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

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All the best,

 Dr. Getty 


Ask the Nutritionist: Dr. Getty's Forum for Equine Nutrition
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Re: Mare with very strong smelling urine, burns the pasture grass.

Hello Krista,

Thank you for your patience in my getting back to you.

This sounds like she is simply not drinking enough water and her urine is extremely concentrated. Be sure she has clean, fresh water available at all times. And instead of kelp (which can be extremely high in iodine and may be toxic if that's the case), offer her a plain, white salt block along with some plain, non-iodized table salt, fed free choice. (She's already getting iodine from the TC Senior feed.) Pour some table salt (about 1/2 cup at a time) into a bucket and let her dab her tongue on it as she needs it. It will also encourage her to get enough salt so she will want to drink more. She may not be getting enough and that causes her urine to be more concentrated (since her body is conserving water).

Finally, too much protein can also cause very concentrated, high ammonia, urine. If your pasture has a great deal of alfalfa or clover, this could be adding a lot of protein. Here again, however, more water will help greatly.

Keep me posted!

All the best,

Dr. Getty
Author of Feed Your Horse Like A Horse

My daughter's mare has very strong smelling urine and it burns large round areas of the pasture where she has urinated. I have never seen this before with any of the other horses we've had here, mares and geldings. She doesn't have an infection or anything like that. She eats pasture free choice and gets 8 cups a day of Triple Crown Senior (though she's only six years old, it's just the lowest in NSC and highest in fat/fiber at the best price in my area), and 1 oz. of kelp, 1/2 oz. of yeast. When there isn't pasture, she gets grass/alfalfa mix hay and the same grain. She has also been on Ultium before, and even went a whole summer with nothing but pasture. Her urine didn't change, still strong smelling and burns the grass. I see some dog companies offer products for dogs whose urine burns the lawn, and they all contain yucca. Is this something I can try? How much would I feed her? I really need to save my pastures! I can't follow her around 24 hours a day watering down the pasture when she pees. I don't have a hose that long...

Where are you from? Bayfield, CO