PetMeds®: Blood in Dog’s Urine

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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.

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448 Comments

  1. I have a five year old Shih Tzu Bichon mix and she has been peeing a lot lately. When I took her out she peed two times then again in the house. When i was cleaning it up i noticed that it had some blood in it. She is acting normal except the frequent peeing.

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianDecember 6, 2014 at 5:01 pm · Reply

      Could be urinary tract infection and/or stones in bladder, etc. Best to have vet exam and urine analysis to rule out infection, crystals, etc and possibly x rays if needed.

  2. I just brought home a six week old female pitbull puppy yesterday. She lets me know when she needs to go out, but today instead of running to me she went to the training pad. I watched from a distance and noticed it was kind of dark. I wend to examine it and it wasn’t dark red, but a lighter shade. This is the first time I’ve seen this. Do I need to take her in now, or tomorrow? She doesn’t seem to be in pain or discomfort.

  3. I have a ten year old spayed boxer who is spotting bright red undiluted blood from her urethra. she was initially diagnosed with a bladder infection, given antibiotics, infection cleared up but bleeding didn’t stop. she has since had x-rays, which the vet thought may show a tumor. subsequent ultrasound by specialist couldn’t detect anything and vet checked urethra with otoscope(?).
    vet is now recommending fiber optic examination of urethra/bladder by another specialist. what in you’re opinion may be causing the bleeding?

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJanuary 7, 2015 at 6:51 am · Reply

      Sounds like a bladder tumor to me by default diagnosis. Given breed and signs. Likely not a polyp and if infection/stone ruled out, then tumor the diagnosis. Without a biopsy though never 100 percent but really not much else it could be. I would ask vet about symptomatic management at this point with drug called piroxicam, which can help with BOTH bladder inflammation and cancer in extending life

  4. Thank you very much, Dr.Dym, for getting back with us. Your quick response is very much appreciated. Thanks again.

  5. 5 year old female pit bull in good health, urine pinkish as day progresses. First pee of the morning clear. Later in day pinkish. No other symptoms. Can’t call vet for 2 days as they are closed. any suggestions in the meantime.

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJanuary 16, 2015 at 1:03 am · Reply

      Most likely a urinary tract infection that needs antibiotics. A vet exam and urine analysis necessary to sort this out

  6. I have a 3 year old Shih-Tzu/Maltese mix. I moved back to my mom’s house about 4 months ago, and a few weeks after moving back I noticed there is blood in his pee. He is still very playful, eats normally, and does everything just like before. He isn’t peeing more often, and can still hold his pee all night. He does seem to take a few seconds or walk around more before peeing unlike before, but he doesn’t show any signs of pain or straining. I will see blood in his pee once or twice in a day or two, then it goes away and reappears after about a month. I took him to the vet and got him antibiotics but have not done lab testing yet. I just feel like it can’t be any kind of infection because wouldn’t that get worse over time? He isn’t peeing more blood or peeing blood more frequently in the last 4 month. He drinks fosset water and I’ve heard water in different area can cause crystals in dogs. I first saw blood in his pee after moving back to my mom’s so I’m getting a feeling maybe he has crystals from the water? Please provide some advice thanks!!

  7. I have a 3 year old Shih-Tzu/Maltese mix. I moved back to my mom’s house about 4 months ago, and a few weeks after moving back I noticed there is blood in his pee. He is still very playful, eats normally, and does everything just like before. He isn’t peeing more often, and can still hold his pee all night. He does seem to take a few seconds or walk around more before peeing unlike before, but he doesn’t show any signs of pain or straining. I will see blood in his pee once or twice in a day or two, then it goes away and reappears after about a month. I took him to the vet and got him antibiotics but have not done lab testing yet. I just feel like it can’t be any kind of infection because wouldn’t that get worse over time? He isn’t peeing more blood or peeing blood more frequently in the last 4 month. He drinks fosset water and I’ve heard water in different area can cause crystals in dogs. I first saw blood in his pee after moving back to my mom’s so I’m getting a feeling maybe he has crystals from the water? Please provide some advice to the possibilities, thanks!

