What does blood in my dog’s urine mean?

The presence of blood in the urine of dogs is termed Hematuria. This condition is easily observable if you are paying attention – you will notice a vivid red or vague pinkish tint in your dog’s urine, which can estimate the severity of the situation. The primary causes of blood in the urine are a result of bleeding in the urinary system organs.
What causes it?
Hematuria in dogs is typically a result of any factor which leads to bleeding in the organs of the urinary system including the kidneys, bladder, and urethra. Most common causes of bleeding in this system include bacterial infection, urolithiasis (presence of stones in the urinary tract) and trauma caused by various factors.
Bacterial Infection
The presence of bacteria in any part of the urinary system leads to inflammation. This inflammation is the main cause of the bleeding. Another factor is that the bacterial agent has its innate effect on the blood vessels which leading to hemorrhage. One commonly encountered condition is Canine Leptospirosis. This condition causes damage on the parenchyma of the kidneys resulting in hemorrhage. There is a plethora of bacterial agents that may cause urinary tract infection that gives a potential for hematuria to manifest. Making sure your dog is clean and not eating improper items can assist in not picking up harmful bacteria.

Urolithiasis (Urinary stones)
This is when sediments of salts in dog’s urine assimilate and become stones. Commonly, stones are found in the urinary bladder, the cavities of kidneys, or in the urethra. The stones are generally irritating and may cause bleeding in the respective organs where they might be lodged inside. Furthermore, stones form in the urinary bladder eventually get flushed down, and in due course, the stone might get stuck in the urethra. This will impede the passage of urine and the dog may attempt to forcibly void urine which can injure the lining of the urethra causing it to bleed.
Neoplasms (Tumors)
Tumors are becoming a common find among dogs in the later part of their lives. These abnormal growths may arise in any part of a dog’s body which includes the urinary system. Tumors are highly vascularized structures and bleeding is a common occurrence especially in those occurring along the urinary tracts.
Thrombocytopenia (Low platelet count)
Generally, a low platelet count leads to the ineffectiveness of the blood clotting mechanism of the body. This can take place in the urinary system, just like any other part of the body. One major factor of blood clotting is the platelet level of blood. In dogs, a very common disorder is Canine Ehrlichiosis which is characterized by a very low blood platelet count. This results to subsequent bleeding which may be observable when your dog urinates.

Genital Tract hemorrhage
Another thing to consider in seeing blood in your dog’s urine is the so called dog menstruation. This is associated with canine estrous cycle that comes by once in a while and is definitely normal.

Iatrogenic Causes
Perhaps you already visited your vet for your dog’s urinary problem and certain clinical procedures were done like urethral catheterization or cystocentesis. These procedures may be traumatic and lead to seeing blood in the urine but never gravely and should resolve on its own.

What to do?
If you’re unsure whether or not you are observing an abnormal tint in your dog’s urine, a simple test can identify this for you. By using CheckUp, you can identify Hematuria in 60 seconds. If positive, you should visit your veterinarian immediately to accurately determine the underlying cause and obtain the appropriate medical care.

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