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


Urine appears White, Cloudy or Milky


Normal horses have high concentrations of crystals in their urine compared to many other species. These crystals typically settle to the bottom of the bladder. A cloud of pale urine is commonly noticed at the end of urination, and is especially noticeable in mares.

Horse urine may contain a large amount of calcium carbonate that looks like a whitish-green slurry. Horses fed high alfalfa diets tend to have more crystal content in their urine.

Generally, this finding is considered normal and is not a cause for concern unless accompanied by straining to urinate, slow urination, blood in the urine, depression, poor appetite or other abnormal behavior.

Rarely, urine sediments can turn into a heavy sludge that is never completely voided, and this can be a serious problem.

  • Code Orange

    Call Your Vet at Their First Available Office Hours
    • If you notice slow or difficult urination, or dribbling of urine.
  • Code Green

    Contact Your Vet to Obtain Useful Advice & Resources
    • If you have questions about how management or feeding might affect this.

your role


What To Do

Assess your horse's general health using the Whole Horse Exam (WHE), paying particular attention to attitude and appetite. Watch for straining or apparent difficult urination. Contact your vet if you have questions or concerns.

your vet's role

Your vet uses physical examination, and examination of the urinary tract by palpation and ultrasound, along with urinalysis, to determine the significance of this problem.
Questions Your Vet Might Ask:
  • Does the horse's behavior seem normal otherwise?
  • When did you first notice this problem?
  • Is the horse straining or groaning during urination?
  • Does the horse's urine stream seem slow or weak?
  • Do you notice blood in the horse's urine?

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP