Is your horse’s urine normal?


Ever wonder what normal horse urine looks like? Well, I do, and that either makes me totally weird or I just want to know almost everything about horses. But most importantly, we need to know what’s normal so we can spot the problems.


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Normal horse urine is:


  • Normal horse urine is cloudy. This is due to the calcium carbonate crystals present in urine.


  • Normal horse urine is foamy. This is due to the presence of totally normal mucus in urine. The mucus helps to prevent calcium carbonate crystals from forming stones.


  • Normal horse urine can vary in color, from light yellow to dark yellow. The color can vary within the amount that is voided at one time. This means that it can start out dark, and end up clear. Or the other way around.


horse urinating in a field


  • Sometimes, you may notice that after exercise the urine is darker. Usually no worries there, darker urine can be normal OR it can be a sign of tying up and some other serious diseases.


  • You may also observe dark urine at other times other than after exercise, or even bloody urine. That is the time to worry and call your veterinarian.


  • Urinary problems are rare in horses, but stones and infections can happen. Knowing your horse’s typical urination pattern and how it looks can alert you to issues.


Call the veterinarian immediately if you notice any of the following:


  • Abnormally dark urine


  • Blood in the urine


  • Straining to urinate


  • Groaning or grunting while urinating


  • Assuming the urinating stance with no urination going on


  • Small amounts of urine, or urinating more frequently, although mares in season may do this as part of their cycle.


  • Polyuria and polydipsia (PUPD) – which is massive water drinking and massive urine volumes. This is a sign of metabolic disorders, kidney problems, and a few other horrible things.


  • Colicky behavior with a dropped penis


It’s very easy to obtain and run a urinalysis to resolve any urinary issues before they get out of hand. Any time you suspect something is off-kilter, the veterinarian should be called.


Urinary, bladder, and kidney functions are linked tightly together, and some problems like a ruptured bladder can be fatal. Don’t wait if you notice something not right about your horse’s urination patterns or urine itself.


horse belly and urine patch in the sand

Horses that can pee on command are a plus for monitoring health!


It’s also not a bad idea to have a yearly urinalysis on your horse at his regular check-up. This is especially important for older horses! If you have a horse that can urinate on command, this will help the collection process.


Have you had urinary issues with your horse?


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