Blood in Dogs’ Urine: What it Means

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Blood In Dogs' UrineIt’s never pleasant to discover blood in your dog’s urine and can be upsetting. This symptom is referred to as hematuria, and will often point to urinary tract issues within the dog. Their body is divided into two parts, known as the upper and lower tracts which play an important role in processing waste and removing it from the body. 

Here, we discuss what it means when you find blood in dogs’ urine and what you can do to help them. 

What Does it Mean When I See Blood in Dogs’ Urine? 

While the sight of blood in your dog’s urine can happen at any time, their age can be used to indicate the cause. For example, the most common cause of blood in the urine for younger dogs is familial hematuria, which is a hereditary condition. However, older dogs will commonly suffer from prostate cancer if it’s male; this may cause blood to appear in their urine. 

In female dogs, the more common reason is a lower urinary tract infection. Finding blood in your dog’s urine can be an indicator of an underlying condition which can be very serious. If you’re worried about your pet’s urine, be sure to give your dog the veterinary care it needs; don’t try to use home remedies since these may cause more harm than good. 

Symptoms of Bloody Urine in Dogs

There are many potential causes for blood appearing in your dog’s urine but the main reasons will range from bladder infections such as UTIs to more serious problems such as kidney or bladder cancer. Other factors such as your dog’s diet, age, and even toxins can result in blood within your dog’s pee. The primary sign of this condition is blood in your dog’s toxin, which can be identified as discoloration, ranging from red to amber, brown, or orange. 

It can be accompanied by frequent urination, painful urination or discomfort, and hemorrhages under the skin that manifest as bruises. But there shouldn’t be other symptoms that go along with this, and the presence of blood within the urine shouldn’t change the color of the dog urine so much that you notice it. Most times, hematuria is detected during a complete physical examination or when testing for a urinary tract problem.    

Below are some of the most common causes of blood in dogs’ urine.  

1. Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)

This refers to a bacterial infection that affects the urinary system which most often takes place around the dog’s bladder. It starts when the E. coli bacteria enter the urinary bladder and then multiply, which causes discomfort and inflammation. Dogs that experience urinary tract infections will suffer from the following symptoms: 

  • Passing small amounts of urine
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Frequent urination       

UTIs can be a one-time case but they can also happen again, known as recurrent urinary tract infections which are more common in female dogs. Treating this condition will usually consist of antibiotics. Your vet’s prescription will be based on a urine culture or on known sensitivity patterns of common pathogens found in the urinary tract.  

2. Kidney Infection

Pyelonephritis is the technical term for kidney problems that affect the upper urinary tract and is more common in elderly dogs. If you see the presence of red blood cells in your dog’s pee, and it’s showing symptoms of lethargy, along with a loss in appetite, then this could be the reason.   

3. Prostate Problems

This condition refers to various conditions linked to the dog’s prostate gland; prostate infections can be another reason why you see blood in unneutered male dogs. Such diseases may include the following: 

  • Prostatic cancer
  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia
  • Bacterial infection
  • Cysts
  • Prostatic abscesses
  • Benign prostatic hypertrophy
  • Prostatic disease 

4. Bladder Stones

Urinary crystals can accumulate inside the body, turning into bladder stones that get stuck at the end of the bladder, causing ulceration, bleeding, and inflammation. They can also result in urethral blockage — these stones are sometimes related to your dog’s diet, genetics, or chronic UTI.  

5. Kidney Stones

Blood in your dog’s urine can be caused by urinary stones from the kidneys. The most common reasons for stone formation can include an inappropriate diet and chronic infections. However, some breeds of dogs such as Shih Tzus are more vulnerable to getting kidney stones and when they form, they can block regular urine flow or damage their kidneys, resulting in bleeding. 

6. Toxins

Bleeding in dogs can also be caused by poisoning; your dog may have ingested some kind of toxic substance like rat poison. Apart from hematuria, your pooch may also bleed from their gums, have a hard time breathing, get bloody diarrhea, or have a swollen abdomen. Furthermore, they may experience coughing or collapsing episodes. 

7. Internal Bleeding

If the blood in your dog’s urine isn’t caused by the reasons above, it could indicate a more serious problem, such as internal bleeding. When this happens as a result of trauma, it can show up as bleeding around the upper or lower urinary tract. Blood clots and bleeding disorders such as thrombocytopenia can also result in hematuria.   

8. Bladder or Kidney Cancer

Cancer cells that develop around the urethra or the bladder like transitional cell carcinoma, can also result in hematuria. Because these are more common in old dogs, it’s best to give your senior pets regular vet visits to ensure that they’re cleared for such diseases and treated as early as possible. Idiopathic renal hematuria is common in large dogs and can also cause blood in your dog’s urine. 

There are many other possible causes for red-tinged urine so it’s important to check the symptoms surrounding your dog’s condition and to get blood work done if you suspect something more serious.  

What to Do if Your Dog Has Bloody Urine? 

Dog parents who notice blood in their dog’s urine along with other symptoms like frequent urination should contact their vet immediately. UTIs aren’t typically considered to be an emergency but they should still be assessed within the next 24 hours. But if they do show other symptoms such as pain, be sure to give them veterinary care as soon as possible.  

Your vet will run various diagnostic tests such as blood tests, urine culture, and sensitivity, along with a urine sample. Doing these will help to determine the underlying cause of blood in your dog’s urine and will help your vet make the right treatment options. 

Conclusion

When you’re a pet parent, it’s your responsibility to check on your dog’s well-being, so be sure to monitor your pup’s peeing habits to ensure that it’s healthy and happy. The cause of the blood in your dog’s pee can be any of the reasons above; as soon as you notice blood in your dog’s urine, the best way to help it is by speaking to your veterinarian. The good news is that your vet can help you find the appropriate treatment for your pet.

 

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