You take your dog for a walk outside and when he pees, you’re alarmed to notice that there’s some blood in his urine.
This can be terrifying to see, but it’s not always serious.
What can cause your dog to pee blood?
There are many potential causes for this, from bladder infections and urinary tract infections to more serious conditions.
It’s important to realize that blood in your dog’s urine is always a symptom of something else that’s going on inside your dog’s body.
Since you don’t know if a harmless or serious condition is at play, it’s essential to call your vet to get to the bottom of it and make sure you follow some important tips. Here’s everything you need to do about your dog peeing blood.
Common Causes Of Blood In Your Dog’s Urine
Hematuria is the word that describes blood in your dog’s urine. It can be caused by many different conditions, such as the following:
Located in the dog’s upper urinary tract are two kidneys. If your dog has blood in their urine, there could be a kidney condition that’s causing it, such as:
- Idiopathic renal hematuria: This is known as having an unknown reason for blood coming from the kidneys, but it can be happening as a result of medication, immune system issues, or infections. The good news is that it’s benign.
- Kidney infection: If there’s an infection in the dog’s kidneys, this could cause them to bleed into the urine.
- Kidney cancer: This is a rare condition, but it can be the cause for why there’s blood in your dog’s urine.
- Renal telangiectasia: This is when the blood vessels in the kidneys open wider, which causes blood to enter the urine. Some dog breeds are more susceptible to this than others, and an example is the Welsh corgi.
In the lower urinary tract, a dog’s bladder is located. There are different types of bladder problems that can be causing blood in the urine, such as:
- Infections: A bladder or urinary tract infection is one of the most common reasons for why your dog might have blood in its urine. There are a variety of causes for it, such as allergies.
- Bladder stones: These are rock-like formations that can occur as a result of genetics, infection, or a lack of nutrition.
- Bladder cancer: This can be suspected if the blood is accompanied by difficulty when urinating.
In male dogs, health conditions affecting the prostate can also cause blood in the urine. For example, prostate infections and enlargement of the prostate (which is benign) can affect male dogs that have not been neutered.
Ticks can be distinguished from skin tags or growths by looking for movement and changes in color and shape.
If your pet has ticks, one of the symptoms could be bloody urine. While this is surprising, it just confirms why you should always give your dog tick-control treatments.
If your dog has ingested poison, such as because he or she ate rat poison, this can lead to blood clotting disorders, with one of the symptoms possibly being blood in the urine. This is why it’s so important to keep any poisons or toxic items in the house out of reach of your pets.
Other Reasons For Blood In Urine
Aside from the above, there are many other possible reasons why your dog could have blood in its urine. These include:
- Clotting disorders
- Infectious diseases
What About Estrus?
Sometimes female dogs that are in heat will bleed, and this can easily be confused for blood in the urine.
If your dog is showing other signs of being in heat, such as that she’s not been spayed, her vulva is swollen, or there are droplets of blood left behind on the ground after she’s been sitting for a while, these are all common signs that she’s in heat.
How To Tell If The Blood In Urine Is Serious
If blood in your dog’s urine is something serious, you’re likely to see your dog display other symptoms in combination with the hematuria.
For example, your dog could show signs of weight loss, a loss of appetite, fever, or depression. These are actually all symptoms that your dog might experience if they have kidney cancer, but they can also be a sign of other conditions that need to be treated.
Other symptoms of a serious condition include painful urination, difficulty urinating, or a low volume of urine. This is when your dog needs to urinate often but then doesn’t produce much urine.
What To Do If You See Blood In Your Dog’s Urine
You should never take it lightly when you see blood in your dog’s urine. Even if the condition isn’t serious, you want to get it sorted out as soon as possible so that it can be treated and Fido can feel good again.
Remember, your dog can’t tell you that he feels sick or out of sorts so you have to pay attention to his symptoms.
Since you probably don’t look at your dog’s urine every single time your dog urinates, this means you don’t know if this is even the first time that blood is showing up or if it’s been happening for a while.
There could be a health problem that your dog’s been experiencing for a while. Don’t delay in getting it treated.
The minute you see some pink or red color in your dog’s urine, make sure you book an appointment with your vet so your dog can be checked out.
What Tests Will Be Done?
When you bring your dog to the vet, he or she will need to take urine cultures to try to find out what’s causing blood in the urine, but other tests might also be done. These include blood tests, x-rays, or ultrasounds, depending on what the problem is suspected of being.
What Treatments Are Recommended?
There are many different treatments for blood in your dog’s urine depending on what’s causing it. Here’s a rundown of some common causes of hematuria and how they’re treated.
- If your dog’s got blood in his or her urine due to an infection, antibiotics will probably be given to eliminate the bacteria that’s causing the infection.
- If your male dog’s got an enlarged prostate, then your vet will likely want to neuter your dog.
- If something like bladder stones is what’s causing your dog to pee blood, then this could require surgery as well as medication, such as pain medication, to keep the pet comfortable.
- If your dog’s got a low blood count, or a clotting disorder, sometimes blood transfusions might be required.
- There might be other symptoms that accompany the reason for the hematuria, and these will also need to be treated at the same time. For example, if your dog’s dehydrated, then they’ll need to be given fluids.
- If your dog’s got a clotting disorder that’s causing them to have blood in their urine, blood thinners can be prescribed to help them.
- For some conditions that could be causing your dog to pee blood, your vet might also want you to change your dog’s food in addition to making use of other treatments. This is because adding wet foods to your dog’s diet can create a more diluted urine. In addition, some foods can help to prevent kidney stones from occurring.
Are Puppies Prone To Getting Urinary Tract Infections?
If you have a puppy, he or she could be susceptible to getting infections of the urinary tract. Why is this so? There are many reasons for this.
