You may check your dog's urine color from time to time to ensure everything looks normal and since normal urine is pale to dark yellow, if you see your dog peeing blood clots, red, or pink urine, it can be alarming. Knowing why this may happen is helpful for you to understand what kind of help your dog may need.
Causes of Blood in Dog Urine
Dogs have two kidneys inside their abdomen. These kidneys produce urine and send it down tiny tubes called ureters where it is stored in the bladder until it is peed out through the urethra. If bleeding occurs in the kidneys, ureters, bladder, or other body parts that interact with the urinary tract, then this blood may be seen in the urine.
- Bladder Stones - Also known as uroliths, bladder stones can form inside the bladder of a dog due to changes in the pH of the urine, various mineral imbalances in the urine, urinary tract infections, and other reasons. These stones can come in a variety of different shapes and sizes and as they float around in the bladder they can also cause trauma to the bladder wall. Bleeding often occurs as a result and then the blood is seen when a dog pees. Bladder stones are fairly common in dogs.
- Kidney Stones - Technically referred to as nephrolithiasis, kidney stones are not as common as bladder stones in dogs but they can still occur. They most often appear on X-rays taken for another concern as an incidental finding. Kidney stones can remain in the kidneys or pass into the ureters but both scenarios can cause your dog to pee blood.
- Bladder Tumors - Tumors are growths of abnormal cells and the bladder is unfortunately not exempt from these masses. If a bladder tumor begins to bleed, this blood will come out in your dog's urine.
- Prostatic Disease - Only male dogs have a prostate so this issue will only pertain to your dog if it is a boy. The prostate is a gland that urine needs to pass through before being peed out. If the prostate is inflamed, enlarged, or diseased, blood may appear in the urine due to an unhealthy prostate.
- Kidney Infections - When bacteria gets into the kidneys of a dog, an upper urinary tract infection occurs and is called pyelonephritis. This type of infection can cause a dog to pee blood since the kidneys are connected to the bladder.
- Bladder Infections - Just like in a kidney infection, a bladder infection can cause a dog to pee blood. Bacteria can irritate the bladder wall and cause this most common reason why a dog may pee blood, a lower urinary tract infection.
- Recent Surgery - If your dog has an abdominal surgery or a surgery that involves working on part of the body that is near any part of the urinary tract, irritation and inflammation may cause some blood to appear in your dog's pee.
- Heat Cycle - If you have a female dog that has not been spayed, you may see some blood in your dog's urine during its heat cycle. This is not an indication of a problem.
Diagnosing Blood in Dog Urine
After a complete physical examination by your veterinarian, a urine sample will be collected and analyzed for abnormalities. Sometimes there isn't enough blood present for you to see in your dog's pee without the use of a microscope so your dog may even have blood in its urine without you knowing it. Other times the urine will be so red that you think it contains nothing but blood. An X-ray or ultrasound may also be performed to check for tumors and bladder or kidney stones.
Treatment of Blood in Dog Urine
Depending on the reason for the blood in your dog's urine, medications, surgery, or simply time will be necessary to make it stop. A dog that has had surgery or is in its heat cycle will typically stop peeing blood after a few days or when the estrus part of the heat cycle ends. Dogs with urinary tract infections or prostatic disease most often require medications to decrease inflammation and kill the bacteria that is present and stones and tumors will typically require surgery.
Certain breeds of dogs are predisposed to having bladder or kidney issues that can cause a dog to pee blood. For example, Dalmatians, Shih Tzus, Miniature Schnauzers, Bichon Frises, Lhasa Apsos, and Yorkshire terriers are at risk breeds for developing bladder stones and West Highland white terriers, Scottish terriers, Shetland sheepdogs, beagles, American eskimos, and wire fox terriers are at risk for developing bladder tumors. Any breed of dog may be affected by bladder or kidney issues though so the problem of peeing blood is not exclusive to any breeds of dogs.