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Journal of the South African Veterinary Association

versión On-line ISSN 2224-9435
versión impresa ISSN 1019-9128

J. S. Afr. Vet. Assoc. vol.81 no.3 Pretoria sep. 2010




Foal in Mare: insights inside the foaling mare



Editors: J Govaere, K Martens and A de Kruif

Co-editors: B van der Weijden, T Stout, G Frazer and J F Bruyas



2009. Department of Reproduction, Obstetrics and Herd Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Belgium. Price £50 at Equine Veterinary Journal Bookshop (, or order directly from ISBN 9789058642097

This DVD is essentially a teaching tool. It is a result of a stated aim to provide practitioners as well as students and academics with a visual and 3-D appreciation of normal and abnormal parturition. In addition, there is provision by a panel of experienced clinicians of recommended therapeutic methods for correction of abnormal parturition (dystocia).

The DVD is remarkable for being the result of the coordination of a relatively large group of internationally acknowledged authorities in the field of equine reproduction, more specifically in the areas of pregnancy and obstetrics. The editors and co-editors were assisted by numerous additional contributors.

It contains 2 film sequences and 45 minutes of 3-D animations. The material covers intra-uterine foetal development, the normal sequences of parturition together with associated abnormalities and complications of the pre-, intra-, and post-partum periods, respectively. There is additional material (film and animation) illustrating obstetrical and surgical intervention via manipulation, foetotomy and caesarian section.

The DVD has voice-overs and text translations in PDF format available with a selection of English, French, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Dutch and German.

The movies are subdivided into the following chapters: a) foetal development; b) stages 1, 2 and 3 of parturition; c) dystocia, and d) miscellaneous conditions.

The foetal development chapter has useful animation showing foetal development and selected features from day 150 of gestation until term. The parturition chapter includes both a film and 3-D animation sequence of normal parturition. The dystocia chapter is comprehensive in detailing the many maldispositions that may be encountered. Accompanying these different scenarios is recommended therapeutic intervention by both manipulation and foetotomy. A film sequence shows the surgical approach to an elective caesarian section. In the miscellaneous chapter, animation sequences illustrate uterine torsion, bladder eversion and prolapse and rectal prolapse as complications of pregnancy and parturition.

The animation sequences are of an extremely high standard of graphical representation of a 3-D appreciation of the events, both normal and abnormal. The film sequences are also of an adequate standard to illustrate normal parturition as observed. There is also a reasonably comprehensive demonstration of the criteria for evaluating the immediate post partum neonate. The film sequence of the depiction of caesarian section is adequate and is made credible by showing operators obviously experienced in their approach to this procedure.

The DVD would have been even more useful to practitioners if it provided additional material illustrating the presenting clinical signs and diagnostic approaches to the various clinical scenarios.

The English voice-over is good, featuring a well-modulated and clear voice. There are nevertheless a few minor translational errors in the dialogue; these 'false notes' do not, however, detract from the overall presentation.

I found that the DVD is a remarkable achievement. The contributors represent a wealth of scientific knowledge, clinical experience and acumen. The DVD will be invaluable primarily to veterinary students as well as very useful to practitioners in understanding the events of normal parturition and enhancing the ability of clinicians to intervene rationally and effectively in problems associated with parturition.


M Schulman
Section of Reproduction
Faculty of Veterinary Science
University of Pretoria, Onderstepoort

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