Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Newborn Foal, Strains or Pushes to Urinate

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 foal's appetite or attitude do not seem normal.
  • If straining is intense and there is no urine.
  • If the foal is not as bright as normal or not nursing normally.

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

  • If the foal appears otherwise normal, i.e. is active and nursing normally.
  • If this seems mild and the foal seems vigorous otherwise.

In the newborn foal, straining to urinate or posturing without producing urine is potentially very serious. The most common cause of this is bladder rupture, a life-threatening problem.

Foals with fecal (meconium) impactions sometimes posture this way, but also strain to defecate. Older foals rarely exhibit this sign, but when they do it may also be indicative of a serious problem.

WHAT TO DO

Assess the foal, paying particular attention to heart rate, general attitude, nursing behavior, urine and manure production. Evaluate the umbilicus. Do you notice any urine dripping from it? Share your findings and concerns with your vet, who may advise you to give the foal an enema.

WHAT YOUR VET DOES

By watching the behavior, your vet can probably differentiate difficulty urinating from difficulty defecating. Bladder rupture in newborns is surprisingly common and requires laboratory work and other diagnostics to prove.

Helpful Terms & Topics in HSVGWritten, Reviewed or Shared by Experts in Equine Health

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP

CONTACT US

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

Sending