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Haematuria In Dogs

When a dog develops haematuria it means they pass blood in their urine which is often a symptom of a serious underlying health issue. There are two types of the condition with familial haematuria being seen in younger dogs, whereas cancer is typically the cause of blood in their urine in older dogs. Females tend to be more at risk of developing urinary tract infections which can also lead to them passing blood in their urine, although males too can develop the condition.

Symptoms to watch out for

The main sign of there being something wrong is when a dog starts passing blood when they pee. Male dogs may have an enlarged prostate gland which is painful when touched during a physical examination. Other signs associated with blood in a dog's urine include the following:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Subdermal skin haemorrhages - seen in dogs with blood-clotting disorders

The Causes

Systemic causes are usually associated with blood clotting issues, however other causes could include the following:

  • A low platelet count which is referred to as thrombocytopenia
  • Upper urinary tract disorders which are typically caused when there is any sort of inflammation of blood vessels
  • Cystic kidney disease
  • Familial kidney disease
  • Kidney stones
  • Neoplasia
  • Neoplasia
  • Infectious diseases
  • Nephritis
  • Idiopathic causes
  • Trauma
  • Neoplasia
  • Cancer and tumours

Diagnosing the problem

A vet would need to have a dog's full medical history and be told how the onset of any obvious signs of there being something wrong first occurred. The more information a vet is given the easier it is for them to make a correct diagnosis. The vet would thoroughly examine a dog and recommend carrying out the following tests to confirm their suspicions:

  • A complete blood profile
  • A chemical blood profile
  • A complete blood count
  • A urinalysis
  • An examination of an ejaculate sample to identify prostatic disease in male dogs
  • An ultra-sound
  • X-rays
  • Biopsies
  • A vaginoscopy - female dogs
  • A cystoscopy - male dogs

Treatment options

Any treatment would depend on the underlying cause of why a dog is passing blood in their urine. If it is found that a dog is severely dehydrated, they would need to be hospitalised and put on a drip and may even need to be given blood transfusions if their red blood cell count is too low. Should it be found that a dog is suffering from some sort of blood clotting disorder, they would be treated with blood thinning medication.

Living with a dog with Haematuria

Should a dog be diagnosed as suffering from an underlying health issue that causes them to pass blood in their urine, the vet would treat the dog accordingly whether as an outpatient or hospitalised. However, once a dog is allowed home and depending on the underlying cause of the problem, they would need to be treated on an ongoing basis so the vet can keep an eye on their condition and adjust their medication as needed.


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