Blood in Dog Urine: Causes and What to Do

Dr. Erica Bickel

Mar 10, 2021

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Should you be worried if you see blood in your dog’s urine? The short answer is yes. Blood in dog urine, also called hematuria, usually means there’s something wrong with your pet. While hematuria is most often due to inflammation or infection in either the upper or lower urinary tract, there are many reasons you may be seeing blood—and you won’t know the source unless you take them to your family vet or local VEG hospital to get checked out!

What Tests Will My Dog Need?

A veterinarian may conduct a urinalysis and urine culture, take an X-ray, or ultrasound your dog’s kidneys and bladder so they can get to the bottom of why you’re seeing blood in your dog’s urine.

If the bleeding is coming from the upper urinary tract—which includes the kidneys—the cause may be:

  • Kidney Infection
  • Renal Telangiectasia, or when multiple small blood vessels are dilated in the kidneys. This condition affects certain genetically predisposed breeds (i.e., Welsh Corgis).
  • Kidney Stones
  • Kidney Cancer

If the bleeding is coming from the lower urinary tract—the bladder and urethra—the cause might be:

  • Bladder Stones, or crystals that form in the bladder due to diet, genetics, or chronic infections
  • Bladder Infection, which is the most common reason for blood in canine urine and can be caused by anything from skin allergies to urethra anatomy.
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Prostate Problems

Beyond issues involving the urinary tract, blood in your dog’s urine can also be caused by:

  • Infectious disease (bacterial or viral)
  • Diabetes or another metabolic condition
  • Idiopathic causes (spontaneous and from an unknown cause)
  • Trauma
  • Chemotherapy
  • Coagulopathy (when the blood’s ability to clot is impaired)
  • Thrombocytopenia (a low number of platelets or thrombocytes in the blood)
  • Inflammatory disease or vasculitis (blood vessel inflammation)

What is the Vet Treatment for Blood in My Dog’s Urine?

Treatment for blood in dog urine depends on the cause and can range from antibiotics for a UTI to surgery for bladder cancer or bladder stones. Your vet may also prescribe anti-inflammatory or pain medicine to ease your dog’s discomfort, or recommend a change in diet—including prescription food—since nutrition is very important in managing urinary tract issues in dogs.

Yearly check ups and monitoring your dog’s urinary habits are the best ways to keep your pet healthy and catch problems before they start. Your vet can tell you if your dog is predisposed to urinary issues and if so, test their urine regularly. Pet owners should always be on the lookout for concerning behaviors—so if your dog is urinating more often, has difficulty urinating, or is “spotting” frequently, take them to the vet right away

VEG is Always Open if You See Blood in Your Dog’s Urine

If you notice blood in your dog’s urine, take them to VEG or your primary care vet immediately. Some causes of hematuria are more severe than others, so it’s important to get your pup the care they need as quickly as possible. VEG is open 24/7, 365 days a week, so your pet won’t have to wait for treatment.