PLURIPARITY IN MARES: RELATIONSHIP WITH MATERNAL, PLACENTAL, AND NEONATAL CHARACTERISTICS
Abstract The placenta connects the mare and the foal and it is one of the main organs responsible for fetal development and newborn’s morphometric characteristics. This function becomes even more important because a number of studies indicates that foals physical characteristics are able to predict their development in adult life. Therefore, the aim of this study was to correlate mares parity (1-5) and maternal characteristics with placental characteristics as well as foals size. Mares were categorized according to parity in G1: 1 parturation (n=4); G2: 2 parturations (n=6); G3: 3 parturations (n=7); G4: 4 parturations (n=5); and G5: 5 parturations (n=3). Results indicate that the mares pre- and post-parturition thoracic perimeter and weight had a positive correlation on foals weight (p=0.004/ R= 0.51; p=0.002/ R= 0.55; p=0.01/ R= 0.43), height (p=0.0005/ R= 0.60; p=0.001/ R= 0.57; p=0.005/ R= 0,50), and thoracic perimeter (p=0.0001/ R= 0.65; p≤0.0001/ R= 0.71; p=0.0002/ R= 0.64) at birth. Mares that were heavier at pre-partum had greater placental weight (p=0.01/R= 0.45) and delivered heavier foals (p=0.003/ R= 0.52) with greater thoracic perimeter (p=0.01/ R= 0.45). Foals of mares in G4 were heavier, probably indicating that the greater uterine size in multiparous mares allows greater placental coverage, greater fetomaternal surface contact and probably greater supply of nutrient to the fetus.