If this is a silly question, sorry ahead of time. My mare is a little over 9 months pregnant, and today I noticed an extra bulge on the bottom of her belly on the right side. Is that normal? When I feel it, she doesn't seem bothered by it, and attitude wise she is eating and just fine.
Also, after 9 months and counting until the baby is born, how does the belly change? She is a maided, as am I ( haven't had a child myself, or a horse child) Any tips on what is normal and what to look out for would be great! Thanks ahead of time
I would guess it's just the position of the foal which can change all the time as the foal is growing by leaps and bounds the last three months.
Foal movement depends, some move a lot and some hardly move at all. I've had both. I think the mares like the ones that hardly move at all, as I can imagine the kick boxing, gymnast type foals can get rather uncomfortable.
Her belly, as you've noticed will get larger the closer she gets to foaling due to aforementioned growth of the foal, and she may carry it low, forward or farther back, on the right or on the left and it can change day to day or throughout the day as the foal moves around.
As she gets closer to foaling her belly may drop and take on a 'V' type shape from the side, the sides of her tailhead will all but disappear and sink in and get jiggly like jell-O, and her flanks may sink in, as well. All that means is that foal is dropping or has dropped into position for foaling. Her vulva will also become elongated and swell slightly. Some of my mares have had a little discharge at that time, but not all of them. And then, of course, the changes in her udder, if she has them, not all of them do unfortunately, which makes being there for the event a tad difficult.
320, they say is the "safe" day to get to for the foal to survive outside the dam (lung development), but I know foals have been born earlier than that and been fine, though not super early, as in preemie... month or more. Being maiden, she may go early and she may not. It's completely up the foal, not the mare. I've had one maiden go "on time" and the rest have gone past their due dates w/ no problems.
Best advice, as I'm sure you already have planned, have your vet's number handy and/or an experienced friend come over if you think she's going soon to help. Get your foal kit ready!! Most importantly, enjoy your mare and have fun w/ that new baby! It's a wonderful experience.
My mare did that too when she was pregnant, and since it was my first foal I freaked out a little. It turned out it was just some edema (fluid). Sometimes it was low on her belly other times it was more up between her front legs, etc, but the vet said it's just because as the foal gets bigger sometimes fluid can't move around. I wouldn't worry too much unless it gets painful or just keeps getting bigger and bigger or something.
If you poke it and it moves or pokes back its the baby if it's gushy feeling it's probably just the edema.
My mare was due the end of May and foaled April 23, but she was early with her first foal also (before I owned her) and both foals were just fine with no problems.
She did sneak up on us though, she went through all her changes in about 4 hours and we almost misssed it, but we got there just as her water broke.
"Perhaps the final test of anybody's love of dogs is their willingness to permit them to make a camping ground of the bed" -Henry T. Merwin
it lookes better tonight. The vet is a friend and she stopped by and said it was nothing. She said that the baby sits in different places in mares.
One thing I am getting worried about is she seems a lot more pissy then normal when you touch her. I was trying to feel the belly underneath and she was not having it! Even on the side she tenses up! She is not in pain, but will she be like this to the baby?
Normally she never is pissy and does not pin her ears ever! Is this just a phase? Will she see her beautiful baby and allow him/her to nuzzle her and feed?
My mare is about as afr along as yours, and I have noticed that she is getting B*THCER to the other horses. She is usally low on the peaking order but she is not taking any crap from anyone!! She is still sweet to me but I can see she is starting to get uncomfortable now.
She licks me to death and loves me, until I try to rub her belly or touch her anywhere in that area! It is just crazy seeing her so moody! Now when I feed her, if I look over her stall she stops and stares at me until I leave! She never used to care about eating in front of me!
Then again, I have never been pregnant, I am sure I would do crazy things too!
Glad it was the baby, as I suspected. I've only had one mare, maiden at the time, have edema and it was inbetween her front legs and it didn't appear until she was about three weeks from foaling. It looked pitiful, but went away fairly quickly and prior to foaling.
As for the hormones and mood (PMS = Pregnant Mare Syndrome or Pissy Mare Syndrome .) It can be a phase or it can last until they foal. I have one mare that gets pissy about being touched or even paid attention to for about 2-3 weeks in late gestation, but not w/ every pregnancy... she's weird. I will simply leave her alone until she decides all is well her world and wants to be loved on and touched again. The other mares she's doesn't seem to mind at all, but human are another story when she gets in that mood. I wouldn't worry about her not excepting the foal until after it's born. Good thing you have a vet friend, that's handy!
yes, I am glad I have a vet friend. I also have a friend that used to foal out all of Crooked Willow's babies, which is great! She has sooo much information.
I just hope Gracie will be nice to the baby. She doesn't like to be touched on her belly and gets really pissy if you touch her teats! Everyone keeps telling me to try and desensitize her, but it ain't working
She is always a sweat mare, so it would surprise me if she doesn't, but I know nothing about foaling and either does she!
It sounds like you're all set for when she foals then! That is nice since you're both first timers.
Since her pissy attitude just started it's probably just a phase and once she's back to her sweet self again you can start desensitizing her again. Use a whip so you can stand at a safe distance... just rub underneath her belly and her teats until she'll stand w/out fussing or throwing a fit... then try and do it w/ your hand... praise, praise, praise for being a good girl. I have a teat sensitive mare, but once she foals she's fine and you can touch them all you want.
You will be surprised how fast their maternal instinct kicks in once the baby is born. First time moms are always fun. I had two this year and they did great.
Last edited by amdfarm; Dec. 28, 2007 at 10:45 PM.
Reason: forgot a word... probably forgot more... lol
Sometimes maidens are touchy even with their first foals and will need to be restrained a bit to nurse the first few times. It is good to handle mares there though. Not sure why everyone that raises youngsters doesn't handle them "there" so that they are used to it--both colts and fillies.
Ladybug... I always make it point to handle the colts and fillies there as much as possible so they are used to it. I'm guessing my mare that doesn't like it is simply uncomfortable, as she only gives me attitude when she's bagged, otherwise she's fine. I will say, though, she's tough. Shortly before weaning her filly from last year, I noticed a perfect tooth mark/cut on one of her teats. Ouch, or so I would have thought! It was a little pink, but it never bothered her and that filly kept right on nursing w/out a fuss from the mare until she was weaned. I thought for sure she'd wean her herself after that, but nope. Healed up just fine and you'd never know it now.
Maiden story... TB mare scared of her own shadow a lot of the time, though very sweet and patient. She didn't have a clue what that thing was that came out of her and that real shadow kept following her around and she could not get rid of "it". Poor girl. But she let her nurse no problem at all. It was funny to watch her learn how to be a mom to her filly, who became very independent early on and mom became her shadow. She's not nearly as scared of her own shadow anymore because of it, so it was a good thing.