What you see. The starting point for addressing any equine health related issue is your observation.


Bleeding from Vagina, Not Associated with Foaling


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.

  • 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.

your role


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.

your vet's role

Your vet will use physical exam and vaginal examination to determine the source of the bleeding, get a diagnosis and determine treatment options.
Questions Your Vet Might Ask:
  • To your knowledge, is the mare pregnant?
  • Is the blood coming from inside the vagina?
  • How much bleeding is there?
  • Can you see a wound?
  • Do you notice the horse showing any other signs?
  • What are the results of the Whole Horse Exam (WHE)?
  • Has the mare recently been bred or has she foaled?
  • How old is the mare?

Treatments Your Vet May Recommend

A way to resolve the condition or diagnosis. Resolving the underlying cause or treating the signs of disease (symptomatic treatment)

Very Common
more treatments

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP