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


White or Pale Spots, Flaky Skin on Udder or Teats


Small pale spots and flaky skin on a mare's udder and teats are fairly common. Pale, raised wart-like spots are probably viral (Papilloma or wart virus) in origin and are generally not thought to be a problem. They may persist or disappear. Flaky, dry skin here is also fairly common.

However, other more serious conditions can occur here too, including bacterial or fungal skin infections, sarcoids and other skin growths and tumors.

  • Code Yellow

    Contact Your Vet at Your Convenience for an Appointment
    • If a skin lesion is larger, growing or causing pain or itchiness.
  • Code Green

    Contact Your Vet to Obtain Useful Advice & Resources
    • If you consider this a chronic and relatively mild problem that is not changing rapidly.

your role


What To Do

Gently wash the udder with a sponge and plain warm water so that you can better see the true nature of the problem. Evaluate the size, shape and appearance of these growths or skin condition on a regular basis and have your vet monitor them during routine healthcare appointments. Take note of whether there is heat, swelling or pain in the area. Take a photo and send it to your vet for discussion.

What Not To Do

Do not use strong disinfectants to clean this area. If nursing foal, realize that anything placed on the udder will be ingested by the foal.

your vet's role

If there is a major or sudden increase in the number or growth rate of skin growths here, if they become "angry" (red or inflamed), or if they appear to cause pain, swelling or discomfort, talk to your vet about diagnosis and treatment. Your vet may need to biopsy the area to definitively determine the tissue type and the appropriate treatment.
Questions Your Vet Might Ask:
  • Does your horse seem normal otherwise?
  • How old is the mare?
  • When did you first notice this problem?
  • What is the mare's age, breed and history?
  • Do you notice any other signs in the affected area?
  • Do you notice skin lesions elsewhere?
  • What are the results of the Whole Horse Exam (WHE)?

further reading & resources

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP