Nursing with extemely worse case senario mastitis. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 02-10-2013, 08:08 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2012
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Nursing with extemely worse case senario mastitis.

My mare developed a case of mastitis 2 days before she foaled. I went out and found her bag ripped open about 4 inches a nice big hole. Kind of looked like an abbcess. The vet came out put her on antibiotics and cleaned it up. Well that night it ripped even more with her getting up and down. I took her back to the vet last night and he stitched her up with drainage and what not. He told me there was a huge chance she would not get any milk, so I would have to bottle feed. Well she had her foal this morning and has colostrum! One side is completely normal good looking colostrom the other side is tinted with blood. I have my vet coming in the morning but what do you guys think. Any experience with something like this? should i not let him nurse on that side?
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post #2 of 5 Old 02-10-2013, 08:50 AM
Green Broke
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A horse, like a acow has 4 quarters but a horse has only two Teats. Each teat has two holes in it and separate streak canals that lead to each quarter. If you horse has normal milk on one side of her bag, then she likely has two good quarters.

Is this mare having her first foal?

The BEST thing you can do is keep stripping the milk out of the two infected quarters. I would encourage the foal to nurse on the good side and strip by hand the bad side. OR you can strip both sides, saving the good stuff and bottle feeding the foal.

Unfortunately, you probably did not culture the mastitic side so you do not know what you are dealing with. Mastitis can be caused by a number of organisms including Yeast and Corynebacterium. Some can be treated.. others not so much. Some can be treated intramammary with some success (usually at drying off), others not so much. Staph is one of the worst to treat. E-Coli can infect the quarter and then when the bacteria die, the let off toxins that can kill the host (mare or cow).

Most organisms are killed by the stomach acid of the foal. HOWEVER, I would want that foal to NOT nurse the bad side w/o stripping until his antibody check was complete and you knew he had adequate IGg.

Talk to your vet. Your mare may have only two good quarters and if she does not make enough milk you will probably have to supplement the foal's intake with bottle feeding.

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post #3 of 5 Old 02-10-2013, 08:59 AM
Green Broke
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If you have to go to milk replacer, for your sanity and health, get foal drinking out of bucket, which can be done easily.

Bottle feeding just doesn't do as well and lots harder on you too.
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post #4 of 5 Old 02-10-2013, 09:04 AM
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YES!!!! Bucket feeding is the way to go. Get foal sucking on finger and draw the foal down to the bucket (you may have to hold the bucket up at first). Don't forget to warm the milk...

There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man. ~Winston Churchill
(or woman!!!! ) Dinosaur Horse Trainer
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post #5 of 5 Old 02-10-2013, 11:24 AM
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If you can find a nanny goat in milk, you can teach your foal to nurse the goat. We used a big wooden wire spool that our goat would stand on that was high enough for the foal to nurse from. It was years ago and I wish I had some pictures because it was just too funny to see! Goat milk is much better than cow milk, and in some cases, even better than powdered replacement milk.

And as has already been said, be sure to keep stripping the bad side of her bag to relieve the pressure and reduce the infection.

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