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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 18, 2008
    Posts
    78

    Exclamation Mare drying up?!

    We 'adopted' a mare from a 'rescue' this spring. She foaled a cute little colt May 14th, all went fabulously well. Her previous owners said no issues with a previous foaling.

    She is a great mom. At first, we noticed that one side of her udder had a 'monster teat'. It was huge, but baby still nursed without issues and the vet said, leave it be as long as its not causing issues. Eventually it lost it's huge size.

    Now, I check bags everyday, morning and night. This morning I noticed her bag was a bit small. Tonight, the one side (formerly monster teat) is dry. Bone dry. Floopy and soft like she was not in foal/nursing. The other side is alarmingly small, but 'developped' in the sense that mammary glands can be felt.

    I put a call into a few friends. And lo and behold, a friend of mine who had contact with this mare's foal a couple years ago said that the mare had dried up that year, the owner's didn't notice until the filly was a bone rack.

    Can I do anything to prevent it? For the foal? He's still fat, happy and going to nurse. I did notice the past couple of days he is spending a lot of time at the water buckets. He's eating her grain/hay/grass. I will be calling my vet clinic as soon as they open in the morning. I wanted to check in here first, see if there are any helpful hints I can bounce off the vet.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 30, 2009
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    2,975

    Default

    Put the foal on rations and mineral. Could be fescue that is causing it.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul. 18, 2008
    Posts
    78

    Default

    We don't have fescue. The fields and hay are specifically seeded so I don't run into that problem...



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 2003
    Location
    Mayerthorpe, AB
    Posts
    2,010

    Default

    Could you get the vet to give her the same drugs they use to bring mares into lactation? Wonder if that would kick start things. If not you definately need to get supplementing, maybe a bucket of milk (igloo) or? But something will need to be done for the foal..
    Cindy's Warmbloods
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug. 21, 2007
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    106

    Default

    If he's already a month old you can start giving him milk pellets or a foal feed to supplement him. Offering him some milk replacer in a bucket is another option, but I get a lot of diarrhea/constipation with milk replacer, so I try to avoid it if possible and if he is eating solids well already there really isnt much need.

    Domperidone or Reserpine MAY make the mare produce more milk, but I've only had mixed sucess with that (and it was in mares that didnt have much from the get go).



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr. 6, 2007
    Posts
    134

    Default

    This is a difficult one because hearty foals will keep the milk bag depleted. When you check her make sure it's not right after the foal has nursed. Also, I think the foal is a better indication of milk production. If he looks satisfied after nursing all is probably good. If he looks frustrated and keeps trying to nurse then you may have problems.

    All of my foals have eaten mares grain/hay/water since a couple of days after birth so that's not a problem. If the mare is drying up I would just add some milk pellets make sure the diet has plenty of good nutrition for foals (protein, etc). The foal is a month old so it won't be a huge problem.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2007
    Posts
    1,807

    Default

    [QUOTE=happyfeet;4940473]This is a difficult one because hearty foals will keep the milk bag depleted. QUOTE]

    This is exactly what my vet said.....you want to see a depleted bag....its when you see bag that is dripping for very full is when you should worry.

    I would monitor the foal for several hours as suggested and see if that will give you a better idea of what is happening.

    Dalemma



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2002
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    8,291

    Default

    If the foal is not getting enough you will know very quickly. It will dehydrate and crash if not getting enough milk at this age. Watch it like a hawk, but I suspect that it is keeping the udder depleted and all will be fine.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct. 3, 2002
    Location
    it's not the edge of the earth, but you can see it from here
    Posts
    12,079

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    Do NOT let him get too much water either.

    That will give him scours and dehydrate him very, very quickly. Playing in it is fine/normal. Even a sip or two, but "drinking" is NOT normal and the bucket needs to be out of reach.

    Is she getting a really good, high protein lactation diet? Lots of good fat? (either flax, rice bran, BOSS, or oil, etc.)

    Some foals keep the mare pretty dry, as said above.

    Some mares need a LOT of help to keep up with the demand of a big, hearty foal--especially if her nutrition was not the best during pregnancy. (rescue?)

    I always, always used CalfManna or the Blue Seal version, Sunshine Pellets. Up to 2-3lbs a day (depending on mare size/condition) during late pg and lactation. I still highly recommend it for any mare who doesn't have a soy issue.
    InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr. 6, 2007
    Posts
    134

    Default

    Foals do need water. Don't hide the bucket from them. It is normal for them to drink water.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 18, 2008
    Posts
    78

    Default

    Thanks everyone!

    We (the vet and I) are working on a solution for them. Right now he seems satisfied, but we know for sure one side of her udder has dried up. We seperated them for an hour (hand grazed the mare on the other side of the fencline and left the baby with his buddies, the mare thought she was in heaven!) and one side of her bag did not fill up at all. The other side had a small amount of filling.

    Thanks again!



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 5, 2002
    Location
    FL
    Posts
    8,291

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    This sounds a lot like one mare I had that had a defective udder. One side had no openings for the milk and the other had a leaky sphincter. So the blind side was hugely enlarged for a while after the mare foaled and later went flabby when her body seemed to understand that it could not empty. The other side never filled, because it had a constant drip. We supplemented the foal with milk replacer and it figured out that it could get some milk from the side that never seemed full. I fed the foal until it was 3 months old and on a decent amount of milk pellets. She grew up to be fine. I retired the mare from motherhood and she went on to be a wonderful dressage horse.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan. 14, 2003
    Location
    Rawley Springs, Virginia
    Posts
    2,466

    Default

    Foals do not get scours from water. In the heat they NEED water. By a month old, they should be eating some grass/hay and drinking from a bucket. I do not creep feed my foals but I do not stop them from sampling grain either. They simply don't get much by the time the mare has finished.
    Chris
    Ladybug Hill--Hunters and Ponies
    WWSD? (what would Suerte do?)



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