What Causes 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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533 Comments

  1. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJanuary 23, 2013 at 10:41 pm

    Try vitamin C at dose of 1000 mg twice daily, as well as cranberry tablet/product like one from 1800petmeds. At this age, though probably best to have vet check and urine analysis to make sure on infections, etc

  2. Last night I noticed that, after a normal pee, my 3 year old pug Wanda had 1 small drop of light blood in the snow along with the urine. She had no trouble urinating, just that one small drop. She slept through the whole night with no accidents. When she went out this morning, again for a normal pee, there was no blood. She has no trouble urinating. She doesn’t appear to be in any pain. She’s eating and drinking normally and shows no signs of discomfort.

    Should I take a wait-and-see attitude with this or should I take her to the vet?

  3. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianJanuary 28, 2013 at 11:55 pm

    Probably best to have vet exam and urine analysis and possibly an x ray for bladder stones if signs recur.

  4. I took my dog to the vet to have his urine checked for diabetes (a friend suggested it as he pees alot)… he drinks alot of water, so he pees alot. Sometimes Ive seen brownish pee. Didnt look like he urinated blood. The vet said when they tested his urine for diabetes, they noticed a small amount of blood. They want me to do an xray buts its $250. I JUST dropped $200 on him for shots, and a checkup. He just went pee outside and it was bright yellow. Would I SEE blood if there was blood in it?
    Whats your recommendation?

  5. I should also note that hes never strained to pee or seems in pain. I wouldnt have even thought to check his urine if someone hadnt said he pees alot!?

  6. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 8, 2013 at 12:00 am

    Blood in urine is not always visible to animal guardians, which is why microscopic urine analysis is always recommended when evaluating urine for infections, crystals, etc Maybe try a course of antibiotics for 10-14 days, however if signs persist, then an x ray would be indicated.

  7. I have a bassit hound and beagle mix and weve had her for 10+ years and never had problems until several days ago. She wouldnt eat and was not as responsive and happy as she usually is. She was just laying around until today when she started walking around the yard and peeing a lot when i went out to check on her, she was peeing and it was a light red color so it looked like it has blood in it . She also has a mass on her stomach under her skin that doesnt hurt her so we havent gotten it checked out. Could the mass barely being showing symptoms? Like the loss of appetite and blood colored urine?

  8. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 11, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    I dont think the mass is related to loss of appetite and pink urine. I would have vet exam and urine analysis to sort this out.

  9. 4 weeks ago while at daycare they discovered lots blood in my dogs urine, it was very dark and brown. 14 days of clavamox, recheck – said things were looking better, protein, but no overgrowth of bacteria present. 14 more days clavamox, recheck – very dark brown urine collected – switched to a quinolone antibiotic. the vet does not seem overly concerned – but i am starting to get very concerned. no crystals in urine, nothing visible on ultrasounds while extracting urine sample. there does not seem to be any urgency, pain, or incontinence. she does not act sick. 2 or 3 year old 10 lb spayed silky terrier mix.
    what should i ask the vet to do next? how long should i wait?

  10. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 12, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    I would ask for urine culture to rule in or out an infection. Interesting how ultasound showed no abnormalities which is surprising. Also make sure that full medical evaluation has been done including CBC/chemistry and platelet count.

  11. they say the cultures grew nothing. had xrays today that they said showed nothing. very frustrating. i will ask about the blood work when i go there friday.

  12. My dog is peeing blood and is weak in the back legs. I went twice to vet with him. first time he get amoxoral 250 ml 2 per day for 2 days. he didn’t stop peeing blood the second time he went to vet he get two injection 1.5 ml each engemycin and dexameth. The vet check him with a catheter. But now my dog get sicker.

  13. My dog is peeing blood and is weak in the back legs. I went twice to vet with him. first time he get amoxoral 250 ml 2 per day for 2 days. he didn’t stop peeing blood the second time he went to vet he get two injection 1.5 ml each engemycin and dexameth. The vet check him with a catheter and did a x-ray notting. But now my dog get sicker.

  14. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 16, 2013 at 11:33 am

    I would have x rays done of your dog’s bladder and urethra to make sure no urinary tract stones, as well as possibly ultrasound to make sure no polyps or growths. Also a good 2 week trial with good antibiotic for urinary tract like baytril is worth a try.

