Posted ByRebecca Desfosse
Here are 4 steps you should take if you find blood in your dog's urine.
Blood in dog urine is often difficult to detect, especially if your pet eliminates outside in the grass or dirt. But if you do notice a pink or reddish tinge to your dog's pee, you should try not to worry too much, as this is often a common, treatable problem that just looks scary.
If you or the dog walker finds blood in your pet's urine, you should take the following four steps:
- Don't Panic
Of course, you have some reason to worry, but try to keep calm. Blood in dog urine -- also called hematuria -- can result from any irritation, inflammation or bruising of your pet's urinary tract. In fact, one of the most common causes is a bacterial urinary tract infection. "These are more common in female dogs but can occur in any dog," says Dr. Danel Grimmett, a veterinarian at Sunset Veterinary Clinic in Edmond, Oklahoma. Urinary tract infections aren't pleasant, but they are usually treated with a simple round of antibiotics.
Another cause of hematuria is urinary stones or crystals. Although kidney stones aren't usually a serious issue, they may cause a complete urinary blockage and require prompt treatment. Other potential causes include tumors, drugs, clotting abnormalities, trauma, inflammation in the kidneys, congenital kidney disease and prostate problems (in male dogs).
"Even tick-borne illness or anything else that interferes with the pets' clotting ability can be the cause of blood in the urine," says Dr. Grimmett. While some of these diseases are quite serious, others only require some medication or monitoring. As such, you should try to remain calm until you know the root cause of the bleeding and understand the prognosis.
- Call Your Veterinarian
Once you've calmed down a bit, you should give your veterinarian a call. "I would recommend bringing your dog in for an appointment as soon as possible, ideally that day," says Dr. Sarah Tasse, a veterinarian with Pet Health Network. As some causes of hematuria can be quite severe and require immediate treatment, it's always better to play it safe and reach out to a medical professional as soon as possible.
- Gather Your Pet's Medical History
After you call your veterinarian, you should take the time to prepare any medical documents that may help in diagnosing your pet. If you're visiting your regular veterinarian, she should already have your pet's complete medical history.
However, if you are going to an emergency clinic or seeing a new vet, you should bring your pet's vaccination history and any other medical records, such as previous diagnostic test results and information on any prescribed medication, to your appointment.
"This will allow your veterinarian to have the most complete picture and will help determine the cause of the blood in the urine," says Dr. Tasse. Your pet already gets regular screening for kidney disease as a part of the chemistry panel on her blood work, and these test results provide information that is vital to your vet's diagnosis.
- Collect a Urine Sample
Your veterinarian may also request that you bring in a sample of your dog's urine. Though it's ideal to collect a fresh sample during the appointment, "it is often helpful if you can collect a sample at home in case your dog's bladder is empty when you bring her in," recommends Dr. Tasse.
In an effort to prevent your pet from urinating on the way into the office, you should either carry her or rein her in on a leash so that she doesn't have a chance to sniff and pee.
To learn more about your dog's bathroom behavior, read Frequent Urination in Dogs: How Often Should Your Dog Pee?
Rebecca Desfosse is a freelance writer who specializes in parenting, family and pet care topics.
* This article is for general informational purposes only. It is not intended nor implied to be providing medical advice and is not a substitute for such advice. The reader should always consult a health care provider concerning any medical condition or treatment plan. Neither Care.com nor the author assumes any responsibility or liability with respect to use of any information contained herein.