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Sunken anus in preg. mare

Waiting for that mare to foal? Here you can discuss your concerns, stories and frustrations with others experiencing the same in the 2014 foaling seasons!

Moderator: Jos

Sunken anus in preg. mare

Postby firstchoiceequine » Tue May 13, 2014 11:34 am

Hi there, I am new to this page, and i'm not sure where to post this, if its in the wrong place, please let me know where to forward it. I am looking for some input on a Qh mare that I have that is due to foal around the 19th of may. Baby has definitely dropped, and a couple of weeks ago, she was swishing her tail, pacing, nipping at her sides, and when she stood still she was constantly shifting her weight, and looked like she was in the beginning stages of labour. B/c where I live is a high coyote population, I moved her into the barn. she paced, didn't eat, or drink, made one heck of a mess out of her stall and by morning was acting normal again. Today I went out to see her, she still doesn't have much of a bag, however she is holding her tail out from her body, and I've noticed that her anus is quite sunken. what would cause this? is there a chance she may foal within the next day or so? I just want to do whats best for her. Thanks in advance!
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Re: Sunken anus in preg. mare

Postby Jos » Tue May 13, 2014 8:56 pm

To explain the most likely reason for the sunken anus, we have to go inside the mare for a moment and explore some internal anatomy.

The reproductive tract - the ovaries, uterus, vagina etc. - are suspended from the upper abdominal wall and supported by a structure called the broad ligament. When a mare gets older, or if there is a lot of weight in the uterus (such as when she is carrying a foal), the natural inclination as a result of gravity is for the reproductive tract to try and drop down towards the mare's belly. This in the long term may result in a stretching of the broad ligament and a permanent change in the internal suspension system, such as is seen in some older mares. In the shorter term, the downwards pressure of the uterus and everything else is going to pull tissues downwards and towards the mare's head. As there is a degree of attachment within the abdominal vault of various tissues, some of the associated tissue that will also get pulled forward and down is the rectum. At the distal end of the rectum is of course the anus, and this is also then pulled forward and downwards (internally) along with the rest of the tissue, which externally presents as a sunken anus.

I hope you can visualise this explanation! :)

As far as will she foal in the next day or so? Only she can tell you that... :D
We're always happy to try and help, but don't forget to check the articles section
of the website too, which has a search engine to help you look for answers!
:)
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