If blood appears when a dog starts to urinate it indicates a problem in the vagina, uterus, prostate or penis. Bleeding toward the end of urination indicates problems in the prostate or bladder.
Diagnosis and treatment starts with antibiotics. If infection is the cause it should clear after several days. If dog urinary blood returns after antibiotics are used, or fails to clear, then an underlying medical condition that requires further testing may be the cause. After ruling out an infection, a Vet will look for trauma or stones, followed by conditions that are rare such as tumors.
There are a number of reasons your dog might have blood in his or her urine, some more serious than others. Some possible reasons for dog blood in urine include:
- Inflammation of the bladder (Cystitis)
- Bacterial infection in the kidney (Pyelonephritis)
- Prostate Inflammation (Prostatitis)
- Inflammation of the urethra. (The urethra is the transport tube leading from the bladder to discharge urine outside the body (Urethritis) (rare cause)
Stones (Calculi or Cystic)
- Bladder Stones (Urethral)
- Kidney Stones (Renal)
Injury or Trauma
- Bladder- Kidney(s) - Urethra (tube from bladder to the outside of the body to transport urine)
Abnormal Uncontrolled Cell Growth (Neoplasia or Tumor)
- Warfarin poisoning (Warfarin is a medication that keeps blood from clotting; also known as an anticoagulant or blood thinner)
No Known Cause
- Bleeding in prostate with no known cause (Idopathic Prostatic hemorrhage)
- Bleeding in the kidney with no known cause (Idiopathic Renal hemorrhage)
- Urethral prolapse (when the tissue of the urethra sags downward into
the vagina or the end of the penis)
Don't panic if you see dog health blood in urine. It may be serious, but it may not. Getting early veterinary care is important.
Symptoms Seen Along With Dog Blood in Urine
In addition to blood in your dog's urine, you may see some mucous. You may also notice your dog peeing more often than normal, and your housebroken dog may begin to have accidents in the house. You may not notice the blood in his urine until you are cleaning up an accident in the house. Your dog may appear to be straining to urinate.
If your dog was in an accident, he may have other injuries or show signs of pain.
Depending on your dog's condition, he may also appear listless, fatigued, and have little appetite.
Your vet will do a thorough physical exam, including palpating your dog's abdomen to see if it is painful to the touch. Your vet will need to get a urine sample to test for infection, protein, and crystals in the urine. He or she will probably also do x-rays and possibly an ultrasound to check for kidney and bladder stones. The vet may also do some blood tests.
If calculi or the substance/mineral that forms kidney or bladder stones then your veterinarian will assume that the stones are the cause of the bleeding.
In dogs uncontrolled cell growth or tumors (neoplasia) is not common. If it does occur it is usually found in the lungs or kidneys.
For a definitive diagnosis of problems in the stomach a sample may be taken of the problem area using a procedure called a laparotomy. Problems that your veterinarian will look for include problems in the lymph nodes (swelling indicates the spreading of cancer cells).
Cancers or tumors found in the kidney could be due to tumors that spread from other parts of your dog's body such as tumors in the adrenal glands
If you dog is suffering from bleeding in the prostate or kidney of unknown cause can result in severe bleeding.
If your dog has Urethral prolapse you can observe what looks like a "red pea" on the tip of the penis.
The appropriate treatment for dog blood in urine will depend on the cause of the condition. Antibiotics will likely be prescribed to treat any infection that may be present. Repeated urine testing will determine if the infection has been successfully treated.
Kidney or bladder stones may be able to be treated medically, but surgery may be necessary to remove them (procedure is called a nephrotomy). If the kidneys are failing, dialysis may be recommended. Supportive therapy such as IV fluids will also be given.
When a dog has urinary problems, it is usually advised that he or she drink as much water as possible. Make sure your dog has fresh water available at all times. There are special diets available from veterinarians designed for dogs with urinary problems, and these are often saltier than regular diets to encourage dogs to drink more. Ask your vet if your dog could benefit from a special diet.
You might also want to consider a natural supplement that contains ingredients associated with urine support and the maintenance of the proper PH level on the urine. One product to research is PetAlive UTI-Free Formula which is made specifically for dogs that are prone to urinary infections.
For dogs with kidney tumors or cancer, the part of the kidney with diseased tissue is surgically removed (called a nephrectomy).
If your dog is bleeding from the prostate, then castration might help the condition.
For an extended urethra (urethral prolapse) the urethra is restructured to remove the problem.
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Canine Haematuria - Causes and Treatment
Peter E. Holt, BVMS, PhD, ILTM, DECVS, CBiol, FIBiol, FRCVS
Department of Clinical Veterinary Science
University of Bristol, United Kingdom