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Blood In Dog Urine – What’s Causing It And How To Cure It?

Written by: Bojana Radulovic
Blood in dog urine is a clear indicator that your dog is bothered with some underlying health problem. Don't panic! It's not always the worst. Read on and discover what you can expect.

If you notice blood in your dog’s urine, there is one sentence you should keep in mind – Do not panic. Although seeing blood isn’t really the most pleasant
thing for a dog owner, when it comes to blood in dog pee, it almost certainly isn’t something severe.

However, it is important to treat it correctly in order to avoid further complications.

Blood In Dog Urine

There is no specific dog when you can expect blood in urine to appear. Therefore, the blood in pee can occur in the urine in young dogs as well as in adult or senior canines. Seeing blood coming out of your pet is not an easy sight, and situations like these are always a good reminder of why you should monitor your dog, his behavior and take him for regular checks.

Different conditions and diseases can cause blood in your dog’s urine, including:

  1. Urinary tract infections
  2. Trauma
  3. Toxins
  4. Cancer

But, bear in mind that any of these conditions won’t be easy to diagnose without visiting your veterinarian.

What Causes Blood In Dog’s Urine?

Blood can appear at any age and regardless of the general health of your dog. Although causes for this blood appearance may vary, the most common reason for it lies in condition known as hematuria.

This occurrence means that blood in the urine is hereditary, and this is the most common cause of blood in the urine of young dogs.

On the other hand, a reason for appearance of blood in urine in older dogs might be cancer. In most cases, female dogs are more likely to suffer from urinary tract infections, than males.

Good to know: Know that bloody strings in dog poop are also a sign to contact your veterinarian

Blood in the urine is a sign of serious underlying cause, some of which can be very serious. Long story short, as soon as you notice blood in dog’s urine you should contact your veterinarian.

Quick fact: Blood in the urine is not an emergency unless the dog is peeing straight blood.

Hematuria in Dogs

The presence of red blood cells in urine is simply known as hematuria. This condition can be detected in your dog’s urine either using diagnostic testing or detecting it visually. Often, we might not notice bloody urine right away, but we should. The main reason for it is because you may actually leave your dog do his business alone. But, it turns out that you should give it a look occasionally to check if his urine has a regular color.

That being said, you are responsible for noticing anything unusual in your dog’s health. Sometimes, bloody urine is more than obvious, especially if your dog urinates on snow or a light-colored surface. This discoloration can present as normal or as any of the following colors:

  • amber
  • red
  • brown
  • orange

In many cases, urine may appear normal, while there is hematuria happening. However, this can be confirmed only via diagnostic test. But if you notice any ‘funny’ or strange color in your dog’s urine contact your veterinarian.

Most Common Causes Of Blood In Dog Urine

Causes for blood in dog’s urine may be caused for numerous reasons, from a bladder infection to tumors, although the most common causes are less severe. However, the most common causes of blood in the dog’s urine are:

  • Kidney Infection or Bladder – this condition can be caused by an infection of the prostate or by a bladder infection.
  • Stones – hematuria can lead to kidney or bladder stones.
  • Tumors – this is one of the least desired underlying problems that can be behind the blood appearance.
  • Poisoning – in some cases, blood in your dog’s urine may be a sign that he has ingested a toxic substance. This condition will be followed with heavy breathing, swollen abdomen, lethargy, coughing, exercise intolerance, or lack of psychical movement.
  • Urinary Tract Infection – this is probably one of the most common cause for blood in dog’s urine. Moreover, this condition always comes with a few of the following symptoms, including, a strong odor to the urine, dog constantly licking urinary opening, trouble emptying bladder, loss of bladder control, and even strong pain while urinating.
  • Injury – people are not that aware of it, but physical trauma can be the cause of blood appearing in dog’s urine. So, if your dog has experienced a recent injury, report it to the veterinarian.
  • Prostate – this is common in males, when a prostate-related condition may be linked with blood in dog’s urine.

    Moreover, there are seven prostatic diseases:

    • prostatic abscess
    • paraprostatic cysts
    • benign prostatic hyperplasia
    • cystic hyperplasia
    • prostatic cancer
    • squamous metaplasia
    • bacterial infection
  • Estrus – it is common for female dogs to bleed when they are in heat. Therefore, estrus blood is often confused with blood in the urine. If your dog is not spayed check for other heat signs, such as swollen vulva and drops of blood that may be left behind when she sits down.

Diagnosis Of Blood In The Urine In Dogs

How fast you react will determine how fast your dog will recover. That being said, make sure that you react as soon as you notice the blood. Make sure that you share any information that you have about injuries, ingestion of a toxic substance, or any food change, that may help veterinarian set the diagnose much faster and more accurate.

