Causes of Repeated Episodes of Blood In Dog Urine

by Mark Avery
(Sydney, Australia)

The vets haven't been able to work the problem:

The dog: A healthy, fit, Staffordshire terrier cross. She lives indoors. She is now 14 but arthritis in her back legs isn't holding her up. On walks, she trots around like a puppy, and chases balls, trams, etc. To see the dog, and maybe get a laugh, cut and paste 'Speakers Corner, Sydney - highlights - dog' into Youtube.
Medication: For about 10 years she has been on 'Attopica'; Cyclosporin to treat her itchiness. (100mg per day.) She also takes various monthly flea treatments, such as Advocate, Advantage, and Frontline, which usually include worming.

Nearly two years ago she had urine the colour of red wine. The vets found nothing with an ultrasound and prescribed antibiotics. The blood went away in three days. It happened again a few weeks, perhaps months, later. She was taken to an expert in ultrasounds but still nothing was found, and antibiotics were prescribed again.
She has had blood in her urine 11 times. Nowadays I simply log it.
1. First time.
2. ? days elapsed since the previous episode.
3. ? days elapsed since the previous episode.
4. ? days elapsed since the previous episode.
5. 65 days elapsed since the last occurrence.
6. 47 days elapsed since the last occurrence.
7. 3 days elapsed since the last occurrence.
8. 59 days elapsed since the last occurrence.
9. 70 days elapsed since the last occurrence.
10. 26 days elapsed since the last occurrence.
11. 18 days elapsed since the last occurrence.

The blood lasts for three days, though in this last instance she has been bleeding for four days.
The first time I had to get a blood sample for the vet I found a small sliver of thickened blood in the urine, soft and junket-like.

On each occasion she seems well and happy, and keen to run about. I can't discern any change in her behaviour. Apart from the red urine, nothing else seems to be wrong with her. The vets have run out of ideas.

I give you this story in case you have a dog with a similar problem. It might relieve you to know that after nearly two years of this, my dog is still well and happy and running about.
And if you have a suggestion, please let me know.

Editor Suggestions Regarding Diagnosis of Repeated Episodes of Blood In Dog Urine

Hi Mark,

I'm not a veterinarian, but I can make some general suggestions that you can discuss with your veterinarian.

Blood in a dog's urine can be caused by a variety of factors, such as urinary tract infections, bladder stones, kidney disease, or tumors. Since your dog has had multiple episodes and the vets haven't found a specific cause, it might be helpful to seek a second opinion from a different vet, or visit a veterinary specialist who focuses on urology.

Additionally, consider discussing with your veterinarian about:

Adjusting the medication: Since your dog has been on Atopica for a long time, it might be worthwhile discussing with your vet about the potential side effects or long-term impacts of the medication. They may suggest trying a different medication to see if it improves the situation.

Diet: Sometimes, a dog's diet can impact their urinary health. Talk to your vet about whether any changes to your dog's diet could help address the issue, such as providing more water, or switching to a prescription urinary diet that promotes urinary tract health.

Coagulation disorders: Some dogs may have clotting disorders that can lead to blood in the urine. Your veterinarian may perform blood tests to check for any abnormalities in clotting factors.

Pyelonephritis: This is a bacterial infection of the kidneys that can cause blood in the urine. It can be challenging to diagnose and may require a urine culture or additional imaging to identify.

Idiopathic cystitis: This is a condition where the cause of inflammation in the bladder is unknown. It is a diagnosis of exclusion, meaning it's only considered after other causes have been ruled out. In some cases, stress may be a contributing factor.

Vasculitis: This is an inflammation of the blood vessels that can cause bleeding in various parts of the body, including the urinary tract. It is a rare condition and may require specialized testing to diagnose.

These are just a few general possibilities, and it's crucial to consult with a veterinarian for a professional assessment of your dog's specific situation.

Let us know when you have a diagnosis.

Editor and Publisher
Dog Health Guide

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