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Summary

Twelve newborn pony foals underwent cardiovascular examinations (auscultation, arterial blood pressure measurements, electrocardiograms and M-mode echocardiograms) on their first day of life and then on Days 7, 14, 21, 30, 60 and 90. An age dependent, statistically significant, rapid increase of the arterial blood pressure in the first month was documented together with a slower decrease of the resting heart rate after two and three months of life. Innocent soft systolic murmurs were audible over the left heart base in a large number of the foals. The electrocardiograms showed age dependent increases of the PR-, QRS- and QT- intervals and a trend of the mean electrical axis in the frontal plane to rotate towards the left side. The ventricular dimensions, measured by M-mode echocardiography, increased with the growth of the pony foals. Linear regression equations were calculated for the right and left ventricular internal dimensions in relation to body weight (bwt). The other echocardiographic parameter had low correlations with bwt.