New Bolton Center Announces Limited Equine Reproductive Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic
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Penn Vet COVID-19 Updates


New Bolton Center Announces Limited Equine Reproductive Services During the COVID-19 Pandemic

By: Carole Cloud Date: Mar 24, 2020

On Thursday, March 19, 2020, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf issued an order for all non-essential, non-life-sustaining businesses to close as part of the Commonwealth’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under Governor Wolf’s order, which went into effect on Saturday, March 21, 2020, all agricultural production activity is deemed essential and therefore is exempt from the order to close. This includes equine reproduction services.

In response, New Bolton Center will begin to provide limited equine reproductive services to our clients, effective as of Monday, March 23, 2020. This includes services provided at New Bolton Center’s Hofmann Center as well as services performed on-farm by our reproduction clinicians in the Section of Reproduction and the Section of Field Service.

Please note that the information outlined below applies to cases presenting for elective, non-life-threatening breeding purposes.  All equine reproductive emergencies will continue to be seen with no restrictions at New Bolton Center’s Hospital.  Additionally, High Risk Pregnant mares will be admitted to New Bolton Center’s Hospital as possible, based on capacity.

Given the extraordinary situation associated with the COVID pandemic, we encourage you to determine if breeding your mare is essential at this time, or if breeding can be postponed until a safer time.

Our ability to provide breeding services will be considered on a case-by-case basis and will depend on the amount of contact required for the procedures and on staff/clinician availability. It is important to remember that all decisions are subject to change.

To schedule equine reproductive services, please call New Bolton Center’s Hofmann Center at 610-925-6364 to discuss the service that you wish to have performed and to make your appointment. A list of services currently being offered is listed below.

Current Available Reproductive Services – Updated Tuesday, March 24, 2020:

  • Ovulation monitoring and deep horn insemination with frozen semen
  • Embryo flush and transfer
  • Reductions of equine twin pregnancies
  • Outpatient stallion semen collections
  • Semen evaluations for fresh or frozen semen
  • Urgent epididymal sperm cryopreservation
  • Post-mortem oocyte recovery for ICSI
  • On-farm breeding management may be available through both our reproductive service and our Equine Field Service. Please call 610-925-6364 for more information.

We regret that the following Hoffman Center services must be postponed at this time:

  • Elective semen cryopreservation
    • Limited staffing severely restricts our ability to provide this service at this time.
  • Transvaginal oocyte aspirations
    •  To provide the best outcome, these procedures require close contact among multiple individuals and thus, for the safety of our staff and veterinarians, cannot be performed under the current social distancing recommendations.
  • Elective fertility evaluations
  • Mares requiring lengthy inpatient stays (> 3- 4 days) or mares with companion healthy foals.
    • Our ability to accommodate these cases will be limited due to reduced staff for animal care.  Please contact a clinician to discuss stall availability.
  • Problem-mare breedings that are likely to require multiple post-breeding treatments and/or require more than one person to complete
  • Any procedure involving hysteroscopy
  • Any mares with sick foals that require monitoring
    • Please Note: although we cannot accommodate sick foals that are companions to broodmares at the Hofmann Center, sick foals will still be admitted to New Bolton Center's Widener Hospital for medical care as needed.

Important Policies to Remember

For clients bringing horses to New Bolton Center’s Hofmann Center for non-emergency reproductive services:

  • Please provide a phone call at 610-444-5800 when you are 20 minutes away from New Bolton Center.
  • Animal admission and discharge will be confined to the parking lot. Please call 610-925-6364 or 610-444-5800 on arrival for assistance. Please do NOT leave your vehicle or enter the Hofmann Center area.
  • All medications will be brought directly to the client.
  • No animal visitation will be allowed during the time your horse is at the Center. Extenuating circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Owners may be asked to don personal protective equipment (mask, gloves) if permitted in the Hofmann area.
  • If you have ANY signs of potential sickness (fever, dry cough, sore throat, gastrointestinal problems, shortness of breath), please CANCEL the appointment immediately.  Do not come to the Center if you are sick.

For clients with horses on which services will be provided at the horse’s home location:

  • SOCIAL DISTANCING will be strictly followed. This means that during the work, only one individual from the farm should be present to hold the animal unless absolutely necessary and must keep 6 feet distant from the clinician.
  • Personal protective equipment (face mask and gloves) will be provided to the client and used if there must be less than 6 feet distance between people while performing procedures.
  • We ask that all farm personnel please refrain from handling veterinary equipment or supplies brought by the clinician. 
  • If you or anyone on the property have ANY signs of potential sickness (fever, dry cough, sore throat, gastrointestinal problems, shortness of breath) CANCEL the appointment immediately.  Do not allow the clinician on your property if you or anyone on the property is sick.

We understand that circumstances may change as the COVID-19 situation continues to unfold. Please feel free to call us at 610-925-6364 or 610-444-5800 if you have any questions.

For regular updates on New Bolton Center’s operational status and COVID-19 policies, please visit: www.vet.upenn.edu/covid-19-information

If you are experiencing a veterinary emergency, please call us immediately at 610-444-5800.

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