Fat or in Foal??

Jan 20, 2020
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Hi everyone, really wanting your thoughts ahead of a vet visit on Tuesday next week. I'm a little worried that my new mare may be in foal. I got this mare in early May, not overweight at all and from a lovely lady with no stallions around. However, she had only owned her from November time last year and there is a gap from August 2019 to November 2019 where I'm not sure where she was, probably dealers. The mare is 13 years old and had a foal 7 years ago. Shes very girthy and quite a madam sometimes but her behaviour lately has been off - more spooky and more prone to try and nip, lift back legs if anyone bothers her near teats. She's been gaining weight and 3 weeks ago is started with grazing muzzle - 2 weeks of this but no change in weight. I'd started to worry about ulcers due to girth issues, so had had decided to leave muzzle until I could have that looked at. About 1.5 weeks ago, farrier attended and remarked on her belly, tested teats and he said some milk came out. He didnt try again as she was getting stressed. I've stopped riding her pending vet visit this coming Tuesday, but she seems to be getting increasingly larger- the grass on her field is very short, shes out in day and in at night with just a hay net. I've added pics of belly, teats and vulva for your opinions. I do think vulva has changed colour, more pink than usual, looks a little longer maybe too?

I'm stuck at the min as daren't tackle the weight issue until I can rule out pregnancy.
If not pregnant, I can get her scanned for ulcers to investigate girthing issues go from there.

Sorry for the essay and thanks for reading! x
 

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carthorse

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You're doing the right thing getting the vet out, and if she's just fat a few more days before starting the diet won't make a difference. Looking at the shape of her and her condition apart from the tummy then I wouldn't be surprised if she was in foal.
 
Jan 20, 2020
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You're doing the right thing getting the vet out, and if she's just fat a few more days before starting the diet won't make a difference. Looking at the shape of her and her condition apart from the tummy then I wouldn't be surprised if she was in foal.

Thank you, Tuesday can't come soon enough ? x
 

newforest

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You have a mare that comes into season, is nippy and doesn't want to be tacked up sometimes on some days.

Why is anyone bothering her near her teats, what is essential that needs doing?

A grazing muzzle won't suddenly shrink a waistline without work being increased as well. If you stop all work, then yes she will get larger, it's the summer. Short had is more sugary than old long grass.

I can't see her being nine months pregnant in those photos.
But worth a check to rule out.
 
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You have a mare that comes into season, is nippy and doesn't want to be tacked up sometimes on some days.

Why is anyone bothering her near her teats, what is essential that needs doing?

A grazing muzzle won't suddenly shrink a waistline without work being increased as well. If you stop all work, then yes she will get larger, it's the summer. Short had is more sugary than old long grass.

I can't see her being nine months pregnant in those photos.
But worth a check to rule out.

Thank you. She's been in work, hacking thee times a week and some lunging in between, but like you say, I hadn't increased workload at same time as starting muzzle. I hope it's not a pregnancy, as lovely as a foal would be. I need to rule it out so we can begin to get weight off x
 

carthorse

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Just because short grass has a higher sugar % doesn't mean they'll get fat on it, not if it's short enough that they aren't managing to eat much of it. And short grass, having less fibre, doesn't tend to produce a gut the way long stemmy grass does, though if she's getting a lot of grass that may. Tuesday will tell, if she's that far along a vet should be able to tell you there and then.
 
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Kite_Rider

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I hope for you she isn’t in foal but she’s definitely got that mummy tummy look about her to me, but I’m no expert. Fingers crossed the vet gives you the all clear on Tuesday.
 
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I hope for you she isn’t in foal but she’s definitely got that mummy tummy look about her to me, but I’m no expert. Fingers crossed the vet gives you the all clear on Tuesday.

I'm definitely no expert either ? A definitive answer either way from the vet will be much better than not knowing ? x
 
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Huggy

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I hope you get an all clear. I'm no expert at all with mares, but having my own chubby cob, the only observation I'd make, is that if it's just fat, her bottom isn't keeping up with her tummy, so to speak, but that could just be her particular shape.
 
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Mary Poppins

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It will be interesting to see what the vet says, but to me she just looks fat. She looks to have a well established creast and is certainly well covered all round. With the recent rain the grass is full of sugar. Her belly looks exactly like my geldings and I’m pretty sure he isn’t pregnant.
 
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It will be interesting to see what the vet says, but to me she just looks fat. She looks to have a well established creast and is certainly well covered all round. With the recent rain the grass is full of sugar. Her belly looks exactly like my geldings and I’m pretty sure he isn’t pregnant.

Lots what I keep telling myself - I've seen quite a few pregnant looking geldings ??
 
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Mary Poppins

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Lots what I keep telling myself - I've seen quite a few pregnant looking geldings ??
My horse used to be so toned and weighed far less. But due to injury I thought that this would be his last summer and abandoned the grazing muzzle. He now reminds me of an elderly male with a big fat tummy who drinks beer and eats takeaways. He knows his lifestyle is unhealthy but he is happy with his choices. For exercise he takes a gentle amble round the park before eating some more crisps and having another nap.
 

Ale

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First picture looks like a baby belly to my very limited knowledge (I've seen one pregnant mare ??) Good luck for just fat
 
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newforest

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The fact she's had a foal in the past would give the impression at times that they are pregnant. The muscles weaken.

Mine looked pregnant without work for three months on grazing. She wasn't but no work and she looked horrendously obese.
 
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Look at her head on, repeatedly. If she is ever fatter on one side, then chances are it's a foalie. Horses gain weight symmetrically, but a foal can poke out one side, depending on how it is laying.

I keep scrutinising her from all angles ? Its def larger on one side... I was applying a bit of pressure there the other night and felt a little jolt! Past two days I've been watching her closely with another livery and we've seen movements that look suspiciously like a foal ??
 
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