I am gradually separating my mare and her 5 month old colt in order to wean him completely soon. They were separated longer than usual last night (about 3 hours), and when I finally put them back together, I noticed the mare acting colicky (laying down, kicking at her belly). I happened to run my hand under her stomach, and her right udder was HUGE! Warm and hard as well....but I figured this was all just normal engorgement from being away from the baby for so long.
I got a call from a boarder at the barn where she is at this morning, saying that my mare wasn't letting the colt nurse on either side, and that she is still very very full. I am planning on going out there soon to longe her a little bit to see if that helps (I would have left them outside last night, but there was a thunderstorm and no shelter in their pasture).
Sarah, You need to really watch this if not call a vet. You probally will have a weaned colt when this is said and done. I don't have experience with this so to speak with horse, execpt for weaning and normally we wean at a later point if all possible--and baby and mom have naturally slowed the proccess up. Your mare was sure to be nursing a whole lot and baby still drinking alot. from experience with humans in mastitis , it will be come very warm and very uncomfortable, the best thing for humans is to use warm compresses and get the milk to start to flow, and sometimes a infection can set in in the left over milk or plugged ducts. the vet can tell you what to use for pain and she may dry up ok with no problems. (as i never had a mare with this problem--sorry) and this may be your opportuntiy to totally wean, or they might suggest to get the milk flowing and get baby to nurse again as mares milk production is still very high. Our vet doesn't like to see a baby weaned at least until 6 months ,and we like to let nature do its job unless baby is pulling mare down.
Best of luck, she looks uncomfortablem ..ouch, call your vet for some faster advice and reccomandation, mastitis can casue a whole line of reactions with fever and such.
I did actually call the vet clinic, and spoke to the vet, and he said that mastitis was not ver common in horses, and it *always* presents itself with a fever...
As it turns out, my colt got the cold that has been going around the barn, and he had a HIGH fever, so I called the vet out to look at him, and then I had the vet take a look at my mare just to be sure. And sure enough, it was mastitis....with NO fever! So she's on penicillin injections twice a day and I have to milk out the affected side twice a day and dip her teat in a Nolvasan solution.
The first time I had to milk her out, boy, I felt like I was on Fear Factor....it was really gross.....cottage cheese like chunks were coming out of the teat....but after 3 milkings and 24 hours worth of antibiotics, her udder is looking MUCH better, and she seems more comfortable too!
I just wanted to comment on weaning ages for the foal. As long as the foal is healthy, eating a daily feed and mature, there is not reason that they can not be weaned at 4 months of age. There are some mares that do get pulled down by the baby, but usually I wean early when a mare has less than an ideal personality. It can help to keep the foal from picking up on mothers bad habits.
I alway make certain that the foal has a buddy to keep him company when I separate him from momma.
Okay, I have a 5 year old maiden mare - never pregnant never around a stallion. Her right udder is swollen and there are hard lumps in front, soft behind. She seems to appreciate a soft rub - Mastitis??? Guess I'm calling the vet in the morning... Not much pain, just seems irritated. What do you think?
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