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Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition

   Welcome to my forum. 

Here you will find more than 6 years of questions and my answers. It is searchable and offers a great deal of information. 

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 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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non pregnant mare with swollen teats

I inherited a 4 yo paint mare, coming 6, that has never been bred and lives with 2 other mares 24/7 choice hay, small amount of grain with ABC Plus and Omega Fields Antioxidant Flax and as natural an environment as I can provide....I live south of Atlanta GA

In Feb 07, she began to develop enlarged teats but without swollen udders....there was a sticky substance that could be milked ......never was off her feed, training/conditioning schedule or feverish.....the right was more swollen than the left...and has stayed that way, not decreasing or increasing in size....

Until about the first of March the right teat is grossly swollen and the left is about 1/2 the size of the right.....and there is milk there....she is not fond of it being it being massaged to hoof trimmer thinks that it is because she is a mare that is meant to procreate and is living in a same sex environment....she suggested I start her on liquid chasteberry....such as Hormonise....

I have not had her palpated by the vet but my small animal vet has looked and said that it wasn't mastitis ...

Would love to hear your thoughts on what might be causing this....

Where are you from? GA

How did you locate this forum? google

Re: non pregnant mare with swollen teats

Hello Karen,

My first reaction is that it is mastitis, so perhaps a second opinion from an equine vet would be helpful.

It may also be hormonal, so your best bet would be to have your vet take a look at her.

From a nutritional perspective, it may be related to Cushings, though this is not common. To confirm this, have your vet do some bloodwork for diagnosing Cushings (an ACTH test). If that ends up being the case, you'll want to put her on a low starch/low sugar diet with no cereal grains. For example, the Omega Horseshine flax product has oats in it, so this would not be favorable in this case. Go with Nutra Flax, instead since it is nothing but flaxseed meal with some calcium added to correct the inverted calcium to phosphorus ratio naturally found in flax.

Keep me posted,

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO

Re: non pregnant mare with swollen teats

My new 13 year old mare was recently diagnosed with mastitis and was given antibiotic and bute for about 8 days. The swollen udders went down, but her teats are still swollen and somewhat hard. This mare was pulled from a pasture where she was with her 5-year old baby. We believe she may have nursed longer than normal. She is very lethargic acting most of the time, but I'm thinking this may be her personality. She had a grass belly when I got her and it has gone down some. She was overweight and had fat down her mane line. She's looking better (weight wise) but I still have concerns. Althought she is done with her medicine, the teats are still swollen. Could some of her problem be from nursing too long?


Where are you from? Texas

How did you locate this forum? Just browsing online

Re: non pregnant mare with swollen teats

Hello Tammy,

She may have developed mastitis as a result of nursing too long and it would not hurt to have your vet look at her.

She may also have nutritional needs from years of neglect and I would be happy to assist you with that if you would like to set up a phone visit. But, your first step would be to have her examined and have blood work drawn to determine how she's doing "on the inside."

Keep me posted,

Dr. Getty

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO