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  • Sarah Evers Conrad

Agents of Abortion: Why Mares Abort

Updated: Sep 12, 2018


The first step toward preventing pregnancy loss is understanding why it happens in the first place


As horse breeders eagerly await the impending birth of their foals, they can’t help but fear one thing: abortion. Abortion is foal loss before 300 days of gestation. In worst-case scenarios, breeding facilities don’t lose just one foal; a pathogen causes an abortion storm in which several mares lose their pregnancies around the same time. Regardless of the magnitude of losses, abortion can be a devastating emotional and financial blow to a horse owner.

It’s important to understand the various reasons mares abort and know whether yours is at risk. Keep in mind, however, that abortion causes differ based on geographic location. In this article we’ll review some of the most common infectious and noninfectious causes.


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Originally published in the January 2018 issue of The Horse magazine.

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