Does your horse drink or urinate too much? These are the possible causes
Maybe you’ve noticed that your horse’s stable is a lot wetter than usual or do you feel like your horse is drinking a lot. What could cause this?
This question was asked by a member of Morgan Lashley’s online training during a live Q&A and Morgan gave the following answer.
Drinking and urinating often of course goes hand in hand. When horses urinate a lot, they have to drink a lot as well, or they will get dehydrated.
That’s also the case the other way around: when horses drink a lot, they automatically urinate a lot as well.
In veterinarian terms we call this PUPD: polyuria, polydipsia.
So urinating too much and drinking too much. This can have a few medical causes.
But first you have to wonder if your horse réally drinks too much water.
Because it’s possible that you see your horse drinking water quite often, but that he’s not drinking so much water every time. So your horse drinks often, but the amounts of water each time are small.
Horses can drink between the 30 and 35 liters water each day, depending on a number of factors. So first check if your horse réally drinks too much.
If you want to know exactly how mucht water your horse drinks, you can best measure it with a big bucket of water. Make sure the bucket has a large volume, because a horse can drink between 30 and 35 liters of water each day.
So turn off the water in your horse’s box and put the bucket with water inside. When it’s filled, you can mark the water level with a little stripe of a marker.
That way you can measure exactly how much water your horse drinks in 24 hours. You can also determine if it’s really too much.
How much water horses drink is also depending on a number of other factors.
The feed they’re eating, how much they sweat and how much fluid they loose. But also the temperature and the amount of training play an important part.
But if you’re sure that your horse drinks too much water, get a veterinarian to look at your horse.
You can best do a blood test. With a blood test the veterinarian can check the kidneys, liver and if there are any inflammations.
It might be that your horse has a problem with his kidneys or liver, which causes him to drink or urinate often.
Another cause which results in drinking and urinating often, is PPID: also known as Cushings disease. Your veterinarian can do a ACTH test to see if your horse has PPID.
Cushings disease is more common with horses that are 15 years or older, but there are also cases of younger horses. So don’t exclude it immediately.
It can also help to let your veterinarian do a urine analysis besides the blood test.
This enables your veterinarian to see if your horse can concentrate his urine enough.
There’s a rare condition where horses can’t concentrate their urine enough, so they almost immediately pee out the water again, which causes them to drink continually.
It doesn’t happen often that horses have this condition. I happened to have a patient like that this year, but the chances of your horse having this condition are very small.
Sadly, the number one cause that can cause your horse to drink or urinate too much, is out of stress or boredom.
If you have excluded the other causes, this is the last one left. So that means you have to search for ways to stop the boredom or stress, so your horse will drink less.