I received a call last night that my mare has "pus" coming out of her vulva and running down her legs. This mare was bred and checked in foal, then checked open 30 days later. She has strong heats where she usually has discharge that runs down her legs.
Could this be anything other than pyometra, and do I have any hopes of gettting this cleared up? Will this mare be breedable again?
I have the vet coming out today but I am nervous waiting!
It could be pyometra draining, but it is more common for the cervix to remain closed with pyometra, so no drainage.
Another possibility - which I certainly hope it is for your sake - is that what is being thought of as pus is in fact nothing more than thick estrus-like urine, which can be very yellowy and is sometimes mistaken for pus. If it is this, there is the added possibility that the mare may even be pregnant and at the stage in the pregnancy where the estrogen levels have increased.
Make sure an ultrasound is done! That will be pretty definitive as to what is going on as long as the ultrasonographer is experienced.
The vet called and cannot make it out until Thursday so I called another vet (the one who checked her open). He thinks it is either the mare coming into heat or a urinary tract infection (and this mare has had previous urinary problems before although not a UTI). He said to watch her for a few days and if it doesn't clear up he would take a urine sample.
I wish I could say she is pregnant, but she has been showing strong heats all through the fall. So what would be the chances of her being pregnant after a long fall of heavy heats?
I will be going out to see her this evening and I will see what I think. Is there any way to tell by looking/smelling/touching if it is pus or a more normal discharge? (sorry if that sounds gross...)
About 10% of pregnant mares will still show estrus ("heat").
The only way to tell if it is pus or urine that is reasonably practical would be to smear and stain it with a hematology stain and look at it under the microscope to see if there are inflammatory cells (which is what pus is) present. Smelling it might tell you something, or it might not.
Posted on Wednesday, February 01, 2006 - 09:30 am:
Thank you for your help. I went out and saw her yesterday and I am convinced it is just normal (for her) discharge like she has when she is in heat. I checked her udders to see if she had any bag and she didn't. She doesn't look to be pregnant either, she hasn't gained any weight. Smelling her just smelled like urine.
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