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Why is My Dog Bleeding Pee? Causes and Treatments

At A Glance

Have you noticed blood in your dog’s urine? While this can be quite scary for you, mostly it is treatable.

Find out about what you can do to treat your dog and prevent this from happening through this guide.

Being a dog owner can be a lot of fun, but it comes with its fair share of responsibilities. Taking care of your dog can be difficult if you don’t know how to react when your dog experiences medical issues. At some point, you may find your dog bleeding pee.

This can come as quite a scare, but most of the time it is treatable. It could likely be caused by a benign prostate condition or a urinary tract infection (UTI). Continue reading to understand why your dog is peeing blood, what you can do to address it, and how to prevent it from happening.

A dog peeing outside

Symptoms of Blood in Urine

It’s important to identify the signs of your dog bleeding pee.

Presence of Blood

The main symptom is the presence of blood in the urine. The color of the blood can vary and ranges from orange and red, to brown.

This symptom can occur in tandem with unnatural urination and issues like hemorrhages below the skin that show up as bruises, and clear signs of discomfort or pain.

Age

Your dog can pee blood at any age. However, your dog’s age can be an important factor in determining the cause of the underlying problem.

For example, your dog could have familial hematuria, which means that if it is peeing blood, it’s probably genetic. That is one of the most common causes of young dogs peeing blood.

Gender

Another cause of dog bleeding pee can be traced to the gender of the dog. Females are more likely to suffer from urinary tract infections than males.

These are some of the common reasons if you’ve been asking yourself, “why is my dog bleeding from her pee area”.

No Visible Symptoms

There may be times when your dog may not show any symptoms.

Secondly, the color of the urine may not change enough for you to be able to notice any change, irrespective of the bleeding.

Most of the time, you may only find out that your dog has hematuria after a regular health check-up or while testing for another problem that may require a urinalysis.

 

Causes of Blood in Urine

There are several causes for your dog bleeding pee. It’s always better to understand the cause before attempting treatment. A bladder infection could also be a reason for your dog bleeding pee. Read on to know more about it.

Bladder Infection

A bladder infection is one of the most common causes for a dog urinating blood. A telltale sign that your dog may be suffering from a bladder infection is when they try to frequently urinate outdoors. You may see signs of visible discomfort or hear them whining while trying to urinate.

According to Dr. Malcolm Weir, “A break in house training is a red flag that something is wrong in the bladder.”

One of the most common organisms responsible for bladder infection is E.coli (Escherichia coli), a bacteria found in excrement.

Other Reasons

Other causes of  a bladder infection could be:

  • Bladder disease
  • Stones and kidney disease
  • Abnormalities in the spinal cord
  • Diabetes
  • Prostate disease

 

How to Treat

In all likelihood, your vet will review the health history of your dog and conduct a urinalysis.

After the initial analysis, your dog will be given antibiotics for approximately 10 days.

It’s important to follow all instructions given by your vet. Increasing your dog’s water intake to flush out the infection is also advisable.

A sick dog at the vet

Bladder Stones

These are stone-like accumulations made from minerals that are formed inside the bladder. There could be several stones in the bladder or just one large stone. These stones can vary in size from that of gravel to specks of sand and bladder stones could cause your dog to urinate blood.

Bleeding happens when bladder stones rub against the walls of the bladder, damaging and irritating the tissue around it.

According to Dr. Tammy Hunter, “If the bladder is obstructed fully, then the dog will not be able to urinate at all. If the obstruction is not relieved, the bladder may rupture.”

What Could Have Caused It?

Several theories explain the formation of bladder stones in dogs. One of the theories is the ‘Precipitation-Crystallization Theory’. This theory suggests that a few compounds form stones when they are present in high concentrations in the dog’s urine. This could be because of a poor diet or because of some previous bladder disease, like a bacterial bladder infection.

Sometimes, bladder stones are formed because of problems in the animal’s metabolism. For example, high levels of blood calcium and liver disease.

Bladder stones can also be caused due to genetic conditions or imbalances in their nutrient intake.

How to Treat

There are primarily three methods of treatment when it comes to removing bladder stones. They are as follows:

  • Surgical removal
  • Urohydropropulsion or removal without surgery
  • Dissolution through a special diet

 

Surgical removal is one of the quickest ways of removing bladder stones. However, it may not be the best choice if your dog has other health problems.

On the other hand, urohydropropulsion is a process where the stones are flushed out by inserting a catheter inside the bladder. This is mostly recommended for dogs with very small stones.

At times, these stones can be dissolved through a special diet provided by the vet that is tailored to dissolve the stones.

Dog at the vet

Bladder Cancer

Transitional Cell Carcinoma (TCC) is a common form of bladder cancer. It is a malignant tumor that forms from the cells that line the bladder walls, also known as transitional epithelial cells.

It can attack the deepest layers of the bladder (even the bladder cells). TCC can also spread to the lymph nodes and other organs like the liver, lungs, etc. This kind of cancer mostly develops in the bladder, however, it can also develop in the uterus, urethra, kidneys, or prostate.

The most common signs of TCC are straining while urinating or your dog bleeding pee. However, pet owners should understand that these could be signs of a urinary tract infection as well.

What Could Have Caused It?

The cause for TCC in dogs is unknown. Generally, TCC in dogs stems from multiple reasons ranging from environmental to genetic factors.

Genetics play a significant part here and dogs like Shetland Sheepdogs, Beagles, and Scottish Terriers are more likely to contract this variant of cancer.

Environmental factors include exposure to insecticides, pesticides, etc.

How to Treat

After the diagnosis of cancer has been made, the vet will assess the extent of the tumor to determine the course of treatment.

If the cancer is contained within the bladder, it is usually treated through surgical removal. In most cases, chemotherapy and anti-inflammatories are part of the treatment. 

While most dogs don’t respond well to chemotherapy, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories combined with chemotherapy have shown signs of working.

Dog at the vet

Prostate Problems

The prostate is a little gland situated next to the urinary bladder in males. The role of the prostate is to create fluids available in semen.

One of the most common problems with the prostate is the enlargement of the gland. The enlargement causes extra pressure on the urethra, almost compressing it, causing difficulty in urinating.

A dog suffering from prostatic diseases spends a lot of time urinating and will only pee in a thin stream. Moreover, if the enlargement is severe, the colon can get compressed as well. This is because the colon is located above the prostate.

According to Dr. Ryan Lera “A dog with prostatic enlargement often has a history of straining to urinate or defecate.”

What Could Have Caused It?

There are multiple reasons for prostate problems in canines. Here are a few:

  • Squamous metaplasia
  • Benign prostatic hyperplasia
  • Paraprostatic cysts
  • Bacterial infection
  • Prostatic abscess
  • Prostatic cancer

 

How to Treat

Treatment depends on the diagnosis and the kind of prostate problem present. Prostate problems related to excess hormone levels are mostly treated through neutering.

This is because both testosterone and estrogen are produced inside the testicles. Therefore, neutering helps balance the levels of these hormones.

Prostatic diseases caused by cysts and abscesses are mostly treated through surgery.

On the other hand, prostate problems caused by bacterial infections are treated with a course of antibiotics. Antibiotics take some time to penetrate the prostate, therefore, treatment may last for weeks, or sometimes months.

dog getting a checkup

Kidney Infection

A kidney infection is a result of bacteria invading either one or both kidneys. While there may be times when a kidney infection happens suddenly, there is mostly an underlying condition, for example, kidney stones, bladder infections, severe kidney disease, and urinary blockages. This impairs the dog’s ability to combat the infection.

In most cases, a kidney infection occurs when the bacteria from a previous infection in the bladder travels up to the ureters or kidneys. If left unchecked, kidney infections can lead to severe problems like kidney failure, sepsis, severe kidney injury, etc.

What Could Have Caused It?

Kidney infections are mostly caused by bacteria invading the urinary tract, moving on to the urethra and bladder, and finally entering the kidneys. Some kidney infections are also caused by parasites, kidney stones, or other diseases.

Moreover, diseases like leptospirosis that invade the body through infected wounds can cause kidney infections and inflammations. Kidney worms are also known to cause kidney infections. Your dog can ingest these worms by consuming contaminated raw seafood, earthworms, or frogs.

How to Treat

Most kidney infection treatments involve prescribing a series of antibiotics. The antibiotics are determined after your vet understands the kind of bacteria that caused the infection. If your dog has worms, your vet may want to remove them through surgery.

a sick dog lying down

Idiopathic Renal Hematuria

The word “idiopathic” means “unknown” meaning that there is no reason for a dog peeing blood originating from the kidneys. In this condition, there is immense blood loss from the renal vessels. This blood flows into the renal pelvis and ultimately passes through the urine. It is extremely severe, and as mentioned earlier, there is no known cause for this disease.

Idiopathic renal hematuria is mostly found in dogs that are young and large. It is also known to affect cats.

What Could Have Caused It?

When a dog faces idiopathic renal hematuria, it is, in most cases, because of a disease in the bladder. Although the underlying cause is unknown, there are a few conditions that should be checked to determine probable causes. For example, urolithiasis, prostatic disease, urinary tract infection, and neoplasia.

