mare still making milk after weaning

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mare still making milk after weaning

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    10-28-2010, 04:51 PM
mare still making milk after weaning

My mare, Sonya, is still producing milk even after the foal was weaned. They were weaned the first week of August.
I was riding Sonya last night, and when I finished and was untacking her, I noticed that she was dripping milk. I got some out, and it is white, like when my foal was nursing.

Is it normal that she is still lactating after this long? She cannot see the foal at all, considering they are on other sides of the road and trees block the view, and are stalled in different barns.
Is there anything that I could give her? Or should I just leave her be?
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    10-28-2010, 05:32 PM
I am not sure what the best course of action would be but it may not be terribly uncommon. Of course, I am just speaking from my one experience with a preggo mare but Bessie had a full bag for like 5 months after Rafe was weaned. She just recently started to shrink back down to normal size. It was never sore or hot, she didn't mind it being handled, she just still had milk for quite a while.
    10-28-2010, 05:46 PM
Green Broke
You want to be careful of her getting mastitis.
What are you feeding her? She should have been dried up by now. The vet mentioned to us to us to feed smaller portions. We left ours on pasture and barely any hay for a week..she ended up drying up because she also didn't have excess nurtrition that she didn't need any longer.

If you touch her teats are they hard and swollen? Does she resent having them touched? This can be very painful and sometimes can cause serious issues. Now I am not saying that your horse has this but just thought I would let you know.

Read this article if you have some time to do so. It might be helpful

Veterinary Topics: Mastitis in mares - Thoroughbred Times
    10-28-2010, 06:46 PM
Ok, I guess it is ok that she is still lactating if Bessie was for 5 months after..

She is just on pasture, no grain at all.
She doesnt care that I thought them at all, and let me milk them no problem at all. They arent swollen, they are just like when she was nursing, just reduced in size.
    10-28-2010, 06:48 PM
Green Broke
Alright,that is good to hear! I was kinda worried.
If she is just on pasture then you are doing a good job...or atleast a vet told us to do the exact same....
Maybe she is just one of those who takes a bit of time.
    10-28-2010, 09:22 PM
Prepare for a TMI moment...

It is common for humans to do this too. I was still 'leaking' every now and then after my son was weaned, for about 2.5 YEARS. It stopped when I fell with my girls last year. So I can't see much difference between horses and humans in that regard - it's all hormones.

Maybe if it gets hot and swollen you could tape some cabbage leaves on for her lol.
    10-28-2010, 11:32 PM
When I bought Izzy, my Fox Trotter mare last October, she had a foal at her side which the guy kept. Izzy leaked milk for months and months, especially after a ride. I figured it was because she had so many foals before and her teats were huge.

Now she has this year's baby nursing, and I probably won't wean for several more months, but boy, if it is a common thing and she does that again, I might not be able to put baby back in with her for a LONG time. That would kind of be a shame. So I hope she dries up eventually!

Is there any harm in leaving him with her until he is quite a bit older, say maybe closer to 8 months? Because already (at 3 1/2 months) I can ride her apart from him, and pony him away from her. So other than getting her milk dried up, I don't really see the harm in keeping them together for a good while?

I like the idea of them sharing the pen they are in, because it is my largest pen and gives them both access to the barn in bad weather. So I want to at least keep them together through the winter.
    10-28-2010, 11:48 PM
I don't see much problem with it. Rafe wasn't weaned until he was almost 9 months simply because I didn't have a secure enough place to keep him until then. Neither he nor Bessie showed any extra wear and tear because of it.
    10-29-2010, 12:26 AM
Leaving the baby with Izzy without weaning is pretty much going to depend on the mare. If the colt isn't causing her to lose condition, I can't imagine why it would hurt anything.
    10-29-2010, 02:11 AM
Only thing is... correct me if I'm wrong... she isn't going to dry up as long as the foal is still drinking from her.
Plus, it can be hard on 'mom' to keep making milk.

At least that is my understanding.
I don't know much about horse breeding specifically (or even what is the "normal" time to wean a foal.) I'm sure a couple extra months won't hurt... but.
Whatever. I guess what I'm saying is, make sure the mare is comfortable!

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