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Discussion on Swollen Udder in Non Pregnant mare

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Ann Knight
Member
Username: Annknigh

Post Number: 13
Registered: 6-2004
Posted on Sunday, Sep 25, 2005 - 6:58 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

One of my mare's udders swelled suddenly. It goes down with exercise and you can express some milky white fluid. We are culturing it to see if infection is present and the vet suggested antibiotics until we can determine the cause. When it is swollen it is very tender. She is not pregnant (as far as I know) and has no other symptoms. No generalized fever, however the udder is warm. I read the article on swelling, but saw no reference to udder swelling. Did I miss it?

I noticed the swelling on a Thursday, and I was aware that the mare was approaching heat on Sunday by her behavior. I dont know exactly when she is/was in heat.

Any ideas? She is on STrongid C2x daily wormer and I was wondering if that has a hormonal affect. She and my gelding have both been on it since May, and my gelding is bulking up like a stud and my mare is making what looks like milk.. Just a thought?
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 13793
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Monday, Sep 26, 2005 - 8:11 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

If it is possible she has been bred perhaps you ought to have her checked. However sometimes unbred mares, particularly multiparous mares, develop a thin milk, particularly if they are in a fleshy or greater condition. It can be difficult to judge heat and sensitivity in this area as it normally stays warmer and some mares are more sensitive here but doing a cytology (not a culture) on the fluid should give you the answer. If it looks inflammatory then a careful culture can be done. If it is just thin milk I would do nothing unless her condition is a little over the top. Milking will usually just stimulate more production.
DrO
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Ann Knight
Member
Username: Annknigh

Post Number: 14
Registered: 6-2004
Posted on Monday, Sep 26, 2005 - 8:58 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I do not think it is possible that she was bred. There was a young stud at the barn, but he was gelded over a year ago in June or July (if I remember correctly). I had taken her to a couple of shows in September and October last year, but as far as I know, nothing happened. If she were pregnant, she would have to be pretty far along and wouldn't she be fat or showing other signs? She may be a tiny bit larger than usual, as the girth is one hole looser than normal, but not anything more than that. Plus only one udder is swollen, and if she were pregnant, wouldn't they both be enlarged. To my knowledge, this mare has not had a baby before.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 13802
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Tuesday, Sep 27, 2005 - 8:48 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

When I read the first post I could not decide if you meant "one of my mares" as in you have more than one mare or if you meant "one of my mare's" as in one teat on your mare and decided on the former do to the punctuation. One side does suggest trauma or infection to me.
DrO
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Ann Knight
Member
Username: Annknigh

Post Number: 15
Registered: 6-2004
Posted on Tuesday, Sep 27, 2005 - 9:16 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

One udder is swollen. The culture did not grow anything. And it is still swelling. (Onset of swelling was Sept 22). It seems to go down when I ride her, but then swells back up over the next 12-24 hours. Overall the swelling is less, but there is still heat and fluid. She will let me touch it now, lightly, whereas before, you were risking your knees to do so.

The vet has me giving her antibiotics anyway. Do you still feel a cytology would be useful.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: Dro

Post Number: 13812
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Wednesday, Sep 28, 2005 - 8:55 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I would do the cytology Ann to get a feeling if this is inflammatory or not. Sometimes you get negative cultures with and infection if the bacteria are not circulating in the fluid but tightly adhered to the tissues.
DrO
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