PetMeds®: Blood in Dog’s Urine

Blood in urine can have many possible causes

The presenting symptom of a pet urinating blood can have many potential causes. The most important question I ask pet owners with a dog having blood in its urine is to find out whether it is associated with urgency, straining, increased frequency, or difficulty urinating. 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 such as 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 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 in which veterinarians are unable to figure out why a pet has recurrent urinary tract infections. In those cases, some vets will prescribe 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. For pets with simple signs of acute urinary tract infections or inflammations, I will advise pet owners to use immune boosting supplements like Cranberry Relief, which can boost the immune system of the urinary tract, along with vitamin C at various dosages.

In cases in which there is chronic bloody urine or bloody discharge from the urethra without signs of urinary tract straining, urgency or frequency, then those pets should have a complete evaluation. This should include 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 a systematic approach to dogs with bloody urine, most cases can be adequately diagnosed and controlled with time and patience.

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512 Comments

  1. This was my letter to my vet:
    I am still concerned about Buster, this started several months ago with a UTI and simple blood in urine. He received a antibiotic and things from there have just seemed to go down hill, he was given 1 or 2 more rounds after that, he was now scooting and seemed to have pain when pooping. I ask about prostate, but seemed to not be an issue, since he was fixed at a young age? But was told his anal sacs were full and somewhat impacted. Since then it’s not gotten any better, we have made several visits back since then, in which his sacs where expressed, now there is a new problem, he is having incontinence, but there is no longer blood in the urine, but he is still having pain when pooping. Now we are told he is in renal failure, he won’t eat renal food, so he feels worse. I try to get him to eat anything, can, mixtures anything . He seems to be better except the leakage and painful popping. Once again he comes back and is given something for leakage, but when he starts taking that his leakage is a little better, but looks tinged with brown and red, actually a lot of red and even though he seems ok most of the time, and even though the just expressed his glands, he cries out while pooping, I am just afraid we are missing something, I can’t find anything in reading about the pain during pooping in stage 2 renal failure? Could it be something else causing his issues, or is there anything I can give him, he seems fine otherwise, most of the time.

    What do you think? I am at my wits end

    • Sorry to hear about your dog’s continued discomfort and varied symptoms. I would make sure that AT LEAST x rays and/or urine cultures have been done to assess bladder, kidneys, for infection etc. I would also have your vet do a rectal. Even though your pet has been neutered, we DO SEE MUCH HIGHER incidence of prostate cancer in NEUTERED male dogs than nonneutered dogs. I would also suggest ultrasound of abdomen as well to assess kidneys, bladder, etc These should help with pinpointing a specific diagnosis, treatment plan, and prognosis

  2. I have taken my female dog to the vets on Saturday, cause she had blood in her urine , and was drinking alit of water and , was weeing a lot, was eating a little bit , not much, been on antibodics, and it started to clear straight away , went back to vets Monday got more antibiotics for her , I have seen tiny weeny spots of wee with light tiny bit of blood , is that just the infection clearing up , could you please let me know , can’t see no blood in her wee outside its just urine only

    • Hi Elaine. If the bloody spots in the urine persists or gets worse, then best to see your local vet again for a recheck to make sure correct antibiotic is being used i.e by maybe asking for a sterile urine culture, or perhaps asking vet for x rays to rule out urinary tract bladder stones.

  3. Hi.my choc lab who’s 6 n a half started peeing a lot of blood on Sunday.took him to the vets on Monday where he got put on strong antibiotics for 5 days.this is day 3 now and it’s still the same.should I be worried that it’s something more than an infection

    • Hi Katie. Symptoms should at least be gradually improving by third day of antibiotic treatment. May want to take dog back to vet for recheck of urine analysis, and likely get sterile urine culture to make sure right antibiotic, if any needed is being used. Also may be good idea to take x ray as well, to make sure no urinary tract stones

  4. Hi, my 16yr old female toy poodle has frank blood in urine along with large blood clots. UA was all blood, culture showed no growth. Scheduled for an ultrasound on Tuesday. The clots are getting worse and Frank blood over a week. Concerned about the amount of blood loss. Is it possible? What could be cause?

    • Many possibilities from bladder stones, to even other causes outside of the urinary tract i.e bleeding disorders, platelet disorders, etc From your concerns, I would recommend recheck at local vet ASAP, as only physical exam and blood counts can determine if too much blood loss and/or further treatment needed.

    • Last Nov my then 11 yrs old female toy poodle peed pure blood while we were on a 7hr drive to visit family. Spent 3 nights in hospital where they found nothing wrong with her. Bloody pee lasted 1.5 days. She’s been fine all year, but on the same drive this yr, same exact thing happened. She pees 3-4 times each time, and each time it looks like pure blood. This time it lasted one day. Though she’s a world traveler with no previous issues, I think this issue being caused by the stress of travel.

      • Hi Faiza. Very odd situation you describe. Only thing I can think of is that the stress of traveling may be causing transient high blood pressure or hypertension as it is known as leading to the temporary blood in the urine(i.e like a nose bleed). Although this is highly unlikely, Im stating it is a remote possibility. If signs persist, relapse or worsen, then I would see veterinarian again for full workup, including urine analysis, blood work, x rays, etc. An x ray not a bad idea to see if a chronic stone is present that may cause the bleeding during time of stress. Bladder stones are common in toy breeds like this. In future, you can try natural calming agents such as Be serene and Composure from 1800petmeds, which may help ease the stress of travel

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