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


Mare Squatting, Urinating Small Amounts


This is a normal sign of estrus (receptiveness to a stallion) in the mare. It can also be seen in mares that are in abdominal pain (colic) and can be seen in mares that have urinary tract disorders like bladder stones. Mares that are very ill and in shock will also squat weakly and dribble urine.

  • Code Red

    Call Your Vet Immediately, Even Outside Business Hours
    • If you notice other signs of abdominal pain (colic).
    • 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 Orange

    Call Your Vet at Their First Available Office Hours
    • If this seems mild or occasional and the horse seems normal otherwise.
    • If the results of the Whole Horse Exam (WHE) suggest the horse is otherwise normal.
You also might be observing
Very Common
Less Common
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your role


What To Do

Assess the horse's general health using the Whole Horse Exam (WHE), looking for other signs of abdominal pain and noting heart rate, rectal temperature and gum color. Mares in abdominal pain will usually not have an appetite and will be uninterested in their surroundings. Take note of the amount and appearance of the urine and share your findings and concerns with your vet. It might be helpful if you catch a sample.

your vet's role

Your vet will assess your horse's general health to determine the reason for the behavior. Rectal palpation and ultrasound can allow the vet to look at the reproductive tract and bladder and provide important information.
Questions Your Vet Might Ask:
  • Are you seeing other signs of abdominal pain (colic)?
  • When did you first notice this behavior?
  • Does the mare's attitude and appetite seem normal?
  • Is the mare acting like she is in heat?
  • What are the results of the Whole Horse Exam (WHE)?
  • Is the horse showing straining, slow or painful urination?
  • What is the appearance of the horse's urine?
  • Do you notice blood in the horse's urine?

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
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Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP