Age old question!..... Foal or no Foal??

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Apr 15, 2020
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Hi All,

I'm hoping one/some of you lovely people can help me out because I feel like I'm losing my mind!

I brought our lovely little Poppet at the end of January, she had no muscle tone and the classic thick whooley coat, she looked a bit ferel! Nothing a good diet and the UK summer cant sort out..... I had noticed she had a rather round belly despite me worming her on arrival but put this down to her 'type' and lack of top line.

Anyway fast forward 8 weeks, brought her in from the field (a slow 5 minute walk) and she was quite noticeably panting and very wide, weather was not warm but she had sweated up round her back legs, bent down to check her udder and with minimal contact 'milk' flowed out with ease! Called my vet sat with her til late in the evening because she was showing some very typical signs of foaling when she eventually just laid down and went to sleep. yawn!

Called vets the next day and got them to come out and examine her. Couldn't do an internal examination or ultrasound as all their equipment is too big for my little 32inch Poppet. So vet clipped her flanks and did an external scan, could see a pocket of fluid internally near the uterus but no clear picture of a foal, which isn't unsurprising as the scan will only penetrate 10cm deep. Ruling out other illness (colic, worms) Vet advised not to waste my money on the blood test as she was pretty convinced. Vet also mentioned she had no/very little fat on her.

I have spoken to her previous owners but they only had her for 3 months so it would have happened with the owner prior who is believed to have had her for around a year. They said they would try and get in contact with the lady however I've heard nothing back from them so assuming they couldn't/didn't get in contact with her.

I've been monitoring her daily, she has maximum of 5hr turned out in the field then a small feed of balancer as advised by the vet and a hay net at night. I've been feeling her behind and looking at her vulva but I don't know if I'm now seeing things! Excuse the dodgy clip, her coat killed my clipper blades so the bum had to stay on!

I'll attach some pictures of her, all were taken in the last couple of days. Please let me know you're thoughts!



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She's not very wide, but one side does look plumper than the other in the view looking DOWN. When you got liquid from her, what did it look like and FEEL like? Was it watery? Sticky?
She's not very wide, but one side does look plumper than the other in the view looking DOWN. When you got liquid from her, what did it look like and FEEL like? Was it watery? Sticky?

Thanks for replying, its white and watery not at all sticky. Still present today, had vet 3 weeks ago now.
Vet did say that and the fact her nipples are quite low down suggests something has suckled there before.

In your experience If she ISN'T pregnant what else could this be? I've read a lot on phantom pregnancies and hormone/grass induced milk but she doesn't fit the criteria for these.
Shes definitely not a maiden mare as her nipples would be tucked a lot higher and pointing a towards each other. Just out of curiosity , what sort of grass (pasture) is she on ? Wouldn't be clover by any chance ?

Keep a close eye on her, best to treat her as if she is until she is showing further signs .:)
Hi Ryan,

Thank you for responding. I'm not sure on the grass type, have you seen something similar previously? I have the vet coming back this week for vaccinations so I will have the blood test done so we can rule it in or out for definite.
I have one small pasture that has plenty of clover in it. Everytime this little mare goes onto it, she starts to produce swelling in her udder. I know its very prominent in cows and had never had it happen before , so I got the vet out to rule out pregnancy and the vet told me it can sometimes happen in horses too.
Sorry, Pics below


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