Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Urine Amount Seems Excessive

Code Yellow - Contact Your Vet at Your Convenience for an Appointment

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

Code Yellow - Contact Your Vet at Your Convenience for an Appointment

  • If the horse's appetite and attitude are normal and you see nothing else wrong.

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

  • If you have questions about how management or feeding might affect this.

A normal 1000 lb horse urinates about 2.5 gallons (8-9 liters) per day. The amount generally relates to the amount of water ingested balanced with the amount of water lost through sweat, and other factors.

The most frequent reason that horses urinate excessively is because they drink excessively. In most cases, you will notice increased water consumption along with increased urination. Excessive drinking is most commonly a habitual behavior known by vets as psychogenic polydypsia. It is a condition found almost entirely in stabled horses.

However, excessive urination (along with excessive drinking) can also be a sign of other disease. Common conditions that cause excessive urination include PPID (Cushing’s Disease) and kidney failure.

WHAT TO DO

Assess the horse’s general health using the Whole Horse Exam (WHE), paying particular attention to the horse’s attitude and appetite. Try to measure the amount of water that your horse is drinking using buckets or water tanks rather than an automatic waterer. Your vet may also suggest that you collect a urine sample.

WHAT YOUR VET DOES

Your vet will examine the horse and may suggest blood lab work as part of a diagnostic workup. The goal of the exam is to rule out disease states, leaving the most likely diagnosis as psychogenic polydipsea.

What Not To Do

Do not restrict your horse's water intake unless directed to do so by your vet.

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP

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