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Urine, produced by the kidneys, is stored in the urinary bladder before exiting the body through the urethra. The urethra acts as a channel for urine excretion; its length offers protection against infection. Urinary tract infections are uncommon in horses, unless they have a condition that causes abnormal urine flow: mares prior to foaling, recumbency, and anatomical defects (e.g.: patent urachus, ectopic ureters). Horses with urinary bladder abnormalities may strain to urinate; they may have obvious blood in their urine or evidence of urine scalding.