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Discussion on Dribbling and calcium deposit in the bladder

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Lisa K. Johnson
New Member
Username: Bikobud

Post Number: 1
Registered: 7-2003
Posted on Monday, Dec 1, 2003 - 12:08 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I excercise a 16 year old Thoroughbred gelding that has had a problem with dribbling. Last summer he started dropping his penis almost all the time, and he would dribble urine all over his back legs. This got progressively worse. We took him in to the vet, who did a rectal examination and thought that he felt bladder stones. As he was manipulating the bladder, the "stone" broke up. An ultrasound revealed a large deposit in the bladder, and a scope inserted to his bladder confirmed this. The vet flushed out his bladder, and a large amount of a claylike substance came out. It would settle out of the collected urine over 24 hours or so-while doing the initial flushing it didn't look like there was that much. A sample of the claylike stuff was sent to the lab where they determined it was a calcium deposit.

This procedure has been repeated on four separate occasions. Two of those times he stayed at the vets and they flushed him on 3 consecutive days. He has had the procedure done about 8 times.

I took him in on Friday for the fourth time. His last procedure was a month ago, and he had rarely dropped his penis or dribbled in the last month. The ultrasound showed quite a bit less deposit in the bladder. Unfortunately, while doing the flushing the tube clogged, so the vet pulled it out to clean it out. When he re-inserted the tube, the horse hemmoraged. Yikes.

The horse is still at the vet, and he is going to try to scope him today. The great question is if this will start him hemorraging again. The vet suspects he may have had a sort of vericose vein in his urethra that they caught when inserting the tube the last time. The other possiblities get substantially more scary. The horse is eating and drinking well, but there is blood when he urinates.

I have several questions. It is not clear whether the horse is producing more of the calcium between these procedures, or if all this claylike stuff ends up in solution during the procedure and then settles back down in the bladder once they are done.

Has anyone heard of this problem? What did you discover? Did you have any treatment solutions?
We are considering reducing the calcium in his diet- changing his feed from Strategy and a grass/alfalfa hay to grass hay only and a Senior feed without calcium. Of course, he is a picky eater, and as a top level event horse, it is difficult to keep his weight up when he is in work, especially when doing the final gallops.

Any ideas/ similar experiences?? Please send your responses to as well as to this message board- I don't get much chance to check this board.

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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Username: Dro

Post Number: 9560
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Monday, Dec 1, 2003 - 7:39 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Lisa,
It is hard for me to imagine a crystal in the bladder that is palpated on rectal examination (the contents are surrounded by fluid preventing definition by palpation) that then could be broke up by manual manipulation that then pass by urination. But if we assume this is right:

Calcium crystals, even enough calcium crystals to make the urine look thick and gooey, is pretty normal in a horse and form on a daily basis. Yes, reducing the amount of calcium in his diet will certainly reduce the amount formed in the urine.

Constantly dribbling urine is a pretty common problem in a horses however and we have an article explainging causes and treatments at, Equine Diseases Urinary System Dribbling and Uncontrolled Urination.
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Marsha c. Morris
New Member
Username: Morris45

Post Number: 1
Registered: 6-2004
Posted on Thursday, Oct 7, 2004 - 2:23 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr. O,

To Lisa (Dec. 2003), you state that Constantly dribbling urine is a pretty common problem...we have an article explaining causes and treatments at,Equine Diseases Urinary System Dribbling and Uncontrolled Urination. However when going to that I could not find an "article" explaining causes and treatments }- just discussions. Thank you.
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Username: Dro

Post Number: 11310
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Thursday, Oct 7, 2004 - 9:47 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hello Marsha,
I must of add gas on the brain and meant to refer her to Equine Diseases Urinary System Excessive or Uncontrolled Urination Discussion on Loss of sphincter tone in young mare. There you will find a post by me with the information asked for above. I have always meant to turn this into and article and I will bump it up the list a bit.
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