Why is Urine Coming from
my Foal’s Umbilicus?

By Dr. Garrett Metcalf, DVM

Why is urine coming from my foal’s umbilicus? This is a fairly common issue every year horse owners will face when having newborn foals. Since foaling season is well underway it is a good time to talk about this condition called patent urachus.


Patent urachus is a tube from the bladder to the umbilicus that does not close properly at birth called the urachus. The urachus is a pathway that allows urine to leave the bladder of the foal in the allantois (fluid filled sac around the foal) while in the womb. Once the foal is born and the umbilical cord is severed free from the foal this tube should close and urine will be eliminated the normal pathway out the urethra, but that doesn’t always happen. Occasionally the urachus will remain open and urine will be dribbling or streaming from the umbilicus when the foal urinates.

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