View Full Version : Maiden mare developing udder 7 weeks before due date

13-09-11, 11:00 AM
Is this too early? She is not yet fully bagged up, but her udder is starting to fill. She herself was born premature, with her dam suffering from placentitis. Her dam was going to have the foal 5 weeks early, but we kept it in for an extra 3 weeks with the help of Regumate and antibiotics. However the foal was still born very small and all colostrum was gone. I don't want to go through the same thing again, as it was very costly and quite a worry for a while.

The mare has no discharge (but nor did her dam) so maybe I'm being paranoid. However I thought the rule of thumb was that udder development starts about 35 days before due date, and often later for maiden mares. Should I contact the vet to get her checked out or is this quite within the normal range?

13-09-11, 11:07 AM
I have 2 mares, 1 due in 4 weeks, but her last foal was 10 days early and 1 in 8 weeks who is a maiden, I would say they are both 1/3 bagged up.

My other mare who didn't breed this season, will bag up 6 weeks out, and for the last 2 weeks look like she is almost going to explode.

13-09-11, 11:14 AM
Yes in my opinion it is early and quite probably an indication of placental insuffiency. There is also "history" that suggests the potential for a problem Therefore veterinary intervention would be advisable. Sooner rather than later - a discharge usually occurs when things are getting bad in there - don't wait for that before intervention.

This would probably mean the use of progesterone , antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. Unfortunately this won't guarantee a perfect result but will surely help. You have an at risk foal on board. And yes it is expensive.

I guess the choice is yours - do nothing with no expense but then a high chance of a premature compromised and possibly septic foal - these are very expensive to save (not always with great results depending on the case) or reduce the risk with the recomendations above and the associated cost. The latter option may help in reducing the severity of the compromise.

Breeding is not cheap! Either option with "an at risk pregnancy" is costly! Cold hard truth!

Having recently dealt with a septic 305 day foal - I know I would be trying to help it out whilst it is still in there!

A veterinary examination of the mare in question will help you make an informed decision based on the specific findings in your mare! Would be worth that so you can discuss the options and weigh up the odds, in my opinionsGood luck!

13-09-11, 11:36 AM
Thanks Seahorse, I may give the vet a ring. The 'history' was with the mare's dam, could predisposition to placentitis have an element of heridity?

13-09-11, 11:48 AM
Placentitis ( I prefer the term placental insufficency as "itis" suggests inflammation which ain't always the case!) has many factors involved.
Enviroment is one of the major ones. I was aware from your post that it was the dam that had the issue.

Anecdotally and thus not peer reviewed ( most stuff spouted on forums is anecdotal! ) I have noticed that premature / septic foals sometimes produce the same. This does not mean that it is heridatory and it is not a golden rule- it is purely an observation.

It was therefore another factor that I was adding into the pile to suggest that you get the mare checked out. I was trying to assist you in weighing up the odds rather than just saying " nah too expensive "

Private Eye
13-09-11, 12:09 PM
i have mother daughter in foal this year

mother is a right well PITA for placentitas...every year without fail..........so treat accordingly

This year Ive been quite vigual with daughter and i too was expecting the same

So far shes baggin up nicely.....just under 4 weeks to go, a maiden and going nicely

Im tipping she will foal 2 weeks out but who knows

def get the vet in now...........there is hope

13-09-11, 12:15 PM
Just spoke to the vet. The udder is only just starting to develop, just a little bit of filling. The vet told me that it is a little early and to keep an eye on it. It may just be some oedema, caused by the position of the foal, or it may be more serious.

A very slight development has been coming and going for the last week (almost thought I was imagining things), so what is there now may stay as is or go again. The vet told me to contact him again in a few days if it is still getting bigger and he will come out to check and perhaps we have to put her on Regumate and antibiotics. Fingers crossed.

Dreams Of Gold
13-09-11, 02:44 PM
Seahorse... Could you be kind enough to shoot me an email. Would like to ask you a question (similar to above) sialer@westnet.com.au Thanks :)

13-09-11, 07:01 PM
One of my maiden mares stated to change in the udder about 6-7 weeks out. Initially I was a bit concerned it was too early, but she just stayed with a little filling for a number of weeks before really changing. She ended up foaling late.

Me personally, if it does turn into a problem, I wouldn't be breeding from her or the dam again, as too many issues to have to look after each time mare is in foal.

13-09-11, 07:30 PM
6 weeks has always been the standard for a bag to start springing but I have had mares start at 8 weeks and had normal births.

With all my abortions the bags have sprung very fast and mares aborted within 5 days of a bag appearing.

It may be the season.

You think you have problems - my mare has started what I call saggy titties ( I was going to start a thread) and has 14 weeks to go. She has not started to spring a proper bag - has stayed with saggy titties for nearly a week so am monitoring her.

Her mother had an accident 8 weeks before due and was ready to abort. She was given one double dose of prolutin and held to 3 days short of 11 calendar months.

Daughter is a princess and very highly strung - vets are a no go zone so she will have to do it all on her own.

With all my dramas this year which are still going, this foal was my lifeline to sanity.


13-09-11, 07:37 PM
To me this sounds a normal pregnancy - way too much gloom and doom without reason.

Being old, all my reference books are old school books. She sounds normal.

Just get excited about your coming foal and back off the feed. The warm weather over the last month will be pushing masses of protein into the grass and too much supplementary feeding will do major damage. Been down that track. I have cut back my mare's feed and put her into a bigger paddock so she moves around more.

Hastar again.

13-09-11, 08:17 PM
I have had some maidens start to produce a little bit of something 7-8 weeks before foaling. They then do nothing for a while, or it comes and goes, before they start to actually bag up properly. When I read the original post my first thought was that it was not a big deal. I have also had a couple of mares (not maidens) start to bag up suddenly with 8 weeks to go, these ended up aborting soon after and I have always suspected that the foal dying is what caused the mare to start to bag up. This was the year that EHV went through my area and a lot of mares lost foals with about 8 weeks to go.

13-09-11, 08:26 PM
My pony starts to bag up around then.

But if there's any concern always good to talk to your vet. Once you know your mare you know whether to worry or not. The first time mine bagged up so early we sought advice. Now we know better LOL.

13-09-11, 09:57 PM
The udder has gone down again tonight, and yes, they are really just saggy titties :D

I wasn't going to stress out about this one, don't even really know what to do with the foal. I felt all really relaxed about it until I noticed the udder development! So I will just try to go back to being relaxed about it and if things don't look right all I can do is call the vet.

Hm, I probably didn't really mean to sound that I don't really want this foal. I just don't want to keep my hopes up because the dramas with the previous one. And stricktly speaking, I don't NEED another horse (but wouldn't live be boring if you only get what you really need).

13-09-11, 10:35 PM
Must be the season. Where abouts are you located. I'm in Tooradin. Must be something in the grass this year.

My sanity relies on this foal of mine. At 10 weeks to go I would cope but mine is 14 weeks to go.

Personally I am really anti too much playing with mares in late pregnancy unless there is just no option.

The way mine hoons around I am waiting for uterine torsion. Just the sort of thing a princess would do.