What you see. The starting point for addressing any equine health related issue is your observation.


Strange Posture when Passing Manure


Horses may assume an unusual posture during defecation to lessen pain or discomfort associated with urinating or defecating.

An example is a tumor in the bladder that is painful when fecal balls pass near it in the rectum. A horse may twist one way or another to relieve that pain.

  • Code Orange

    Call Your Vet at Their First Available Office 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.
    • If you feel the problem is severe or has come on suddenly.
  • Code Yellow

    Contact Your Vet at Your Convenience for an Appointment
    • If the problem is subtle or slowly changing.
    • If the results of the Whole Horse Exam (WHE) suggest the horse is otherwise normal.

your role


What To Do

Perform the Whole Horse Exam, paying particular attention to general attitude and appetite, and presence or absence of fever. Video the behavior and share with your vet.

your vet's role

A vet assesses general health using physical exam. Rectal exam may be helpful both to assess the rectum itself and the abdominal organs and other intestine.
Questions Your Vet Might Ask:
  • Is the horse showing any other signs of a problem?
  • Describe the horse's posture to me?
  • When did you first notice this change?
  • Has the horse had any health problems that you know of?
  • What are the results of the Whole Horse Exam (WHE)?

Treatments Your Vet May Recommend

A way to resolve the condition or diagnosis. Resolving the underlying cause or treating the signs of disease (symptomatic treatment)

Very Common
more treatments

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP