Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Reproduction: prematurity / dysmaturity

Contributor(s): Annalisa Barrelet, Philippa O'Brien

Introduction

  • Normal gestation length 320-360 days.
  • Prematurity: a foal born at gestation age of younger than 320 days and displays immature physical characteristics.
  • Dysmaturity: is the word used to describe a term but immature and usually undersized foal.
  • Placentitis and other causes of intrauterine growth retardation may be responsible.

Pathogenesis

Predisposing factors

General

Pathophysiology

  • Incomplete maturation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.
  • This has deleterious effects on organ maturation, ossification and thermoregulation at birth.

Timecourse

  • Many non-survivors make progress during first 24 h   Foal: evaluation - neonate  , but their condition deteriorates during the 2nd and 3rd day (2nd-day syndrome). They lose the righting and suckle reflexes, cannot tolerate oral feeding, show severe respiratory distress with hypoxemia (even with ventilation support), and mixed respiratory and metabolic acidosis.
  • Death most commonly occurs at 48-72 h.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Koikkalainen Ket al(2014)Congenital hypothyroidism and dysmaturity syndrome in foals: First reported cases in Europe.Equine Vet Educ26(4), 181-189 Wiley Online Library.
  • Henderson I S Fet al(2008)Association of hyperlactatemia with age, diagnosis, and survival in equine neonates.J Vet Emerg & Crit Care.18(5), 496-502 VetMedResource.
  • Perkins Get al (1999)Clinical, haemotological and biochemical findings in foals with neonatal Equine herpesvirus- 1 infection compared with septic and premature foals.Equine Vet J31(5), 422-426 PubMed.
  • Munroe G (1999)Subconjunctival hemorrhages in neonatal Thoroughbred foals.Vet Rec144, 279-282 PubMed.
  • Rossdale P (1993)Clinical view of disturbances in the equine fetal maturation.Equine Vet J14, 3-7 PubMed.

Other sources of information

  • Lester G D (2011)Prematurity, Dysmaturity and Assessment of Maturity.In:Equine Reproduction. 2nd edn. Eds: McKinnon A O, Squires E L, Vaala W E & Varner D D. Wiley-Blackwell. pp 2608-2619.
  • Lester G D (2001)Outcomes in Foals with a Gestational Age less than 320 Days.In:Proc Neonatal Septicemia Workshop. Talliores, France. pp 42-44.


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