  15. Hello,
    Our two and a half year old shih tzu started showing blood in his urine last night. My wife and I noticed this last night because there’s snow on the ground, so we immediately realized it when the snow was a little red. It’s not a lot of blood. Instead, he urinates fine for the most part, and then when he goes to squirt out the last few drops, it’s blood. We looked online and the most common cause of this is a UTI. We brought him to a vet today to be safe and she ran a urine analysis. Initially, the test came back negative for a UTI, but she was sending it out-of-house to get results. Not sure if they analyze the urine differently at a lab. Since our little guy isn’t showing any signs of pain, she said she wouldn’t worry about it. We had the option to wait until Wednesday for the lab results to come back and then go from there, but we were nervous so we had the x-ray done today. The x-ray came back fine, with no stones or anything, but she said the urine analysis could come back with a minor UTI or small bladder crystals which can turn into stones. If either of those happen, we will treat him accordingly. Our biggest concern about this is cancer. As I mentioned earlier, he’s less than three years old, and we’re terrified that something could be wrong. We’re nervous wrecks today, and we’re willing to do anything to make sure he is ok. Has anyone had any experience with this before? We appreciate your help.
    Kyle

  16. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 16, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    Sounds like innocent urinary tract infection, even though initial test results were negative. I would ask for a 2 week trial with a good antibiotic like baytril.

  17. My Dog Is Leaking Blood From His Penis, What Is Causing This?I don’t know but he ack the same just as playful as always but my Lil dog seem to know something is wrong with his big brother he’s the one that seem to be sad now all week it’s been like this scents Monday I need help my dog have not had sex and he’s a american Pit bull and he’s 5years old I just can’t stop crying cause in New York it’s not to manny place’s to take him without a car I need to know what to do its so bad

  18. My Dog Is Leaking Blood From His Penis,. But when he goes to the bathroom there’s no blood at all but when he comes back in the house and play around that’s when its blood everywhere I don’t have much money so I need to do something for at least a week before I can take him to a vet and the blood rael red and I don’t play with him anymore cause it seem like it only happen when he’s happy what do this mean

  19. Can you pleas tell me the name of the meds that you had cause my dog is doing the same thing it will help me out a lot thank you Unique Moore

  20. I love large dogs! We adopted our Chow/ Golden Retriever mix pup . She is 13 now. Before her, we adopted a male American Eskimo pup, he died at 16. A small mass ballooned, and the Vet could not operate. We adopted 2 more, an Irish Setter mix & Scotty mix female pups now ages 9 &10, The point is our dogs have been fed regular Purina. I mix in Alley Cat once in a while. I give table scraps once in a while. Treats biscuits always. Our luck with pup to elder has been good. BUT it is a good thing it just snowed in IL. I noticed some blood. I was so alarmed for our beautiful Chow, then I read all the comments and your answers. Thank you, I will do as instructed as to others. Thank GOD we have cranberry juice and the med on hand already. They all just lapped a little juice. The Chow has a med for dessert. Pray it works,Then Vet, Thank you all for all your help.

  21. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 23, 2013 at 7:51 am

    Hi Judith. You are very welcome….If blood in urine persists, then I would indeed see vet to rule out a urinary infection, as antibiotics may also be needed.

  22. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 23, 2013 at 7:53 am

    HI Unique…..From your description there is not much that I can suggest at home other than cranberry product or perhaps a supplement known as UT strength by Vetriscience which you can probably get on line. Best, however to have vet exam and evaluation when you can.

  23. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarianFebruary 23, 2013 at 7:55 am

    See my response below.

  24. Hi, I have a 3 year old German Shepard, she is peeing a lot more than normal when she pees blood is coming out. We can’t get her to the vet right now but I am really worried and I was just wondering of you had any suggestions?

  25. We have a male Pitbull/mastiff that will be 6 years old this July. He has been having A problem with when he’s asleep he leaks a bloody looking discharge from his penis. When he get’s up he leaves large stains. It’s not pure blood, but it’s bloody looking. He doesn’t pee blood when he’s outside that we know of. My husband has tried to keep track as have I. He was never neutered. Were strapped for cash as everyone is right now, but I’m worried about him. Any advice on what could be wrong would be appreciated.

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