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Bloody Urine

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  • Bloody Urine

    Not my horse, but a friend's older gelding is urinating blood. It comes out red-orange and is dark red at the end of the stream... He seems to have been doing it for the past few days.

    His owner has been in contact with the vet. I have not seen this before and am wondering, what can cause this? Is there anything with a simple fix?
    Wash: "Hey, I've been in a firefight before! Well, I was in a fire... Actually, I was fired from a fry-cook opportunity." -Firefly

  • #2
    The 38 year old at my barn had this last year. Turned out to be crystals forming in his bladder (beginnings of bladder stones). His urine was tested to be sure, his bladder was flushed and was scoped. He's now on some sort of medication to help prevent this from happening again.

    Kiwayu & Figiso Pictures:


    • #3
      Originally posted by Kiwayu View Post
      The 38 year old at my barn had this last year. Turned out to be crystals forming in his bladder (beginnings of bladder stones). His urine was tested to be sure, his bladder was flushed and was scoped. He's now on some sort of medication to help prevent this from happening again.
      I have a friend whose horse had a huge bladder stone that had to be surgically removed. He had blood in his urine.

      Kiwayu - I am curious to know what medication your friend's horse is taking b/c if I recall correctly, there were no specific meds to help, the vets just recommended she watch her horses protein intake. I'd love to pass along to her if there is something she can do help prevent another one.
      Last edited by Hollywood; Apr. 6, 2010, 08:48 AM.


      • #4
        I'll look when I'm at the barn tonight. It's something to help dissolve the crystals in his bladder. My vet said it doesn't work on all horses but considering it's $30 for a bottle that last a few months, what the heck!

        Kiwayu & Figiso Pictures:


        • #5
          Bladder infection. Needs sulfa tabs right away. It will NOT go away. Easy fix, but the horse has to have the meds.


          • #6
            Not always just a bladder infection. My guy had a kidney infection when his urine was orange/bloody. He was also having trouble urniating and would pass very small amounts and try very frequently. Vet did rule out all of the "easy" stuff (check for bean, pass catheter) before doing a rectal exam. She was able to find the bladder was empty due to no food/water for 12 hours prior to exam. Then palpate both kidneys. Even under sedation he reacted to touch on right kidney but not left.

            Kidney infections are very unusal in equines from what I understand.


            • #7
              Could be infection, stones, tumor...

              I'd have vet do a urinalysis and blood panel ASAP. I wouldn't throw any antibiotics at the horse until kidney and liver function was checked. They can run a catheter to check for stones in the urethra. Also do a rectal to palpate for stones or tumors, but they can be missed by manual palpation.

              Scoping is the best option but obviously means a trip to the clinic. Stones will mean surgical removal, which is doable, but can be very pricey (Cornell for example runs about 5k IIRC) There is some medication that can be tried to dissolve the stones, can't remember the name, but not often effective.
              We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.


              • #8
                An older gelding at my barn recently starting having blood in his urine. Stones and infection were suspected.

                He went to an equine hospital and was diagnosed with an infection and bladder cancer. He's doing alright right now, have to take it day by day.

                It's worth getting thoroughly checked out for sure.


                • #9
                  A urine specimen simply takes time and patience and can answer a lot of questions. It is also a simple non-invasive first step. Your vet should own a long handled "catcher".

                  Treatment without diagnosis is not a good idea.
                  Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                  Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


                  • #10
                    This happened to my 28 year old gelding eleven years ago. Originally my vet thought that it was a bladder infection as he just had a lot of dental work done and she thought that he may have gotten a bacterial infection.

                    When IM antibiotics (both penicillin and gentamicin) failed to work we took Herman to the clinic for an ultra sound. Unfortunately, Herman had cancer in one of his kidneys and had to be euthanized.

                    Hope the result is better for your friend’s horse.

                    There is a fine line between "hobby" and "mental illness". - Dave Barry


                    • #11
                      A horse at our barn does this. They've been through all the things people have mentioned (scoping, antibiotics, etc) and the resolution is, he's just gonna do that. If it gets worse or if he's in pain she'll get the vet involved but until or unless something changes they're going to consider it untreatable.


                      • #12
                        Blood in urine is not normal - peroid.

                        Infection, Inflammation or Neoplasia.

                        For an older horse, I would want to rule out transitional cell carcinoma or stones. A UTI doesnt often get so bad to cause blood, but it can in severe cases. "Crystals" also likely wont cause blood - but the bigger stones the crystals form can.

                        Also, blood in the urine doesnt necessarily mean it "happened" in the bladder. Check kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethera.

                        I'd say about 75% of dogs that come into see us with bloody urine have either a giant stone (requiring cystotomy) or Cancer. Certainly not something in any animal to consider "normal".