Quantcast

Jump to content

Photo

Mare's swollen teats


  • Please log in to reply
37 replies to this topic

#1 BigBayGirl24

BigBayGirl24

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 872 posts
  • Location:Connecticut

Posted 06 June 2007 - 04:18 PM

My 24 year old mare regularly suffers from swollen teats. First one, then the other, will swell to about the size of a golf ball, and often will leak clear, odorless fluid. They're sore enough that she threatens me with death if I handle them. She's never been bred (as far as I know, I have about 8 years of history on her). The last time it happened, I had the vet check her. After an internal exam and $300 of lab tests, he found nothing wrong. So now, I don't call the vet when it happens. Has anyone else had this happen, and can you give me any idea why? Any ideas about making it feel better? Even when they shrink down, it's hard for me to clean between her teats because she's so sure it's going to hurt.

#2 ChaunceyBlue

ChaunceyBlue

    Got Hooves?

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,732 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:The end of me rope!

Posted 06 June 2007 - 06:26 PM

I can sure feel your pain. [Huggy]

I have a mare that I just discovered today to be like that. I KNOW she is not bred... she is fourteen years old. We've had her for two and a half years, and so I KNOW nothing has bred her. But, she not only has swollen teats but also has what appears to be lumps in front of her udder.

It is too late now tonight to call the vet, and they are SOOOOOO HARD to get to come out here (have been waiting on a call-back from my vet to get my two yearling colts gelded for like forever now... GRR!)... but I would like to have a vet look at my mare.

I'm wondering if it's tumors! I have no idea... no clue at all. She did seem a little swollen earlier in the spring, but then it seemed to go away... so when she walked by me in the pasture today at just the right angle, I was shocked!

And now I'm very scared! I will be calling my vet about her tomorrow for sure... but it was after hours when I noticed it earlier.

Here's a few pics of her swelling. Didn't get a real clear shot of her actual teats, cuz she is a half draft cross and she gets downright angry if I even so much as tip my head to try and have a look!

She also had a clearish fluid coming out of her teats today.

Does your mare look anything like this?

This is underneath as far as I could get without getting killed...
 -

From back a little further trying to zoom in...
 -

A little different angle... but still zoomed...
 -

From beside her:
 -

From beside her standing by her tail...
 -

And what she looks like from far enough away to get her whole body in...
 -

NOT trying to steal your thread... I'd just like to know myself what is going on. I might not get lucky enough to get a vet out. I live in the boondocks and there are not many around first of all. Second of all, the ones that are are VERY busy. Anybody have any ideas? Thanks!

#3 stephenieD

stephenieD

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 192 posts
  • Location:Indiana

Posted 07 June 2007 - 12:22 AM

If she is sore it sounds like it could be mastitis. It will most likely be hot to the touch too. Take her temp. Our mare was treated with antibiotics and had no further problems. A mare doesn't have to be preg. to have udder secretions. A strong heat will cause udder development. That would make sense during this time of year. There could also be a blockage in the mammary gland. I don't know what the symptoms or treatment is for that I just remember reading about it when I was researching for my mare. I am pretty sure mastitis can cause swelling in the area surrounding the udder too. My vet said if she got too uncomfortable to try tying some cold compresses to her. HA! He's such a funny guy!! [ROTFL]
I hope everything turns out to be ok with both of you.

#4 WarPony

WarPony

    Teeny Tiny Equine Of DOOOM!

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 6,598 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Michigan

Posted 07 June 2007 - 09:19 AM

I've discovered that my mare gets puffy in front of her udder every time she comes into heat. No temp, no heat in the area, no tenderness, she just gets puffy there for three days then goes back to normal.

#5 BigBayGirl24

BigBayGirl24

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 872 posts
  • Location:Connecticut

Posted 07 June 2007 - 02:33 PM

ChaunceyBlue, don't worry about stealing the thread, the more info that's out here, the better for all of us. Your mare looks different from mine. My mare's swelling is completely within the udder, not in front of it. It does seem to go along with her heats, which seem to be pretty intense. Our barn has two stallions on the premises all the time, which may be keeping her in heat more often and/or longer, I don't know. While cold compresses might work, it's not worth risking my life! She won't let me anywhere near her udder when it's swollen like this. I'll see if she'll let me get some pictures. If this is all a result of too many hormones, I can sympathize with her..perhaps this is the equine equivalent of a hot flash!

