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Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition

   Welcome to my forum. 

Here you will find more than 6 years of questions and my answers. It is searchable and offers a great deal of information. 

Currently, I am discontinuing new questions. This may change in the future, but in the meantime, please know that It has been a true pleasure serving you. 

Take a look at my Nutrition Library and Tips of the Month for a variety of answers on selected topics. Be sure to sign up for my monthly e-newsletter, Forage for Thought

I also have a growing number of recordings on "Teleseminars on Nutrition Topics that Concern You" as well as the new, Spotlight on Equine Nutrition Series -- printed versions of favorite teleseminars.

And finally, look for my articles in a variety of local publications and online newsletters, as well as the Horse Journal, where I am the Contributing Nutrition Editor.  


All the best,

 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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Urinary tract infection

Hi Doctor Getty!

I think my horse has a urinary tract infection. He hasn't passed urine in the normal fashion that i've seen for a couple of days, and sometimes when he's walking around, he drips, or small amounts squirt out. It's as if he can't control his bladder.
Also the smell of his urine is very strong. He's kept at grass, and he gets lucerne and oaten chaff mix, boiled barley, and economix. He's a TB gelding, 12 years old, and is hard to keep weight on. He is ridden about twice a week.
If it is a UTI what should i give him for it? As I said I'm in Australia, and can't seem to find any cures on the net.

One more thing, He's become very highly strung in the last week or so, he bolted the other day, and threw me into a metal gate! He's usually very quiet and sweet natured. could this be tha barley perhaps?

Please help!!! Kate :)

Where are you from? Melbourne, Australia

How did you locate this forum? looking up advice!

Re: Urinary tract infection

Hello Kate,

If he does have a urinary tract infection, the only way to treat it would be to give him the appropriate antibiotic. So, you really should have your vet take a look at him. He/She will likely try to collect some urine and analyze it for the presence of bacteria and/or protein. I would not ignore this because a UTI, left untreated, can spread to the kidneys and then it becomes very serious.

About the behavior issue – this could be due to his infection, if that is the problem. UTIs are quite painful, so it is not uncommon for a horse to react this way due to the pain.

About barley – it is high in starch and some horses show changes in temperaments after a high-starch meal due to changes in blood glucose levels. So, barley may have some effect, but frankly, from the violent reaction you described, it sounds more like he is extremely uncomfortable due to his health issue.

Keep me posted.

All the best,

Dr. Getty

Urinary tract infection

Hi Dr Getty,

I had my vet look at him last night, and sure enough it was a UTI. He gave me some powder to mix into his feed for a week and he has that twice daily. And suggested some feeds to make him a bit rounder!

He said exactly what you did - untreated it could have been spread up into his kidneys.

I just want to say a big thankyou to you Dr Getty. Without your help I think it could have been much worse, not to mention expensive!

Thankyou so much, Kate

Where are you from? Melbourne, Australia

How did you locate this forum? search engine