Puerperium - Mare

Also see General Puerperium

The puerperium is shorter than in the cow, with rapid involution and good conception rates at the first postpartum oestrus.


  • Lochial discharge is slight in most mares and usually ceases 24-48 hours after foaling.
  • Uterine horns shrink rapidly, reaching pre-gravid size by day 32 postpartum.
  • Cervix remains slightly dilated until after the first oestrus.
  • Involution delayed by retained foetal membranes.

Restoration of the Endometrium

  • Endometrium capable of sustaining a pregnancy (fully restored) by 13-25 days postpartum.
  • Small amounts of villous debris attached to maternal crypts are removed by autolysis.
  • Maternal cryps disappear due to:
    • Lysis
    • Shrinkage of endometrial epithelial cells
    • Condensation of contents of epithelial cells
    • Collapse of the crypt lumen

Return to Ovarian Cyclicity

  • Rapid
  • Foal heat occurs 5-12 days postpartum.
  • Follicular activity after day 2 postpartum.

Bacterial Elimination

  • Bacterial contamination of the uterus from the environment is frequent, occuring by the same method as in the cow.
  • Organisms usually eliminated during foal heat or disappear at second postpartum oestrus.