mare reproductive loss syndrome (MRLS). The University of Kentucky's Livestock Disease Diagnostic Center (LDDC) is posting the number of abortion accessions of all breeds weekly along with comparisons to totals from 2004. MRLS struck horses in several states (including Kentucky) and Canada in 2001 and 2002. The problems associated with the syndrome were late gestation foal loss, birth of weak foals, early fetal loss, pericarditis (heart problems), and uveitis (eye problems).

Neil Williams, DVM, PhD, Dipl. ACVP, associate professor at the University of Kentucky, a boarded veterinary pathologist who works at the LDDC, said, "We have seen no abnormal increase or clusters of abortions. The lesions seen in fetuses this season and the bacteria isolated from these fetuses bear no resemblance to MRLS."

According to LDDC posts, the cumulative total for 2005 is 117, which compares to 131 for 2004. Williams noted that MRLS occurred in April and May in the foaling seasons of 2001-2002.

About the Author

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief

Stephanie L. Church, Editor-in-Chief, received a B.A. in Journalism and Equestrian Studies from Averett College in Danville, Virginia. A Pony Club and 4-H graduate, her background is in eventing, and she is schooling her recently retired Thoroughbred racehorse, Happy, toward a career in that discipline. She also enjoys traveling, photography, cycling, and cooking in her free time.

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