Unfortunately I’m here to make my first post due to a concerning issue with my mare.
Firstly, a rundown of the horse in question - ‘Titinia’ is approx 14 years old, and my family has owned her since she was 18 months old. Never had any health issues. She has had two foals and is currently nursing the second (who is well past due for weaning :P). She is unbroken and has only ever been used as a paddock ornament. We currently only have three horses; her, her daughter and gelding son.
She is on grass in a 12 acre paddock and receives no supplemental feeding except a handful of hay as a treat each morning. All three horses are … fleshy :winkgrin: Not obese, but definitely a bit fat despite the dry weather as of late.
Two days ago, on the 10th, I noticed an unusual and large swelling along her belly towards the left of the midline. I’m unsure exactly how long it had been there as she doesn’t come up for the hay every morning, but it can’t have been more than a couple of days.
The swelling is firm and not noticeably hot. There is no visible injury but the swelling seems to be sore as she doesn’t like it to be touched. She is also strongly refusing to let her son nurse. The first day one side of her udder was swollen, and now both sides are.
She is acting fine and healthy in every other way - grazing and walking about normally, etc.
I took photos on the 10th and more just today. If you look closely at today’s you can notice that the swelling has spread further to the right side of her stomach, across the midline.
From what I have read, swelling like this can be commonly due to trauma to the area or pregnancy. It’s been really hot recently so the horses go swimming and rolling in the dam, so it’s possible she could have rolled onto a stick or sharp rock. I don’t think it was a kick as she is the boss mare and neither of the other two would ever kick her.
Pregnancy is hard to tell as she is already fat and lactating. The neighbours do have horses and at one point they had a horse with whom Titinia was particularly flirty, but I never got a good look to see if it was a stallion.
So, any ideas or other possible causes? Should I just wait and see if the swelling goes down or is there something I could do to help ease it?
Photos taken on the 10th
Photos from today (the 12th)
Her tail was cut as it got all tangled and knotty, that’s why it looks weirdly short…
And a photo of her daughter Nisbet for comparison (and it’s been raining today, sorry about the wet coats)
Titinia is currently feeding the gelding, not Nisbet, just to be clear. This is just so you can see what my other horses look like.