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJanuary 16, 2015 at 12:56 am · Reply

      Still could be urinary tract infection so best to have vet exam and urine analysis and/or urine culture. Bladder stones also possible which would need x rays to diagnose.

  8. Please my best friend is a female English bulldog she is turning 4 years old she is unaltered … she has blood in her urine … she has been peeing on the floor and just recently as I was scratching her back all he hair is falling out … I don’t know what to do … I know due to past vet visits she has an over productive yeast gland in her left ear, an extra nipple… could there be something else I don’t know about… could there be something under the skin I cant see… she is my best friend through everything she has been there… please help me and tell me what I could do …

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJanuary 23, 2015 at 7:42 pm · Reply

      You need vet exam and evaluation as sounds like likely urinary tract infection which might need antibiotics. Try zymox otic HC for ear issues from 1800petmeds.

  9. I discovered on a Sunday my pet had blood in his urine. We took him to the emergency vet. He did a ultra sound xrays blood test all were negative for any thing. He gave him a shot of antibiotic that would last 14 days. Sent us home with pain meds. Six days went by and nothing changed.so I took him to the family vet. She looked him over and also seen nothing but a enlarged prostate. She sent us to the specialist. He did all the blood test ex rays, ultrasound, and seen nothing but the enlarged prostate. He talked to our vet they were sure that he needed to be neutered. So 17 days later and he still pees dark blood urine.
    I forgot to mention he doesn’t have any pain (that we can tell) or any kind of discomfort. He is eating good plays just like he always has.
    The vets are stumped. They said to give it two more weeks to see if they prostate shrinks maybe that will in prove hopefully in weeks to come.
    what is your opinion?

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJanuary 25, 2015 at 3:50 pm · Reply

      May be a good case for constitutional homeopathy, which is wonderful for treating the whole patient uniquely and from a constitutional symptom perspective. LEarn more about homeopathy at the website http://www.beyondflatearth.com as well as my website http://www.doctordym.com Many homeopathic vets do offer phone consultations. Other option would be to see second internist. Make sure they have ruled out platelet disorders, clotting problems, etc outside of the urinary tract, as well as tick born diseases. Maybe a repeat ultrasound and/or urine culture from a different specialist may be indicated.

  10. Hi i have a nine month shitzu yorkie mix breed. We noticed blood in her pee. Was wondering if this is associated with her first heat. Or do i need bring her to a vet.

  11. My 7 year old female Basset hound urinates and at the end blood comes out, I have cephalexin 600mg that I had from a previous bacterial infection in her ears, can I give her that medication?

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 2, 2015 at 11:58 pm · Reply

      I would not recommend it unless you had urine checked at by vet. Could be infection, crystals, stone and/or polyp.

  12. Hello. My 3 month old pit bull keeps peeing brownish/reddish blood. Everything else with her is normal. Acting the same, eating the same and energetic as usual. It started this morning. She squatted as usual and it was like watery blood. No clots. No stentch. It’s every time she pees too. At first I thought it was maybe her period but there’s no way it’d be that much or every time she goes. Help- please…

    • Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 16, 2015 at 4:06 pm · Reply

      Sounds like urinary infection. BEst to have vet exam and evaluation as may need antibiotics. You could try cranberry tablets from health food store.

  13. my 7 month old female pit bull has little drops of blood in her urine not every time and she does seem to strain and only drops come out sometimes it has spots of blood this just started a few days ago i been keeping an eye on her she seems fine should i get her some Cranberry Relief?

  14. I have a 10 year old chocolate Labrador. We came home tonight to a small puddle on the floor. He never has accidents so I was worried and while cleaning it up I noticed that it was brown in color and had small blood clots in it. He is overweight and takes Benadryl daily for his separation anxiety. Any ideas? I’m trying to get him to his vet in the morning since everyone is closed now.

    • He is still eating but it looks like he hasn’t been drinking as much today.

      • Ashley we have a 10year old as well and he had/has same problem. We took him to the vet and they ran some test and said he has chronic kidney failuer. Get him to a vet ASAP. Not saying it is the same thing, but we are now giving dog Subcutaneous fluids every day and some meds. He is responding well .

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