Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Discharge from One or Both Nostrils (Clear)

Code Green - Contact Your Vet to Obtain Useful Advice & Resources

Code Green - Contact Your Vet to Obtain Useful Advice & Resources

  • If the results of the Whole Horse Exam (WHE) suggest the horse is otherwise normal.

A small to moderate amount (not actively dripping from the nostrils) of clear nasal discharge from one or both nostrils is usually normal in horses. A normal, clear discharge is made up of secretions from the nasal passages, and from tears that drain from the eye through the naso-lacrimal duct and into the nostril.

If nasal discharge becomes excessive, thicker (mucous consistency), more opaque (white, yellow or green), contains feed material, or is accompanied by other abnormalities there may be cause for concern.


Assess your horse’s general health using the Whole Horse Exam (WHE), paying particular attention to whether this observation is accompanied by any other abnormalities or illness. If the nasal drainage is not clear or seems excessive, or the horse seems dull or depressed, share your findings and concerns with your vet.


Your vet will likely tell you this is a normal finding, unless it is accompanied by other signs of illness or abnormalities.

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP


We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.