Horses » Is my horse having a phantom pregnancy or is it mastitis?


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Is my horse having a phantom pregnancy or is it mastitis?

My 20 year old mares udders are bagging up, the left is very full and the right not as much, however if you squeeze them both teats seep a transparent fluid, They are the same temperature as the inside of her legs. I have only had her back three months after her being out on loan for a year, so there may be a very small chance she has been in with a rig or stallion.

She is also quite nippy and moody when touching around her flank area. Which is very out of character for her. Its been like this for four days now with no change however yesterday she appeared to be waxing up a little.


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Martina Stuart

Periodic production and accumulation of serous fluid within the udder of old mares is not uncommon. It occurs randomly and rarely indicates pregnancy so I doubt that this bagging up is caused by her being pregnant however an internal rectal examination will be necessary in order to determine for certain.
False pregnancies in the mare are rare and mastitis is more common even in non pregnant or nulliparous mares. Handling and 'milking' of this fluid seems to promote further production so there is a dilema as to how best to deal with the situation. Best to observe occasionally and monitor the general health of the made carefully. If yoy have a way of measuring the local surface temperature then do continue to use it. Ensure that she is not being over fed and only strip out to check that the discharge is not infected. If she gets uncomfortable then get veterinary attention.


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