False Labor - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 09-19-2010, 08:06 PM Thread Starter
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False Labor

I'm new here. I have a mare who is 24 years old. She is my best friend. She got pregnant not on purpose, but it is a great surprise. About a month ago, she started having contractions, her muscles are fallen off, her lady parts are huge, and her bag is beyond full. The contractions lasted off and on for about 8 days and now she isn't having them like she was. My dad has been around horses forever and has been in the business my entire life. He says this is normal and she'll have it when she is good and ready. I'm just wondering if anyone else has had a mare do this. She is the most stubborn, old, cranky horse, but I'm just worried about her.
Thanks so much
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post #2 of 8 Old 09-19-2010, 08:09 PM
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is this her first pregnancy? Also, I know it was an accident but do you know when she was bred?
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post #3 of 8 Old 09-19-2010, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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It's not her first. She had one about 2 or 3 years ago. She was out in the pasture at that point in time because I was off at college and there were a lot of different things going on. Anyway, she's up in the barn now. I have no idea when she was bred.
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post #4 of 8 Old 09-19-2010, 08:30 PM
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I didn't know mares could go in and out of contractions like that. Of course I only just had my first foal this year, so I honestly don't know much about it, other than what I read in a few books.

I guess what I am wondering, is how do you know she is having contractions? What does it look like?

I quite riding my mare about 1 1/2 months before the foal was born because she would have spells of breathing hard. Sometimes just standing around doing nothing she would breath hard. Is that what your mare is doing?
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post #5 of 8 Old 09-19-2010, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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Yes, she would lay down and breathe really heavy and their were times I could see her muscles spasm. She has bad arthritis in her hips, so I haven't ridden her in awhile. She rarely lays down because it hurts her to stand back up so I know she was miserable and in pain when she was. She is back to standing up all the time now though. (Yes, I do check on her at night, too. :))
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post #6 of 8 Old 09-19-2010, 08:58 PM
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I had a scare similar to that with my girl and that is when I quit riding her. It was probably 1 1/2 months before she gave birth.

What happened is I rode her to a neighbor's house, not next door, but not very far either, and put her in a stall to visit with the neighbor (she was actually showing me how she works with her colt so I could learn what to do with mine). And when I came back for her she was lying down and breathing hard like she was going into labor. I got her up and she acted normal after that, but I walked her home just to be safe. I quit riding her after that until after the baby was born.

Baby was born at night on July 14th and I missed it by about 20 minutes I am guessing, because he was standing up but still sopping wet! And the mare was still dragging the afterbirth. I wish I could have seen the actual event, but in a way it was good because I missed all the stress of worrying about it, and I think my mare preferred her privacy. And I still got to do all the imprinting and handling and stuff just like if I was there the whole time anyway, so it worked out good!
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post #7 of 8 Old 09-19-2010, 10:03 PM
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It isn't unusual. My mare Freyja did this, about 2-3 weeks before she delivered, and again about 3 days before she delivered. When the foal changes position in preparation for birth, it can cause some contractions, discomfort, and colic-like symptoms in the mare.

However, and as ALWAYS, when in doubt, call your vet.

ETA: And believe me, as I through with my last mare's pregnancy, the "normal" symptoms of impending delivery do not always go by the book. My mare showed all the signs of readiness at around 300 days, and didn't deliver until 360 days.

Last edited by Indyhorse; 09-19-2010 at 10:05 PM.
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post #8 of 8 Old 09-22-2010, 12:21 AM
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I am feeling your pain as my little mare is doing about the same thing to me this week! She even waxed over earlier in the week, her belly dropped last week and she has fallen in sooo much.. panting and pawing at night.. rolling.. LOL she looks like a truck or at least like she ate one!!

They'll give up those babies when they are ready to do it.. althought I swear I am ready to take mine and trot her up and down the road for about an hour!! :o))

Good luck to you!!
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