Expecting Mare Not Producing Milk

1 view
Skip to first unread message

Kimberly Welte

unread,
May 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/28/96
to

My mother-in-law has a Quarter Horse mare which is due to foal anytime in the
next week or so. This is the mare's first foal. At first the mare didn't
have a milk sack at all. After visiting the vet and getting a shot of
something that was to help her develop one, a small milk sack appeared less
than a week later.

A couple of weeks after developing the sack though, it has gotten smaller. It
looks like there's hardly any milk in it at all if any. She's now feeding
calf manna to the mare hoping that will help in addition to the regular diet
of Omaline 300.

Is it normal for some mares to have such tiny milk sacks? It doesn't look
right to me. Also, will feeding the calf manna help or is there something
else that she could do?

A third question, it seems that feeding Omaline 300 (15% protein) and calf
manna (25% protein) is an overload on protein. Does anyone else agree and
have a suggestion on what should be done about this?

Please reply directly to the email address listed below.

Thanks in advance for all replies and advice,
Kimberly

Kimberl...@radian.com

Kimberly Welte

unread,
May 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/28/96
to

Kimberly Welte

unread,
May 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/28/96
to

My mother-in-law has a Quarter Horse mare which is due to foal anytime in the
next week or so. This is the mare's first foal. At first the mare didn't
have a milk sack at all. After visiting the vet and getting a shot of
something that was to help her develop one, a small milk sack appeared less
than a week later.

A couple of weeks after developing the sack though, it has gotten smaller. It
looks like there's hardly any milk in it at all if any. She's now feeding
calf manna to the mare hoping that will help in addition to the regular diet
of Omaline 300.

Is it normal for some mares to have such tiny milk sacks? It doesn't look
right to me. Also, will feeding the calf manna help or is there something
else that she could do?

A third question, it seems that feeding Omalene 300 (15% protein) and calf

John T. Klausner

unread,
May 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/28/96
to

In <4of052$t...@zippy.radian.com> Kimberl...@radian.com (Kimberly

Welte) writes:
>
>My mother-in-law has a Quarter Horse mare which is due to foal anytime
in the
>next week or so. This is the mare's first foal. At first the mare
didn't
>have a milk sack at all. After visiting the vet and getting a shot of

>something that was to help her develop one, a small milk sack appeared
less
>than a week later.
>
>A couple of weeks after developing the sack though, it has gotten
smaller. It
>looks like there's hardly any milk in it at all if any. She's now
feeding
>calf manna to the mare hoping that will help in addition to the
regular diet
>of Omaline 300.
>
>Is it normal for some mares to have such tiny milk sacks? It doesn't
look
>right to me. Also, will feeding the calf manna help or is there
something
>else that she could do?
>

>A third question, it seems that feeding Omaline 300 (15% protein) and


calf
>manna (25% protein) is an overload on protein. Does anyone else agree
and
>have a suggestion on what should be done about this?
>
>Please reply directly to the email address listed below.
>
>Thanks in advance for all replies and advice,
>Kimberly
>
>Kimberl...@radian.com

Development of an udder is a factor of hormones, not protein. The mare
may "spring a bag" on foaling, or you may have a problem. The excess
protein the mare is being given will be excreted in her urine. When
the mare foals, if she still has no udder and no milk production, you
vet will tell you what to do next. Until then, there probably isn't
much you can do - certainly nothing without the help of THE VET!

Kimberly Welte

unread,
May 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/28/96
to

My mother-in-law has a Quarter Horse mare which is due to foal anytime in the
next week or so. This is the mare's first foal. At first the mare didn't
have a milk sack at all. After visiting the vet and getting a shot of
something that was to help her develop one, a small milk sack appeared less
than a week later.

A couple of weeks after developing the sack though, it has gotten smaller. It
looks like there's hardly any milk in it at all if any. She's now feeding
calf manna to the mare hoping that will help in addition to the regular diet
of Omaline 300.

Is it normal for some mares to have such tiny milk sacks? It doesn't look
right to me. Also, will feeding the calf manna help or is there something
else that she could do?

A third question, it seems that feeding Omalene 300 (15% protein) and calf

Jim & Laura Behning

unread,
May 28, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/28/96
to

Kimberl...@radian.com (Kimberly Welte) wrote:

>My mother-in-law has a Quarter Horse mare which is due to foal anytime in the
>next week or so. This is the mare's first foal. At first the mare didn't
>have a milk sack at all. After visiting the vet and getting a shot of
>something that was to help her develop one, a small milk sack appeared less
>than a week later.

>A couple of weeks after developing the sack though, it has gotten smaller. It
>looks like there's hardly any milk in it at all if any. She's now feeding
>calf manna to the mare hoping that will help in addition to the regular diet
>of Omaline 300.

<snip>

Has said mare been on fescue pasture? That would inhibit milk
production and can cause problems at parturition such as premature
separation of the placenta.

Some mares just wait until the last possible moment to develop an
udder; this mare may actually be further from her actual foaling date
than anyone realizes. Your vet can tell you more.

