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Clinical Management of Urolith in a Mare.


Urolithiasis is occassionally recorded in equines as compared to other species despite the alkalinity and high amount of calcium excreted in urine, more frequently noted in geldings and less frequently in stallions and mares (Diaz-Espineira et al., 1995). The lower incidence in mares can probably be explained by the fact that mare has short, easily dilatable urethra through which a small calculus can pass unnoticed (Lowe, 1961). No obvious age, breed or sex predisposition for urolithiasis has been observed in horses (Jaeger et al., 2000). Diaz-Espineira et al., (1995) found on the basis of an analysis of 2025 equidae that the percentage of animals with uroliths amounted to 0.7 percent (1073 horses - 0.8 percent, 521 donkeys - 0.6 percent and 431 mules - 0.7 percent).

History and Diagnosis

A four years old mare weighing 282kgs was presented with history of haematuria, colic, stranguria, frequent posturing to urinate, urinary incontinence represented by dribbling of urine and increased symptoms of troublesome urination after exercise. All clinical parameters were normal. Routine haematological examination was investigated, leucocytosis was observed and other values were within normal limits. Diagnosis was based on history, signs and physical examination (on rectal palpation distended, turgid bladder and hard mass was palpated and inability to pass a urinary catheter) and based on per vaginal examination, urethral calculi was felt in urethral opening.

Treatment and Discussion

Mare was treated under standing condition using Inj. Xylazine hydrochloride @1.1mg/kg b. wt., I/V, Inj. Butorophanol tartarate @0.01mg/kg b. wt., I/V and local application of Lignocaine gelly. Manual removal of urolith was undertaken (Fig. 1). Lavage of urinary bladder (5% normal saline 2 ltr by catheter). Post-operative management by Ketoprofen @2.2mg/kg b. wt., I/V, q 24h X 2 days; fortified Procaine penicillin @22000 IU/kg b. wt., q 24h X 5 days; Hemocoagulase @4ml, I/V, q 24h X 2 days; Furosemide @1mg/kg b. wt., i/v, q 24h X 2 days; adequate intake of water; dietary change (reduced amount of calcium diet) and Vitamin-C (Ascorbic acid) @ 4 gm, q 24h orally as urine acidifiers for one month. After six months of treatment, mare showed no complication or recurrence. Examination of the structure showed that it was a urolith which measured 9 inches in diameter and 4.5 inches in length. The calculus weighed 500gm and their surface was smooth and roughs (a cauliflower type of structure) (Fig. 2). Chemical analysis showed that calculus was composed of Calcium carbonate 90 percent and Calcium oxalate 10 percent33 (Fig. 3). Diaz-Espineira et al. (1995) report the case of a big urolith in which they observed organic matter, constituting a nucleation matrix in the centre of the stone. Therapeutic procedures in urolithiasis in horses are based on surgical methods of removal of calculi that includes either abdominal (cystotomy) or urethral (urethtotomy) approaches (Textor et al., 2005). In mares, uroliths can be removed through the urethra without urethrotomy or after urethrotomy (Lowe, 1961; Holt and Pearson, 1984). Wright and Neal (1960) described the case of a mare in which a calculus with a size of 7x 6x 3.5cm (weight 110 g) was removed by manipulation per urethra. Post-operative acidification of urine is recommended by some authors to prevent recurrence of uroliths (Jaeger et al., 2000). The chemical composition of calculus included 95 percent of Calcium carbonate with a small admixture of Calcium phosphate, which is in accordance with the chemical compositions of uroliths studied by other authors (Dyke and Maclean, 1987). Several urine acidifiers (e.g. Ammonium chloride, Ammonium sulfate, Ascorbic acid) have reportedly been used in horses (Koening et al., 1999). Dietary change in addition to the use of urinary acidifiers has also been described for reducing the recurrence of urolith formation (Sertich et al., 1998).


Diaz-Espineria, M., Wscolar, E., Bellanato, J. and Rodriguez, M. (1995). Structure and Composition of Equine Uroliths. J. Equine Vet. Sci. 15: 27-34.

Dyke, T.M. and Maclean, A.A. (1987). Urethral obstruction in a stallion with possible synchronous diaphragmatic flutter. Vet. Rec. 121: 425-26.

Holt, P.E. and Pearson, H. (1984). Urolithiasis in the Horse-A Review of 13 cases. European Vet. J. 16: 31-34.

Jaeger, De. E., De Keersmaecker, S. and Hannes, C. (2000). Cystic Urolithiasis in Horses. Equine Vet Educ. 30-35.

Koening, J., Hurtig, M. and Pearce, S. (1999). Ballistic shock wave lithotripsy in an 18-year-old gelding. Can Vet J. 40:185-86.

Lowe, J.E. (1961). Surgical removal of equine uroliths via the laparocystotomy approach. J. Am. Vet. Medical Assoc. 139: 345-48

Sertich, P., Pozor, M., Meyers, S. et al. (1998). Medical management of urinary calculi in a stallion with breeding dysfunction. J. Am. Vet. Medical Assoc. 213: 843-46.

Textor, J.A, Slone, D.E. and Clark, C.K. (2005). Cystolithiasis secondary to intravesical foreign body in a horse. Vet. Rec. 156: 24-26.

Wright, J.G. and Neal, P.A. (1960). Laparo-cystotomy for Urinary calculus in a Gelding. Vet. Rec. 72: 301-03.

A. Patidar and B. Bharti (1)

Veterinary Hospital

Department of Animal Husbandry


Dhar - 454116 (Madhya Pradesh)

1. Veterinary Assistant Surgeon, Veterinary Hospital, Majhgawan, Satna and Corresponding author. E-mail:
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Title Annotation:Short Communication
Author:Patidar, A.; Bharti, B.
Publication:Intas Polivet
Article Type:Report
Date:Jan 1, 2018
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