Why Is My Dog Peeing Blood?

You are taking your dog for their usual walk, only to discover something startling along the way.

Their once yellow urine is now bright red in color, causing you to wonder what could possibly be wrong with your pup.

The presence of bloody urine can be startling for a dog owner, leading to an immediate sense of panic.

A dog with blood in the urine can be experiencing anything from an infection in their urinary tract, to a life threatening clotting disorder.

The range in severity is why this strange symptom should warrant immediate attention and lead to a prompt vet visit.

So what causes bloody urine in dogs, and what does this mean for your furry friend?

In this article we will discuss the details of bloody urine in dogs, and help you better understand the treatment options available based on their diagnosis.

My Dog Is Peeing Blood

What Does Bloody Urine (Hematuria) Look Like In Dogs?

If your dog has a large amount of blood in their urine, you may notice a sudden change in their urine appearance.

Their urine may vary from shades of brown to bright red, and there may even be splotches of blood throughout the puddle.

While red tinged urine may certainly catch our eye, some cases are a bit more subtle.

Other symptoms that may accompany traces of blood in the urine include:

  • Foul smelling urine
  • Frequent urination
  • Cloudy urine
  • Straining to urinate
  • Licking of the penis or vulva
  • Dark colored urine
  • Crying when passing urine
  • Squatting without urine production

Top 8 Reasons Why Your Dog Is Peeing Blood And What This Means

If your dog is suddenly peeing blood, there are a list of health conditions that may be to blame.

To help you better understand the many potential causes of bloody urine in dogs, let’s discuss some of the most common factors below.

1.) Urinary Tract Infection

Urinary tract infections are the most common culprit behind urinary changes in our canine friends.

A UTI occurs when bacteria makes its way up a dog’s urethra and into the bladder, allowing bacteria to replicate throughout the lower urinary tract.

Once the bacteria is allowed to replicate to the point of infection, an array of uncomfortable symptoms will follow.

A dog with a UTI may experience:

  • Frequent urination
  • Foul smelling urine
  • Licking of the genitals
  • Cloudy urine
  • Straining to urinate
  • And of course, bloody urine

These pups may even experience inappropriate urination around the house, even though they are typically well house trained.

Treatment: Antibiotics, anti inflammatory medication, and pain control are the most common treatment methods for UTIs in dogs. 

2.) Cystitis

Cystitis is another potential cause of bloody urine in dogs.

The term cystitis refers to inflammation of the bladder, which can be a result of many underlying causes.

The most common cause of cystitis is urinary tract infection, but dogs can develop sterile (free of bacteria) cystitis as well.

A dog with cystitis may experience:

  • Frequent urination
  • Producing small amounts of urine
  • Straining to urinate
  • Bloody urine

These dogs may also constantly lick their genitals due to the discomfort, as an inflamed bladder can be extremely painful.

Treatment: If an infection is present, your vet will typically prescribe antibiotics.

If there is no bacteria in the urine, your vet may turn to anti inflammatory medication, pain control, increased water intake, and even diet changes.

3.) Kidney Infection

A painful kidney infection can also lead to bloody urine in our canine friends.

A kidney infection can develop when bacteria makes its way up through the ureters and into the kidneys, allowing the bacteria to wreak havoc.

This typically develops as a result of an untreated UTI, but it can also occur when urine flow is blocked for any reason.

A dog with a kidney infection will typically display signs of a UTI, but they may appear noticeably ill as well.

These pups may be lethargic, anorexia, nauseous, and they may even have a fever.

Treatment: Hospitalization may be offered to hydrate your pup, administer antibiotics, and control pain.

If your dog does not require hospitalization, your vet may turn to the oral form of these medications.

4.) Bladder Stones

Bladder stones are a common factor behind many cases of bloody urine in dogs.

Bladder stones are stone-like formations of minerals within the canine bladder, and they can range in size from tiny pebbles to tennis balls.

These stones develop as a result of crystal accumulation in the bladder when urine does not empty completely, eventually causing bladder inflammation.

As the bladder wall becomes more and more irritated, the bladder will begin to produce mucus.

As this mucus develops, the tiny crystals will eventually stick together and form stones.

Bladder stones can be extremely irritating to the bladder wall, which is why many dogs will have bloody urine.

These stones will not only cause pain and inflammation to the tissue they come in contact with, but they can even block the flow of urine.

When urine flow is blocked, this becomes a major medical emergency.

If your dog is ever attempting to urinate without any urine production, we suggest having them seen by a vet immediately.

Treatment: Treatment for bladder stones can vary from surgical removal of the stones, dietary dissolution, urohydropropulsion of the stones, and ultrasonic dissolution.

5.) Prostatitis

Prostatitis is a common cause of bloody urine in intact male dogs.

The term prostatitis refers to inflammation of the prostate gland in dogs, often as a result of a bacterial infection.