#6 Willy ShoMaker

Willy ShoMaker

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,394 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Staten Island, NY USA

Posted 07 June 2007 - 02:57 PM

My previous horse had swollen udders when she was in her 20's. I could squeeze them and get clear fluid also. They weren't particularly warm to the touch, and she didn't seem sore. I called the vet and he gave her a good exam. Said it wasn't mastitis, but possibly hormonal changes because of her age. It didn't get worse, but sometimes seemed better. I'd look into the mastitis issue because your horse is sensitive and won't let you near her. Maybe the vet could give her a course of antibiotics. If it gets better than you'll know what you are dealing with. [Question]

#7 BB Blue

BB Blue

    Courage is being scared to death, and saddling up anyway!

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 13,701 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:Florida

Posted 07 June 2007 - 03:08 PM

BBG- I don't have a clue about the swelling but will she let you spray her with the hose? Maybe you could spray her udder lightly to help.

I have 9 mares and several of them get swollen udders/teats when they are in heat.

CB-I have two mares that look somewhat like that, but theirs is just fat. They are way too heavy. I had to take one off the grass because she is getting obese.

#8 ChaunceyBlue

ChaunceyBlue

    Got Hooves?

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,732 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:The end of me rope!

Posted 07 June 2007 - 04:36 PM

Thank you for not getting mad about me posting some pictures of my mare on your thread BigBayGirl! [Wink] [Huggy]

Well... I was hoping that others would get on here. This kind of explains it for me. Dixie is in heat right now. Yesterday in the pasture she was lifting her tail and winking to everything including me. I told her pretty plainly that I was NOT interested... thank you very much.

Touching her udder is 100% completely out of the question. Unless I would want to dig my grave first, order my coffin and my gravestone that would read something like "this crazy lunitic died because she tried to touch udders that didn't belong to her without permission!"

So, I don't know if her udder is hot, warm, lukewarm, cold or freezing. I only know that she's made it perfectly clear that it is HER udder and nobody, nohow, noway, nowhere is going to touch HER udder. She can pin her ears, raise her hind hoof, glare and swish her tail angrily all at the same time.

Didn't have any luck getting ahold of a vet today... Grrr! But will try again tomorrow! Thanks to everybody who posted... and thanks again BigBayGirl!

[Huggy] [Wink] [Smiley Wavey]

#9 BigBayGirl24

BigBayGirl24

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 872 posts
  • Location:Connecticut

Posted 20 June 2007 - 11:18 AM

Just to update, the vet was out to the barn to see another horse and took a look at my mare's swollen udder. She said it's fine, that older mares do sometimes experience a swollen udder, especially when in heat. We have two stallions in our barn, and my girl (Banner) is confined due to an unrelated injury, so she may have been "teased" into heat early. Since Banner's injury is to her front leg, and she's too lame to really get the back leg up to kick me, I had a chance to get in there for a good "feel". She wasn't too warm, and when I touched her gently, she didn't seem to really be in pain--she was just grouchy about having her udder handled. The vet did remind me to clean the area more often, even though she doesn't like being handled. The buildup of crud is especially uncomfortable when she's swollen. ChanceyBlue, hope your mare is OK, no mastitis. Maybe you can have someone hold her and offer her treats if she manages to let you handle her? Just a thought.

#10 ChaunceyBlue

ChaunceyBlue

    Got Hooves?

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,732 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:The end of me rope!

Posted 20 June 2007 - 12:07 PM

I just saw that this had been bumped back up. Just read your update... and thanks for posting. Glad to hear that your mare is ok.

Vets are a bit harder to get ahold of out where I live. STILL waiting to hear back from mine! Grr! It is SOOO maddening not to have good vets available when you need them. Makes me more and more tempted to become a vet!

Anyways... Dixie's swelling has gone down a LOT. She is still a little swollen, but not nearly as much as those pictures show.

I can see where that makes sense what you found out from your vet. Dixie is 14 this year, and was in heat when I took those pictures.

Thanks again for letting me 'share' your post. [Wink] [Huggy]

#11 express

express

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 65 posts

Posted 20 June 2007 - 12:41 PM

I am glad this got bumped back up. My mare looks a lot like the pictures posted. I took her to the vet and he said it was mastitis. She is on her 10th day of antibiotics and the swelling is still there. Her CBC was normal and they tested her for lymphoma and it was neg. I called the vet and he said if the swelling wasn't down in a couple of days he would see her again. She isn't bred,she is my barrel horse. She lets me spray water on her and the swelling doesn't seem hot,but hard in places. I hope you get some answers and will post if I find out anything else.

#12 cvm2002

cvm2002

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 7,981 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Centralia, WA USA

Posted 20 June 2007 - 04:56 PM

Older mares like this, especially such as the one pictured on this threat, should be tested for Cushing's disease first and foremost.

