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Milk Dripping from Teats of Nursing Mare

Code Red - Call Your Vet Immediately, Even Outside Business Hours

Code Red - Call Your Vet Immediately, Even Outside Business Hours

  • If you feel your newborn foal is not nursing.

Generally, a healthy foal should be able to keep up with their mother’s milk production. Soon after foaling, a very heavily milking mare may produce more milk than even the vigorous foal can take and milk will drip or stream from the teats.

That said, ill foals will stop nursing, and the mare’s udder will become engorged with milk. Ill foals may also have dried milk glazed on their faces. Mares that have lost their foals will also often stream milk.

It is important to determine whether the foal is not adequately nursing or the mare is simply producing too much milk for the foal.

WHAT TO DO

Evaluate the mare’s udder. Do the teats appear nursed? They should be soft and flat, and are often wet after being suckled. If they are tight and hard, or milk is leaking onto the ground, it is a sign the foal has not nursed and you should be concerned.

Assess the foal’s general health paying particular attention to its ability to stand and nurse the mare. Since this situation may be serious in very young foals (possibly a bit less urgent in older foals), immediately contact your vet with your findings and concerns.

WHAT YOUR VET DOES

Your vet assesses the foal’s health to determine whether it is ill and has reduced its milk intake. At minimum, this assessment includes a careful history and physical exam, but may require other diagnostics. They will also likely evaluate the mare’s health, the udder and the milk.

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP

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