Blood in your dog’s urine can be a scary sight. But, while you should get your dog to a vet as soon as possible if you spot blood when they go potty, you shouldn’t panic. Many of the issues that can cause what medical professionals call hematuria are very treatable. The most important thing you can do is bring your dog to a vet promptly so that they can get the care they need. Especially if you don’t know why you’re seeing blood, you should act quickly.
Blood in a dog’s urine can have many different causes. The following list is not exhaustive, but covers some of the possibilities. Again, if you do notice blood in your dog’s urine, it’s vital to bring them to the vet for an examination.
Bladder infection (or urinary tract infection): This is one of the most common reasons that you might see blood in a dog’s urine.
Other bladder problems: Beyond infection, other issues—including bladder stones, tumors, or polyps—can be the culprit.
Kidney problems: Ailments like kidney stones, nephritis (inflammation of the kidneys), and kidney disease can lead to blood appearing in a dog’s urine.
Estrus (heat): If you have an intact female dog and see blood in her urine, it’s possible she’s going into heat. If this is the case, you’ll likely notice other signs of estrus. These can include a swollen vulva, more frequent urination, licking of the private area, and certain behavioral changes.
Prostate problems: Intact male dogs can develop issues like prostate enlargement and infection.
Poisoning: Some poisons can cause blood to appear in a dog’s urine.
Clotting disorders: Blood in urine can be a sign of a disease that prevents a dog’s blood from clotting properly.
Trauma: If your dog was recently in an accident and blood shows up when they go to the bathroom, that could be a sign that they’ve injured an organ like the kidneys or bladder.
Cancer: Canine kidney and bladder cancers are unusual, so don’t jump to the conclusion that one is afflicting your dog. Having said that, they can happen—so it’s best to be proactive about your dog’s health and have a veterinarian examine them.
Blood in urine can be difficult to spot depending on the surfaces where your dog urinates. If you suspect that your dog may have blood in their urine, you can have them urinate on a white pad, cloth, or paper towel to check. And if you think there’s any chance that you’re seeing blood, it’s best to bring your dog to a vet as soon as possible.
Again, there are many possible reasons that blood can appear in a dog’s urine. They vary widely in their severity and how they should be treated, so diagnosis is key. In order to determine what’s causing blood in a dog’s urine, a veterinarian will likely start by asking you some questions and physically examining your dog.
The vet may also run various tests, including ultrasound, blood tests, and a urinalysis.
The difficulty of spotting blood in urine in some cases is one of many good reasons to keep up with regular checkups, where a veterinary healthcare team can get familiar with a dog’s baseline and spot any worrisome changes in their condition.
Blood in a dog’s urine could signify a wide range of illnesses and injuries, so there’s not just one single way that a veterinary care team will treat it. Some common conditions that lead to blood in urine may be treated with drugs—including anti-inflammatory medications or antibiotics—while others may require surgery, and still more may resolve with the help of dietary changes.
The main thing to remember is that veterinary professionals can usually help a dog with this issue return to good health, so you should act quickly and not ignore it.