Blood in urine or just a darker color? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 15 Old 01-23-2012, 11:32 AM Thread Starter
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Blood in urine or just a darker color?

I'm not quite sure if it's blood in their urine or just that their urine is darker due to their diet and whatnot, but I wanted to get another opinion on the matter before I look into calling the vet out. When I went out to feed the ponies their breakfast this morning I noticed a couple spots where one of the two ponies had peed and the color was a dark orangy red-ish color.

Shnook gets fed a little over two cups of beatpulp and four cups of Purina Integrity (Fat and fiber) twice a day and Trevor gets fed two cups of beatpulp and one cup of Purina Integrity twice a day. They have good quality free choice hay, they have more of a barrel/huge bucket for a water trough but it's always filled and has a de-icer in it. The water has a lot of sulfur/iron in it, however, this is the first I've seen a urine spot that dark.. They have a big salt lick block for when they're outside and for the odd time they go in their stall they have a smaller salt block on the wall of the stall (They only go in when the weathers really harsh.). I know darker urine isn't that uncommon to see, but it was more of the red-ish hint to it that has me a bit worried.

Anyways, here's a pic so you have more of an idea what I'm going off of.


Any input would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 15 Old 01-23-2012, 11:34 AM
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im stilll fairly new to owning horses, but with dogs.. if I saw urine that color I would be hauling them to the vet asap.. It looks like blood to me

Make it idiot proof and someone will make a better idiot.
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post #3 of 15 Old 01-23-2012, 11:37 AM
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There are plant metabolites - pyrocatechines- in the urine that change color when mixed with oxygen. After they leave the body and oxidize they turn a red or orange color. This happens all year -the same process can make shavings look bloody, but is very apparent in the snow!
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post #4 of 15 Old 01-23-2012, 11:41 AM
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That looks to me to be a normal chemical reaction when something in the urine contacts something in the snow. I forgot the exact details of what though. It's usually seen in horses that eat alfalfa but can happen from other feeds too. Perfectly normal.
If the urine doesn't come out looking that color I wouldn't worry.
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post #5 of 15 Old 01-23-2012, 11:43 AM
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Originally Posted by mls View Post
There are plant metabolites - pyrocatechines- in the urine that change color when mixed with oxygen. After they leave the body and oxidize they turn a red or orange color. This happens all year -the same process can make shavings look bloody, but is very apparent in the snow!
Thanks, you explained it much better than I did.
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post #6 of 15 Old 01-23-2012, 11:43 AM
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like I said Im new to owning horses, so I figured there could be an explination, as I have never seen that before, but thanks for letting me know, as with my dogs if I saw that they would be at the vet

Make it idiot proof and someone will make a better idiot.
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post #7 of 15 Old 01-23-2012, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by gingerscout View Post
like I said Im new to owning horses, so I figured there could be an explination, as I have never seen that before, but thanks for letting me know, as with my dogs if I saw that they would be at the vet
Yes, it is unnerving the first time it's seen. Dogs don't eat plant based food so if you did see that with them a vet probably would be in order.
Good question & great picture
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post #8 of 15 Old 01-23-2012, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by natisha View Post
Thanks, you explained it much better than I did.

Boarders my dear - boarders.

Need to keep those odd facts handy to soothe the worried folks!

And even though I know better, it does make me look twice!
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post #9 of 15 Old 01-23-2012, 11:53 AM
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dark urine can also be a sign of dehydration. Please check your water sources to make sure they are open. I had a friend who had a heater in one of her tanks that malfunctioned. It gave shocks when the horses tried to drink. She noticed it almost too late and one horse still has renal difficulties.
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post #10 of 15 Old 01-23-2012, 11:57 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you guys very much! I was pretty sure it was normal, I just don't like to take chances on my ponies. Better to ask and be safe than be sorry later! The ponies have alfalfa mixed in their hay, so it's good to know it's also a contributing factor.
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