Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Not Urinating Enough

Code Red - Call Your Vet Immediately, Even Outside Business Hours

Code Orange - Call Your Vet at Their First Available Office Hours

Code Red - Call Your Vet Immediately, Even Outside Business Hours

  • If the results of the Whole Horse Exam (WHE) in the resting horse indicate fever (Temp >101F/38.3C) or heart rate greater than 48 BPM.

Code Orange - Call Your Vet at Their First Available Office Hours

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

Lack of urine production may be caused by dehydration, kidney problems, or blockage in the urinary tract.

WHAT TO DO

Assess your horse’s general health using the Whole Horse Exam (WHE), paying particular attention to attitude and appetite, and drinking habits. Consider the color of the urine: clear, light to pale yellow, dark yellow, brownish or other?

Provide free access to fresh water and try to quantify the urine production i.e. how much is the horse really urinating? Consider the bedding the horse is on. Straw and some types of shavings may conceal urine spots. Make sure the horse is drinking, using buckets or water tanks. Turn off automatic waterer and provide clean water in buckets or a tank.

Share your findings and concerns with your vet. You may also collect a sample of the horse’s urine for your vet.

WHAT YOUR VET DOES

Your vet will perform a physical exam and possibly run blood work (indicators of hydration and kidney function). Blood work in combination with urinalysis is usually required to make a definitive diagnosis.

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP

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