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Can a Mare produce milk, but not be pregnant?? Jos??

Equine-Reproduction.com Bulletin Board » General Mare Questions - Volume 1 » Can a Mare produce milk, but not be pregnant?? Jos?? « Previous Next »


Author Message
 

Karen M. Whitaker
Yearling
Username: Karenw

Post Number: 51
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Friday, June 16, 2006 - 09:27 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jos, I'll try to make this as short as possible, but that might be hard to do!

My mare is at almost 300 days. Initially my vet missed the pregnancy (2X), even when she palpated her. I know that sometimes happens & don't hold it against her or anything. Layla kept showing signs of being pregnant and the last few weeks has even been producing fluid from her teats (like skim milk, only skimmer?).
The vet has now agreed that she IS probably pregnant, although she hasn't palpated her since. I've been treating her like she is.

Now - a very old gentleman (he's 84 years old & "been around horses all his life") saw her today displaying very strong "Heat-like" behavior, and insists that she is not pregnant, & that she is in heat. Can she produce milk, but not be pregnant? I wouldn't think so, but this is only my second time around.

I've also read where mares can have pretty strong false heats while they are pregnant, so could this be the case? I'm just finding it very hard to believe that she wouldn't be pregnant after all this!

I sure would appreciate any insight you could give!
 

Beth Nesbitt
Neonate
Username: Ponygirl

Post Number: 6
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Friday, June 16, 2006 - 10:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I have seen both things with my mares. I have a mare that gets a bag and hay belly in the spring from eating grass. And I have a pony mare who is pregnant now and is doing a lot of winking.
 

Karen M. Whitaker
Yearling
Username: Karenw

Post Number: 52
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Saturday, June 17, 2006 - 05:43 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Hi Beth - does the mare that gets the bag actually produce milk then??!! This is driving me crazy!
 

Beth Nesbitt
Neonate
Username: Ponygirl

Post Number: 7
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Saturday, June 17, 2006 - 08:49 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

She gets a small bag that produces fluid, not really milk looking. She fooled me into thinking she could be pg the first time, but her stomach, although it got bigger never really looked pregnant or lopsided. I never saw or felt a foal. Layla looks pg in her picture you posted. She, Cayanna, is a maiden paint. She has been bred twice before I got her, once w/live cover and once by AI but did not catch. She never shows heat signs. I wish could have a foal. I have not had her checked to see if there is something that could be done. The nearest repro vet is over an hour away.
I hope Layla is pregnant, I did not mean to make it worse, just to answer your question since Jos must not have been available last night. This waiting does get to you.
 

Karen M. Whitaker
Yearling
Username: Karenw

Post Number: 55
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Saturday, June 17, 2006 - 09:51 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Beth - don't worry - you didn't make it worse - I guess stress is finally showing! We're trying to sell our house & closing is just three weeks away! If we don't sell by then, we'll have two places! We took a gamble because places in the country are so hard to come by around here, especially at a good price. I just have to have faith that everything works out! This older gentleman, while sweet and well-meaning, kind of gets on my nerves! I hope you get a chance to have a foal from your mare! When everything goes well, it's so much fun - thanks for the support!
 

Beth Nesbitt
Neonate
Username: Ponygirl

Post Number: 8
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Saturday, June 17, 2006 - 10:20 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Karen
I hope everything works out for you. My frustration right now is that I have a pony mare, a rescue, which is pregnant and I have no due date. She had never been handled much, but she has gotten so much better. She went through a pawing and rolling, biting, laying down looking at her belly and getting up and was off her feed stage, for about a day and a half and since then nothing. That was three weeks ago. She finally has a small bag, and she hasn't "Ved" yet, she is still wide and lopsided.
 

Karen M. Whitaker
Yearling
Username: Karenw

Post Number: 56
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Saturday, June 17, 2006 - 11:01 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Wow, that would be frustrating - it sounds almost like false labor, don't you think, like braxton hicks contractions? I suppose mares could have that too, but I never thought about it that way until just now - that maybe they get false labor like we do!

I know the first time Layla foaled it was about a month before she actually did that she started showing signs. It made for a lot of sleepless nights! I just wonder how Amanda is doing with her Sue. Have you kept up with that thread?

We're cleaning like mad today for an open house tomorrow! Hopefully we'll geta serious offer.

Good luck with your pony - how good for her that she's got a good home now!
 

Beth Nesbitt
Neonate
Username: Ponygirl

Post Number: 9
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Saturday, June 17, 2006 - 11:39 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I am hoping that she was repositioning the foal or in false labor. I am pretty sure that she is a maiden mare.
I named her Penny because she is a bright chestnut with flaxen mane and tail.
I hope and pray that you get a buyer for your house tomorrow.
 

Karen M. Whitaker
Yearling
Username: Karenw

Post Number: 59
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Saturday, June 17, 2006 - 01:54 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Beth, thanks so much for the support! These message boards are so wonderful - I still haven't heard from Jos yet, though I wonder what her answer will be? With all due respect, who is Jos? I see Jos answers all over the place, but I'm not familiar with her. I feel silly asking this, but is Jos he/she?

Jos, are you out there? Did you see my question yet?
 

