Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Bleeding from Vagina, Not Associated with Foaling

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

Code Orange - Call Your Vet at Their First Available Office Hours

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

  • If this problem seems severe and has come on suddenly.
  • If the results of the Whole Horse Exam (WHE) in the resting horse indicate fever (Temp >101F/38.3C) or heart rate greater than 48 BPM.

Code Orange - Call Your Vet at Their First Available Office Hours

  • If the results of the Whole Horse Exam (WHE) suggest the horse is otherwise normal.
  • If bleeding is minor and the horse seems fine otherwise.
  • If this is a pregnant mare.

Vaginal bleeding in mares (not after foaling) is uncommon and usually relates to trauma, such as a kick from another horse. Horses with clotting disorders can bleed from almost anywhere, but usually show other symptoms of disease.

In pregnant mares, large varicose vessels in the vaginal wall will sometimes bleed slightly. Usually, this is not a problem and resolves after foaling.

WHAT TO DO

Assess your horse’s general health using the Whole Horse Exam (WHE). Take note of the amount and appearance of the bleeding or vaginal discharge, examine the vulvar area for swelling or a wound and discuss with your findings and concerns with your vet.

WHAT YOUR VET DOES

Your vet will use physical exam and vaginal examination to determine the source of the bleeding, get a diagnosis and determine treatment options.

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP

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