Environmental estrogens, especially coupled with a mare's natural hormonal surges with being in heat can cause mammary enlargement. One other factor is that some mares cease ovulating as they get older; they still develop follicles, have the estrogen influence, but lack the hormonal surge to ovulate which makes matters worse.

As long as you're only getting clear or serous fluid back, its probably nothing to be worried about.

#13 express

express

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 65 posts

Posted 20 June 2007 - 11:00 PM

Thank you cvm2002 for addressing this issue. My mare is 11 and has the hard knot in her udder. Her teat is normal size. She has been on Uniprim(?) for 10 days,plus the first 4 days on Naquasone paste. The swelling has gone down some,but the knot is still hard,nothing leaking out. Her appetite his fine and she runs and bucks now when turned out. She will let me run cold water on her udder and now she likes to have it massaged. This was the last day for her antibiotics.Do I just wait and see if it goes away(the lump)? My vet said to go ahead and barrel race with her.I would like your opinion,if you have time. Thanks She has never been bred.

#14 Haley & Lakota 4ever

Haley & Lakota 4ever

    Advanced Member

  • Banned
  • PipPipPip
  • 4,694 posts
  • Location:a horses back

Posted 20 June 2007 - 11:35 PM

It's okay my vet said that I need to spray Lakota's udders because flies get down there and its just from the flies is what my vet said about Lakota she ahs the same thing.

#15 ChaunceyBlue

ChaunceyBlue

    Got Hooves?

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,732 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:The end of me rope!

Posted 21 June 2007 - 12:07 AM

What the .... ????!!

 -

I thought I was getting better, but I'm not! My owner came out to the pasture today to check on me, and she told me she SWORE that my swelling had been better the last time she checked on me, but today... it was just like in the pictures! She told me she didn't know what she was going to do with me! She told me to knock it off too, and to quit swelling... and to go back to normal, please, for her sake.

I told her she MUST be crazy! If I did that, I wouldn't be able to drive her crazy and bazerko! NO WAY am I going back to normal for her! Only thing different is that this time I'm not in heat (at least I don't think I am). Let my human figure that one out on her own! [Crazy]

Alright Dixie... SHUSH now! Enough putting me down! Guess I'm back to square one... and STILL waiting to hear back from my vet! You have NO clue how frustrating it is to be ME and in MY area with no reliable vets around! Grr!

Thanks for your post CVM!! But, I'm a little confused. You say I should have her tested for Cushings? I hate to bother you... and I will look it up more on the internet... but what are some other symptoms of Cushings? And at the end of your post, you say that if there is just a clearish fluid, then it's probably nothing to worry about. Dixie didn't have any discharge at all today that I noticed... but it is still swollen... looks just like the pictures.

Thanks everyone... and I will be calling the vet again tomorrow... probably only to get another run-around... but oh well... persistance pays off in most cases... (at least for lucky people).

[Bang Head] [Crazy] [Surrender]

#16 horse_gal_jen

horse_gal_jen

    horse_gal_jen

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 4,607 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Ontario, canada

Posted 21 June 2007 - 12:44 PM

I have an older mare who was used as a broodmare, she is 23 now and had about 8 foals.

It enlarges in the spring and stays that way for most of the summer, then fades away again near the end of the summer.

Had the vet check her and he said it is fairly normal.

I kind of think its because she was so used to having a foal in the spring, feeding it for a while then it being weaned, so her udder enlarges for taht period of time every year.

#17 BigBayGirl24

BigBayGirl24

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 872 posts
  • Location:Connecticut

Posted 22 June 2007 - 04:06 PM

CVM2002, good tip about testing for Cushings. My girl Banner was tested for that, for insulin resistance, and just about everything else a few months ago. The tests all came back normal. An internal exam was OK too, although the vet tells me she has a history of cystic ovaries (I've only owned her 3 years). Based on all those clean test results, and normal temp, they told me not to worry---but other horses may have mastitis or something else going on. I'm lucky, I have a vet nearby who will take a call or come out fairly soon. Here in CT, it's a tiny little state with lots of horses (more per capita than anywhere else, I hear). Consequently we have lots of good vets. I really feel for you guys who are out there in more rural areas and can't get a vet out! In my case, her swelling has subsided a bit; perhaps it will just continue until the cooler weather comes. Until then, I'll just keep watching and keep them clean.

#18 Chardavej

Chardavej

    Happy girl! Well, mostly...

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,345 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Dallas, NC

Posted 23 June 2007 - 09:04 PM

My mare is 20 and she ALWAYS has "milk", it trips people out I will reach under and milk her, it flows good, her bags aren't big though.

