ridecamp@endurance.net: Re: [endurance] Tevis: Blood in Urine

Re: [endurance] Tevis: Blood in Urine

Linda Flemmer (CVLNURS@CHKD-7.evms.edu)
Fri, 02 Aug 1996 11:50:18 -0500 (EST)


You wrote:
> Not knowing lots about horses (understatement), are horses
> with blood in their urine usually allowed to compete. When
> Chris Knox came in at Michigan Bluff, my step son and
> another volunteer were nearby when he went for P&Rs. They
> both saw blood in Saxx' urine. Would the vet have pulled
> him if he knew this? What exactly does it indicate?

Since I was not there, it is hard to say what your step son actually
saw. If there was truely blood in the urine, it is a sign of "tying
up" syndrome or "exertional rhabdomylosis". Think of a GIANT cramp
in the horse's muscles. There is tissue damage and myoglobine, a
large protein molecule, is lost from the muscle tissue. As it is
filtered thru the kidneys, the large molecule causes additional
kidney damage as well. It is certainly a serious problem. Most vets
& riders would not allow the horse to continue. (In fact, the horses
are often unable to take even one step from the spot that they are
in because of the pain they are in.)

Urine can also be concentrated if one is not drinking enough. I'm
sure that you have noticed this in yourself. This can also happen in
a horse. Concentrated urine will be darker than dilute urine without
having actual blood in it. It IS a call to watch that the horse
drinks enough, but not necessarily a reason to quit IN & OF ITSELF.

Is it possible that your stepson saw a horse passing concentrated
urine rather than blood? (Again, since I wasn't there, it is hard to
say.) I would be very surprised to hear of a horse that was passing
bloody urine & who still appeared to be fit to continue - whether the
vet saw the blood in the urine or not!

I hope that this helps a bit. This was a BRIEF description of tying
up - there are much better descriptions as well as hypotheses as to
why it happens out there. I believe that there was a vet home page
with an excellent write up on it. Use a search engine on excertional
rhabdomyelosis or tying up - I'll bet you'll locate it!

Linda Flemmer
ABF Challenger ("Rocket") & Eternal Point ("Major")
Blue Wolf Ranch
Chesapeake, VA

"In case of emergency - Fur side up, steel side down!"