- Since puppies are usually exposed to lots of bacteria, thanks to how they love to explore everything in their environment, this can make them more susceptible to bacteria that can cause a urinary tract infection.
- Female puppies are more prone to UTIs than male dogs. This is as a result of how their bodies work. Female dog anatomy includes a shorter and wider urethra than what you’ll find on a male dog, and this makes it easier for bacteria to enter the urinary tract and cause infection.
- Puppies are still developing their immune systems. Since puppies are growing, they are still developing so their immune systems are not as strong as those of adult dogs. This means that they can be more prone to getting infections.
- Puppies can have hereditary conditions. Besides for UTIs, your dog’s stage of life can also help to determine what could be causing them to have blood in their urine. For example, for many young dogs the cause of hematuria is sometimes due to a hereditary condition. On the other hand, senior dogs who have blood in the urine could be battling with an underlying disease, such as cancer, as these become more common as dogs get older.
How To Prevent Urine Problems In Your Dog
While you can’t always prevent health problems from affecting your dog, you can prevent some urinary problems. Here’s how.
- Take your dog to the vet for regular check-ups. This is important because your vet will be able to see if the pet is susceptible to urinary problems. This will also ensure you nip them in the bud if they do arise.
- Check your dog’s urine from time to time. Whether your dog has urinated in the garden or during your daily walk, keep an eye out for signs of healthy urine. It should be yellow and clear.
- Ensure your dog always has fresh, clean water to drink. Drinking water regularly not only prevents dehydration but can help to wash away bacteria in the urinary tract, therefore preventing issues such as urinary tract infections from occurring.
- Check for other symptoms associated with hematuria. If your dog has blood in his or her urine, there might be other symptoms that occur. For example, you might notice some blood stains on the carpet or on the bed. In addition, there are some things to look out for when your pet urinates.
- Your pet is having more accidents than they used to.
- Your pet needs to urinate a lot more, so he or she will ask to go out to urinate more regularly.
- Your pet is incontinent.
- Your pet licks or grooms him/herself in the groin area much more than they used to, such as after urinating.
- Your pet is restless before or after urinating.
- Your pet cries or whimpers when urinating, which points to it being painful.
These are all signs that your pet needs to see the vet.
How To Monitor Your Dog After Treatment
If your dog’s been diagnosed with a health problem and is now being treated for it at home, there are some important ways to care for your dog. These include the following.
Monitor your dog for any medication side effects. If your dog’s been given antibiotics or other medications to treat the cause of the hematuria, they might experience some side effects.
These include vomiting, diarrhea, or a loss of appetite. It’s important to check in with your vet if they are severe or persist in your dog.
Monitor your dog for future urinary problems. If your dog was healing but now is experiencing urinary problems, such as hematuria, not producing a lot of urine, or frequent urination, then this requires a trip back to the vet.
If your dog can’t pass urine, which is something that can rarely (but possibly) occur when dogs have blood in their urine, you need to consult with your vet immediately.
This is because an inability to urinate can be deadly if not treated promptly. It’s also really uncomfortable for your dog, so you want to act quickly to give them relief.
What To Know About Urine Colors In Your Dog
You now know that pink or red urine is a sign your dog has hematuria and you need to take your dog to the vet for tests to find out what’s causing it. But what are other urine colors that your dog could experience and what do they mean? Here’s a rundown of common urine colors.
While it might seem like blood, orange urine actually refers to other health conditions in your pet. It’s usually a sign of jaundice or other liver problems in the body, but can also signal a problem with the pancreas.
It’s caused by too much pigment from inside red blood cells being in the body. Other reasons for orange urine include dehydration, and certain foods or medications your dog is consuming.
Brown or black urine
When your dog’s urine contains these colors, it’s usually a sign of damage that’s been inflicted to the muscles as a result of trauma, poisoning, seizures, or other conditions. However, it can also be a sign that your dog has ingested acetaminophen.
This is an ingredient found in human medication such as Tylenol, so make sure you keep your medications out of reach of your dogs! That said, brown urine can also be a sign that there’s old blood in the dog’s urinary tract, which is due to bladder infections or kidney stones.
Colorless urine. It’s always good for your dog to drink a lot of water to stay hydrated, but colorless urine is not a healthy symptom. If your dog’s drinking a lot of water this can cause his or her urine to be completely colorless.
The danger of this is that it can cause hyponatremia, a condition in which there are low levels of sodium in the body. Although rare, it can be deadly.
Are some dog breeds more susceptible to urinary problems?
Breeds such as Yorkshire Terriers, Shih Tzu, and Bichon Frise are susceptible to urinary tract stones. Other urinary problems, such as incontinence, tend to affect breeds such as Cocker Spaniels, Doberman pinschers, and English sheepdogs.
What color is healthy urine in your dog?
Your dog’s urine should be free of blood while being clear yellow in color. It shouldn’t be a bright or dark yellow.
When you see your dog has blood in his or her urine, you should consult with your vet immediately. Luckily, many cases of dog peeing blood are benign and easily treated, such as with a course of antibiotics if the cause of the blood is bacterial in nature.
In this article, we’ve provided you with a guide to understanding why your dog could have blood in its urine, as well as what you can do to help treat whatever is the problem.
Heather Abraham is a professional blogger who owns two dogs, a cat, a parrot, and a leopard gecko. She has a connection with animals since she was a child. She shares her love for all pet breeds and provides information on pet food, toys, medications, beds, and everything else.
She is committed to learning about the internal workings of animals. Her work permits her to work closely with knowledgeable vets and obtain practical expertise in animal care. When she is not working, her love of animals continues in her writing. Her goal is to educate and uplift readers who also have a passion for animals through her writing.