Mastitis in 18 yr old dry mare - nothing's working

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by thebritt, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. thebritt

    thebritt Songster

    Mar 5, 2009
    Humboldt County
    We've had the vet out. We've tried:
    1st - shooting antibiotic into the teat
    2 - giving 14 antibiotic pills (Amoxi?) 2X/day for 7 days
    3 - more shooting into the teat
    4 - IM injections (Penicillin) - We're on our 5th day of that.
    UUHHHHGGG!!! The vet is totally baffled.
    ANYONE ELSE HAVE ANY SUGGESTIONS? She has now developed an abcess-looking wound (open and weeping) about 5" from her nipple on her udder. We clean w/a Betadine soln 2X/day. She's really starting to hate us! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2010
  2. thebritt

    thebritt Songster

    Mar 5, 2009
    Humboldt County
    [​IMG] Anyone???
  3. Bunnylady

    Bunnylady POOF Goes the Pooka

    Nov 27, 2009
    Wilmington, NC
    Never dealt with this, so just throwing an idea out there - could this maybe be some type of foreign body scenario? Like, she got poked by a stick or something while "horsing around" and a piece broke off, the wound healed over it, and the inflammation and infection are mimicking mastitis?
  4. thebritt

    thebritt Songster

    Mar 5, 2009
    Humboldt County
    Quote:True, some kind of owie from wire is not impossible, and my first thought. But I still don't get why the mastitis itself has not been cured by antibiotics. Should we milk her more? [​IMG]
  5. babyblue

    babyblue Songster

    Sep 23, 2009
    the more milk that is removed from the breast or teat the more milk the breasts or teats then tell the body to make, so if your goal is a dry mare then milking wont help. did she nurse and then wean a foal, had a failed or false pregnancy or did she just start lactating out of the blue?

    if this is a totaly random lacatation it could be caused by a tummor or cyst in or around the brain or ovarys. the only thing I know of is to have the tummor or cyst removed if that is the case. as far as the infection I would have the milk and fluids from the teats cultured so you know exactly what bacterial, viral or even fungel infection you are fighting, that will greatly help your chance of getting her the right antibiotics. also an ultrasound to detect any foren object is a good idea as well. to make sure you are not fighting that sort of infection and the lacatation is just masking it.

    if that still does not help and if it was my mare and I was worried about losing her to an infection I would even go as far as having the vet just remove the teats bag and all like a double masectomy in humans, esp if she was an older mare I wasnt plannign on breeding anymore.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2010
  6. HEAT. Apply a hot, wet towel to the area, if she'll let you...that's what worked for my mare when she had mastitis. She was on penicillin injections & I had to do the heat packs several times per day. It helped draw out the infection. Oh and I also milked her!
  7. mekasmom

    mekasmom Songster

    Dec 9, 2008
    From Merck--,mastitis

    Acute mastitis occurs occasionally in lactating mares, most commonly in the drying-off period, in one or both glands. Streptococcus zooepidemicus is the most frequent pathogen, but S equi , S equisimilis , S agalactiae , and S viridans are also found. A variety of gram-negative bacteria has also been reported. Marked painful swelling of the affected gland and adjacent tissues develops, and the secretion is often seroflocculent. Fever and depression may be present. The mare may walk stiffly or stand with hindlegs apart due to the discomfort.
    Treatment is similar to that in cows, but when intramammary infusions are used, they should be inserted separately into both orifices of the teat. Systemic therapy has been suggested to include trimethoprim-sulfonamide (based on 5 mg/kg of trimethoprim, PO, bid) or a combination of penicillin (20,000 IU/kg, IM, bid) and gentamicin sulfate (2 mg/kg, IV, tid). Therapy should be continued on the basis of culture and antibacterial sensitivity testing. Without prompt treatment, abscessation or induration of the gland can occur. Little is known about the frequency and persistence of subclinical intramammary infections in mares.

    From that description, I would try the injected Penicillin along with Gentamicin IV since the oral antibiotics didn't work. It says to keep giving it until the cultures are clear.
  8. pips&peeps

    pips&peeps There is no "I" in Ameraucana

    Jan 18, 2008
    Newman Lake, WA
    Any possibility of this being cancer. My dog had it in several teats and lost her life to it.
  9. mekasmom

    mekasmom Songster

    Dec 9, 2008
    One more thing..... Did you actually have this cultured? If not you want to do that. At this age, it might not be mastitis. It could be breast cancer with a lesion. I mean, mastitis would be more common, but she is 18, so anything is possible. At least have it cultured to make sure it is bacterial.

    I see someone else already suggested that. Sorry to repeat the concern.
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2010
  10. My mare was also on BUTE (oral) along with the penicillin.

    • Trauma to udder – causing an open wound allowing infection to spread (e.g. kick from horse, insect bites)
    • Dirty Bedding can contaminate the open wound
    • The mare may be more susceptible to infection
    • Oestrogen levels can affect the prevalence of mastitis
    • Excess oestrogen enlarges the mammary glands and produces milk when no there is no viable pregnancy


    - Pathogen causing the equine mastitis must be determined in order to treat with antibiotics.

    - Many pathogens can be responsible so a broad spectrum antibiotic is given. Previously penicillin was the only one given.

    - The teats must be hand milked frequently to reduce the swelling and pressure.

    - Hot packs and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications may also help reduce the pain and swelling.

    - With antibiotics mastitis is easily treatable in horses, the course of treatment must be completed or there is danger of a relapse.

    - If prompt action is taken, the infection could be reduced to normal within a week.

    - Permanent damage is unlikely if correct treatment is administered.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: