Reddish Urine in Snow: Don't Panic! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 01-11-2015, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Fly Over State
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Reddish Urine in Snow: Don't Panic!

I thought I would post this on here for anyone who is new to horses (or not so new to them) and might see pink/red tinged urine in the snow. This happened to me yesterday and my first thought was that one of my horses were passing blood in their urine. But after a little research I found that blood in a horse's urine is pretty rare and it was more likely a "phenomenon" caused by compounds called urocatechins being oxidized by light.

Great Lakes Equine Wellness Center - Equine Referral Center - Hortonville, Wisconsin and surrounding areas
Horse Urine With Reddish Spots In Snow

Here's a part of the article in the second link:

"Today, 3/6/13, through my research I have found that "horses also have varying amounts of compounds called urocatechins in their urine. These can be oxidized by light after they are passed and turn orange to red in color, thereby discoloring shavings. In the winter, they also discolor snow and are often confused with bloody urine. The color change only occurs in urine passed by some horses and not others--the reason for this difference is not fully understood. ..."

Anyway, I thought this might be helpful to any horse owners who haven't seen or heard of this before.
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poundinghooves is offline  
post #2 of 5 Old 01-12-2015, 07:23 AM
Join Date: Mar 2012
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I have seen the reddish looking shavings with two horses I muck stalls in, interesting to know.

However....I would hate for someone to over look if a horse DID have blood in their urine, assuming this is what it was and not call the vet just in case. Sometimes it is better to be safe than sorry.
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post #3 of 5 Old 01-12-2015, 11:25 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
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I agree, I would never tell someone not to call the vet- it's their own personal decision. I chose not too because my horses are having no symptoms of being sick and I can't afford an unnecessary vet bill. But of course if you have reason to believe it may actually be blood (or even if you don't), by all means, call your vet!

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post #4 of 5 Old 12-20-2016, 04:23 PM
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Texas
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Hi, does this also occur in donkeys? The only information I can find about this is in regards to horses. One of my donkeys had some red tinted urine this morning, but seems normal otherwise. Has anyone here experienced this with a donkey?
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post #5 of 5 Old 12-20-2016, 05:02 PM
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: New Brunswick Canada
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I always used to think "holy! Who's bleeding?!" When I saw that, but my father told me it was normal. Good to know the science behind it!
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blood , pink , red , snow , urine

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