Clara Mason, DVM

44 Cloverleaf Street
Winfield, WV 25213


When Should I Induce Labor in My Pregnant Mare?

If you are concerned that your mare is "over-due" to deliver her unborn foal, call us and let us help you determine if your mare needs to be induced into labor or if she needs to be referred to an equine hospital for delivery or a cesarean section. You must decide if your mare may be unable to deliver naturally because of a previous injury, older age, or there is a medical reason (save the mare or foal) to induce labor.  As an elective procedure, our goal is to induce labor just hours before the mare would go into labor naturally.  This would ensure that there are plenty of qualified persons around to assist in the delivery.  This obviously does not apply if the vet induces the mare for emergency situations.

There are guidelines for inducing labor (electively) in the mare:

1.  She must be pregnant a minimum of 330 days (gestation length)

2.  Her udder must be developed and she must have colostrum production in the udder

3.  Waxing of the teats

4.  Milk calcium levels in the udder milk must be greater than 200 parts per million.  This is a laboratory test that can be performed at stall-side. 

Common complications resulting from induction of labor are: retained placenta, lack of adequate and quality colostrum, and cost of the procedure.