Do Racehorses Really Pee All That Much?

Matt Soniak
Thinkstock / Thinkstock

We’ve all heard the phrase “pee like a racehorse,” but are the animals' urinary habits all they’re cracked up to be? Do horses really pee a startling amount?

Oh yeah. Penn State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences pegs a horse’s daily urinary output at around 0.3 fluid ounce per pound of body weight, or about two and half gallons for a typical 1000-pound horse. According to Al Cirelli Jr., an equine specialist at the University of Nevada, the amount of urine produced can even jump up to eight gallons per day, depending on the animal’s size, diet, activity levels and environmental conditions.

Horses can sometimes get some assistance from the veterinarian when it comes to making water, too. Racehorses are prone to “exercise induced pulmonary hemorrhages,” or blood in their airways brought on by the intense physical effort of racing. Horses that are “bleeders” are often given a medication called furosemide to reduce or prevent hemorrhaging. The drug prevents their blood pressure from getting too high and reduces swelling and fluid retention by getting rid of water in the form even more pee.