Persistent bleeding from the vulva was the only presenting clinical sign in five non-pregnant pluriparous mares varying in age from eight to 20 years. These were two hunter types, one shire, one thoroughbred and one Arab pony. The haemorrhage originated from ulcerated varicose veins present on the dorsal wall of the vagina adjacent to the vestibulovaginal junction. All five mares were successfully treated, by submucosal resection (two), ligation of vessels (two) or diathermy (one). In four mares there was evidence of vulval incompetence caused by depression of the perineum. The importance of this and the role of impaired venous return during and after pregnancy are discussed.
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