The presenting symptom of bloody urine in dogs can have many potential causes. The most important historical question to ask an animal guardian with a dog having blood in its urine is to find out whether the bloody urine is associated with urgency, straining, increased frequency, or difficulty urination. In those cases, one of the more common causes is overgrowth of various bacteria in the urinary tract, which is usually best treated by a veterinary exam, urine analysis and possibly prescription antibiotics by your vet for pet medicines like Amoxicillin, Clavamox, Cephalexin or Baytril. Most of the first time simple urinary tract infections usually respond within several days, however, if the symptoms are relapsing or don’t resolve, then a sterile urine culture is performed to look for resistant bacteria, thus allowing a better antibiotic selection, and/or x-rays performed to look for other abnormalities (like urinary tract calculi or stones).
|If no known causes are apparent then a more complete workup including CBC/chemistry blood work, as well as ultrasound of the abdomen can be done to look for other abnormalities like hormonal disorders like Cushing’s disease, diabetes, as well as urinary tract anatomic abnormalities, in addition to even polyps or tumors, particularly in older pets.|
Many especially overweight dogs can sometimes have recurrent urinary tract infections because of anatomic problems associated with a deep seated or sunken vulva, as well as extra skin folds in the vaginal area, which may need surgical correction to prevent urinary tract infection relapse. Even after a thorough diagnostic workup, there are cases where veterinarians are not able to figure out why a pet has recurrent urinary tract infections, and in those cases, some vets will prescribe periodic or what is called pulse antibiotic therapy the first several days of each month, or low dose PM continuous chronic antibiotic therapy given at bedtime.
There are also holistic options that can be explored like homeopathy or traditional Chinese medicine or acupuncture. I also will often supplement pets with simple signs of acute urinary tract infections or inflammations with great immune boosting supplements like the pet med Cranberry Relief, which can boost the immune system of the urinary tract, along with vitamin C at various dosages.
In the other less common cases, where there is chronic bloody urine in dogs or bloody discharge from the urethra, without signs of urinary tract straining, urgency or frequency, than those pets should have complete evaluation, including not only urine analysis/culture, but also full blood panels to screen for diseases that could be involved with bleeding or clotting disorders such as autoimmune diseases of the platelets, genetic clotting abnormalities, tick borne diseases, etc. With such a systematic approach to dogs with bloody urine as part of the historical complaint, most cases can be adequately diagnosed and controlled with time and patience.