Retained Placenta - How do we treat?

By: Rachel Beetz, DVM

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At Southern Equine Service we like to practice veterinary procedures whenever we get the chance.  This week we practiced an “umbilical vessel water infusion technique”.  This is a veterinary procedure used to treat a retained placenta in a mare (a placenta is considered retained if the mare has not passed it within 3 hours of foaling.) 

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The procedure entails cutting into the umbilical artery or vein to allow a catheter to be passed into the blood vessel of the placenta.  Once the catheter is placed water is infused into the catheter which causes the vessels in the placenta to dilate.  This procedure works two fold to resolve the retained placenta; the water slowly increases the weight of the placenta and applies gentle traction between the placenta and uterus, as well as the water will cause the blood vessels of the placenta to dilate and separate from the uterus. 

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Water Infusion Technique

If your mare has a retained placenta it is an emergency. Call Southern Equine Service for evaluation and treatment.

Southern Equine Service