Conditions or ailments that are the cause of a problem that you see - your observation.

Your vet may diagnose

Metritis, After Foaling

Synonyms: Post-Partum Uterine Infection


Post-foaling uterine infection is a relatively common and life-threatening problem for post-partum mares, and often accompanies a retained placenta. In fact, any post-partum mare with these signs has uterine infection until proven otherwise. This problem usually becomes apparent within the first few days after foaling.

Affected mares often have a fever, are depressed and lack an appetite. They may strain to pass orange to brown, sometimes smelly, uterine discharge. Many of these mares are in shock due to toxins from the infected uterus leaking into the blood stream.

Prompt and intense treatments are usually required to save the mare. Treatment involves removal of all placenta, removal of infection by flushing out debris and fluid, and supportive nursing care.

Great attention is focused on preventing laminitis, a common and potentially fatal complication.

my vet's role


Prognosis is fair to good with early treatment, but grave if allowed to progress for too long. Prognosis worsens if laminitis results.

Relevant factors include how long placenta is retained, whether fragments are left in the uterus at removal, the degree of shock the mare is in when treatment commences and the effectiveness of treatment. Uterine infection after foaling may delay the return of the uterus to breeding status.

further reading & resources

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP