Is There Blood in That Urine?
A winter visitor once asked me, upon seeing reddish colored urine in the snow, if there was blood in the urine. At the time I assured them that the color was deceptive and nothing to be concerned about. However, in the back of my mind, I did wonder if there was meaning in the color since I didn’t see it very often.
Eventually an explanation emerged from my reading stack. The red results from the urine reacting with cold snow. “Proteins in the urine, called pyrocatechines, oxidize in low temperatures, which produces colors ranging from a light pink to red, orange or brown.” (1) In my experience, orange, brown, and light pink are much more common than red, but it’s good to know they’re all normal! And of course when in doubt, consulting a veterinarian is advised.
1) Frank, Katie, with Melinda Freckleton, DVM. “When You See Red,” Equus #412, January 2012, p. 15.
© Jenifer Morrissey, 2019