White discharge from mare's vulva?

Discussion in 'Horse Breeding' started by Manca, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. Manca

    Manca Senior Member

    Feb 2, 2012
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    What does it mean? I don't think she is in heat, but could be. The discharge has no smell and there is not a lot of it. Is it an infection or something or is it normal?

    However what worries me the most is that I've been noticing this discharge for a year or more, sometimes every month, sometimes twice or more a month, sometimes not at all. I thought it was normal, as I saw it on neighbour's cows too, but I've recently found out that it means that there is an infection. Is it like that with mares too?

    Some of you might know that she has some hind end problems for more than a year, vet said arthritis and maybe calcification on sacroiliac joint, meds didn't help, then we had osteo out, said vertebraes in loin area out, but she can't get them fixed. Cand is very tense and sore in hind end and is standing with her hind legs far apart. I'm wondering if some kind of infection has caused her so much pain... She also carries her tail away from her body and vet was concerned about it, so he did ultrasound of her ovaries (thinking about tumor) but it was ok.

    Now tell me please, if I'm just being silly (because my mom says the white discharge doesn't mean anything until it doesn't smell bad) or if I have to call vet asap.

    Here's a pic of what I'm talking about:


    It will come out as a whitish cloudy mucus and it looks like that when it dries up.

    She is always dirty like in the pic. I'm not completely sure if it is derbis or smegma, or both. I'm confused because I was told smegma should only be in the udder area? Anyway, when I clean her, she will be dirty again in two days, sometimes even earlier.

    I e-mailed vet to see what he thinks.

    She is almost 16yo, had two foals when she was 5 or so and was never breed in last 5 years since I own her. Don't know about before.
  2. Roleysnewmom

    Roleysnewmom Senior Member+

    Jul 15, 2009
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    It's likey because she's in heat, and I'd say based on the pic it's not too much to worry about. One of my mares was very vaginally tilted and constantly got infections. Poor thing nearly lived on SMZs. But let me tell you, you'll KNOW when there's a big infection brewing. Stinky, clumpy, thick, and the discharge dries like glue and is horrid to get out of fur! My other mare got monthly discharge, but only right before and after she went in heat it seemed. Regular healthy discharge should be clearish, or maybe a touch foggy, because it's getting out any vaginal debris afterall. When you see discharge that is opaque white, pink, yellow, green - any color really, and having large clumbs and a thick consistency is when you definitely need her looked at for an infection.

    Just keep an eye on it and if the discharge hangs around for a couple weeks or so maybe bring your vet out. Discharge is the vagina's natural way of clearing out the ickies. ;)
  3. ACCphotography

    ACCphotography Senior Member+

    Oct 8, 2007
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    No they do get smegma in that area as well IMO. I agree that what little she has there and the frequency at which you notice it, it is likely related to her cycling. My mare gets something similar but it's less even colored, more like white flakes inside a clearish discharge. The vet wasn't too sure about it so she took some samples and ran some tests... apparently it was excess calcium in her urine and it seemed to mostly coincide with her cycles. It seemed to get even more prevalent when we weaned her filly off and the theory is that one of the ways the body gets rid of milk that isn't being drunk is to urinate it out, which would indeed cause some calcium in the urine depending on how exactly that is handled. Just a theory but it sure made sense at the time.

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