The prostate will soon become painful and inflamed, eventually draining prostatic fluid into the urinary bladder.

This can not only cause blood to deposit into the bladder, but it can lead to a bladder infection as well.

Dogs with prostatitis may experience:

  • Bloody urine
  • Difficulty urinating
  • Abdominal pain
  • Anorexia
  • Lethargy
  • Fever
  • Difficulty defecating
  • Abnormal gait

Dogs with bacterial prostatitis may fall ill suddenly,  but some dogs can have chronic cases of prostatitis that go unnoticed.

Treatment: The standard treatment for prostatitis includes antibiotics, anti inflammatory medication, pain control, and ideally castration once they recover.

Dogs with severe infections may need to be hospitalized.

6.) Bladder Injury

Sudden injury to the bladder can cause a dog to experience blood in the urine.

The injured bladder lining may begin to seep, causing blood to pool within the bladder.

Once this happens, many dogs will have noticeable blood in their urine.

Bladder injury can occur when a dog:

  • Is hit by a car
  • Sustains any type of blunt force trauma
  • Falls from a high location
  • Any type of injury that can compromise the abdomen

This is why it is so important to examine the abdomen for any sign of organ damage when a trauma to the area occurs.

Treatment: Treatment for bladder injury will vary based on the trauma that caused it.

If there are no other internal injuries, your dog may simply need pain control and anti inflammatory medications.

7.) Clotting Disorders

Clotting disorders in dogs can cause abnormal bleeding in many places, bladder included.

Whether a clotting disorder develops as a result of an immune mediated condition or ingestion of a toxin, a dog can develop blood in their urine.

Dogs with any type of clotting disorder can also experience abnormal bruising and petechiae, all of which need to be taken seriously.

Clotting disorders are life threatening, so we suggest seeing a veterinarian ASAP in these situations.

Treatment: Treatment for clotting disorders will vary based on the exact cause.

Toxicities will need to be treated appropriately based on what was ingested, while immune mediated conditions will need to be treated with immune suppression and platelet transfusion.

8.) Female Heat Cycle

While the female heat cycle will not cause any bleeding in the bladder or urinary tract, it can lead to a few drops of blood in their urine as they squat.

These drops of blood can cause an owner to think their dog is peeing blood, when it is actually just blood from their heat cycle.

What Should I Do If There Is Blood In My Dog’s Urine?

If you suddenly notice blood in your dog’s urine, we always suggest having them seen by a veterinarian.

As you can see above, there are a long list of potential factors that can lead to hematuria in dogs.

It is impossible to diagnose your pup without veterinary guidance, so there is no way to know just how serious their condition is.

The sooner your dog is seen by a veterinarian, the better their chance is at a full recovery.

Diagnosing The Cause Of Bloody Urine In Dogs

Once you take your dog to the vet for blood in their urine, there are a few different diagnostic options that your vet may explore.

This can vary based on your dog’s medial history and current symptoms, but let’s list a few of the most common tools below.

Urinalysis

A urinalysis involves taking a sample of your dog’s urine, spinning the urine down to separate the materials, and looking at the result under a microscope.

This will not only confirm the presence of blood in the urine, but it will also search for any evidence of bacteria or crystals.

Blood Tests

If your veterinarian fears any damage to the kidneys, or the potential for a clotting disorder, your vet may suggest performing diagnostic blood work.

This can include a CBC, chemistry, and clotting times.

X-rays

X-rays can be performed to rule out the presence of bladder stones in your canine friend.

They may also be recommended if your dog is having blood in the urine after an abdominal trauma.

Ultrasound

If your vet wants to examine the bladder, they can perform an abdominal ultrasound.

This can also be effective to diagnose any bladder stones that do not show up on x-ray.

Treatment For Bloody Urine In Dogs

The treatment options for a dog with blood in their urine will vary based on the results of their diagnostics.

If your dog’s symptoms are due to a simple urinary tract infection, your dog should recover quickly with the use of antibiotics.

If your dog has been diagnosed with bladder stones, the treatment options range from dietary dissolution to surgical removal of the stones.

Due to the fact that there are an array of potential factors to blame for your dog’s bloody urine, we suggest trusting the guidance of your veterinary team based on their diagnosis.

Your vet will create a treatment plan based on your dog’s symptoms and test results, allowing your pup to have the best chance at a full recovery.

Prognosis Of Dog Peeing Blood

Every diagnosis will have a different prognosis overall, but swift action is the best way to help your pup in each case.

The sooner your pup sees a veterinarian for their uncomfortable symptoms, the sooner they will be on the road to recovery.

For any direct questions about your dog’s prognosis, we suggest speaking with your veterinarian.

Final Thoughts

Blood in the urine is a symptom in dogs that should never be ignored.

Be sure to have them seen as soon as possible, and you can determine the best plan of action to heal your canine friend.

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