Beth Nesbitt
Nursing Foal
Username: Ponygirl

Post Number: 12
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Saturday, June 17, 2006 - 02:25 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jos is a man. He has an equine reproduction business Atlantic AI, a horse farm in Canada and a lot breeding experience. I think he travels a good bit.
 

Karen M. Whitaker
Yearling
Username: Karenw

Post Number: 60
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Saturday, June 17, 2006 - 03:00 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Now I really feel silly!
 

Beth Nesbitt
Nursing Foal
Username: Ponygirl

Post Number: 13
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Saturday, June 17, 2006 - 03:14 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Don't worry, he keeps it really low key. Always ask anything that you need to, because we are all still learning.
I hope we hear something good soon from Amanda about Sue.
 

Karen M. Whitaker
Yearling
Username: Karenw

Post Number: 62
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Saturday, June 17, 2006 - 04:13 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Me too! and SOON!!!!!!!!!!
 

Jos
Board Administrator
Username: Jos

Post Number: 10797
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Sunday, June 18, 2006 - 10:42 am:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Some non-pregnant mares may produce milk, while other pregnant mares may not produce milk (or rather get mammary development) until during or after the foaling.

In other words, milk presence or absence doesn't really tell you a lot! :-)

At this stage, identification of pregnancy status per rectal palpation should be easy, so I'd go that route with your vet. if you are unsure.
 

Karen M. Whitaker
Yearling
Username: Karenw

Post Number: 64
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Sunday, June 18, 2006 - 03:47 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks Jos! - I've got the vet coming out tomorrow to check her leg, so I'll go over that with her.
 

Cconner
Weanling
Username: Cconner

Post Number: 26
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Monday, June 19, 2006 - 04:50 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Karen- I have a granny mare that lost her foal last year(she actually belonged to someone else and we lost a mare foaling so she raised our colt);anyways, we weaned the colt in October and in late January she started producing milk. I KNOW she was not in foal but took her to the vet anyways to check for tumors. The vet couldn't believe how much milk she was producing and yes it was milk. That was in February when she went to the vet, since then I have had her bred and she settled (last breeding date April 19th). She is doing very well and still producing milk!!

I hope that helped you some, good luck.
 

Karen M. Whitaker
Yearling
Username: Karenw

Post Number: 71
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Monday, June 19, 2006 - 06:20 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thanks, everyone, for your posts. I had the vet out today to check her leg injury and also had her palpated. She didn't feel anything, but said Layla was really tensing up and sucking her gut up. She agrees that she looks very pregnant, not a hay belly, but still can't feel a foal. Do I just give up on her being pregnant? It's so disappointing! She wouldn't ultra-sound her this late in gestation.

I'm bummed.
 

Beth Nesbitt
Nursing Foal
Username: Ponygirl

Post Number: 19
Registered: 04-2006
Posted on Monday, June 19, 2006 - 06:35 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Karen,
I am sorry that the vet couldn't feel a foal, that has to be depressing after all that you and Layla have been through. It seems that a foal would be big enough to not be able to missed by palpation by this time. I wish the vet had given you a definate yes or no.
 

Karen M. Whitaker
Yearling
Username: Karenw

Post Number: 73
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Monday, June 19, 2006 - 06:56 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That's what I think too, but could the foal still be too far out of reach? I have also heard where mares are really good at "hiding" the foals until one day you go out and there's a baby - I just don't know what to think at this point. We moved our closing date of the farm up just so we could get her settled earlier, you know, before she foals, and I've been ready to give up going on vacation with the family because she would be due right around the time we're supposed to be gone. This time around definitely isn't anything like the first time was & I wasn't able to keep that colt. I was so looking forward to this!

If she truly isn't, I know everything will be just fine and things will settle back into our routine together, I just need time to adjust - but that's hard when she still looks so pregnant!
 

Jos
Board Administrator
Username: Jos

Post Number: 10805
Registered: 10-1999
Posted on Monday, June 19, 2006 - 07:59 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There really shouldn't be a problem identifying a foal by palpating a mare rectally at this stage of pregnancy unless the vet has extremely short arms!!!!
 

Karen M. Whitaker
Yearling
Username: Karenw

Post Number: 74
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Monday, June 19, 2006 - 09:40 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I know - I'm just disappointed! Should I just treat her as if she's not? I don't usually grain her otherwise. She's got plenty of pasture. I had her on mare plus as well. Forgot to ask my vet about it - and then what on the very outside chance that she actually is?? Will taking her off grain and supplements hurt development of said foal?
 

Marci Nadler
Yearling
Username: Shadowsfire

Post Number: 53
Registered: 05-2006
Posted on Tuesday, July 04, 2006 - 11:41 pm:   Edit Post Delete Post    Move Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I am going thru the same darn thing. Mare came home from boarding and was kinda fat looking but I just thought its from lack of work since I had a broken leg and couldn't work her. But then in early summer she started looking bigger and bigger. So finally I hauled her in to my vet (he is used more for small animals than large) and the vet said no not pregnant, unless she is earlier than what I think. I guess there is a window that you can't palpate a foal so easy. So I put her on a diet-she isn't on pasture so it can't be too much grass, and she dropped weight everywhere but in her belly. when I started to see ribs and backbone I upped her feed again. Would rather have her too fat than skinny. And now she just keeps looking bigger and bigger. So we are back and wait and watch.



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