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


Large Red Mass Present At or Near Vulva After Foaling


Your mare has just foaled, and there is a very large red balloon-like mass protruding from her vulva.

This is probably uterine prolapse, a very rare problem in mares that usually occurs after a prolonged and difficult birth (dystocia), or in conjunction with a retained placenta. In a prolapse, the reproductive tract turns inside out and protrudes from the mare's vulva. Vaginal and rectal prolapse also can occur.

  • Code Red

    Call Your Vet Immediately, Even Outside Business Hours

your role


What To Do

A prolapsed uterus is a veterinary emergency so contact your vet immediately. Keep the mare calm until your vet arrives.

What Not To Do

Do not clean the exposed uterus with harsh disinfectants. Do not try to replace the uterus without veterinary help. It is easy to injure the uterus and cause fatal complications.

your vet's role

Your vet evaluates the problem and the mare's general health. In some cases, supportive nursing care must be delivered before the uterus is treated. The vet will likely clean, then try to replace the uterus.
Questions Your Vet Might Ask:
  • Can I have your location and directions to get to you as soon as possible?
  • What is the horse's age, sex, breed and history?
  • Did the mare recently foal?
  • Did the mare have a retained placenta?
  • Do you plan to breed the mare in the future?

Diagnostics Your Vet May Perform

Figuring out the cause of the problem. These are tests or procedures used by your vet to determine what’s wrong.

Very Common
more diagnostics

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP