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Discussion Starter #1
Tonight I was out by my boy and I noticed the spots where he peed in the snow, his urine is quite dark, like the color of brandy. :? Somewhere in my mind I think I remember this as being a not-so-good thing. I'd appreciate if someone would enlighten me as to why his urine is so dark or tell me there is nothing to worry about. Either way...just would like an answer. Thanks. :)
 

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dark urine can mean so many things on horses. It could be from too much excersion, from a kidney infection, kidney stones, bladder infection, injury, etc. If your horse is acting fine and not running a fever, eating and drinking I'd keep an eye on him and check his urine tomorrow. It could also be just the way it looked in the snow...
 

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It could also be just the way it looked in the snow...
I wouldn't skip having it looked at if it could be a potential problem, by all means, but I know location can make a difference. When I first moved here to the midwest from sunny California, I started working at a large scale horse farm. The first snow of the winter I remember running into the office after bringing the herd into feed because I thought every single horse in the herd had blood in their urine, because it was showing red-tinged in the snow. The farm owners had a good laugh at me before explaining the high iron content in the ground made the mud created by the urinating horse splash red on the snow.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
He is eating and drinking just fine. No change in personality. How long would you suggest I wait before calling the vet?

I haven't actually seen him pee anywhere in a couple days so I'm not sure if something caused it to look darker.
 

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As always, when in doubt call the vet. I wouldn't wait if you are worried. If you have had snow on the ground for a while and this is a new development, then I'd definitely call. If this is just the first time you've noticed, but all the other pee spots look the same, I'd be less concerned. But if he pee didn't look dark earlier in the winter and does now, I'd call the vet out. Better to be safe than sorry!
 

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Nelson had dark pee as well when he was on stall rest. My Vet said it is normal this time of year, during the winter. Something about horses not drinking as much in the cold weather compared to the hot weather, and during the colder months they utalize their body heat by not moving around that much - or something like that.

I cannot remember exactly what it was that was said to me, but I do remember she saying it is normal.

But ask your vet if you are concerned.
 

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Ha...I noticced this too and being I too am originally from Calif, I was a bit stumped when I saw the redish brown tinge in the snow from my horses pee.
I asked around about it and looked it up in one of my vet books. The vet books immediately went to "tying up" but this was the extreem end. I know it was not the case for my horse. There is also something with the Hemoglobin in the urine. This just mentioned thing is not something fact that I got from a book or vet just a thing someone mentioned.
So I talked with a trainer and the vet about it. They told me that urine sometimes will turn this color when the temp is at a certain mark and the pee hits the snow or frozen ground. Neither person could really come up with a "factual" answer as to why this happens with some horses's pee and not others.
I first noticed it in my mares pen when we had really really cold temps and a lot of snow last Dec. Then about 2 weeks ago i noticed it in my geldings paddock. I just kept and eye on things and haven't seen it since.
Hope my experience helps...and I got a good snicker from a few folks I aksed as well. None the less, I had to ask...
Better safe than sorry
HP
 

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Horses can normally have very dark colored urine, more so in the winter due to decreased water intake. So unless your horse is urinating more frequently, drinking more than usual, or showing other signs that there is something "off" then I would just watch him. If there is more than this one dark looking stain on the snow that has you worried, then contact your vet to discuss what you are seeing.
 

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My vet does not charge for phone questions. If you are worried I would just place a call to the vet.
 

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I would recommend at least phoning a vet to see what's up. If it's a water intake issue maybe try electrolytes? I'm by no means a vet but it works for my horses at shows to encourage them to drink
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hm. Well, the mare that is with him has normal-looking urine. But all the places where I can tell that he peed, it all looks dark. Even the frozen stuff. So maybe it's just normal? I think I will wait a couple more days and see if he seems off.

farmpony - You're absolutely right. I might just ring the vet and see what he has to say.

Thanks, everyone!
 
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