She LOVES for me to wash between them, I will put baby oil between them and that softens the gunk and then saopy water and rinse, then I rub udder balm all over them. She will spread her legs apart it must feel so good to her.

#19 Chardavej

Chardavej

    Happy girl! Well, mostly...

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,345 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Dallas, NC

Posted 23 June 2007 - 09:06 PM

Wow looking back that sounds so obsene!!!

[Eek!] [Big Grin]

#20 BigBayGirl24

BigBayGirl24

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 872 posts
  • Location:Connecticut

Posted 06 June 2007 - 04:18 PM

My 24 year old mare regularly suffers from swollen teats. First one, then the other, will swell to about the size of a golf ball, and often will leak clear, odorless fluid. They're sore enough that she threatens me with death if I handle them. She's never been bred (as far as I know, I have about 8 years of history on her). The last time it happened, I had the vet check her. After an internal exam and $300 of lab tests, he found nothing wrong. So now, I don't call the vet when it happens. Has anyone else had this happen, and can you give me any idea why? Any ideas about making it feel better? Even when they shrink down, it's hard for me to clean between her teats because she's so sure it's going to hurt.

#21 ChaunceyBlue

ChaunceyBlue

    Got Hooves?

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,732 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:The end of me rope!

Posted 06 June 2007 - 06:26 PM

I can sure feel your pain. [Huggy]

I have a mare that I just discovered today to be like that. I KNOW she is not bred... she is fourteen years old. We've had her for two and a half years, and so I KNOW nothing has bred her. But, she not only has swollen teats but also has what appears to be lumps in front of her udder.

It is too late now tonight to call the vet, and they are SOOOOOO HARD to get to come out here (have been waiting on a call-back from my vet to get my two yearling colts gelded for like forever now... GRR!)... but I would like to have a vet look at my mare.

I'm wondering if it's tumors! I have no idea... no clue at all. She did seem a little swollen earlier in the spring, but then it seemed to go away... so when she walked by me in the pasture today at just the right angle, I was shocked!

And now I'm very scared! I will be calling my vet about her tomorrow for sure... but it was after hours when I noticed it earlier.

Here's a few pics of her swelling. Didn't get a real clear shot of her actual teats, cuz she is a half draft cross and she gets downright angry if I even so much as tip my head to try and have a look!

She also had a clearish fluid coming out of her teats today.

Does your mare look anything like this?

This is underneath as far as I could get without getting killed...
 -

From back a little further trying to zoom in...
 -

A little different angle... but still zoomed...
 -

From beside her:
 -

From beside her standing by her tail...
 -

And what she looks like from far enough away to get her whole body in...
 -

NOT trying to steal your thread... I'd just like to know myself what is going on. I might not get lucky enough to get a vet out. I live in the boondocks and there are not many around first of all. Second of all, the ones that are are VERY busy. Anybody have any ideas? Thanks!

#22 stephenieD

stephenieD

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 192 posts
  • Location:Indiana

Posted 07 June 2007 - 12:22 AM

If she is sore it sounds like it could be mastitis. It will most likely be hot to the touch too. Take her temp. Our mare was treated with antibiotics and had no further problems. A mare doesn't have to be preg. to have udder secretions. A strong heat will cause udder development. That would make sense during this time of year. There could also be a blockage in the mammary gland. I don't know what the symptoms or treatment is for that I just remember reading about it when I was researching for my mare. I am pretty sure mastitis can cause swelling in the area surrounding the udder too. My vet said if she got too uncomfortable to try tying some cold compresses to her. HA! He's such a funny guy!! [ROTFL]
I hope everything turns out to be ok with both of you.

#23 WarPony

WarPony

    Teeny Tiny Equine Of DOOOM!

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 6,598 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Michigan

Posted 07 June 2007 - 09:19 AM

I've discovered that my mare gets puffy in front of her udder every time she comes into heat. No temp, no heat in the area, no tenderness, she just gets puffy there for three days then goes back to normal.

#24 BigBayGirl24

BigBayGirl24

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 872 posts
  • Location:Connecticut

Posted 07 June 2007 - 02:33 PM

ChaunceyBlue, don't worry about stealing the thread, the more info that's out here, the better for all of us. Your mare looks different from mine. My mare's swelling is completely within the udder, not in front of it. It does seem to go along with her heats, which seem to be pretty intense. Our barn has two stallions on the premises all the time, which may be keeping her in heat more often and/or longer, I don't know. While cold compresses might work, it's not worth risking my life! She won't let me anywhere near her udder when it's swollen like this. I'll see if she'll let me get some pictures. If this is all a result of too many hormones, I can sympathize with her..perhaps this is the equine equivalent of a hot flash!

