If you spot traces of blood in your dog’s urine when they are toileting, this can be rather alarming, and often makes dog owners concerned that something very serious is amiss with their dog. While blood in the urine should never be ignored or disregarded, it is not always the case that something serious or life threatening is amiss with your dog, and there are a great many potential reasons for what could be causing it, some of which are minor and relatively easily treated.
It is a good idea to learn how to recognise the potential signs of blood in the urine in order to be able to keep an eye out for problems, and know how to respond if you do see it. In this article, we will look at how to identify blood in the urine, and some of the most common reasons for it. Read on to learn more.
If there is blood present within the urine, this will usually give the urine a pinkish tint rather than being red in colour, as the urine will of course dilute the blood. If you can spot bright red blood in the urine or around your dog’s back end, this is more likely to be coming from the rectum area in either male and female dogs, or the vagina for female dogs.
Some of the most common causes of blood in the urine of dogs are outlined below.
The most common cause of blood appearing in the urine of the dog is a simple UTI, or infection of the dog’s urinary tract. This can come accompanied by a range of different symptoms, including blood being present within the urine, apparent pain or difficulty when urinating, a slight fever, and a preoccupation with licking around their back end.
A potential UTI in the dog should never be ignored, but can usually be treated quickly and effectively with a course of antibiotics.
Uroliths or bladder stones are a relatively common occurrence in dogs, which can be very painful and uncomfortable for the dog in question. Dogs that have a bladder stone lodged in the urinary tract will generally find urination painful and difficult, and may lead to blood being present within the urine as a result. If you suspect that your dog has bladder stones, or has a previous history of developing bladder stones, talk to your vet about how you can prevent them, and possibly, arrange to have larger stones surgically removed.
Prostate infections and related problems can sometimes be found in unneutered male dogs, but are totally avoided by neutering. A prostate infection can lead to enlargement of the prostate gland, blood in the urine, and pain and straining when passing urine. Your dog may also develop a fever, and lose interest in food as they will feel generally unwell.
Like prostate problems in intact male dogs, pyometra is a condition that only affects unneutered female dogs. Pyometra is an infection of the uterus of the dog, and is described as either open or closed; an open pyometra involves a discharge of blood and pus from the vagina, while a closed pyometra does not come accompanied by a discharge.
Generally, a pyometra can be treated by means of antibiotic treatment, and possibly, spaying to remove the uterus.
Some common sources of poison that dogs may inadvertently ingest can lead to blood in the urine, and also, possibly blood discharge from other orifices too. Most poisons and toxins that are designed to deliberately poison animals, such as mouse and rat poisons, are based on a blood-thinning agent called Warfarin, which interferes with clotting and ultimately, leads to a painful death.
Poisoning of any variety is of course very serious, and time sensitive in terms of seeking treatment. If you suspect that your dog may have ingested poison, or eaten a rat or other rodent that might have ingested such a poison, you must take them to the vet for treatment immediately in order to give them the best chance of survival. Blood within the urine is just one of the potential symptoms of poisoning in dogs, and the symptoms often develop very quickly, and can soon become acute and severe. General discomfort, signs of pain, crying or unhappiness and an unusual posture or stance are all potential indicators of poisoning as well as blood present in the urine or coming from other orifices.
Get your dog along to the vet as a matter of urgency, and if you know or suspect what type of toxin your dog has ingested, take along the container or a sample of the toxin as well, as this can help your vet with diagnosis and treatment.