Is that Blood in your Horse's Urine? Probably not.

Finding bloody-looking urine in the snow under your horse may send you racing to call the veterinarian, but chances are it's perfectly normal.
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If you think you see blood in your horse's urine this winter, don't panic. Finding bloody-looking urine in the snow under your horse may send you racing to call the veterinarian, but chances are what you're seeing perfectly normal.

White horse in a snowy field

Red urine spots will stand out in a snowy field, but don't let it panic you. Chances are, it's a normal chemical reaction. 

Click here to find out if your older horse's winter diet is sufficient.

The red spots that you see are a result of your horse's urine reacting with the cold snow. Proteins in the urine, called pyrocatechines, oxidize in low temperatures, which produces colors ranging from a light pink to red, orange or brown. The same thing can occur when a sample of urine is refrigerated.

When in doubt, collect a fresh urine sample from your horse—a process that involves a large can duct-taped to a long stick and a lot of patience. If the collected sample isn't red, your horse is probably just fine.

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For your bookshelf:
Horse Owner's Veterinary Handbook
Veterinary Notes for Horse Owners
Complete Horse Care Manual

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