MSD Manual

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Signs of Kidney Disease in Horses

Signs of Kidney Disease in Horses

  • Increased water intake (“average” intake is 5 to 7 gallons of water/day)

  • Increased urination (“average” urine output is 1 to 3 gallons of urine/day)

  • Changes in urine smell or color. Depending on the disease process, urine may become foul smelling and dark colored, or very pale and watery.

  • Decreased appetite and weight loss. When waste products build up in the blood (a condition called uremia), the horse feels ill and stops eating. Chronic weight loss may be the only noticeable sign.

  • Inflammation of the gums, which can be a sign of excess ammonia in the blood