Laura Behning
mor...@mindspring.com

MannuscriptFarm

unread,
May 29, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/29/96
to

>Kimberl...@radian.com (Kimberly Welte) wrote:
>
>>My mother-in-law has a Quarter Horse mare which is due to foal anytime in the
>>next week or so. This is the mare's first foal. At first the mare didn't
>>have a milk sack at all. After visiting the vet and getting a shot of
>>something that was to help her develop one, a small milk sack appeared less
>>than a week later.>
>>A couple of weeks after developing the sack though, it has gotten smaller. It
>>looks like there's hardly any milk in it at all if any. She's now feeding
>>calf manna to the mare hoping that will help in addition to the regular diet
>>of Omaline 300.
><snip>

Get the mare OFF the calf manna. You should NEVER feed a gestating mare
anything that contains more than 14 percent protein. Excessive protein
can produce too much ammonia which can cross the placenta and interfere
with normal neurological development of the foal. It's also hard on the
mare's kidneys. It certainly isn't going to help her develop a milk
sack.

There is a possibility of fescue poisoning. Check with your local
extension office to see if there is an existing problem in the area.
Unfortunately, if it's fescue, you already have a problem and you had
better start looking for a milk source before the foal is born. Signs of
fescue poisoning: proglonged gestation, thickened placenta, inadequate
milk supply and weak foal, premature separation of the placenta. Check
with your vet!!!! Make sure someone is there to attend the foaling as
with the thickened placenta, even if the foal is born alive, it may not
be able to break the sack and may suffocate.

Hope I haven't scared you, but you need to be aware of what the problem
may be. Good luck :-)!!!!

Kathy Mann
Mannuscript Farm


at...@cswnet.com

unread,
May 31, 1996, 3:00:00 AM5/31/96
to

Just a note to add to what Jane wrote.
If your mare is pastured on fescue, LOOK OUT! Most of the tall fescue in the
horsey areas of this country is subject to something generally referred to as
endophyte fungus. This stuff produces a chemical which inhibits the production
of milk in SOME (but not all for some reason,) mares and can cause the loss of
your pending foal...

You CAN pasture an expectant mare in this stuff but get her off it at least
2 months before foaling...
Morgan


In article <4oobs4$l...@lurch.sccsi.com>, Jane says...
>
>In article <4of05s$t...@zippy.radian.com> Kimberly Welte,


>Kimberl...@radian.com writes:
>>Is it normal for some mares to have such tiny milk sacks? It doesn't look
>>right to me.
>

>Yup. Particularly some maiden mares won't produce milk until after they
>foal. I have one mare who is flat as a pancake each time she foals.
>Within 30 minutes after foaling she's got a bag as big as a cow's. Don't
>worry about it. That is until after she foals. If she still doesn't
>produce milk, the vet will give her oxytocin to help relax her and to let
>down the milk.


>
>>Also, will feeding the calf manna help or is there something
>>else that she could do?
>

>Relax and let mother nature take its course. If ya want to spend your
>money, go ahead, but it's not needed.
>
>>A third question, it seems that feeding Omaline 300 (15% protein) and calf

>>manna (25% protein) is an overload on protein. Does anyone else agree and
>>have a suggestion on what should be done about this?
>
>

>That's awfully high. The protein will go into the milk sucked by the foal
>who may end up growing too rapidly and having upright pasterns and club
>feet. Cut back on the protein to 12%. Hay should be your main
>feed....free choice, good clean fresh hay.
>
>down the sunny trails . . .
>jane kilberg and her gang of spotted 4 legged critters at the
>rocking double j ranch in the great nation of Tejas
>member of ApHC, Sundance '500' Int'l (Appaloosa appreciation society)
>Montgomery County Adult Horse Committee

Jane H. Kilberg

unread,
Jun 1, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/1/96
to

Jessica Jahiel

unread,
Jun 3, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/3/96
to

at...@cswnet.com wrote:

: You CAN pasture an expectant mare in this stuff but get her off it at least


: 2 months before foaling...
: Morgan


Hi -- fescue is not considered to be safe for in-foal mares during the
last THREE months.

- Jessica

--
jja...@firefly.prairienet.org | Jessica Jahiel, Ph.D.
http://www.prairienet.org/jjahiel/ | * Lessons * Training * Clinics *
Voice: (217) 359-9880 | Emphasis on communication
FAX: (217) 359-9774 | between horse and rider
===========================================================================
"God forbid that I should go to any heaven in which there are no horses."
-- R. B. Cunningham Graham
===========================================================================

CarolP3186

unread,
Jun 4, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/4/96
to

In article <4otc1f$b...@vixen.cso.uiuc.edu>, jja...@firefly.prairienet.org
(Jessica Jahiel) writes:

>
>: You CAN pasture an expectant mare in this stuff but get her off it at
least
>: 2 months before foaling...
>: Morgan
>
>
>Hi -- fescue is not considered to be safe for in-foal mares during the
>last THREE months.