#25 Willy ShoMaker

Willy ShoMaker

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 1,394 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Staten Island, NY USA

Posted 07 June 2007 - 02:57 PM

My previous horse had swollen udders when she was in her 20's. I could squeeze them and get clear fluid also. They weren't particularly warm to the touch, and she didn't seem sore. I called the vet and he gave her a good exam. Said it wasn't mastitis, but possibly hormonal changes because of her age. It didn't get worse, but sometimes seemed better. I'd look into the mastitis issue because your horse is sensitive and won't let you near her. Maybe the vet could give her a course of antibiotics. If it gets better than you'll know what you are dealing with. [Question]

#26 BB Blue

BB Blue

    Courage is being scared to death, and saddling up anyway!

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 13,701 posts
  • Gender:Not Telling
  • Location:Florida

Posted 07 June 2007 - 03:08 PM

BBG- I don't have a clue about the swelling but will she let you spray her with the hose? Maybe you could spray her udder lightly to help.

I have 9 mares and several of them get swollen udders/teats when they are in heat.

CB-I have two mares that look somewhat like that, but theirs is just fat. They are way too heavy. I had to take one off the grass because she is getting obese.

#27 ChaunceyBlue

ChaunceyBlue

    Got Hooves?

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,732 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:The end of me rope!

Posted 07 June 2007 - 04:36 PM

Thank you for not getting mad about me posting some pictures of my mare on your thread BigBayGirl! [Wink] [Huggy]

Well... I was hoping that others would get on here. This kind of explains it for me. Dixie is in heat right now. Yesterday in the pasture she was lifting her tail and winking to everything including me. I told her pretty plainly that I was NOT interested... thank you very much.

Touching her udder is 100% completely out of the question. Unless I would want to dig my grave first, order my coffin and my gravestone that would read something like "this crazy lunitic died because she tried to touch udders that didn't belong to her without permission!"

So, I don't know if her udder is hot, warm, lukewarm, cold or freezing. I only know that she's made it perfectly clear that it is HER udder and nobody, nohow, noway, nowhere is going to touch HER udder. She can pin her ears, raise her hind hoof, glare and swish her tail angrily all at the same time.

Didn't have any luck getting ahold of a vet today... Grrr! But will try again tomorrow! Thanks to everybody who posted... and thanks again BigBayGirl!

[Huggy] [Wink] [Smiley Wavey]

#28 BigBayGirl24

BigBayGirl24

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 872 posts
  • Location:Connecticut

Posted 20 June 2007 - 11:18 AM

Just to update, the vet was out to the barn to see another horse and took a look at my mare's swollen udder. She said it's fine, that older mares do sometimes experience a swollen udder, especially when in heat. We have two stallions in our barn, and my girl (Banner) is confined due to an unrelated injury, so she may have been "teased" into heat early. Since Banner's injury is to her front leg, and she's too lame to really get the back leg up to kick me, I had a chance to get in there for a good "feel". She wasn't too warm, and when I touched her gently, she didn't seem to really be in pain--she was just grouchy about having her udder handled. The vet did remind me to clean the area more often, even though she doesn't like being handled. The buildup of crud is especially uncomfortable when she's swollen. ChanceyBlue, hope your mare is OK, no mastitis. Maybe you can have someone hold her and offer her treats if she manages to let you handle her? Just a thought.

#29 ChaunceyBlue

ChaunceyBlue

    Got Hooves?

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 5,732 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:The end of me rope!

Posted 20 June 2007 - 12:07 PM

I just saw that this had been bumped back up. Just read your update... and thanks for posting. Glad to hear that your mare is ok.

Vets are a bit harder to get ahold of out where I live. STILL waiting to hear back from mine! Grr! It is SOOO maddening not to have good vets available when you need them. Makes me more and more tempted to become a vet!

Anyways... Dixie's swelling has gone down a LOT. She is still a little swollen, but not nearly as much as those pictures show.

I can see where that makes sense what you found out from your vet. Dixie is 14 this year, and was in heat when I took those pictures.

Thanks again for letting me 'share' your post. [Wink] [Huggy]

#30 express

express

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 65 posts

Posted 20 June 2007 - 12:41 PM

I am glad this got bumped back up. My mare looks a lot like the pictures posted. I took her to the vet and he said it was mastitis. She is on her 10th day of antibiotics and the swelling is still there. Her CBC was normal and they tested her for lymphoma and it was neg. I called the vet and he said if the swelling wasn't down in a couple of days he would see her again. She isn't bred,she is my barrel horse. She lets me spray water on her and the swelling doesn't seem hot,but hard in places. I hope you get some answers and will post if I find out anything else.