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Jos - mastitis or just thickening of the udder?

Discuss normal, abnormal and immediate post-foaling issues.

Moderator: Jos

Jos - mastitis or just thickening of the udder?

Postby oakleaf218 » Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:16 am

Hi Jos,

I have a 19 year old Arab mare who is due to foal in eight weeks. Three of the four quadrants of her udder are swollen and painful. I noticed this condition about a month ago when my farrier trimmed her feet, but it is possible that it has been there longer than that. I have not been able to get any fluid out of her udder to have a culture done by my vet. I am going to try sedating her this weekend to see if I can get a milk sample for my vet as the mare kicks and tries to run from me when I attempt to get a sample. This is not normal behavior for her.

My mare has been on Excede antibiotic, currently is on SMZ's and penicillin for one week. The only difference I have noticed thus far from the antibiotics is that her demeanor is better and she does not appear as depressed as before. She has had no fever at all. My mare has not had a foal for three years and is a little underweight in my opinion. I would like her to be about 50 pounds heavier prior to foaling, but her appetite has not been vigorous.

My vet says if the antibiotics have no affect to bring down the swelling in her udder, he recommends stopping all treatment and doing nothing as sometimes thickening of the udder is normal and may not affect her ability to nurse a foal? He says her teets are too small to insert an infusion of antibiotics into her udder. I have read journal articles where they refer to infusion as a common treatment, but what is the method of delivery when the mare has tiny teets?

When I try to milk her, the udder just feels hard and no fluid will come out. I have milked lots of mares and never had this issue. This mare has had five foals for me and does tend to be a heavy milker when lactacting. Is there a topical treatment of any kind that I can massage on her udder to help ease the pain and swelling and maybe help the milk to drop so I can get a sample?

This is new territory for me in all my years with broodmares. I have treated mastitis before with anitbiotics and those mares healed up in about a week. I want to be prepared in the event this mare's udder is non-functional and she cannot nurse her foal. Any guidance you can provide would be much appreciated. I do have a non-pregnant, experienced broodmare here that I could induce lactaction on in the event I need a nurse mare for the foal. How should i proceed given that I am eight weeks away from foaling?
oakleaf218
Nursing Foal
 
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2012 2:33 pm

Re: Jos - mastitis or just thickening of the udder?

Postby Jos » Thu Mar 14, 2013 6:29 pm

I would not expect to be able to get fluid from an udder 8 weeks out. I would expect however to get kicked for trying!!! :D

I would rely on what your vet's evaluation is telling you. Not being able to see the udder, I can't really comment on it. If you're still concerned, have the vet re-evaluate her. Systemic antibiotics usually do the trick. A horse's udder is not like a cows and is not designed to accept intra-mammary antibiotics.

Talk to your vet again!!
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!
:)
User avatar
Jos
Senior Stallion or Mare
 
Posts: 3948
Joined: Sun Jun 10, 2012 12:11 am


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