View Full Version : Mare with Mastitis

22-05-12, 12:46 PM
Hi all
I was wondering if someone could give me a bit of help, we have seperated our mare and foal a few days ago, the mare has since developed Mastitis. I have been stripping the mare of milk to ease the swelling and discomfort, what are people opinions of this, I have read that castor oil can help ease and epsom salts will dry the milk, does anyone have any experience & know of any treatment for this.


22-05-12, 01:09 PM
Gosh your foal must have been born early to be weaning now!!!:D Have you had your vet out? - they can get very sick with it very quickly and can even die or have permanent udder damage if not treated, which means she may not be able to be bred from again, so quick treatment is a must really, so get your vet out asap!

But to help you can make sure she is out 24/7 on poor grazing to help reduce the amount of milk she produces and to keep the blood flow going and tissues draining by her walking around - no hard feed, get her on antibiotics and possibly anti inflamatories - your vet should advise you on this.
Striping the quarter that has the infection out several times a day is a must really to get rid of all the gunk, pus and curdled milk clumps and reduce the infection - it is usually only a section of the udder that is infected rarely the whole thing so make sure your'e striping the right teat! If it gets really bad sometimes they do use antibiotics directly into the infected teat which is hard enough in a cow let alone a horse I should imagine!! Heat packs I have heard can be effective as well as externally massaging her udder with some baby oil to prevent cracking although I would have thought most horses would be reluctant to let you touch it let alone massage it! - but give it a go, and bug spray will help to keep the flies away. Fingers crossed for her - let us know how she gets on.

22-05-12, 01:29 PM
thanks Alexart, my foal is over 6 months old, she doesnt milk from the mother all the time just when she feels like it, the milk is watery not curdled, yellow, lumpy etc, I spent 10 minutes last night & 10 minuted this morning stripping the milk. The swollen teats have only appeared yesterday, she was moved from a poor graze field to lush pasture. Shes isnt ill, and lets me strip the milk no problems, would you suggest stopping hard feed too?

22-05-12, 01:48 PM
would you suggest stopping hard feed too?

As you've just weaned - yes.

22-05-12, 02:01 PM
Definitely stop her hard feed!! Poor grazing and if nec soaked hay only. My mare came back from loan last summer with mastitis, that took 2 courses of AB's to clear up. She hadn't had a foal since 2008 and had never had mastitis whilst under my management. She wasn't a mare that you could inject easily, however, she let me (but not the vet) put AB's directly into her teats - both sides, on the right, if that makes sense - whilst loose in the field! Fly spray is a must too, esp. now it's heating up. We weaned our first foals at work yesterday.

22-05-12, 03:00 PM
Hello :), we're facing the same problem too, weaned MIL's mare/foal on sunday, went really well - totally according to plan. But the vet has already said the mare is more than likely to get Mastitis as she's had everything else go wrong that is possible!

We've put her out on grass, with the option of water (or though the vet said to only have a minimal amount available) - this isn't possible due to her being in with company! She's hardly drunk anything so far ( i think she knows ), after her udders looking like cows udders for a day, they have slowly started to get smaller! She's coming in at night and having a small feed (chaff) with about half a bucket of water and hay and this morning they were even smaller!

Foal was 9months old at the age of weaning and i don't think he'd been drinking an awful lot towards the end..so fingers crossed she doesn't get mastitus but if she does - i'll be re visiting this thread!

hope your mare makes a full recovery1!

22-05-12, 03:01 PM
PS) the vet had completely warned us off milking it off her as that will just produce more!

22-05-12, 03:16 PM
PS) the vet had completely warned us off milking it off her as that will just produce more!

That's only if they don't already have mastitis. Once they have it, you have to get rid of all the infected gunk, puss and milk clots!

22-05-12, 03:20 PM
Sportznight - Oh really? sorry! Should have thought that one through before posting! In that case, we're royally screwed if she get's it then, it was hard enough to get her to accept the foal to suckle.. if she's in pain she won't let us touch them full stop! Not good!!

Anything we can do to prevent? :D:D

22-05-12, 04:27 PM
Hi i managed to speak to the vet he says in my case because the milk in watery and not like lumpy to limit hard feed, limit water intake & only feed low grade hay if possible to stable her if not poor qualiry grazing will suffice & hopefully in 4 or so days the teats will have gone down, she is still producing milk because of the nutrient intake, he also said not to strip her of milk as this would only produce more
Thanks for all your help & comments it was very much appreciated

22-05-12, 08:58 PM
Wash the mare's udder with vinegar. It will, over a few days, greatly reduce her milk production.

22-05-12, 10:41 PM
Sounds more like she just has very full udders and not full blown mastitis - in that case don't strip milk out as others have said - the excess will often get squeezed out as she walks around - their udders do get very full after weaning and will get pretty huge and hard it's when they get hot that you need to worry - it sounds like the move to lush pasture triggered her into being able to produce more milk. I always allow 6 weeks to totally dry the mare off before changing pasture or gradually putting back on hard feed if they need it.
I would strongly advise not to restrict water intake - that can lead to colic - dehydrating an animal will make it more likely to get an infection too, poor grazing or really well soaked hay would be better, and deff. no hard feed for at least a month preferably more, it's better to let the mare drop a bit of condition than try and keep feeding them as that just provides resources to produce milk which you don't want.

23-05-12, 06:54 AM
I would strongly advise not to restrict water intake

Yes, I thought that was strange advice - particularly as we are entering the warmest few days of the year..

23-05-12, 12:55 PM
thanks for all your help, i spoke to the vet last night and suggested to move her into a paddock where the grass is poorish (not lush & long), stop feeding as this is helping her produce the milk, stop stripping the milk as stripping the milk will encourage her to produce more and to also reduce her water intake.

I have done all except reduce her water intake its absolutely stifling outside and dont want her dehydrated. just a quick note, i did try and buy some castor oil buy chemists dont sell it anymore.

Thanks for all your help.