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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov. 17, 2012
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    CT
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    Question Horse's hooves smelling like cat urine

    The past 2 times my horse has been shod, when the farrier pulls his shoes off (fronts only) his hooves smell like cat pee. And not mild, it's strong enough that everyone around can smell it! He doesn't have thrush, his feet are not soft, his stall is bedded with pine shavings and he is out in a grass pasture all day. Any ideas as to what is causing it? The farrier said he has never smelled any horses hooves like it when I asked if maybe hot shoeing was causing it.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2003
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    MI USA
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    Do the cats use his bedding as a litter box? If so, he may be standing in the pee spot and hoof is soaking up the liquid. Yeah, the smell would be stronger when the shoe comes off.


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  3. #3
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    Nov. 17, 2012
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    CT
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    No cats go in his stall, its always kept locked when he isn't in there and the cat is afraid of the horses.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar. 17, 2009
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    The Mitten
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    The strong smell in cat pee is ammonia. Perhaps he is peeing on his own front feet or standing in it in his stall.


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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov. 15, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by baxtersmom View Post
    The strong smell in cat pee is ammonia. Perhaps he is peeing on his own front feet or standing in it in his stall.
    I agree.
    To the OP - I'd look into whether the stall is being dried out properly daily - and see if it needs lime or PDZ to help dry it up and eliminate the ammonia smell. Also I'd add some extra bedding so that the horse is elevated a bit more away from any pee spots during the night.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 6, 2005
    Location
    Canada/Phoenix AZ
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    I had one horse like that... no cats around anywhere. I sorta wondered if it was the farrierSorry I have not got any more help for you than that.



  7. #7
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    Jul. 3, 2012
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    Twin Cities
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    Does he have stinky breath? I wonder if this is a metabolic thing.



  8. #8
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    Jan. 25, 2009
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    I had a gelding that had this problem for a while. Without the least bit of black goo, crummy frog or any other symptoms of thrush, he lost his frogs (front feet only) down to the digital cushions. Turned out he was stepping back into his own puddle everytime he urinated. Solution was to dry stall thoughly, bed deeply and keep him turned out as much as possible.


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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 30, 2005
    Location
    England
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    10,670

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    Your bedding isn't do its job. You need something to soak up the pee. I switched from shavings because I don't think they're very absorbent.
    Horse Show Names Free name website with over 6200 names. Want to add? PM me!


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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov. 9, 2005
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    uk
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    15,278

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    people will balme the beds but the answer is to daily clean the foot when he comes in and when he goes out



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov. 22, 2007
    Location
    Port Charlotte, FL
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    Why aren't the cats being held accountable here?


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  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun. 4, 2002
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    Suffolk, VA
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    I trimmed a couple of horses the other day in a barn that reeked of cat pee. It stank badly and I could hardly stand it. I gutted it out and was so glad to get out of there. I was pretty sure it was cats and not the horses' hooves as there were cats around. I can tell the difference between ammonia and cat pee...I think there is a different "fragrance."



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb. 16, 2003
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    MI USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daydream Believer View Post
    I trimmed a couple of horses the other day in a barn that reeked of cat pee. It stank badly and I could hardly stand it. I gutted it out and was so glad to get out of there. I was pretty sure it was cats and not the horses' hooves as there were cats around. I can tell the difference between ammonia and cat pee...I think there is a different "fragrance."
    I also can tell the difference between cat pee and ammonia, so I was hoping someone had a different answer than my first guess.

    If the stall floor is dirt, shavings may not be doing the job on the center pee spot of geldings. When we had to take the gelding to 4-H Fair for a week, I hauled two mats for the stall center, to make cleaning easier. Stalls are all on gravel dirt, so getting a stall truly clean is difficult. Our mats made a huge difference in easy cleaning, GOOD cleaning of the stall during the week. Mats also would prevent the stall floor getting such a dip from dirt being wet all the time. Bedding on the mat, SHOULD be absorbent to prevent so much liquid for horse to stand in.

    I am going to say there is something besides "just ammonia" in making hooves smell like cat pee. Even in some nasty horsekeeping situations, I haven't smelled hooves that stunk of cats. They were just the normal smells of muck, ammonia, sometimes Thrush with lack of dry bedding, in those equine hooves.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec. 20, 2011
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    1,192

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    What does his bedding smell like when it's changed? In the same way that medications can sometimes make human urine smell differently, are you feeding him anything different or giving him a new supplement?

    Has he had any health changes that might indicate that, metabolically speaking, things are different with him?

    Alternately, are there any weird plants where he's turned out? I found some interesting hits when Googleing "plants that smell like cat pee".... Maybe he's digging into something which would be why his front hooves smell when the shoes are pulled and (I assume) his backs hooves don't reek. I'd figure all four would reek if it was standing in cat pee or his own urine.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2006
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    east central Illinois and working north to the 'burbs
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bloomer View Post
    Why aren't the cats being held accountable here?
    Perhaps because it might just be the mice........

    Much as I dislike the smell of cat pee, IME, it pales by comparison to the smell of mouse/rat pee in a barn that suffers from a heavy infestation of either/both. Especially in the winter when the barn is kept closed up. Even worse when the heat is on.......



  16. #16
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    Nov. 22, 2007
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    Port Charlotte, FL
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daydream Believer View Post
    I trimmed a couple of horses the other day in a barn that reeked of cat pee. It stank badly and I could hardly stand it. I gutted it out and was so glad to get out of there. I was pretty sure it was cats and not the horses' hooves as there were cats around. I can tell the difference between ammonia and cat pee...I think there is a different "fragrance."
    You should charge that account enough that you like the smell and look forward to going there.


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  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun. 4, 2002
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    Suffolk, VA
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Bloomer View Post
    You should charge that account enough that you like the smell and look forward to going there.
    Good point! This is the first time it was really awful in there. They had some cat locked up and the barn closed up tight to "keep out birds" as she put it. Sometimes you have to wonder why you do this job...



  18. #18
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    Nov. 22, 2007
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    Port Charlotte, FL
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    Double your fees and it will only smell half as bad. At quadruple your fees you could pay for a SCBA in a few trips.



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