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Discussion on Symptoms of urea poisoning

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Diane E.
Member
Username: scooter

Post Number: 3313
Registered: 9-2000
Posted on Thursday, Dec 11, 2008 - 6:49 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Dr.O. Last night the neighbor called and said her horse had gone through the fence and in with our cattle, she said she would get him out the next day, it was dark, cold and she has a small baby and he husband works nights.

She had called to make sure that her horse couldn't get in with mine, which he couldn't even get close unless he went through a few more of our fences which are very good.

So hubby said ok thanks for calling and hung up. After a few minutes he said OH-OH he had put in new lick barrels for the cattle the day before and they contained urea. He decided very reluctantly to go out to the cow field and see if he could find the horse...he did the horse was at the lick barrel, licking away fast as he could...they are molasses based. Hubby caught horse and put him back

The neighbor didn't know exactly how long her
horse was out but guessed a few hours.

For my information in case my horses would accidently get in with one (and worried about neighbors horse) how much urea can a horse tolerate. I know hubby has told me it is deadly to horses, but really didn't know much other than that. Do you know what the symptoms would be of urea poisoning and the amount that would be considered deadly to horses?
Thanks
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Diane E.
Member
Username: scooter

Post Number: 3314
Registered: 9-2000
Posted on Thursday, Dec 11, 2008 - 6:57 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Forgot the lick barrels are 40% protein barrels if that matters. What is urea anyway? I think it is in fertilizer too isn't it? My guess would be nitrogen but not sure.

Thanks again
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Robert N. Oglesby DVM
Moderator
Username: dro

Post Number: 21940
Registered: 1-1997
Posted on Friday, Dec 12, 2008 - 8:42 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Urea is conjugated ammonia. Ammonia is a byproduct of protein metabolism and the liver conjugates it to urea to detoxify it prior to excretion in the urine (urine - urea get it?). Because of urea fixing bacteria in the rumen cattle can actually make protein out of it up to a point.

As is almost everything, urea would be toxic in excess primarily because some of it will break back down to ammonia, which is very toxic. The symptoms of ammonia toxicity are those of CNS dysfunction: depression, incoordination, and possibly seizures. Though there are a few reported cases in horses in the literature I cannot find a toxic dose of urea however considering the amount of potential exposure it does not seem likely to be very toxic to have so few reported cases.
DrO
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PattyB
Member
Username: pattyb

Post Number: 52
Registered: 11-2008
Posted on Friday, Dec 12, 2008 - 9:27 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Diane..I've been wondering how your neighbor's horse is doing?

Long time ago, I had a bucket of iodine water set aside for doctoring Banner....and totally forgot about it when I went to move the goats to the back yard. When I turned around, George-the-goat was standing over it smacking his lips wanting more. My vet got an 8:00a.m. Sunday morning phone call that morning....but he said the goat would be fine, and he was.

I hope your neighbors horse is ok...and glad your hubby remembered the licks.
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Diane E.
Member
Username: scooter

Post Number: 3317
Registered: 9-2000
Posted on Friday, Dec 12, 2008 - 7:29 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Patty, I haven't heard anything so I suppose he is fine. Thanks for asking
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