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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 20, 2003
    Location
    VT
    Posts
    202

    Default For all the milk testers, Milk coming in REALLY early?

    Just wondering if anyone else has experienced this. I have a mare that is due in early August. She is healthy and happy, looks great, and has had no problems though out the pregnancy. This is her fourth. She was looking really full in the udders for the last week so I decided just for fun to see if we had any "milk" coming in yet. Too my surprise, we not only have milk but the calcium level is already over 200PPM! Has anyone ever had a mare with calcium that high 6 weeks prior to delivery? Or should I start camping in the barn now? I have been using the milk test for the last 5 years and it has never steered me wrong, but this seems really odd to me.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated! Thanks!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 17, 2006
    Location
    Sunbury, NC
    Posts
    1,789

    Default

    We had a mare do this this year, and we immediately started her on the placentitis protocol. She managed to make it a few more weeks to day 322 and delivered, but she certainly did have placentitis. I would definitely have her looked at right away, do an ultrasound to check placental thickness. I've never had the milk test be wrong - every mare with "milk" or high numbers too early has had some sort of issue. Not to scare you, but just do some investigating to make sure!
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov. 30, 2005
    Location
    Northfield MN
    Posts
    1,108

    Default

    We had a mare do this this year, and we immediately started her on the placentitis protocol. She managed to make it a few more weeks to day 322 and delivered, but she certainly did have placentitis. I would definitely have her looked at right away, do an ultrasound to check placental thickness. I've never had the milk test be wrong - every mare with "milk" or high numbers too early has had some sort of issue. Not to scare you, but just do some investigating to make sure!



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2002
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    8,379

    Default

    You need to check for placentitis or twins.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec. 4, 2007
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    1,964

    Default

    FWIW, we have a mare here that always bags up 6 to 8 weeks prior to foaling (she's had 6 foals). She will have a tight (!!!) uncomfortable looking bag for over a month, but does not foal till after 340 days. We've stumped the vet on it, but so far as we can tell this is just normal for her.

    edit: I don't use test strips. I test the milk based on colour and stick. She isn't waxed or dripping until a few days prior to foaling, just has a huge bag.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 20, 2003
    Location
    VT
    Posts
    202

    Default

    Thanks for the thoughts. The vet will be here soon to check her out. Hopefully all is well, but I will sleep better knowing for sure.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 11, 2004
    Location
    Still here ~ not yet there
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    7,065

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Frogs Leap View Post
    Thanks for the thoughts. The vet will be here soon to check her out. Hopefully all is well, but I will sleep better knowing for sure.
    Good Luck!! Please let us know what you find.

    I've had two cases of a mare dripping milk early (both times before I had started using strips, but in both cases the milk was obviously white).

    Both cases were placentitis. In one case we got the mare on antibiotics PDQ and saved the pregnancy. In the other case the mare aborted a lovely colt within 12 hrs. -- she was at about 9 1/2 months of gestation.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 20, 2003
    Location
    VT
    Posts
    202

    Default

    So, the vet came out everything came back normal, blood work was good, vital signs all good, she did not do an ultrasound. The good machine was with another vet. We decided to be ultra careful anyway and started her on antibiotics and reguamate. We will stay with that for the rest of the pregnancy.

    There have also been several mares in our area that have started lactating with out being pregnant. Some kind of weed makes them do it. My mare's mother, and her full sister and daughter have all had run ins with this weed, so that is another possible cause for the early milk, but I don't want to take a chance as no one else is doing it right now.

    I swear, this "W" line of mares (have nothing to do with the Hanoverian "W" line, mine are all Danish) should be using W for WEIRD. They come up with the strangest things. If anything out of the ordinary is going to happen on my farm it will most definately be to one of the "W" horses! I currently have a few for sale, anyone want one? They are nice horses, really!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun. 11, 2004
    Location
    Still here ~ not yet there
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    7,065

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Frogs Leap View Post
    So, the vet came out everything came back normal, blood work was good, vital signs all good, she did not do an ultrasound. The good machine was with another vet. We decided to be ultra careful anyway and started her on antibiotics and reguamate. We will stay with that for the rest of the pregnancy.

    There have also been several mares in our area that have started lactating with out being pregnant. Some kind of weed makes them do it. My mare's mother, and her full sister and daughter have all had run ins with this weed, so that is another possible cause for the early milk, but I don't want to take a chance as no one else is doing it right now.

    I swear, this "W" line of mares (have nothing to do with the Hanoverian "W" line, mine are all Danish) should be using W for WEIRD. They come up with the strangest things. If anything out of the ordinary is going to happen on my farm it will most definately be to one of the "W" horses! I currently have a few for sale, anyone want one? They are nice horses, really!
    I'm afraid you sort of wasted a vet call if she didn't do an ultrasound; that's really the only way to diagnose placentitis. Blood work & VS aren't going to tell you much unless the infection is extreme. If you are serious about maintaining the pregnancy, I'd ask the vet to do an ultrasound ASAP.

    Fescue can cause LACK of milk; not sure what other weed causes early lactation. I'd love to find out.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr. 26, 2004
    Location
    Petaluma, CA USA
    Posts
    2,914

    Default

    I have a maiden mare that started dripping white milk at day 311. I started her on the placentitis protocol. Ultrasound showed thickening. She is now at day 326, still dripping white milk. It has tested at 6.2 pH for over a week.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar. 17, 2006
    Location
    Sunbury, NC
    Posts
    1,789

    Default

    Likewise our mare I mentioned who showed early udder development and tested too high before day 300 and started the SMZ's etc, was also showing pH numbers of 6.2 for well over a week - best we could figure was that she had gotten ready to deliver but the SMZs had quelled the infection to the point where she "felt" she could hang on a little longer. The delivery was uneventful at day 322 and the foal was a bit small and "down" behind but has done well. The entire placenta was thickened and had some questionable looking spots as well.

    Jingling for your girl still, G!!
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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2002
    Location
    FL
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    8,379

    Default

    Without an ultrasound, you cannot know if you are dealing with either placentitis or undiagnosed twins. I hope all turns out well, FL!



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