One of the lesser-known causes is systemic coagulopathy or disease in the prepuce or vagina. Kidney disease is also known to be a cause, however, it is extremely difficult to diagnose.

How to Treat

According to Dr. Katherine Scott, the treatment of idiopathic renal hematuria has historically focused on performing a ureteronephrectomy, but only if the disease is unilateral (disease likely to plague one side). In instances of bilateral IRH, treatment is tougher and in severe cases may sometimes end with euthanasia.

Newer techniques like sclerotherapy are now being used to treat IRH. Previously used in humans suffering from IRH it is now available to dogs as well.

A dog peeing on the carpet

Kidney Cancer

This is a form of cancer that occurs primarily because of the uncontrollable and disorganized growth of cells. These tumors can present themselves in other places in the urinary tract as well. For example, the ureters, urinary bladder, urethra, and prostate gland.

than half of these kidney tumors are formed from cells attached to the kidney passageways (tubules). This form of cancer is called renal carcinomas and is the most common type of kidney cancer.

What Could Have Caused It?

Identifying the causes of kidney cancer is not easy. Most kidney cancers are attributed to environmental or genetic factors.

How to Treat

Treatment for kidney cancers or tumors is mostly administered based on how severe the tumor is and how much it has metastasized. If the tumor has affected only one kidney and shows no signs of spreading, then the most common treatment is removing the kidney through surgery.

However, if the cancer is bilateral (tumors in both kidneys), then chemotherapy is more likely to be administered. Especially if your dog is suffering from renal lymphoma.

Other Issues

In addition to the cases mentioned above, there are other causes to explain why there is blood in dog urine.

  • Your dog may be suffering from an infectious viral or bacterial disease.
  • If your dog has cancer, then chemotherapy can cause your dog to pee blood.
  • Your dog may suffer from coagulopathy, a condition where the ability of the blood to clot is impaired. This can cause your dog to pee blood.
  • Your dog could have low levels of thrombocytes or platelets in its blood.
  • Possibility of vasculitis or some other inflammatory disease.

 

dog drinking water

What to Do If My Dog Is Peeing Blood?

There are a few things that you must do if you see your dog bleeding pee:

Contact Your Vet

At the first sign of your dog peeing blood contact your vet. As a rule of thumb, get your dog checked by a vet within 24 hours of peeing blood. The vet will investigate the problem, and it’s likely that they will conduct a urinalysis and advise you to follow some steps to ensure that your dog stays fit and healthy.

Hydrate Your Dog Frequently

Ensure that you keep your dog hydrated. However, you can’t force your dog to keep drinking water. What you can do instead, is ensure access to clean drinking water at all times.

Stay On The Lookout For Repeat Signs of a UTI

If your dog has suffered a urinary tract infection in the past, then it’s better to keep a watch for signs of relapse.

Just because your dog has recovered from a UTI doesn’t mean they can’t contract it again. Moreover, dogs above the age of 7 are more likely to get urinary tract infections.

If you’ve dealt with a UTI before, you should be aware of the signs the second time around.

A dog at the vet

How to Prevent This From Happening in the Future?

Just because a UTI can strike more than once doesn’t mean you should wait for it to do so. Here are some steps that you can take to ensure that your dog is healthy and fit:

Go for Regular Check-Ups

The best way to keep your dog fit and healthy is by taking them for regular check-ups. Regular urine testing can help the vet identify whether your canine is keeping healthy.

Keep an Eye on Your Dog’s Urine Habits

It may be easy for you to let your dog out in the backyard and let them urinate, but keeping an eye on their urine habits is always a good idea. It’s even necessary sometimes.

For example, if your dog is peeing blood continuously, it could be a serious condition requiring medical attention.

Keep an eye out for things like the number of times your dog urinates, how difficult it is for them to urinate, and the color and odor of the urine. 

If you notice anything odd with your dog’s urine cycle, take your dog to the vet immediately because this can be a sign of the diseases and infections listed above.

A dog with its owner

Dealing with a sick pet is not easy. However, you must remember that your dog relies on you for its well-being. You must monitor your pet carefully to see if your dog is bleeding pee. You must check for all kinds of problems and injuries from time to time, such as nail injuries. With a little bit of care, love, and attention, you can ensure your dog has a long and healthy life.

Health dog bleeding dog health

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Paul Andrews
https://www.linkedin.com/in/paul-andrews-172490189/

A digital marketing expert by profession, Andrews is a gifted writer and animal lover at heart. A self-confessed "pawrent", Andrews is well-versed in all things dogs. He uses his years of experience of raising puppies into show-quality dogs to help guide first-time pet parents. He believes in spreading the joy that comes with being a dog dad and advocates more families to adopt pets.