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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so all has been well in Snowflakes Pregnancy and she is suposed to be due sometime soon!! but when we went to feed today. she hasn't really been eating her hay. just kind of throwing it around and eating some here and there. she is eating her grain fine though. also her milk veins (i believe it's her milk veins but i'll have to get pics!!) are considerably big. like the size of my forearm big. and they don't quite reach to her udder. they are squishy to the touch. and when you push in with a finger it takes about 20 seconds for the indention from your finger to go away. a friend mentioned milk fever. but i haven't had a chance to look it up. yet thought i'd post this here then go look. i called the vet right away. but he didn't answer (we go the answering machine = / ) i just went and checked on her and no signs of labor yet.. and her udders haven't filled out any at all. her tail bone if very prominant all the muscle right there has sunk in. and right before her hips has sunk in and she is HUGE. will it be comming soon??? and why hasn't she bagged up yet? and what could possibly be up with her milk veins?
 

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Some mares are tricky and will only give you a couple signs. Some mares will act like they are in labor and be completely normal the next day. I'd say keep her on watch until you can get the vet out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
do her milk veins sound normal?? thats whats worrying me the most it honestly looks like a blockage. as she has no leaking and her udders arn't even remotely bagging up. and the milk veins basically stop about 6-10 inches away from the udders. and they are huge. i thought they were only suposed to be thumb sized but dang they are big. i'll definitely get pictures tomarrow!
 

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If you seriously mean like forearm size than that doesn't sound right to me at all. Thumb sized, like you said, yes, normal. And even being large with no bag development isn't really unusual. But THAT large would be worrying to me, I'd keep at the vet's number until I get an answer. :) Good luck and keep us posted!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
ok what you all have been waiting for!!! ok not really you guys are probably waiting on the foal however her milk veins have shrunk thank god! and she is startign to bag up yay!!! so maybe soon! i got some pictures for you guys who are interested and i apologize i had just let her out to run around in the pasture while we were riding so she is dirty and i didn't think to brush BEFORE the pictures(i brushed her aftwards HA!) as i was so excited that she has finally started to bag up so yippee!

but first pictures from back in january so you can see the change!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
ok and now for the dirty pictures from today! okie dokie and sorry for her dirtiness i DID brush her afterwards was just overly excited about getting pics
 

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her udders arent even close. I doubt shes due very soon, maybe within a few more weeks.(haha watch her have it sooner to prove me wrong)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
lol that'd be funny! was hoping sometime in the next 2 weeks or so. however this willbe her 4th foal so i am sure she can do everything on her own. as the previous owners said they'd always walk out to the barn and there was a baby. and she has never had any complications or anything. and i called her previous owners to ask them questions about how early she usually bags up and everything but no one ever answered so oh well. guess we are going out there at 1 am everynight to check on things lol
 

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It looks to me like she has swelling, or edema, on the floor of her belly. Your description of a fingerprint lasting 20 seconds or so before filling in supports that idea. This is not uncommon in pregnant mares, especially if they are confined or not moving around much. If you can increase her excercise by turnout, handwalking, or even putting her food and her water on opposite ends of a corral so she has to walk back and forth more than she is, it might help. If it doesnt improve, or it gets worse, your vet should see her to rule out circulation problems.
Here is some more info on edema in pregnant mares--
http://www.thoroughbredtimes.com/horse-health/1995/December/02/Edema-in-pregnant-mares.aspx
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
yeah she is confined to a 14x15 foaling stall. when we ride and such we let her out into the pasture. the only problem with us doing that as all of our grass is fescue and so is our hay. we left her out into the pasture the other day. and she found her way to where we keep the horses hay. so i had to put her back up again. i wont let her out with the other horses due to risk of her never being with them before and knowing they would kick. so i'll be slowly introducing her to them after she foals. so she gets exercise just not as frequently as i would like.
 

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If you can find any safe way to increase her excercise it will be much better for her. Horses need to move around freely and pregnant mares especially need to move. Even if all you can do is handwalk her or get her moving on a longe line at a fast walk or a jog for 10-15 minutes a day it would help (you might have to work her up to that amount of time, if she has been confined and not excercising.) It can more difficult for a mare with edema to deliver their foal, and to nurse their foal, and they can be at greater risk for certain complications.
 

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Several years ago an older mare I got was bred, the person I bought her from didnt bother to tell me about the extra package.. the mare was 20. Her milk veins got huge, alot bigger than your mares and I had my vet come out and check her. I had never seen any other mares milk veins get so huge. My vet is an old country vet, but I trust him.. He kinda chuckled and said she will be fine,, she needs exercise get her out and walk her .. I had her seperated from the other horses in a small paddock on the side of the barn. We walked and walked.. a couple weeks later she had a huge sack and a beautiful buckskin baby boy.. . if you have concerns get your vet out ..
 

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I agree with others that it looks like edema and that some walking will do the girl good. Mares love to be sneaky- some bag up really early and some wait until the last possible second. See if you can't get her moving a little more and help get that edema eased up, it can't be comfortable to be that HUGE and also have swelling in the belly. Good luck, don't forget to post pics of the *baby!!!*
 

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exercise is pretty important at this stage. but so is avoiding fescue. if you think she has gotten some fescue, then she might be closer to foaling than you think. if she is milkless from fescue, you might talk to your vet about domperidone. ( i always have to think about that name. i only remember it sounds like a champagne. dom perignon. LOL)

i have had a few mares have huge veins like that, but i don't recall it being associated with any problems. but we did have two with no milk that needed the domperidone. that stuff takes 2 weeks to work.

sounds like you should have a conversation with your vet. perhaps you can email him some pictures.

is there an arena where you can leave her out every day?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
today i took her for a 30 minute walk. is that decent enough. and since our pastures have very minimal grass. we are debatign switching the other horses over to a pasture with more grass and giving her run of the main one for the day. so she can stretch her legs out. she is startign to bag up now but only ever so slightly. hopefully more soon.

as for the fescue. we got her in december. and she was still on grass then. we switched her off that about a week or so after we got her. we were riding her every few days to keep the exercise up. but it's getting to close for me to feel comfortable riding her. and with all the snow and such and her being blind in one eye. i'd feel safer walking her. but do you think it would be ok to let her have the pasture for a day? i'm not sure what kind of grass our pastures are to be honest. but fescue is definitely here so i just assume it's also in the grass. would that much do any damage? or would it really just be better if i walked her for 30 minutes daily?
 

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today i took her for a 30 minute walk. is that decent enough. and since our pastures have very minimal grass. we are debatign switching the other horses over to a pasture with more grass and giving her run of the main one for the day. so she can stretch her legs out.
I think this is a very good idea. Horses are built to be on the move, and cooping a horse up in its stall with no exercise can be detrimental to their health. I think it would be very smart to move her to an area she can spend a bit of time roaming around in :)
 

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fescue is most dangerous the last 45 days of pregnancy. can you turn her out for a little while more often? sometimes then they spend their time moving around instead of eating. or put some good fescue free hay out with her. best to test it. or find a corral that is so eaten down that there is no grass to eat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
ok guys i got some pictures of her today. and i got some pictures of our pasture to show you how sparse our grass is. with 4 horses on it and the pregnant mare on it every now and then. there is no grass left but spots here and there. so here we go. i think all snowflakes pictures will be in the first post and i'll make another post with the grass pictures
 

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