Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Late Term Pregnant Mare Yellow Secretion on Teats, Waxing-Up

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

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

  • Questions coming up around foaling should usually be discussed right away with your vet.
  • To prepare your vet for your mare's foaling, should you need them.

“Waxing-up” is the normal accumulation of a waxy substance on a pregnant mare’s teat orifices as her foaling date nears. It is considered by many horse people to be a reliable sign of impending foaling (within 24-48 hours).

While waxing-up is a useful sign of impending foaling, it is a mistake to become too dependent on it. Not every mare will wax before she foals and not every mare that waxes will foal within 24-48 hours. Other signs to look for are overall udder development, milk color, electrolyte levels, and the appearance of the vulva and ligaments around the tail head.


Discuss attended foaling with your vet now, if you haven’t already.

If you will attend the foaling, learn as much as you can about the process beforehand. If you are not comfortable with this process, consider transporting your mare to a veterinary or breeding facility that has the staff and equipment to monitor your mare and assist her with the foaling process, if necessary.


Your vet understands that this is a helpful indicator, but only one of many to consider when trying to determine when the mare will foal. They may give you more guidelines as to what to look for that will indicate impending foaling.

Helpful Terms & Topics in HSVGWritten, Reviewed or Shared by Experts in Equine Health

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP


We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.