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New Bolton Center Kennett Square, PA
Emergencies & Appointments:
610-444-5800
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Ryan Hospital Philadelphia, PA
Emergencies:
215-746-8911
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215-746-8387
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High-Risk Pregnancy Program


The Graham French Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Penn Vet's New Bolton Center is designed to accommodate the needs of pregnant mares at increased risk for complications, as well as provide their foals with lifesaving critical care, beginning even before the foal's birth. Specially-designed stalls allow mares to have contact with their criticall ill foals without disrupting the neonate's medical care.


High Risk Pregnancy Mare

Contact Our Foaling Service

Dr. J. Palmer: 610-925-6412
Dr. P. Sertich: 610-925-6229
Dr. M. Linton: 610-925-6111

About the Program

The High-Risk Pregnancy Program is designed for any mare at increased risk for complications and to detect fetal distress so that steps can be taken to support the foal before, during, and immediately after birth to increase the chances of a successful outcome. Candidates for the program include:

  1. Mares with a history of past reproductive problems, including: dystocia, placentitis, premature placental separation, premature delivery, prolonged gestation length, premature or growth-restricted foals, septic foals, or the delivery of foals with neonatal encephalopathy (“maladjusted” or “dummy” foals).
  2. Mares experiencing problems during their current pregnancy that can threaten the well-being of the foal, including pneumonia, neurologic disease, severe musculoskeletal disease, gastrointestinal disease, colic, body wall ruptures/ hernias (“pre-pubic tendon rupture”), and abnormal abdominal enlargement. Other indications of fetal distress — including premature udder development, vaginal discharge, or prolonged gestation length — also qualify mares as having a high-risk pregnancy.

High-Risk Pregnancy Program

  • What This Service Includes
    • Up to 14 days board before foaling and/or post-foaling, reduced board charges for additional days
    • Complete physical examination of the mare and the foal
    • Reproductive examination of the mare: palpation and ultrasonography per rectum to evaluate fetal position, fetal fluids, and placental health; episiotomy (open Caslicks) if needed; post-partum reproductive exam
    • Transabdominal sonogram to evaluate fetal position, fetal heart rate and activity, fetal fluids, and placental health;  repeat transabdominal sonorgrams if indicated
    • Maternal blood work on admission and post-foaling
    • Evaluation of fetal heart rate using fetal ECG if indicated
    • Daily evaluation of vulva, udder development, and pelvic ligament relaxation
    • 24-hour-a-day monitoring for delivery
    • Foaling with clinicians from Perinatology/Neonatology and Reproduction in attendance
    • Evaluation of fetal membranes
    • Blood work on foal at foaling and the day after
    • Turn-out daily, unless the mare’s problems preclude exercise
    • Mares will be stabled in the Intensive Care Unit, with other mares/foals and pregnant mares
  • Special Equipment
    • Telemetryfor fetal heart rate monitoring
    • In-stall oxygen and other medical gases
    • Facilities to hoist and sling mares with special problems or needs during foaling
    • Mechanical ventilation for foals with respiratory failure
    • Electrocardiography (ECG) for mares or foals
    • Capnography and pulse oximetry
    • Blood pressure monitors
    • Intravenous infusion pumps
    • Specially designed facilities that allow for efficient administration of fluids to the mare or foal
    • Forced hot-air warming for foals
    • Multiple imaging modalities, including ultrasound, radiography, MRI, and CT scans for both mares and foals
    • Specially designed crash cart, respiratory equipment, and a defibrillator for cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in the event of cardiac or pulmonary arrest in the foal
  • Costs
    • High-Risk Pregnancy Package

      • $4,000
      • Additional services and fees may be added to the base program, depending on the needs of the mare and foal, such as surgery, medical treatment, additional reporductive services, or days of board. Any additional fees and procedures will be discussed with the owner before proceeding.