To set the proper diagnose, your veterinarian will conduct a detailed physical examination and he or she will search for any abnormalities such as swelling tenderness. A complete blood count will be used to detect abnormal white and red blood cell including the platelet levels, as well as chemical blood profile, to examine levels of calcium, potassium, and even liver enzymes.

Urinalysis will present a very important diagnostic tool, as your dog’s urine will be pH tested and thoroughly analyzed for any mineral content, hemoglobin, presence of red blood cells, glucose levels and protein. If a high concentration of minerals is found, the urine will be further examined under a microscope. A cystoscopy or vaginoscopy may be required to examine fully your dog’s genital health.

If a tumor is suspected or detected, the veterinarian may order an ultrasound or x-ray, if not both, to identify the presence of a tumor for certain. In some cases, a biopsy is a mandatory step, to determine if a tumor is malignant or benign.

Treatment Of Blood In The Urine In Dogs

The proper treatment is linked with the cause and diagnose, of course. Treatment may depend upon the dog’s diagnosis, so the treatment may include antibiotics, radiation or chemotherapy for tumors, or even surgery to remove stones. In some cases, proper treatment may include transfusion with plasma and the use of Vitamin K.

Intravenous fluids may be included to treat dehydration, or/and a blood transfusion if your dog’s red blood cell count is extremely low. The most common treatments are:

  • Injury – antibiotics
  • Infections – antibiotics
  • Stones – change in diet, food low in protein, magnesium, and phosphorous designed to promote acidic urine
  • Poisoning – this treatment will depend of the substance that dog ingested, so anything is an option actually, from a phosphate binder to phosphorous.
  • Prostate – with seven different prostate issues, each treatment will be different.

    For example: for secondary bacterial infections, your dog will be prescribed aggressive antibiotic therapy.

    • Hematuria in dogs can be a serious and painful problem, therefore it’s important to communicate properly with your veterinarian so you can track your dog’s health. If your dog continues having the same problem after first treatments there are further diagnostic and treatment options available to help your pet feel better in a short time.

      Recovery Of Blood In The Urine In Dogs

      To have full recovery it’s important to follow veterinarian’s instructions and for follow-up and proper monitoring. This is additionally important if your veterinarian made significant changes in canine’s nutrition. Make sure that you consult your veterinarian if you are adding any kind of supplement during the recovery period. No matter the cause, it’s important to always have fresh and clean water available and encourage your dog to stay hydrated.

      Questions To Ask Your Veterinarian

      Your veterinarian will probably tell you everything, but just to be sure ask him about possible side effects of the medications your dog is taking.

      Learn about your dog’s progress timeline and check whom you should call if any emergency arises while your veterinarian’s out of his regular business hours. It’s always great to ask what you can do if any complications appear.

      Possible Complications

      Even if your dog is progressing you should be aware that there are always some possible complications, that can develop into strong side effects. In case your dog experience any complications you should know how to address them.

      So, some dogs who take medications can develop side effects such as vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and etc.

      Every dog may be on the road to recovery and to suddenly suffer from a setback. In some rare cases, dogs with hematuria may become unable to pass urine, which can be fatal if left untreated. Then, if your dog has difficulties urinating, or produces a small amount of urine, but urinates frequently and shows pain while urinating, don’t elongate and call your veterinarian.

      Quick tip: Make sure that you really understand what your dog’s reaction to any prescribed medications should be.

      How To Help A Dog Who Is Peeing Blood

      How fast your dog will recover from a certain condition and how well, depends on how fast you are going to react. If you noticed some blood drops in your dog’s urine, there are some things that you could do:

  1. Call your veterinarian – inform him what is happening and what bothers you.
  2. Gather the dog’s medical history – this is a necessity if you changed your veterinarian recently. You should prepare medical documentation that may help you in diagnosing your pet. Also, if you have results from previous blood work, bring them.
  3. Collect a urine sample if possible – yes, your veterinarian may ask you to bring a urine sample with you. It would be perfect if you could collect a fresh sample. If you have to take your dog to the veterinarian’s office make sure that you carry your dog so he can’t empty his bladder once you bring him in.
  4. Wait for the results – don’t speed up and let the test results help your veterinarian determine the real cause. Your veterinarian will perform several different tests including blood work, urine, and urinalysis.

Blood In Dog Urine – Key Takeaways

If your dog is showing signs of tiredness maybe something is bothering him, some kind of underlying problem that you can’t address upon the first look.

Make sure that you do what you can – monitor what he leaves behind him when you are outside. If your dog’s urine is showing a significant amount of blood trail, that is a clear sign that something is not OK with his health.

Therefore, make sure that you call your veterinarian and schedule an appointment to see what’s wrong with your furry friend. The important thing is not to panic, because, luckily, most of the causes of blood in dog pee are successfully and easily treatable.

Good to know: It is always helpful to learn how often do dogs need to pee, as it may help you spot an issue earlier.