Yesterday evening’s lecture was one we have been looking forward to for a long time. Our yearly collaboration with BEVA – The British Equine Veterinary Association is of great value to us, and we were very happy to be able to invite another great speaker all the way from the United Kingdom to our university in Merelbeke.
James Crabtree started his lecture with a talk about how we should approach dystocia in the field. In ninety percent of the time, the equine partus goes quickly and without any trouble. In the other 5-10% of the cases, the mare might need some help of us –future- veterinarians. Time management is essential when that is the case!
Take the case of a red bag delivery, for example. You have to deal with premature placental separation, which means that the foal is no longer provided with oxygen. Work efficient and quickly! Open up the chorioallantois with any sharp object available. James told us about a case where it was done with a fork! Time is working against you, so just improvise to work with whatever object you can find.
Unfortunately, there are lots of things that can go wrong during partus. James discussed many of them, such as positions you may find the foal in, and what to do in each particular case. You always hope that using loads and loads of lubricant will do the job, however this won’t always be enough to deliver the foal. What options should you consider when things seem to go wrong? And what to do when you find yourself in a situation where you have to choose between saving the mare or saving the foal?
In the second part of the lecture, James talked about foal imaging. He discussed multiple pathologies in foals, and how to diagnose them. We learned about how ultrasound can be a very valuable way of diagnosing various problems.
Besides the pizza, that we all enjoyed after de lecture, BEVA sponsored some equine medicine books for us to give as prize in the raffle. Four lucky students went home with valuable books such as ‘Equine Internal Medicine’ by Tim S Mair and Thomas J Divers, and ‘Equine Pharmacology’ by K. Gary Magdesian.
We would like to sincerely thank James for giving this interesting and engaging lecture about possible problems during pregnancy and foaling. We would also like to thank BEVA for sponsoring this event, and we are already looking forward to next year’s collaboration.