South Shore Equine Clinic & Diagnostic Center
Equine Veterinary Services South Shore Boston Massachusetts

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I have been finding red urine spots in the snow, should I be worried?

Answer:

This is a very common question in our neck of the woods.  Clients commonly find urine spots that appear red in color and become concerned that it may be blood.  In 99 percent of the cases, the red color is not due to blood, but rather, it is due to the oxidation of some of the compounds in urine.  We see it more in the winter because it stains the snow.

A horse with blood in its urine may show abnormal urinary behavior (including colic, an inconsistent stream or stopping and starting) or abnormal drinking behavior (increased or decreased drinking).  Blood clots may also be seen, and the red color would also occur in the shavings.  If your horse is acting normal, then we recommend that you collect a urine sample and bring it to our clinic for analysis. This way we can determine if the red color is due to blood in the urine or it’s by products.