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Old 03-07-2009, 09:13 PM   #1
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Older Gelding Urinating More Frequently

I have an 18 year old arabian gelding that I use for trail riding. I can remember not too many years ago when he would NEVER urinate while riding and then he slowly became comfortable with it and would urinate once on every ride. Over the winter he has slowly began urinating small amounts more frequently during a ride. I'm sure he is doing it all the time but he is out on pasture 24/7 so I have no way of knowing for sure. It is now not uncommon to have him urinate 4 times on a 2.5 hour trail ride.

When I asked my vet about it she said it is "because he is getting older" and that I shouldn't worry. I am an LVT and I have worked with both small and large animals and I am well aware of what else it could be a symptom of. My question is for those of you with slightly older trail horses is this common or should I go ahead with my gut and run some blood work to check his kidneys? My vet didn't even OFFER any bloodwork or testing, you think they would at least want to make some money! Thanks for all your advice and help!!

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Old 03-08-2009, 05:30 AM   #2
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I would minimum have them do a urinalysis. You might also consider a rectal to check and see if his bladder is emptying the way it should. With some bad past history in this area, I'd be concerned that it means he's not emptying out when he urinates. It can lead to neurological damage.

Anytime there is a major change in bladder habits, I think your right to be concerned.
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Old 03-08-2009, 05:53 AM   #3
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I agree with you run a blood panel to check kidney levels

I also wonder about his diet.. how much protien and what quality is it??
I have been called the "NSC Nazi" because I have a problem with grain based feeds
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Old 03-08-2009, 07:40 AM   #4
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I have a 28 yr old gelding, and he urinates more frequently than he used to as well. He started it about 6 years ago, when he would urinate right before he got fed, no matter what. I ran blood, he was fine. And he continued to do that--in addition to whatever he did in the stall/pasture.

He has an automatic feeder now, which feeds him small amounts 12 times a day--so he urinates when it goes off. He also urinates when he sees me or my husband coming out to visit. So we're talking about, like 12-14 times a day when I know he is urinating, THATS ALOT!!!! It has become a habit I think. It always looks normal. And he had bloodwork/UA done last month which came back completely normal. Sometimes he even stretches out and nothing happens. He has always had the cleanest of sheaths because of this. So the only thing I can think of is habit, and he urinates whenever he sees/hears a "trigger". I'm going to get fed, time to stretch out...

Not sure if that helps, but that is my experience. Just start ruling causes out.
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Old 03-08-2009, 08:59 AM   #5
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Your vet may be right but it never hurts to check. I would ask the vet to do a blood test just for your own peace of mind. I would make sure he gets some electrolytes [if you do not already do so] before you go on a long ride just to help protect him from dehydration. Omega Alpha makes a kidney flush that a lot of the racehorse people in my area like to use. Its made from milk thistle.
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Old 03-08-2009, 10:20 AM   #6
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It doesn't hurt to have the vet do a check-up but pretty much all of our older geldings we got in over the years urinate more than the younger ones. They also seem to use the salt licks more
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Old 03-09-2009, 08:35 AM   #7
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The very first thing that comes to mind due to your horses age and the increase in urination is insulin resistance. As suggested, getting some blood tests wouldn't be a bad idea including a resting serum insulin.
Cindy D.
Registered Veterinary Technician
Member American Association of Equine Veterinary Technicians
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