My pastures are fescue, so I had a choice of confining my 19 year old in
foal mare or letting her eat the fescue. WITH MY VET"S RELUCTANT
APPROVAL (he suggested boarding the mare at a breeding farm) I left her on
the pasture which was pretty well chewed down over the winter, fed her 15
lb Equine Senior a day and watched her carefully. Two weeks before she
was due to foal she developed a nice bag. Had she not bagged up we would
have put her on domperidone, at the cost of $10/day. She foaled normally
on day 350, May 1. There was no abnormal thickening of the placental
tissue.
The toxin is supposedly concentrated in the seeds and roots of the fescue
plant, making first cutting hay riskier than pasture.
Carol in Spotsylvania, VA

Suzanne Osio

unread,
Jun 5, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/5/96
to

carol...@aol.com (CarolP3186) wrote:

>In article <4otc1f$b...@vixen.cso.uiuc.edu>, jja...@firefly.prairienet.org
>(Jessica Jahiel) writes:

>>
>>: You CAN pasture an expectant mare in this stuff but get her off it at
>least
>>: 2 months before foaling...
>>: Morgan
>>
>>
>>Hi -- fescue is not considered to be safe for in-foal mares during the
>>last THREE months.

Question, is it any kind of fescue, or just a certain strain? And,
how do I find out if I have it in my pastures? What does it look
like? I have a pony who is ready to foal, I don't know the actual
day, but has soft muscles and is huge. My pasture was seeded, before
me, as a hay field for cows. I am in central NY. Is this a common
plant around here? She doesn't have a bag, but has foaled before.

Suzanne


Bruce Saul

unread,
Jun 6, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/6/96
to

The fescue that is involved is infected with an endophyte, which is
a fungus that lives inside the plant, and is a variety of tall fescue grass.
If your mare is due to foal within a couple of weeks and hasn't started
making her milk bag you might have your vet check her for you. There are
other problems associated with fescue endophyte poisoning besides lack of
milk, low birth weight, thickened placentas, and overlong gestations are
common. There are other causes for the same things, one mare that had
all of those signs in our area turned out to have a poor attachment of the
placenta, she had no access to fescue at all (fed alfalfa in a corral).
Unfortunately because of the poor placental attachment her foal was born
dead. I don't know a thing about central NY, but you could try calling
the county extension office in your area and see if anyone knows or could
identify the grasses in your fields.

Tracy and everybody

CarolP3186

unread,
Jun 6, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/6/96
to

In article <4p44rg$d...@murphy2.servtech.com>, ster...@servtech.com
(Suzanne Osio) writes:

>Question, is it any kind of fescue, or just a certain strain? And,
>how do I find out if I have it in my pastures? What does it look
>like? I have a pony who is ready to foal, I don't know the actual
>day, but has soft muscles and is huge. My pasture was seeded, before
>me, as a hay field for cows. I am in central NY. Is this a common
>plant around here? She doesn't have a bag, but has foaled before.
>

>Suzanne
>
>
It is red fescue and your county agent should be able to tell you if you
have it and can also test for the endophytic fungus that actually produces
the toxin. Your fields should be going to seed soon, fescue seed heads
are smaller and finer than orchard grass or timothy and have a redish
tint. I believe it is more common in the South.
The main criteria my vet used to determine if my mare was in danger of
fescue toxicity were the size and consistancy of her bag. It should be
large and firm. You should be able to CAREFULLY express some liquid from
it BE CAREFUL as some mares cowkick. The liquid will change from almost
clear to amber syrup to milk. When you can express milk the mare should
foal shortly..I am saying this knowing that one mare of mine once dripped
milk for three days but that is not usual.
Fescue poisoning can cause the mare not to produce milk, carry the foal
longer than normal, have a difficult delivery due to the size of the foal
and often to its position, and to have thick placental membranes that do
not rupture when the foal is born. There is a drug called domperidone
which can reverse these problems
Has your vet seen the mare recently? She should at least have had a
tetnus shot, as well as anything else that might be contageous in your
area. The foal is not born with immunity and needs a good dose of
antibodies in the colostrum.
Good luck with your mare.
Carol in Spotsylvania, VA

nancy smith

unread,
Jun 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/20/96
to

I have heard of a new oral medication/supplement that under study by
Auburn University called, "domperidom" (spelling?) that is being
developed to combat fescue toxicity. The drug is administered like
paste wormer 1x/day to a mare that is within 30 days of expected
foaling date to bring the mammaries into milk production.

Ask your vets about it!!! A couple of breeders I know have
successfully used this drug this year on mares that were pastured on
infected fescue fields, and all produced milk within 72 hours of
initial dosage. They had no bucket babies at all, for the first time
in several years!!!!!!!!!!

<< disclaimer on >>
- I am not in any way an equine health practitioner -
<< off >>

-- nancy


EBlaschke

unread,
Jun 20, 1996, 3:00:00 AM6/20/96
to

Have had experience with Domperidom. Had a mare loose a foal one week and
a foal loose its mother the next. We supplimented foal for two weeks and
the mare kicked in with mothers milk. It did take a while to build mares
milk supply back up and that is why we chose to suppliment foal. The drug
must work as baby is a very "bloomy" filly with a lot of energy. For more
info E- Mail me at EBla...@aol.com

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages