I am REALLY perplexed!!!! I have NEVER seen this and I have had horses for the better part of 30 years since I was a little kid.
I purchased a 9-year-old AQHA bay mare three weeks ago for broodmare purposes.
She has had one foal (bred in 2005 and foaled in 2006). As far as I know, everything went well with her 2006 baby---However, I say that with a grain of salt as the gal I purchased her from was not totally forthright with some other things about the mare. But to the best of my knowledge, she was an okay mother and the foal is a long yearling now and appears normal.
They did not re-breed the mare last year as they wanted to show her this year.
I have had this mare for three weeks now and in just the past week I noticed that her udder, in particular her left teat, has become grossly swollen---approximately the size of my fist! You can "milk" clear serum out of it and in fact, the serum is "leaking". She was NOT like this when I picked her up three weeks ago.
As a side note, I did notice that the mare had some "scalded/scarred" places on the inside of her hind legs, but I thought at the time I picked her up that this could have been from a fence injury or something.
My thoughts now are that she has had this mammary/udder problem in the past and that is what the scalding/scarring is from --- the leaking serum.
My vet did an exam on her yesterday. He said he doesn't think its mastitis, it could possibly be hormonal and may get better once she is bred (quits coming into heat). These are just theoretical guesses. My vet did not seem to think it was anything to be alarmed about and said while it isn't common, it isn't unheard of either on mares that have previously had foals.
He went on to further state that she may have some problems with nursing a foal since the left teat in particular is so large the baby may not be able to get it into its mouth.
He did not recommend any course of treatment and seemed to be of the opinion that we will just "live with it".
ICK!!!! I am thinking that maybe her former owner had her on some sort of hormone therapy prior to me purchasing her? She swears not but then she also swore she wasn't crippled before we got her (another long story involving me finding out this poor mare had received numerous joint injections and lived on bute and banamine this past year in order for them to show her --- my trust factor isn't real high with this gal)
Anywho... I can't help but think that perhaps there is something that can be done for this poor mare. Hormone therapy? Some sort of nursing protocol to help her?
I am open and anxious for anyone's insight. Thanks so much!}
Not to add insult to injury here; but a non-pregnant mare having clear fluid in her udder can be a sign of cushing's disease too. Other than that and it not being an infection I don't know. I'm sorry that the seller wasn't forthright with you, did you get her vet checked prior to purchase? Good luck and let us know what you find out.
I purchased a mare in January and she has the same problem with the swollen udder and large teat. Had her palpated and ultrasound...no baby but does have a cyst on the ovary. Vet said the milk was prolly hormonal from the cyst. Said in about 2 months shoud straighten up on its own. Been 6 weeks and still going strong in the milk department.
Hi Catherine, I have a 6 year old Quarter Horse mare that foaled about 2 years ago, she is still producing milk and I can milk her as you can yours even 2years later. She is bagged up and producing milk from both teats which is sometimes more prevalent than other times. The reason for this is an over production of estrogen.I researched this extensively and was advised by my vet that this was case.It sometimes occurs after a mare has foaled and certain foods can increase the production of fluid. My mare is perfectly healthy and is fine and continues to produce fluid from the teats. I was worried about mammary/udder problem as well but two years later and it obviously wasn't that and the diagnosis was correct. Don't worry she will be OK.
I'd be wanting to get to the bottom of the health issues and excessive and abnormal milk production before attempting to breed her. If she has a hormonal imbalance or Cushings or something else, the last thing you need to add to the mix is a foal. I'd want the problems sorted out and under treatment before adding a foal to things. This is also a mare you will want to have stock piles of colostrom on hand, since she may leak it all away. Even if the leaking does clear up while being pregnant, once she starts to fill her bag again, she could start dripping again which, in excess, will leak all the colostrom away, so just be aware of the fact you may need to bottle feed the colostrom to any babies you get from this mare.
You need a specialty vet, one who specializes in equine endocrinology. Have you called one of the universities?
Is this the same mare as the one I mentioned in your other thread that may be a hermaphrodite?
(Message edited by rodawn on August 10, 2009)
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