I think my mares milk is drying up. What can I do for now?

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Watcheye

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I am absolutely calling the vet in the morning.

I believe I am having trouble with my mares milk production. There were complications when our foal was born so I immediately milked the mare and syringed the Colostrum to our foal. I think we got about 15 mL down her. She struggles to find the nipple and we have had to help her. I notice she tries to nurse on everything when we are there which leads me to think shes not getting anything. I believe my mares milk is drying up. I tried to milk her but I get VERY little. Again, we will be calling the vet in the morning but is there something else I should be doing?
 

chandab

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How old is the foal? sounds likely very young. When my first was born, I was very worried she wasn't getting enough as the mare had a smallish bag and baby seemed to always being looking for food. I was told that if baby has energy and is running and playing that she was probably getting plenty. New foals nurse little and very often, so it may seem like she isn't getting enough. How is the foal acting now that you've given it a little bit of milk?

Its possible that the mare might need something like domperidone (Equidone) to get her milk to come in better, if she's not producing enough for her foal. Mares are some what hard to milk, so making a breast pump can help, there are directions on the LB info pages (it just takes one like 35cc syringe to make the pump, and it sure beats trying to do it by hand).
 

AnnaC

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As Chanda asks, it will help to know how old the foal is - when was the birth and what do you mean by complications?

Babies do tend to search everywhere (walls, doors, you) for milk supplies, plus as you had to feed her in the first place (well done you for doing this so promptly) this can lead to 'confusion' in a new baby as to where the milk should actually come from!!

Most mares will only have/let down a small amount of milk/colostrum for the first couple of days, especially if baby is not continually sucking - too much 'flow' of milk can choke a very young foal - the milk flow increases as the days pass so your mare might be fine once the little filly starts drinking properly. Also a lot of mares wont let YOU have any of their milk supply very easily, almost as if they are saving it for their babies, bless them.

By all means have a word with your vet, but as long as you are able to get enough milk into your little filly for a couple of days, then I'm sure you will find that everything sorts itself out very shortly.

Hope this helps you a little, but without knowing the full story it is a little difficult to give any advice.

Good luck!
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stormy

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I would for sure get an IgG test run to assure your baby got enough colostrum, domperidone will bring the mares milk in but may want to see if your vet has some milk replacer you can use in the meanwhile. Had a mare foal with no milk at all this year as did other folks in this area, vets think it was related to droughted hay fed over the winter. Had to do serum transfusions on my boy and fed him milk replacer first by syringe then out of a bowl until mommas milk came in fully when he was about 2 weeks old.
 

Marty

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My mare didn't even have a bag when she foaled or afterwards. Talk about flipping out! Same thing here when the colt was nursing all over her legs and tail but they all seem to do that at the very first. But there was milk and plenty of it coming from somewhere that I just couldn't see or even feel. As long as your baby is running and playing around I'll bet he's getting sufficient milk.
 

Watcheye

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Hello and thank you guys! She was just born yesterday morning. The complications were that while her legs were properly positioned, her head was back a little and slightly sideways and her uterus was tight making it VERY difficult for me and then the vet when he arrived to manuver up in there to get the baby straigtened out. It got a little tense and my mare was exhausted and on several meds and an iv afterward. She was shaking really hard so I was trying to keep the baby away in case she fell down or laid down. I didnt want her to land on her. Because of this we stayed in the stall with them and I milked her as much as I could.

We held the baby up there several times trying to make sure she was eating but by evening I saw that the bag was REALLY small and I didnt know how much she was getting. She seems really bad at latching on and staying on. You have to remind Prism to stand still and once you do she will stand and let the baby nurse. Or try to. I have to watch very carefully that she has the nipple in her mouth because she will go through the motions but if you look she doesnt have anything in her mouth and is sucking on her toungue. That combined with the fact that I wasnt getting much out of my mare and that the baby kept looking all over everything trying to nurse had me increasingly nervous. I tried to call my vet out after hours last night but I was not able to get him here till bright and early this morning. We did the IGG test and got the past to try to bring in my mares milk. My mare looks amazing compared to yesterday. She is eating and drinking well. She is careful not to step on her baby but doesnt seem overly motherly which is a little discouraging. I imagine it is the fact she is a maiden combined with all she went through yesterday =( We will continue to try to get milk from her AND we got a special supliment milk just for horses from the vet which we are feeding our foal next to her mom. We are on pins and deedles waiting on the IGG test but the vet said she LOOKED pretty good so far. We will keep trying. She is SO cute and I hope to do an "introducing" page shortly. Thank you all for your input!
 

little lady

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So glad to hear things are going in a positive direction. Can't wait to see pics!
 

eagles ring farm

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So glad things are looking up. We had a maiden this year who wasn't the most loving mom at first not awful but not seeming to really give a hoot about baby

and she was unusually uncomfortable so would let baby nurse then chase her away when she came back a second time too quickly

but she has come around to be a great mom and has even let one of our other foals nurse from her a few times that I saw

As someone told me some maidens are like teenage mothers and need some time to figure out what happened and their role in it

hope to see pics of your new addition soon
 

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